On Monday evening, I heard Scott Case of Position:Global speak to the Chicago area Logistics, Operations and Supply Chain Group (LOSC) about how social media can used to promote and market 3PL firms. It causes me to think about communicating in the supply chain.
No field probably has as a longer of history of communication change than the supply chain. When the telegraph was invented, it use for the newly created railroads in the 19th century was obvious. Before the telegraph, there was no way for trains running in on coming directions to meet without one train waiting until the train showed up no matter how much delayed. With the telegraph, somebody communicate if a train had passed or a known problem in transit. Imagine the improvements, telephones, stock ticker technology, and portable radios added to operations as they occurred.
The current buzz word is too over communicate, because lack of information among the parties can cause any project or process to fail.
By nature, supply chain involves multiple players inside and outside the organization. To effectively run the supply chain all parties must communicate and yes that costs both money and time. So how you communicate, by phone, email, in person, should be part of planning. And one size does not fit all situations. Major changes in process or organizations will would be best communicated with in-person visits because there needs to be a comfort level on what is to be accomplished and equally important to find where the changes makes the potential users uncomfortable.
But day to day communication, might be best done and most cost effectively in an in-house social network, visible and usable by all effective parties, both inside and outside the organization. Daily concerns and issues can be brought up and addressed by appropriate parties. It takes it out of email, which will have all sort of issues from all sorts of people. Yet even here, thought should be given when a phone call or other direct information may be appropriate.
In today’s complex world, thought on how you would process over-communicating is very important. The goal is to effectively send out the messages and information, yet do it in a time efficient, cost efficient matter.
person face to face contact, so concerns can be discussed at length.
There are many software programs which set up an in-house social media site. Let me give an example of a good use for such software. Imagine a project that is just being implemented , you can get all parties to use the in house social media so all can be alerted to concerns. Yet it still may be wise to let the leader of the project know about the social media update in advance by phone or email. But unlike email, the information in set social media confines is one subject, unlike email which includes the rest of the world.
By planning your communication, you will save time, energy and yes money