BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY INSIGHTS

Social Platform and Procurement Chain

 
March 31, 2020

In today’s advanced world, demand and supply network is the key which controls economy. Supply chain management is one of the most crucial parts of procurement industry. Procurement industry deals with two groups, one who demands (Buyers) and the other who supplies (Suppliers). An effective and fruitful network depends on communication and collaboration between buyers and suppliers. Here social platform comes into picture which allows buyers and suppliers to communicate effectively and establish a solid chain of procurement. Coupled with big data, a social platform can help procurement professionals resolve supply chain issues and aid in better supplier management by buyers.

While most companies use social platform for customer engagement, procurement function can use these platforms to engage with their suppliers. Social platforms make communication informal, helping buyers to build a personal relationship with suppliers and ensure open communication for collaborating inventions.

Most social platforms help procurement professionals share their knowledge and ideas. However, if one can find sites that are specific to procurement professionals, they will ensure that the buyers enjoy more comprehensive knowledge sharing.

We can get the latest news and information related to our suppliers, product recalls and innovation. This will help resolve issues quickly with collective effort and take measures on time to stay ahead in competition.

There are three main benefits of employing social platforms in the procurement network.

Managing and sharing Information

Collecting and managing information from external resources is crucial for every organization. Getting information on time is the driving factor of procurement industry which has become easy and quick with collaboration of social platform. Social platform is the general forum where leaders and industrial influencers share their thoughts, analysis of latest trends and industry directions. It helps others to plan accordingly beforehand and be ready for the competition in world market.

Risk mitigation and supplier management

Social platforms become a fantastic source for financial information about suppliers and for capturing commodity trend information long before it shows up in official market statistics. Social platform sites can also be an important evaluation tool when looking at prospective new suppliers. Procurement thought leaders are also contemplating the role of social platform in supplier risk management as it can serve as an early indicator of developing market trends.

Collaboration and guiding the industry:

Social platforms provide an excellent platform for procurement professionals to initiate discussions and receive and share insights on best practices among their peers. Procurement professionals can also use these platforms to collaborate and communicate with suppliers.

In spite of multiple benefits still there can be information security concern due to which an organization may not want to post information in public groups. This is taken care up to an extent by introducing private groups and chat which is fully secured and putting the information in encrypted mode. Now a days, social platforms have incorporated multiple security checks so that sharing information in public forums is not a cause of worry.

There is a perception among procurement professionals that social platform sites have relevance only in the business-to-consumer (B2C) segment for brand building and marketing. But with experts from all domains using social platform to air their views and business organizations becoming increasingly active on these platforms, buyers should consider using them to gather information, communicate with internal and external stakeholders and collaborate with industry thought leaders and analysts.

Below are the key features of social platform that can be used in procurement:

  • Discussion forum: Helps procurement participants to share knowledge, analysis, thoughts in open forum for everybody which is thought provoking for others.
  • Community/Team/Group: One can create community or team to achieve secured and closed-door discussions involving intended participants only. This will ensure no information leak and contextual collaboration.
  • Contract Sharing for review: Before signing or finalizing any contract, multiple levels of approval or proof reading are required at both the ends to ensure flawless throughput. This can be achieved by sharing contract document online through social platform quickly for review saving time and effort both.
  • Procurement event management: One can post any event’s information to engage everybody on the same platform. This is not only applicable to live events but for any procurement events such as RFP creation, submission /approval.
  • Organizational news: This section helps to keep others updated on the latest news about an organization which helps participants to decide their roadmap and trend of procurement well in advance.
  • Chat: Last but not the least chatting is a very fast approach to connect with anyone directly to get quick response when needed. At times, chat resolves issues and conflicts in a better way than posting text messages.


So, we can conclude that a social platform in procurement chain is influential, informative, interactive and results in strong network building. It can change the world business perspective, if utilized globally.

 

Arijit Aich is the technical consultant in Innovation and Product Engineering group within TCS Platform Solutions. He is responsible for multiple product engineering and build initiatives covering new functional modules, major product enhancements and innovations. In his career of over 9 years (last 3 years with TCS), he has worked in various domains including Banking and Procurement. He has played the role of technology lead and architect for large application deployments, product development and Re-engineering. He holds a B.Tech. degree from West Bengal University of Technology. He has also done SCJP (Sun Certified Java Programmer) and SCWCD (Sun Certified Web Component Developer) certifications.