All posts by Kate Lee

Network Your Face Off

Don’t underestimate the importance of your network to your career. It could make the difference in landing your dream job.

network

The importance of networking in procurement, be it face-to-face or on social media, can’t be overstated. Apart from getting your name and personal brand out there, there is also a wealth of information waiting for you when you interact with other procurement professionals.

During Procurious Career Boot Camp, we’ve had Career Coaches and high-profile CPOs sharing their thoughts on the importance of networking for a full career.

Kathryn Minshew, founder and CEO of The Muse and The Daily Muse, began a piece for the Harvard Business Blog Network with this sage advice: “Network Your Face Off.”

The truth and value of this statement cannot be underestimated.  Here are 7 reasons why networking is essential and why connections matter.

1. The larger the network the larger the salary

A recent study of 6,000 executives in over 3,000 firms found that the more connections an employee has, the greater their salary.

Specifically, the study found that a 50 per cent increase in network size accompanies a 3.8 per cent increase in salary with respect to the average.

2. Networks beget jobs

survey conducted by The Adler Group found that 46 per cent of active candidates and 49 per cent of passive candidates found employment thanks to networking.

Similarly, a study conducted by Banque de France and the University of Toulouse noted that half of all jobs in the United States are filled through personal contacts.

ABC News cites an even higher number – according to ABC News, 80 per cent of jobs are landed through networking.

3. Wider networks can lead to better paid jobs

Research conducted by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis economist David Wiczer, found that employees who found jobs through individuals within their network got paid, on average, 6 per cent more than employees who found their jobs through direct contact with a firm.

4. Networks provide security

People who are well-connected are more likely to stay in their jobs longer and have shorter periods of unemployment than people who are not well-connected.

5. Networks bring opportunities

The opportunities networks can bring include: partnerships, invitations to events, introductions, and invitations to give talks and presentations.

In short networks bring opportunities that benefit and feed your career, professional development, and personal interests.

6. Networks make you smarter

Knowing what is happening in your field and industry is vital.  When you have a strong network you are more likely to be “in the know” than those who do not have a strong and active network.

7. Networks make you happy

Minshew writes: “Networks are powerful, and when done right leave you surrounded by a core of individuals who are all rooting for your success and happy to help you.”  So true.

Networking is essential.  Get out there and build your network.

The Procurious Boot Camp will increase your stamina, get you in the best career shape of your life and help you to punch above your weight.

It’s not too late to sign up. Enlist here and get access to our 15 free podcasts from some of the best career coaches around. Don’t miss out – your career will thank you for it!

The Role of Social Media in Supply Chain Intelligence

The value of the social economy is estimated to be $1.3 trillion U.S. dollars annually. 

 

Supply-Chain-Collaboration

This article was originally published on the Fronetics website.

Social media is more than a collection of personal commentary, photos, and inspirational quotes. Increasingly, social media creates an opportunity to gather information, and social media is becoming a useful tool for businesses to connect with other businesses and clients. Although Facebook is notorious for gathering information, social media companies are not the only companies who can gather intelligence.

Data Gathering

Gathering of intelligence has never been easier. Although there are still traditional indicators of sales and traditional feedback loops, the age of social media allows for swift collection of intelligence. According to McKinsey, “Analysts typically spend 80 percent of their time gathering information before they begin to analyze it. Social intelligence radically alters this process. Numerous tools allow analysts to create dynamic maps that pinpoint where information and expertise reside and to track new data in real time.”

Capturing the Consumer

Collecting information from your consumers online— the good, the bad, and the dirty— can help you understand consumer sentiment around brands. By searching for key words or terms you may improve sales strategies, product placement, or understand demand cycles.

Do you want to see what clients and consumers say about you and your products, about their reliance, frustration, appreciate of your role in the supply chain? You should! But you can also have a look at what is trending, what your competitors are doing, and how you can gain traction through social media. The window is a unique opportunity for you. If your competitors are garnering more views, figure out why. Do they highlight their employees? Do they link directly to items for purchase? Do they use keywords you’re not using? Are they presenting themselves as leaders in the industry by blogging?

