How Social Sourcing can link needs to knowledge.

THE SOCIAL SOURCING·WEDNESDAY, 11 JANUARY 2017
I have been involved in the helping industry for all my working life. I have ‘helped’ find many things of all categories in every shape and size. I have connected those that want something and those that had that ‘thing’. I have earned a fee for helping that along and making the process run smoothly.

As usual the devil is in the detail on this and all matters. Its what could go wrong and how you go about stopping or preventing it, before it starts, that makes a deal a good deal, or no deal at all. That is the challenge of professional sourcing. Its knowing how each unique deal can be started and concluded to the benefit of all concerned. That is the hard part so why bother with this?

I am well aware of the internet and how we can use it to connect people with local business and help someone who wants something with someone who can supply that ‘thing’. But more often than not the search is directed at the ‘usual’ channels. All too often, we default to the first page on Google or Amazon or Ebay, or any number of business sites that seem to cater for all our needs. But what about some local knowledge. What about the little (or large) business, that is just down the road, or in the next county, that could easily supply what you need. It could be cheaper, or just more convenient to buy from them. I have always considered the best options for buying, and its not always the cheapest price. Its the BIG picture for supply that really matters. Think about how many items you really need on a daily/weekly/monthly basis and see if you can ‘piggy back’ on another supplier, that buys the same item in bulk, and provides that, with terms, by the unit or in box or case quantity. Think what you can do with that extra saving, with financing a large order and what it really costs you to hold and store the extra stock to meet the MOQ from a cheaper volume manufacturer or supplier? You may not need to pay for that warehouse space? You may not need that forklift? You may not need all 10,000 pieces in one delivery when you sell 1,500/month? Just think. Or ask. There could be a place or person, not that far from you, that can help. It doesn’t have to be via Ebay or Amazon. Try using our social channel to meet the need with the knowledge.

I would also like to start by defining ‘things’. Its easy really. Its anything. A single nut or bolt. A container of rubber bands. A certain shade or colour of a certain type of ink or paint. A barrel of oil or a bottle of wine. So if you need anything, lets start to share our need with someone else’s knowledge and bring these wants and needs together with those that have that item or know how to get it or who has it.

So why create the @thesocialsourcing page and why bother with this? Well, I am convinced that so many of us -as we go about our daily tasks- have seen or have the knowledge or participate in all sorts of businesses and places that have, make or supply, all sorts of ‘things’ . I don’t want the default search to be on Google, Amazon or Ebay. Lets start locally and see what may be just around the corner. Not everything is listed on the internet yet. Local works on so many levels and can bring so many benefits, both direct and fringe, to those that can meet a want and an opportunity and start to work together.

I am always amazed at how many opportunities and ideas are right under or noses, but because we don’t share what we want and that leads to missed chances. Lets share these on @thesocialsourcing page and see what happens. It can be local and global.

Start by sharing an item or list of what you need and see if we can help each other. Post what you want on the page @thesocialsourcing and see who gets back to you.

I can help with the devil in the detail, so things run smoothly and nobody gets annoyed with each other. It’s about sharing and working for a mutual benefit. No fees will be charged and I am not looking for a fee as I just want to help. It may not work, but I’d love to see if this could work.

I am excited to see what ‘things’ people want and how the links can be made to find and source this, and supply this ‘thing’. We can all help each other. Lets try. Its one way to keep jobs local and help a business survive or thrive by connecting a need with knowledge and sharing it on social media.

Thank you all.
Phil Ansell