Top Ten Global Supply Chain Leading Companies
Supply Chain Digital examines the 2018 world leaders in supply chains, according to Gartner’s Supply Chain Top 25
The GSC 25 is an annual ranking which aims to evaluate industry-leading corporations on their dedication and ability to demonstrate “leadership in applying demand-driven principles to drive business results.”
10 | Starbucks (3.85)
Maintaining its ranking from the previous year, Seattle-based coffee company Starbucks reports an annual revenue of over $22bn and operates at over 28,000 locations worldwide. This includes the world’s largest coffee shop, located in Shanghai. The company is currently opening locations in China at a rate of one shop every 15 seconds. The effectiveness of Starbucks’ supply chain is attributed by Rick Leblanc of The Balance to centralisation, the reduction of outsourcing costs, and “very clear service, cost, and productivity metrics.”
9 | H&M (3.96)
H&M fell from position four to nine in the Gartner rankings year-over-year. According to CIPS, the Swedish clothing brand reported a below-expected growth of 3% in 2017, prompting the adoption of new technologies to “make its supply chain faster, more flexible and more responsive to” customer needs. This supply chain overhaul (in comparison to the one that took place in 2017) will focus on intelligence and analytics, attempting to better anticipate patterns of consumer behaviour, both online and in the brand’s physical locations.
8 | PepsiCo (3.99)
Rising three places in the Gartner rankings, food and beverage corporation PepsiCo has unveiled plans to further improve the efficiency and efficacy of its supply chain by adopting a more tech-centric approach. According to Digital Commerce 360, “PepsiCo Inc. has a big thirst for doing more things digitally.” Vivek Sankaran, president and COO of PepsiCo snack subsidiary Frito-lays, tweeted that the company was “vastly improving [its] ordering algorithms to automatically generate the perfect order for that store based on sales histories.” The company reported a net revenue of $50.6bn in the last financial year and expects further automation to cut costs and increase profits.
7 | Nestle SA (4.21)
With a net reported revenue of $91.2bn last year and operations in over 80 countries, Nestle is the largest food processing company worldwide. This year, Nestle announced a “global coffee alliance” with Starbucks, who will provide the coffee bean sourcing aspect of the supply chain, whereas Nestle (having paid $7.3bn for Starbucks licensing) will perform customer-end distribution. The company also hopes to boost its Nescafe brand revenue by investing $1.3mn to train Zimbabwean coffee farmers, attempting to bolster its supply chain security from harvest to consumer, according to CIPS.
6 | Nike (4.25)
Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Nike is the world’s leading footwear manufacturer. The company ascended two places in the Gartner rankings, in comparison to 2017, a position which is under threat. Nike’s current manufacturing model relies heavily on overseas production outsourced to third-party contractors, particularly in Vietnam, China, and Indonesia. According to Morgan Stanley Forecasts, “20% of production for Nike and Adidas shoes will move to more automated factories by 2023.” This shift towards to automated may result in Nike having to dramatically restructure its supply chain organisation scheme, given the company’s current reliance on overseas factory labour.
5 | Intel (4.36)
Santa Clara, California-based tech company Inel rose by one position in the Gartner rankings in 2018. The company’s five-year high point was fourth place in 2016 and ‘15. Hoping to not only return to its previous competitive highs, but to vie for recognition as a global supply chain leader, Intel is undergoing innovative supply chain restructuring. According to a company press release, “Intel IT is transforming our legacy supply chain into a modern ‘glass pipeline’ that improves our decision making capabilities and business agility.” This modernization effort is centered around its Integrated Data Platform, meaning “reports that used to take hours to generate can now be created in real time as a result of faster access to data.”
4 | Colgate-Palmolive (4.40)
Worldwide household and personal care product manufacturer Colgate-Palmolive jumped from ninth to fourth spot in the Gartner rankings this year. The company currently controls 42.1% of the global toothpaste market and 32.3% in the manual toothbrush market, according to a 2018 report by Forbes. In spite of its predictions that “higher estimated freight and logistics costs, increased competitive activity and a slowdown in growth in some markets,” Forbes expects Colgate-Palmolive’s Funding The Growth initiative to help offset revenue loss in the coming year by intelligently sourcing raw materials and increasing supply chain efficiency.
3 | Cisco Systems (4.41)
Based in San Jose, California, Cisco Systems is a global leader in communication technology. The company rose one position, as its continued efforts to curb carbon emissions along its entire supply chain continue to come into effect. Lisa Brady, Director of Supply Chain Sustainability at the company wrote in September: “we work with our upstream and downstream partners to reduce the environmental impact of our value chain.” The company’s supply chain analysis software is currently balancing customer expectation with the initiative to transfer its logistical solutions “from air to ocean whenever feasible.”
2 | Inditex (4.85)
Spanish textile manufacturing group Inditex is the largest clothing distributor in the world, controlling production and distribution for brands Zara, Bershka, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti and more. The company’s supply chain has been described, in a New York Times article on the rapidity with which high fashion makes its way into Zara branded outlets, as “mind-spinningly supersonic.” TradeGecko attributes the speed of Inditex’s supply chain to a combination of in-house production and regular small-batch deliveries that would be impossible if Zara did not own its supply chain.
1 | Unilever (6.36)
British-Dutch household and personal care manufacturer, Unilever, remains atop the Gartner Supply Chain 25 for the third consecutive year, with a 1.51 point lead on runner-up Inditex (this lead is larger than the point difference between Inditex (number two) and Starbucks (number 10). Unilever’s mastery of the modern supply chain has advanced in tandem with its commitment to environmental responsibility. In 2018, the CDP - a non-profit environmental disclosure platform - named Unilever a global supply chain leader. According to the company’s press release: “disclosure through CDP helps us understand our upstream footprint better, what initiatives key suppliers have embarked on to reduce emissions associated with goods and services purchased.”