The Impact of a Celebrity Tweet on Your Supply Chain
Is Your Supply Chain Twitter Proof?
Contributor: Christy Pettey
It’s that life changing moment that many companies dream of. A celebrity with tens of millions of Twitter followers tweets how fabulous your new product is, and the orders come rolling in…
Noha Tohamy, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, has created this business moment to share how the excitement of a celebrity tweet can quickly turn into logistic challenge.
In preparation for the major launch of a new flavor of ice cream, the manufacturer works diligently to forecast demand, and it collaborates with supply chain leaders to ensure that inventory will be available. During the first week on the market a well known celebrity with millions of Twitter followers tweets how much she loves the new flavor. In the connected world, millions of the celebrity’s followers receive the tweet and retweet it. An unprecedented spike in demand ensues.
At the same time, a potential problem is looming on the supply side. The manufacturer’s taste sensors identify lower than normal levels of sweetness in some ice cream batches at one of its main plants, triggering an alert through the manufacturer’s network of connected devices. As a result, the smart network initiates a machine shutdown until the problem is resolved, causing the manufacturer to lose a crucial source of supply during a period of high demand.
All Systems Go
In the digital business world, the food manufacturer will receive massive amounts of data about these events. Initially, the manufacturer might be too overwhelmed with the data to glean any meaningful insights. But armed with advanced analytics, the manufacturer can turn this data into valuable insights, leverage the increase in demand and gain bigger market share.
The Business Moment
This scenario is what Gartner calls a “business moment” and it illustrates the wide variety of demand issues that could arise from a simple tweet or a viral video. In this moment, we see the high-level implications as the exchange between people, digital business and connected “things” unfolds.
Ms. Tohamy said it is essential that collaboration between partners – such as suppliers, carriers and retailers – advances to true network orchestration to create joint-value and benefit from the social-media-driven potential of this business moment.
“To take advantage of business moments, the supply chain group must be organized to allow automated and collaborative decision making,” said Ms. Nohamy. “In this way, the business moment will dynamically trigger a joint response based on predefined business rules and common business plans among the trading partners.”
The “things” in this moment – wearable technologies, smartphones and trucks – are all participants in the digital moment. They exchange information with businesses, and people, to share knowledge and negotiate a response. The ability of the factory machine to detect a quality failure, and recommend a solution that is properly communicated to all stakeholders, is critical to an organization taking advantage of this moment. It also requires “things” to move from a passive sender and receiver of information to autonomous entities capable of arriving at and executing on decisions.
Additional information is available to Gartner clients in the report “Business Moment: How a Celebrity Tweet Can Place New Demands on Your Supply Chain.”
Gartner analysts will provide additional analysis and information on supply chain trends at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conferences taking place May 17-19 in Phoenix, AZ and September 19-20 in London. You can follow news and updates from the events on Twitter using #GartnerSCC.
For more supply chain related articles visit Smarter With Garnter website.