Bending the Supply Chain Into a Supply Network

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27 August 2013
Daniel W. Latimore
The image of a supply chain is linear, stretching from one point to another, link-by-link, in an orderly procession. If each part does its part, success is realized. But, we all know that business does not really work like that. Rather, activities are more random, concurrent and fluid. The case studies at the Celent innovation event, What's Next: The Search for Disruptive Innovation, will explore how companies are making the transition from the step-by-step chain to the dynamic network that we increasingly experience. Over the next few weeks we will give you a preview of the program. This week we will preview cases of financial services firms that are using social networks to create new collaboration patterns with their customers, distributors, and employees. We have some fantastic examples of companies that are extending social technology in order to bend their supply chains into supply networks. The companies presenting on October 3 in San Francisco have applied social collaboration well beyond the Marketing function to use them to change traditional relationships between customers, distributors and employees. I'm not going to steal their thunder and give away all the valuable details in their cases but here's a thumbnail sketch of what you'll learn in the sessions:
  • How does an insurer reduce fraud, manage risk, decrease losses, minimize customer acquisition expense, and lower processing costs all at the same time? Join Sebastian Herfurth, founder and co-CEO of Friendsurance as he explains how his company is using social collaboration to turn the traditional insurance model on its ear and accomplish all these goals simultaneously. His presentation details the mechanisms that allow their customers use social networks to agree to "cover" each other if there is a loss.
  • Don Montanaro, CEO of TradeKing Group, will describe how their focus on social networking immediately differentiated their firm from the 600-pound gorillas in the online brokerage industry by providing a safe, collaborative environment for investors to interact with peers and with the company itself. He will share examples of how TradeKing operationalizes social. Working closely with securities industry regulators to leverage social’s power beyond marketing, they have built industry leadership in key business functions like customer service.
  • With the increasing need to innovate and change the way business is being done, companies continue to struggle with tapping the skill and knowledge of their employees to identify ways to transform the business. Everyone recognizes what a valuable resource associates can be, but it is very difficult to collect and refine the "next great thing". Chubb & Son uses social technology to build innovation as a part of the day-to-day, natural activity stream of all of their employees. Jon Bidwell, SVP and Chief Innovation Officer, will describe the social platform that reaches directly to front line support staff and interacts directly with agents and customers to engage them in the product development and feedback process. Their lessons learned are surprising and insightful.
The conference is a unique offering that will allow you to take a deep dive into what innovative leaders in financial services are doing to exceed market expectations. If you haven’t already, join us in San Francisco on October 3 by registering today and stay tuned for more updates!


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Asia-Pacific, EMEA, LATAM, North America