Modern buyers must be social media savvy

Adam Leach is a freelance business journalist
7 June 2013

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Buyers must develop an understanding of social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn to keep up with emerging trends in supply markets, according to a senior purchaser.

In an interview with SM, Marcell Vollmer, chief procurement officer and senior vice president of the global procurement organisation at SAP, highlighted the growing need for buyers to keep up to date with modern communication.

Vollmer, who is currently working to transform a transactional, process driven function to be more strategic, stressed the importance of a broader understanding of “what is going on globally” and how it relates to procurement operations. He also highlighted the requirement for members of the profession to “understand social media and how it is being used in business”.

He advised buyers should strengthen their competency in two areas of social media. First, to develop an understanding how it can help them do their own work, whether carrying out research or contacting new people. And also, to keep abreast of how suppliers are using social media to communicate and promote their services.

Vollmer added while Facebook and LinkedIn were the market leaders in general and business social media, purchasers should keep an eye on competitors and emerging platforms.

The SAP CPO was speaking to SM following his keynote presentation at AribaLive in Berlin, Germany this week. SAP completed its deal to acquire Ariba for $4.5 billion (£2.8 billion) in October 2012.

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