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Social business in the Australian manufacturing sector

03.20.2013
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I wrote recently about a new report by DHL detailing the importance for companies to collaborate with rivals using social tools.

Australian manufacturers are also turning to social business tools to improve productivity.  Companies such as Pact Group are utilising social media tools to improve their internal processes.

''We own and operate over 70 sites throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia,'' said Pact customer systems manager Brendan Cocks. ''What we found is that there was a breakdown in communication between those sites. What we wanted is a platform that is easily accessible to everyone in Pact Group.''

The company is utilising Chatter, which is Salesforce's internal social networking tool.  They have over 600 of their 3,500 employees currently using the service, and hope to extend this to 1,000 by June.

Mr Cocks revealed that using social media internally has improved productivity at the firm by allowing employees to share files faster, whilst also collaborating over problems and sharing knowledge amongst themselves.

''It has cut down those silos and brought the group together as a business,'' he said.

Such has been the success of the project that Pact are also hoping to trial a system whereby customers are invited into the conversation.

Packaging manufacturer Amcor are also utilising social tools to improve how they operate.

''Like most industries today, the manufacturing industry needs to be nimble and responsive to deal with a global economy and changing market conditions,'' said Amcor's vice-president of corporate communications Prue Deniz.

''Adopting social business tools helps support the flow of information and knowledge transfer on a peer-to-peer basis. Amcor has a number of business groups, or communities, already using social collaboration tools.''

Whilst many companies have seen sales and marketing employees using social media, at Amcor they have been using social tools to share insights between regional teams.

The company has piloted enterprise wide social tools, allowing its 33,000 employees in 42 countries to collaborate better.

''Our aim is to ultimately enhance the way we support our customers and drive competitive advantage,'' Ms Deniz said. ''The tool enables users to interact, share files and create communities to collaborate in an online environment.''