Social media in unlikely places

Excerpted from “ Social media tools can boost productivity" in USA Today:

The chefs who develop recipes at Chicago-based Newly Weds Foods, a wholesale food supplier to restaurants and institutions, use a similar social-media suite — IBM Connections — to carry out time-sensitive projects with experts scattered in several nations, says Bob Brindza, Newly Weds’ director of management information systems.

The company has 2,700 employees, and its chefs have shaped a global online community of co-workers and consultants to more pervasively share information about producing sauces, batters, breadings and seasonings.

A European customer was recently looking for an exclusive batter recipe. Using Newly Weds’ internal social network, chefs at culinary centers in Chicago and Sydney, Australia, quickly developed the recipe and invited the client to join the social network to weigh in on particular ingredients.

Brindza says his superiors’ initial skepticism about social-media tools has been reversed. Now, he says, they acknowledge that social media has “helped us build relationships, make our world smaller and increase our speed to market.”

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