Top 10 global supply chain leaders
Supply Chain Digital looks at the 10 most important supply chain leaders, as identified by Gartner, and why these companies are being recognised as examples of best practice.
There are three key trends to Gartner’s latest rankings for global supply chain excellence: closer, customer-driven partner integration, further adoption of advanced analytics and a strong focus on corporate social responsibility.
Gartner’s 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.
Here are the top 10 companies for 2016, and what Gartner has to say about them:
10 | Unilever (5.84)
Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch CP giant, has steadily moved up the rankings over the past several years and is very well regarded by both the peer and analyst voting panels due, in part, to its willingness to share best practices with the broader supply chain community. The company is a role model when it comes to CSR and scored a perfect 10 out of 10 on our new CSR component. Unilever says that it is achieving zero waste through its "four R approach" — reducing, reusing, recovering or recycling — and treating waste as a resource with alternate uses, such as converting factory waste to building materials or composting food waste from staff cafeterias. Longer term, it aspires to be "carbon-positive" by 2030. In 2015, it launched a Foundry Ideas platform to crowdsource innovations for sustainable products as part of its "sustainable living" plan.
9 | McDonald’s (5.54)
Overall, the McDonald's corporate supply chain team excels at orchestrating the upstream supply network. It promotes and acts as the conduit between outsourced vendors, suppliers, corporate stores and franchise partners. It uses council meetings to collaborate with suppliers on new product innovation and technology, as well as on plant safety. Base expectations with suppliers are managed through a standard supplier performance index, but the differentiator is more cultural and behavioural, as partners tend to put the McDonald's system first when sharing product and process innovations and staffing support teams with top talent.
8 | Amazon (5.34)
Amazon, despite dropping down from number one last year, continues to be a leader when it comes to innovation in its products and supply chain. It has sold several million Echo voice-controlled home speakers that allow users to search the internet for information, play music, complete online tasks and control other home devices. It is not hard to see where this could become a popular means of reordering common everyday products. Amazon's Prime Now same-day delivery service has expanded to more than two dozen U.S. cities and London, and includes delivery from local restaurants and stores in addition to company-owned warehouses.
7 | Intel (4.62)
The company is actively pursuing growth opportunities, as evidenced by its largest ever acquisition of chipmaker Altera in 2015. Intel's next challenge is to drive organic growth in new markets. Its supply chain group has proven to be a worthy partner for growth in the past. Over the course of 2014, the team enabled an entirely new ecosystem of China-based technology providers to support the ramp up of new tablet products. The result exceeded the CEO's aggressive 40 million unit shipment goal by 15 percent.
6 | H&M (4.5)
The Swedish fast-fashion retailer climbed two spots on a combination of extremely strong three-year weighted average ROA (25.3 percent) and revenue growth (16.3 percent) and a nine out of 10 for CSR, reflecting its strong record in sustainability and workers' rights. H&M was part of a recent coalition of top clothing companies that called on governments to agree to a strong climate change deal based on concerns that long-term climate effects could harm production of one if its major inputs, cotton.
5 | Inditex (4.42)
Spain's leading fashion retail group best known for its Zara brand. Inditex posted similar strong performances in three-year weighted average ROA (16.7 percent) and revenue growth (11.2 percent) and scored nine of 10 for CSR. Inditex has set a goal to run 100 percent eco-efficient stores by 2020. The new Zara flagship store in Manhattan tracks sustainability measures across all of its processes and will consume 30 percent less energy and 50 percent less water compared to a conventional store.
4 | Cisco (4.21)
A key focus area for Cisco has been digitising the logistics function. This includes connecting logistics to the broader supply chain with data, standards, automated event management and machine agents. Cisco is also bringing new technologies to bear in its warehouses, including augmented reality, telematics and video analytics. This is part of a broader effort to digitize its supply chain. It is leveraging in-house Internet of Everything (IoE) technology to improve product quality, gain energy efficiency in operations and reach universal order visibility.
3 | Samsung Electronics (3.95)
Samsung’s supply chain team continues to focus on improving customer collaboration and gaining insight into consumer behaviours through connected devices. Samsung Electronics received high marks (nine of 10) on the new CSR component. It recently received two awards for sustainability from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its use of sustainable materials in the Samsung Galaxy S6 and its long-term commitment to the proper disposal and recycling of e-waste in the United States.
2 | The Coca-Cola Co. (3.69)
The food and beverage leader is driving growth through product innovations and entering new markets and products, particularly in juices and waters. Supply chain, in partnership with the business, is taking a value-based approach to product and packaging portfolio management. The company continues to use its Freestyle smart delivery systems to tailor supply chain solutions by market and segment. In the US, it is a full-service dispensing machine that can offer a myriad of choices by combining 100+ different sodas and juices, while in the UK, it is a table top format focused more on juices. The company scored nine out of 10 for CSR and has set out ambitious sustainability goals for 2020.
1 | Nestlé (3.68)
The world's largest consumer food supply chain scored a perfect 10 out of 10 for CSR, including a 99 out of 100 in the environmental dimension of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for its use of "zero-water" factories and conversion of bio-waste into renewable energy. Nestlé's supply chain has consistent priorities around fresh product availability, customer collaboration, capital efficiency, data-driven decision making, complexity management and people development.