Tag Archives: social network tips

How Networking Can Help You Find The Best Suppliers

How can procurement professionals use social networking to find competitive suppliers?

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As procurement professionals continue to look for more efficient ways to grow and optimise their supply network to meet demands, the supply market analysis (sourcing) process should be streamlined through online networks, such as Procurious, and offline networks including industry conferences, mixers and memberships.

I recently conducted a research study to investigate how social networking, both online and offline, influences the relationship between supply market analysis and cost reduction. Through online survey responses from existing and former procurement professionals, data was collected to establish the foundation of this concept. Pursuant to a seven-point Likert scale, a total of 51,485 survey participants were asked a series of questions in the context of three areas: supply market analysis, social networking, and cost reduction.

In general, it was discovered that procurement professionals do use social networking to find competitive suppliers. However, the study also revealed that social networking, in and of itself, is not a universal solution for identifying competitive suppliers. Rather, it is another option for finding suppliers that ultimately impact cost reduction. When considering the competitiveness of the supply market, roughly 77 per cent of procurement professionals indicated that their supply market was highly competitive. This suggested that most professionals have the option to switch to alternative suppliers. Social networking revealed that when looked at as a linear combination of network range, network size, and network strength, it amplifies the relationship between supply market analysis and cost reduction. Furthermore, there is an opportunity for professionals to enhance the way they source by concentrating on certain dimensions of social networking.

The post hoc analysis uncovered two key insights regarding the dimensions of a procurement professional’s social network:

1. There is a lack of significance related to network size

2. Network range and network strength foster more social networking value.

Procurement professionals can accomplish this by cultivating closer relationships with their social contacts, and by increasing the communication frequency with their contacts. By doing so, they can effectively organise their social network to source suppliers who ultimately provide improved reduction in costs. When procurement professionals reflected on cost reductions achieved from purchasing decisions, they agreed that they experienced a cost reduction. Approximately, 44 per cent of professionals conveyed that they experienced cost reductions considerably higher than expected based on their actions. This suggested that purchasing decisions can have an impact on cost reduction.

The constructs of supply market analysis, social networking, and cost reduction were adopted from existing research to substantiate the framework of the study. Supply market analysis was measured according to a supply market profile, which considered the competitiveness of the supply market, the number of capable suppliers in the supply market, and the switching costs of the supply market. Social networking was measured through three dimensions of social networking: network size, network range, and network strength. Network strength considered the interaction frequency, relationship duration, and emotional intensity of a connection. Network range contemplated the diversity of contacts in a social network. Network size assessed the total group of links that a person has with another one’s total of information channels. Cost reduction was measured through cost performance, in terms of broad retrospective results. For example, higher than average cost reductions were achieved and cost reductions were considerably higher than expected.

This study revealed opportunities to expand sourcing strategies without limiting the sourcing approach. Social networking can be integrated as part of a hybrid sourcing approach of traditional sourcing schemes to improve cost. When compared to traditional strategic sourcing tactics, understanding the role of social networking can be a viable way to link innovation with the sourcing process. The linkage thus relates to improved cost performance as confirmed by the data collected from procurement professionals.

The content of this article was taken from Adam Cockrell’s dissertation – Supply Market Analysis: The moderating effect of social networking on cost reduction – DePaul University.

The Struggle Was Real For Social Media – Let’s Not Swipe Left

As social media has evolved, it has permeated all aspects of day to day life. However, during this evolution, a number of fears have arisen around the use of these platforms.

Computers in the early 20th century were the size of a room and the Internet was just a set of protocols for internet working.

Fast forward to the early 90s and the size of computers had decreased, and high speed internet was introduced.

By the late 90s, the internet was starting to impact culture and commerce, including the rise of email communication, two way interactive video calls and the World Wide Web.

Social Networking Services

The concept of Social Networking Services (SNS) emerged from the internet, and became defined as a platform to build social networks or social relations among people who have similar interests, activities, backgrounds or real-life connections.

Early forms of SNS included websites which allowed you to build your own online communities.

Twenty years ago social media began to make its mark by connecting users globally. Then, in 2004, the concept of a social networking service further evolved with the innovation of key platforms such as Myspace, LinkedIn and Facebook. New platforms were developing at a rapid rate and became known as social media technologies.