Storm Surge

Storms happen, and they’re stronger than ever. Natural disasters will never cease. Accidents happen. There’s no fix-all, no cure for these things, but there are new ways to manage these challenging moments when they strike. In March 2012, the Red Cross announced the creation of a social media crisis monitoring center called the American Red Cross Digital Operations Center.

When Hurricane Sandy hit the Eastern Seaboard, the Red Cross was able to see how valuable social intelligence can be. According to an article in Fast Company, How the Red Cross Used Tweets to Save Lives During Hurricane Sandy, “During the week of Hurricane Sandy, the Red Cross tracked more than 2 million posts and responded to thousands of people. In the end, 88 social media posts directly affected response efforts—a fairly significant shift of resources.”

While people lost power during Hurricane Sandy, many still had internet access on their phones. They could access news updates, connect with loved ones, and ask for help through social media. According to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, more than 20 million tweets were sent about Hurricane Sandy in the span of 6 days.

The intelligent thing to do for your company just might be to explore social media intelligence.

Kate Lee is the Senior Director of Research and Strategy at Fronetics Strategic Advisors, a leading management consulting firm that specialises in the identification and execution of strategies for growth and value creation.

Social media use in the logistics and supply chain industry

The use of social media is prevalent within Fortune 500, Inc. 500 companies, and small businesses.  Why are companies using social media? 

Social media use in the logistics and supply chain industries. Pixabay

Companies are using social media to grow their business and to bring value to both their company and their customers.  The McKinsey Global Institute conducted an in-depth analysis four industry sectors that represent almost 20 per cent of global industry sales.  The analysis suggests that social platforms can unlock $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in value in those sectors alone.

Fronetics Strategic Advisors conducted a survey of individuals within the logistics and supply chain industries.  The objective of the survey was to gain insight into the use of social media within these industries.  Specifically, to learn more about why companies within the logistics and supply chain industries are using social media, the benefits they have realized, and challenges they have encountered.

The supply chain and logistics industries are recent adopters

Social media use is relatively new for companies within the logistics and supply chain industries.  64 per cent of survey respondents reported that their company has used social media for between one and five years.  Thirty-six per cent of respondents reported that their company has used social media for less than one year.

Motivations for use

Why have companies begun to use social media?  The survey asked respondents to rate statements on why their company uses social media.  The following statements received the highest rankings (somewhat to very important:

  • Increasing the visibility of their company (95 per cent);
  • Improving brand image (90 per cent);
  • Establishing the company as a thought leader (86 per cent);
  • Attracting new leads and customers (82 per cent).

Benefits and challenges

The majority (68 per cent) of respondents reported that their companies are realizing benefits from social media.  The primary benefits reported were: increased engagement with customers (80 per cent); increased market intelligence (80 per cent); and increased business intelligence (73 per cent).

With respect to challenges, time constraints (48 per cent), budgetary constraints (43 per cent), and lack of strategy (33 per cent), were the primary challenges reported.

Most companies manage social media in-house

The majority (92%) of respondents reported that social media is managed in-house by either a marketing department, a staff member devoted full-time to social media, or a staff-member devoted part-time to social media.

Summary

Although companies within the logistics and supply chain industries have only recently begun to use social media, they are already realizing benefits and are identifying social media as a strategic tool.

In addition to customer engagement, the benefits identified by social media include increased market intelligence, and increased business intelligence.  In short – information.  When asked why their company uses social media, responses generally focused on brand and image.

With respect to social media strategy, the majority of companies manage it in-house. Interestingly, the top three challenges identified by companies include: time, money, and defining a strategy.

What is your company’s experience with social media?

For the full report see: Social media and the logistics and supply chain industries: Report on social media use, motivations, preference, benefits, and challenges.

Fronetics Strategic Advisors is a management consulting firm focused on strategy and inbound marketing for the logistics and supply chain industries.