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APICS News

The Highs and Lows of Social Media in Business

By APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi CSCP, CPA, CAE | 0 | 0 | August 24, 2012
APICS Operations Management NowEarthquakes, financial uncertainty, and Twitter: Which one of these things is not like the other? In fact, according to a recent Deloitte and Forbes Insights study, these three things are all related because they present risk for businesses. According to “Aftershock: Adjusting to the New World of Risk Management,” business leaders identify the global economic environment, government spending and budgets, regulatory changes, and social media as their most important risk sources for the next three years.

While relatively new, social media has burst onto the risk management scene and already ranks fourth in the risk lineup. “Social media risk may magnify the threats from a diverse array of risks, including reputation, strategic, operations, and compliance. Confidentiality may be breached, corporate secrets spread, or malicious rumors started that can put a company in a tailspin.”

Managing data is an important part of navigating social media risk. According to a head of enterprise risk management quoted in the study, employees need to know how they should and how they shouldn’t access company information. Likewise, employees need to be aware of how data can impact a company’s reputation. Here again, social media can become a serious magnifier.

But we know social media isn’t all bad. The Harvard Business Review blog network this week featured “Social Media’s Productivity Payoff.” “Social technologies … may become the most powerful tools yet developed to raise the productivity of high-skill knowledge workers__the kind of workers who help drive innovation and growth, and who are going to be in increasingly short supply.”

In this case, the authors submit that social media presents a powerful tool for value creation, enabling improved collaboration and communication across enterprises. Specifically, they note that one-third of social media’s potential comes from applying it to product development, marketing and sales, operations, and customer support. Two-thirds of potential value comes from workers using social media to communicate and collaborate within these functions and across the business.

Navigating social media for business


It’s hard to deny social media’s impact on our personal lives, but are you__as supply chain and operations management professionals__considering how it can influence your work lives as well? APICS needs your help to explore this provocative topic and assess if and how it can be added to the APICS body of knowledge.

First, APICS is launching a new online community focusing on the content presented in this publication, APICS Operations Management Now. In this forum, you will have the opportunity to discuss how current events and the topics presented each week relate to you and your work. As APICS premieres this members-only community, we ask for your opinion about social media’s impact on supply chain and operations management.

Next, at the 2012 APICS International Conference & Expo, the APICS World Café will explore how social media is advancing initiatives and “fanning the flames” of existing risks. The 2012 APICS World Café is your opportunity to interact in person with peers from across the globe and exchange ideas about social media in a unique roundtable discussion.

Your input is valuable to us at APICS. Please join the social media discussion.

In other news

  • Skilled Work, Without the Worker__The New York Times
  • The Single Most Important Object in the Global Economy: The Pallet__Slate
  • Will Rising Costs Spark a New Social Trend in the Fashion Industry? __The Guardia

  • Related APICS education
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      March/April 2011, APICS magazine

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