Social Media Resonance reduces business Risk #in your Global Supply Chain
2010/11/12 7 Comments
Social Media is a natural tool to reduce business risk by shifting your focus from Sales and Marketing to Purchasing because;
Small changes in market demand can cause huge inventory losses–think Nortel Networks
Sales cycles are faster than Purchasing Cycles–think slow boat from China
Sales cycles are faster than Product Marketing Cycles–think Research and Focus Groups
Customer Needs Change Faster than Product Deliveries
Customer needs always change faster than products, services or solutions can be delivered and Social Media Resonance helps us identify and respond to changes before business risk spins out of contro.
New Products and Purchasing Cycles
Consider the risk exposure to a mobile telephone services provider where new mobile phones and service packages are introduced quarterly and your sales department tells you one month into a promotion that customers have begun to move to a competitor because their new mobile phone, just introduced, has a ‘hot’ feature–
Can you slow down the rush to the competitor?
How will the shift to ‘new’ features affect your next mobile phone introduction?
Is this problem a product marketing problem or can our purchasing managers respond to changing demand?
Fast Moving Markets and Customer Resonance
While marketers are typically given the responsibility to respond to shifting customer demand, purchasing managers have a larger opportunity window to reduce business risk even faster if they sense the shifting market demand fast enough.
Shifting customer needs are articulated before puchases occur may ways including;
Customer Service questions or complaints
Price and feature inquiries
Asking about and discussing competitors’ products and features
Conversations about alernate uses of products or features
Cancelations or service ‘pause’
Many Small Trends and Herding Cats
Before large market shifts there are smaller trends where some customers may favour products or features that are different than another group of customers, so there is no clear direction for marketers.
Where there is no clear direction marketers often continuously adjust their offers until they get pack to their planned sales numbers but this causes difficulty to purchasing managers who may not have the right combination of products or product features for the next product release. Changes to products manufactured or purchased may be too expensive or not possible. Is there a better way?
Reducing Product Risk in the Supply Chain
Products are manufactured or purchased to fit to customer need or because it ‘resonates’ with the needs of customers and yet customer needs may change faster than the time it takes to produce or deliver the products that we expect them to buy.
As products flow from the beginning of an extended and sometimes global supply chain it is possible to measure if they retain their closeness of fit or ‘resonance’ to the customers for which they are intended. Here are some ways to reduce Supply Chain risk;
Create product ‘platforms’ so product features can be adjusted as close to customer delivery as possible
Build in ‘small trend’ features into new products but only promote them if they turn into ‘big trend’ needs
Add incentives to products with reduced customer ‘resonance’ while they are still in the supply chain
Social Media insight is more valueable in the supply chain as it helps reduce business risk by providing an opportunity to identify and exploit ‘small trends’ before they become large, fast trends that runaway from marketers.
Call us to see how our SpeedSynch Resonance Maps help you identify small trends to reduce risk and exploit opportunities when your products are still flowing across your extended or global supply chain.
Nick Trendov @SpeedSynch