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How Social Media can Enhance Your Supply Chain

Catherine Larkin

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Let’s face it: compiling a LinkedIn post or sharing an informative Facebook update is hardly likely to be number one on the priority list of a supply chain manager (SCM) or planner when it comes to operations. On any given day, their focus is on dealing with key matters such as inventory management, distribution, warehousing, supplier selections, transport costings, contract implementation, inbound and outbound logistics, to mention just a few.

But more and more supply chain companies are realising the importance of social media and the value that it can add to the supply chain. As a result of the international COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns around the world, people are spending far more time online. This trend is set to continue going forward and consequently more supply chain companies have made the shift online.

Leveraging social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook can enhance visibility and transparency across all points of the supply process by relaying the most up-to-date information to as many key players as possible.  

Here are just 4 benefits that supply chain companies will enjoy by using social media:

  1. Increased Customer Engagement: Ongoing communication with customers is key to building strong, lasting, long-term relationships. Sharing information about new products, developments, new insights etc. allows your customers to feel part of the supply chain process. It gives them a sense of comfort. Social media enables also communication to take place 24/7. Supply chain companies should take advantage of social media platforms to enhance their relationships with customers.
  2. Improved Internal Communication: Social media platforms enable messages to be delivered en masse, in real time. This results in better and faster communication at all points of the supply chain and enables partners to share important information and ensure supply chain fluidity. It is a cost-effective communication solution.
  3. Increased Brand Awareness: A strong presence on social media will increase awareness of your brand. Posting regularly can do wonders to raise your company’s profile, which in turn helps to drive sales and increase profitability. A visible and easily searchable web presence is vital in helping a company tell its story, promote and announce products, and reach new customers and markets.
  4. Staying Up-to-date on Industry Trends: By following relevant news organisations, industry publications, associations, and other media outlets on social media, your company will stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the industry. It also enables your company to identify new innovations, learn about best practices, and collaborate with stakeholders, peers and suppliers. Sharing insights with your team and your customers will position your organisation as an industry leader, which in turn will generate new sales and ultimately drive business growth and profits

Social media is key for supply chain success.

Logistics

Pharma Aero Has Recently Taken on Bollore Logistics

SCN Africa

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“Pharma.Aero continues to expand its global network and we welcome Bollore Logistics into the membership. It allows us to further improve the air transportation and handling of pharmaceutical and vaccine shipments by creating awareness and focusing on global collaboration within the air cargo industry,” said Nathan De Valck, chairman, Pharma.Aero.

Brice Bellin, head healthcare & life science Europe; and Netka Hohlfeld, healthcare director Germany & Central Europe, Bollore Logistics, added, “Bollore Logistics is aware about the importance of supply chain collaboration and required efficiencies to ensure the global distribution of the healthcare industry. We see it as our duty to be tier-one supply chain partner as one of the world’s top 10 transport and logistics groups, with the largest integrated logistics network in Africa. It is an honour to be a part of a common approach which will improve compliance, quality, recognise and mitigate risks, and increase stakeholders visibility in this complex pharma industry, more particularly for the supply of vaccines in the health context that we are currently experiencing.”

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Logistics

New DHL Global Forwarding Investment Into Johannesburg Facility

Bernita Marais

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While it is much to early to fully grasp the economic impact of the current Covid-19 pandemic DHL has invested R127-million in a new 13 000 m2 facility.  Twice the size of its current set-up and located next to the OR Tambo International Airport aimed at cementing its position within South Africa.

This new facility will consist of a 10 000 m2 warehouse that enables DHL Forwarding consolidation on all customer warehousing requirements. It will also boast will an exclusive and specialized cold chain facility that consists of three adjustable temperature-controlled refrigerators geared to handle life science and healthcare products in and out of South Africa.

The warehouse is also able to support other value-added services including cross-docking, storage for air, ocean, and road freight services, as well as a platform for breakbulk cargo.  The customised built on the world-class specification with the location only a short distance from the airport and arterial thoroughfares and upcoming industrial parks, will make this new facility a complete game changer for DHL within the country.

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Logistics

South Africa’s Vaccine Rollout and What to Expect:

Bernita Marais

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As mentioned by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night a deal was struck with the Serum Institute of India (SII) and will see South Africa get a million Covid-19 vaccine doses before the end of January and a further 500, 000 doses are due in February.

The President also mentioned that a comprehensive strategy has been put in place to reach all parts of the country.  It will also be far more extensive than the HIV treatment programme or even the national, provincial, and local elections in terms of the number of people who must be reached within a short time span.

Dozens of countries, both rich and poor, have started implementing a mass vaccination programme, including the US, Italy, and Saudi Arabia.  During the announcement it was also mentioned that the vaccination rollout will be divided into three-phases, in which phase one would prioritise frontline healthcare workers, phase two would target 16 million individuals that include essential service workers, people with comorbidities and the elderly, with phase three focusing on a further 22 million people.

A person who has been vaccinated has a much slimmer chance of becoming ill and dying from Covid-19.  When enough people have been vaccinated, we will reach what is knows as ‘population immunity’ meaning when enough of the population is immune to the virus to provide indirect protection to those who are not immune, reducing the spread and bringing the virus under control.

 The Department of Health is playing its cards very close to its chest and has been extremely reluctant to provide any logistical detail of how a vaccination rollout will work.

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