Logistics management relies on accurate and timely information in order for the supply chain to plan for the flow of goods and information to be delivered to the end consumer at the lowest possible cost. Unless the entire supply chain is in sync with the flow of information, planning for the delivery of goods, information and other resources, including energy and people, between the point of origin and the point of consumption, then the cost of the end product or service becomes inflated with waste, delays and rework. The fabric of an efficient logistical system is communications.
The Social Media Supply Chain
Today much of what is happening within the social media space is being labeled as “markets of conversations“. Individuals and institutions are being pulled into these conversation because the consumer is engaging in conversational currency, sharing, seeking information and finding relationships which create value.
The supply chain of providers whom offer products and services shake their heads wondering how they can monetize social media because everything they see if “free”. However keen minds and thought leaders are just now beginning to recognize that social media’s value lies in improving the logistics of one’s proposition, whether information, goods or services. Social media is a supply chain of relevant and contextual information that creates a market of consumption for timely and appropriate products, services and information in demand as reflected by the market of conversations.
Tapping Existing Or Creating New Demand
At the end of every supply chain is consumption. Things that are consumed represent a market of demand. Things not consumed indicate a market with no demand. The information supply chain which lies within the conversational threads of “social media” represents existing demand as well as brand new demand created by new information.
New information becomes knowledge to those seeking innovation. Applied knowledge creates innovation. Innovation is the “pull” which facilitates the creation of new demand created by the innovation. New demand for information, products or services is the tipping point in which innovation creates new currency. The supply chain that fulfills the demand for innovation is communications, a conversation by and from the market. For anyone or any institution wanting to tap existing or create new demand for their information, ideas, products or services success is largely a factor of communications.
The Cluetrain Manifesto (Doc Searls) states that “markets are conversations. In order to fill existing demand or create new demand then individuals and institutions must be engaged where the markets of conversations are occurring. The adoption curve of social media represents the attraction of the market conversing about anything and everything. The information within these conversations illustrates existing and new demand being consumed.
Unless you are engaged in the market of conversations you cannot “hear” the demand and subsequently delivery on it efficiently. The voice of the customer represents a new demand and suppliers need to listen to the voices and learn how to “hear” the demands. Communications is the fiber of any economy. The customer is now the supplier of communications and it is up to “traditional suppliers” to deliver based on the intent of the buyer which is threaded in their communications. Logistics and productivity are now the fuel which customers use to fulfill their intents.