These take on many different forms including blogs, business networks, enterprise social networks, forums, microblogs, photo sharing, products/services review, social bookmarking, social gaming, social networks, video sharing, and virtual worlds.

Social Media and the Smartphone Revolution

The innovation of smartphone technology has recently been a catalyst for increasing the power of social media. There is a strong correlation between the increase of social media usage and the innovation of mobile technology.

Mobile devices are now more affordable than ever, and wireless networks ensure they are faster and almost ubiquitous.

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In 2015, there were 3.649 billion unique mobile users and 1.685 billion people actively using social media on their mobile. There are 1.79 billion social network users globally.

Facebook alone had 1.55 billion users and LinkedIn has over 347 million registered members. Over a third of the world’s population have an active social media account.  

Misconceptions and Fears

Social media is growing, changing and evolving at a rapid rate. Unsurprisingly, misconceptions have arisen which can scare companies and individuals away from actively engaging with social media channels. These may include the concern that:

  • All channels and platforms need to be used, not just one or a select few.
  • It’s “for the kids.”
  • Managing your company’s accounts requires you to hire someone.
  • Social media completely removes the need for traditional channels.

These misconceptions have created barriers which have influenced and hindered the user’s experience and overall willingness to actively participate.

To investigate this further, Procurious, together with the eWorld Procurement and Supply conference, is launching a survey which aims to establish ‘What frightens you about social media’?

The survey examines what factors influence our practices, the fears that come into play when using social platforms, and if individuals notice the lack of their own social media presence.

The survey will only take a few minutes to complete, and by completing it, you can help us understand what people need to know in order to dispel these rising fears and misconceptions.

Social media has become a critical part of our social fabric. These sites are where we go to interact with people, inform ourselves and most importantly, to aid our businesses.

By understanding the barriers to full social media use, we can help to make sure everyone can get involved.

Click Here to Complete the survey: ‘What frightens you about social media’?

How connected are you?

Here on Procurious we’re making it even easier for you to connect…

If you’re of the opinion that social networks (and the content shared on them) is just a load of noise – and your colleague bullied you into becoming a member here, let us calm some of those fears.

I Can Haz Cheezburger and Kim Kardashian in a beautiful example of the riches the Internet brings...
I Can Haz Cheezburger and Kim Kardashian represent a beautiful contrast of the riches the Internet brings…

Believe it or not, it’s not all selfies on Facebook, cat videos on YouTube and a plethora of Kardashians on Twitter. OK those things all exist, but peer a little closer and you’ll see it for what it really is. Justin Beiber, Oprah and Grumpy Cat aren’t the only ones using social media – your peers, thought leaders, potential new contacts, and your competitors are all out there – they’re just waiting for you to reach out and connect.

Online networks (like Procurious) are the communication hubs of the future. Our lives  are increasingly becoming more digital, we live and breathe the online space. Procurious, LinkedIn, and Twitter all make it stupidly easy to communicate with people you wouldn’t normally reach – think of it as the world’s biggest Filofax!

Say you want to message the CPO of Glaxo Smith Klein, you don’t have her email on file but you CAN search Procurious.  This isn’t the Dark Ages, instead take the initiative and reach out to her – make the connection.

Size does matter

Take a look at your network – you can check this at any time by clicking on your profile picture and scrolling down to the ‘My Network’ area.

How many people are in your network? 100+ you’re doing very well indeed…

How big is your Procurious network?

There are a number of extremely ways to increase your standing: If you haven’t already, pay a visit to the ‘Build Your Network’ page (you’ll find it behind the green button, and it’s in the same place no matter which page you’re on).

Here you can see who you’re already connected to, how you connected (via Procurious itself, or LinkedIn), and a handy selection of search filters that makes finding new friends a piece of cake.

Don’t forget you can also invite existing connections from LinkedIn to join you on your Procurious pilgrimage. Click the blue invite button to select up to a maximum of 10 contacts per day.

Email is another option (if your address book is bulging), or there’s the personal invite link that’s free to be pasted anywhere you like. Think Twitter, Facebook, and your Google+ page.

While browsing Procurious you may have also noticed the ‘Get Connected’ area. This is our way of recommending other interesting members to you, just click the ‘Add To Network’ button to send a request to connect.

With all of these tips, your network will be booming in no time!