USA, September 15, 2017.- The technology industry has one of Gartner’s main sources of serious and rigorous information. Today we bring here his famous Top 25 Supply Chain Ranking and the technological innovations that will be confirmed in the coming months.
Gartner, Inc. has released the findings from its annual Supply Chain Top 25, identifying supply chain leaders and highlighting their best practices.
“2017 marks the 13th year of our annual Supply Chain Top 25 ranking,” said Stan Aronow, research vice president at Gartner. “This year we have an impressive group of leaders with new lessons to share, including two more recent entrants from the high-tech and consumer product sectors.”
“Despite some striking performances, however, today’s supply chain leaders face a much different business environment than just 12 months ago,” said Mr. Aronow. “A general trend toward protectionism, as evidenced by Brexit and the policies of the current U.S. administration, has caused some companies to shift supply network design decisions and create contingency plans in anticipation of new trade policies. Continued investment in innovative supply chain capabilities will be required to meet this changing landscape.”
Unilever topped the Supply Chain Top 25 ranking for the second consecutive year in 2017, followed by McDonald’s, Inditex, Cisco and H&M (see Table 1). Two new companies made the Supply Chain Top 25, with Nokia rejoining after a seven-year hiatus and Diageo making the list for the first time.
Perennial supply chain leader Amazon joined Apple and P&G in qualifying for the “Masters” category, which Gartner introduced in 2015 to recognize sustained leadership over the last 10 years.
“Hardly a day goes by without another announcement of Amazon’s foray into a new market, ownership of its own logistics capabilities or filing of patents to improve customer experience,” said Aronow. One indicator of Amazon’s outsized influence on retail is the simultaneous real estate boom in distribution centers and bust of brick and mortar stores in the U.S. over the past two years.
Apple continues to improve and innovate both its solutions and the means of producing them. While the company has backed off plans to produce its own cars, it is still actively working on autonomous vehicle technology and experimenting with augmented reality (AR) technologies.
Consumer product giant P&G continues to innovate through digital automation of workflows, and the use of algorithm-driven tools to reduce exceptions and enable end-to-end planning. In recent years, P&G has also accelerated its investment in people and environmental initiatives.
Along with the Masters category, the Supply Chain Top 25 continues to offer a platform for insights, learning, debate and contributions to the rising influence of supply chain practices on the global economy.
Three key trends stand out this year for the supply chain leaders that are accelerating their capabilities, separating them further from the rest of the pack.
Digitalization of Supply Chain
The past few years have seen a massive shift in companies creating digital connections within and across their supply chain operations. Leading companies view digitalization as an opportunity to not only provide agile support for existing products, but to reduce time to market for new ones. Some of the most disruptive and impactful technologies include solutions combining Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, cloud computing and advanced analytics. Simulation and optimization capabilities have moved into the mainstream and now cognitive computing capabilities, including machine learning, are in the labs of the most advanced supply chains. The digital pieces of the supply chain puzzle are coming together in a way that will enable more holistic, real-time management of the entire ecosystem.
Adaptive Organizations and Capabilities
Interrelated with digitalized supply chains is the ability of companies to be more adaptive to changes in their value chains. More specifically, leaders are creating adaptive organizations and capabilities to survive and win independent of future supply-related constraints or customer needs. “Some of the more impressive supply chain organizations have created a modular supply chain service model that allows for variants of functional capabilities to be combined into “plug-and-play” segments, such as make-to-stock, configure-to-order or engineer-to-order manufacturing profiles,” said Aronow. “This approach allows them to more quickly and flexibly support different business needs and outcomes, and speeds up activities such as M&A integration.”
Developing and Fostering Healthy Ecosystems
Leading companies realize that supply chain success depends on the health and well-being of the critical ecosystems within and around them. The people aspect of supply chain ecosystems applies to relationships with suppliers, partners, employees and customers along the value chain. Leading supply chains focus as much on ethical sourcing and supporting customer well-being, as they do on talent acquisition and development. Environmental sustainability is another priority for top supply chain organizations that set ambitious stewardship goals in the areas of emissions, water and other natural resources. Companies that are further along in developing mature corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices tend to have moved beyond mere regulatory compliance and are linking these efforts back to support for their underlying corporate strategies.
The Supply Chain Top 25 rankings comprise two main components: business performance and opinion. Business performance in the form of public financial and CSR data provides a view into how companies have performed in the past, while the opinion component offers an eye to future potential and reflects leadership in the supply chain community. These two components are combined into a total composite score.
Gartner analysts derive a master list of companies from a combination of the Fortune Global 500 and the Forbes Global 2000. In an effort to maintain the list of companies evaluated at a manageable level a general annual revenue threshold of $12 billion has been applied.
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading research and advisory company. The company helps business leaders across all major functions in every industry and enterprise size with the objective insights they need to make the right decisions.
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