Gartner (http://www.gartner.com) has released the findings from its seventh annual Supply Chain Top 25, and Apple tops the list. 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, according to the research group.
“Four key themes emerged this year among the leaders, including how they deal with volatility, their approaches to value chain network integration, their focus on sustainable execution and their abilities to orchestrate,” says Debra Hofman, research vice president at Gartner.
Apple held onto the No. 1 position for the fourth year in a row. The company 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.
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.
“The old image of a supply chain organization limited to either inbound materials management or logistics, with procurement, planning, manufacturing, and customer service as totally separate functions, is fading,” Hofman says. “What’s replacing it is a supply chain organization, often reporting at the board level, that includes the functions of plan, source, make and deliver. It also increasingly includes functions such as customer service and new product launch, and links them through the cross-functional processes and roles that are so critical to being demand-driven.”