Frequent readers of this blog are more than aware of our many commentaries addressing supply chain risk management and business continuity planning.  While many consultants and others are jumping on this bandwagon of late, we were calling attention and advising our readers and clients on strategies related to supply chain disruption and risk management as far back as 2008.

One area that we continually focused on in both blog commentaries and conference presentations was making teams aware of the importance of leveraging social media tools as a component part of a risk management strategy.  To state that this was somewhat hearsay just a few years ago is an understatement.  In 2011, I co- participated in a webinar sponsored by Kinaxis, that addressed how some early innovators were leveraging social-media based tools and concepts to effectively manage business continuity planning and overcoming some of the potential perils of brand or product risks.  During that webinar, both myself and Lora Cecere, a co-presenter, stressed both the importance, but also cautioned on the internal obstacles that needed to be addressed.

The reason for recounting this history is because a very critical milestone has occurred. 

I believe that the Supply Chain Risk Management Council (SCRLC) represents one of the foremost benchmarking resources and leadership forums for identifying and managing supply chain risk.  Its membership represents the true innovators in this important area. When we present to audiences or workshops related to supply chain risk management, we cite SCRLC as a benchmarking resource for teams to consider.

In the latest SCRLC Quarterly Newsletter, the lead article is titled: Social media- A Valuable Operations and Risk Management Tool.  This article describes that during its recent triennial meeting, SCRLC members discussed the growing importance of social media outlets on business operations and its potential for minimizing supply chain risk.  We urge supply chain leaders and teams to absorb the very important messages brought forth from this leadership forum.

The article notes that social media can be defined in five categories that include Blogs, Facebook and Twitter. It acknowledges that while social media can present a slippery slope, corporations can benefit in many ways from an effective social media based strategies.  One important quote of the article declares: “When executed properly, social media can be a boon, but it carries considerable risk as well.”  The SCRLC discussions further stressed that it is very important to remember that social-media is a two-way communication tool. “Critical information gathered from clients can improve operations and reduce overall risk.”

If you had doubts on Supply Chain Matters previous insights as to the importance of incorporating aspects of social-media mechanisms in your supply chain risk mitigation plans, we call your attention to how the recognized global leaders in this critical area view its use. If you needed further evidence to help your senior management understand its importance, benefits or risks, the SDRLC can be an important resource.

We again encourage our readers to share their views on leveraging social media based mechanisms as a component to supply chain risk mitigation action planning.

Bob Ferrari