Supply chain: Gartner announces rankings of 2011 Supply Chain Top 25

The goal of the Supply Chain Top 25 research initiative is to raise awareness of the supply chain discipline and how it impacts the business.??

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Gartner, Inc., (formerly AMR Research) has released the findings from its seventh annual Supply Chain Top 25. The goal of the Supply Chain Top 25 research initiative is to raise awareness of the supply chain discipline and how it impacts the business.??

Analysts announced the findings from this year’s research at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona last week. Apple held onto the No. 1 position for the fourth year in a row.

The event’s keynote address featured a “back to basics” theme that should resonate with Apple’s supply chain team.

“We live in a VUCA world,” said Jane Barrett, Gartner’s managing vice president. “And for anyone is not familiar with that acronym, it stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.”

First coined in the 1990s by military strategists, VUCA has been adopted by the supply chain community as a way of explaining sudden unanticipated disruptions.

Apple, it seems, has yet to fall victim to political upheaval or natural disasters.

Meanwhile, Debra Hofman, research vice president at Gartner, noted that four “key themes” emerged this year among the leaders.

“These include how they deal with volatility, their approaches to value chain network integration, their focus on sustainable execution and their abilities to orchestrate,” she said.

Gartner analysts said one of the trends they’ve seen over the last several years is a move from the notion of “supply chain” to “value chain” and a concomitant increase in the span of control of the supply chain organization.?

Apple continued to post strong financials and top-of-the-line voting scores. Research In Motion, which was new to the list last year, rose to No. 4 this year with enviable financials and solid votes. Amazon, another newcomer last year, rose five spots to No. 5 in the 2011 ranking. Colgate-Palmolive, rising steadily since 2009, moved to No. 13 this year.

The Top 25 are:
1. Apple
2. Dell
3. P&G
4. Research In Motion (RIM)
5. Amazon
6. Cisco Systems
7. Wal-Mart Stores
8. McDonald’s
9. PepsiCo
10. Samsung
11. The Coca-Cola Company
12. Microsoft
13. Colgate-Palmolive
14. IBM
15. Unilever
16. Intel
17. HP
18. Nestle
19. Inditex
20. Nike
21. Johnson & Johnson
22. Starbucks
23. Tesco
24. 3M
25. Kraft Foods

The leaders took some very clear lessons from the events of the past couple of years, with one of them being the need for supply chain resilience: the ability to deliver predictable results, despite the volatility that many have pointed out is now here to stay. Gartner analysts said speed, agility, efficiency, responsiveness and innovation all remain critical, but equally important is a resilient supply chain. Companies like Cisco, Dow Chemical, RIM, Unilever and others are actively designing in structures, processes and methodologies to create and expand this resiliency not only in their own supply chains, but in those of their trading partners, as well.

Gartner analysts said they see companies such as Samsung, which have always been vertically integrated, weathering the ups and downs through ownership of supply, and others like The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo becoming more vertically integrated with the acquisition of their largest bottlers. On the other hand, companies such as Microsoft and Cisco are managing an extensively outsourced network of trading partners. “The key isn’t whether a company owns all the pieces of its network — it’s how well it controls the outcome of the activities that take place in the network that end in the delivery of a final product to a customer,” Ms. Hofman said.

More detailed analysis is available in the report “The Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 for 2011.” A complimentary copy of the report is available at http://www.gartner.com/supplychaintop25. This site includes various reports to the Supply Chain Top 25, as well as the overall supply chain industry.

AMR Research releases rankings of its 2010 Supply Chain Top 25
The goal of the annual Supply Chain Top 25 research initiative is to raise awareness of the supply chain discipline and how it impacts business.

 


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