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Social ERP — The Mother of All Social Applications

        posted by , July 24, 2011

Is social ERP a crazy idea?

Social ERP sounds almost silly — I mean who ever heard of social manufacturing, social supply chain and social accounting? However, it might not be as far out as it seems.

Social enterprise software is about recognizing employees, customers and partners as creative and social beings in a productive enterprise. More than just cogs in the machine — humans have the ability to drive continuous improvement.

Social Finance

Accounting involves a great deal of interpretation. Where there is any doubt — why not socialize accounting interpretations?

With the recent increase in regulatory pressures driven by accounting scandals — social tools are important as a means to:

- enable whistle blowing (Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection)
- socialize accounting decisions
- get quick answers to inquiries
- communicate accounting rules and policies
- enable staff to improve accounting processes

Social Supply Chain Management (SCM)

SCM involves complex processes that span many partners. Social data might be used to:

- feed demand information
- feed supply information
- coordinate complex multi-business processes
- establish competency networks
- handle exceptions
- improve processes

Any complex processes that are constantly in flux can be improved with social tools. SCM processes certainly qualify as complex.

Social CRM

There is a solid case for social CRM. In fact, social CRM is the de-facto strategy of all the major CRM vendors.

Social Manufacturing

Much like supply chain — manufacturing involves complex processes that are constantly in flux. Continual improvement is the name of the game — social tools can enable process optimization.

The Japanese engineered social capabilities into manufacturing processes as early as the 1980s. As an example, the Toyota Way includes principles such as:

- empowering the individual to challenge with courage and creativity
- continuous improvement (kaizen)
- consensus building
- making decisions closest to the source of information
- respect for individuals
- teamwork

The Toyota Way leverages employees as creative and intelligent forces. Any employee has the authority to stop a process to address a quality issue. These are exactly the type of principles that social SCM has the power to support.

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