Gartner 2021 Supply Chain Top 25

Resiliency and agility capabilities are key capabilities of supply chain leaders

Gartner recently released the results from its 17th annual global Supply Chain Top 25. This annual report identifies corporations with the leading supply chains their best practices. Cisco Systems was the top supply chain in the ranking for the second year in a row, followed by Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, Schneider Electric and Nestlé. Four new companies joined this year’s list: Dell Technologies, Pfizer, General Mills and Bristol Myers Squibb.

To recognize sustained supply chain excellence, Gartner introduced the “Masters” category in 2015. To be considered Masters, companies must have attained top-five composite scores for at least seven out of the last 10 years. All of last year’s Masters – Amazon, Apple, P&G, McDonald’s and Unilever – qualified for the category this year.

“During times of disruption, these companies continue to lead by example and provide advanced lessons for the supply chain community,” said Mike Griswold, vice president team manager with the Gartner Supply Chain practice. “The Supply Chain Top 25 offer a platform for insights, learning, debate and contributions to the rising influence of supply chain practices on the global economy.”

Gartner found that these firms had several characteristics in common:

1) Integrated, Purpose-Driven Organizations

A differentiator among purpose-driven organizations is that those further along in the journey are not simply supporting environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) programs. They have integrated them into a larger strategy with their partners. It is becoming part of their brand

2) Customer-Driven Business Transformation

Along with supply disruptions, an e-commerce surge and consumer demand swings, COVID-19 drove an accelerated level of business model transformation across industries which required supply chains to be highly adaptive and allow for seamless direct to customer fulfillment in addition to traditional channels.

3) Digital First Supply Chain

A Gartner survey, taken late in 2020, showed that nearly 70% of companies accelerated their digital roadmaps during over the last year. These leading supply chains now consider themselves “digital first” in the use of technology to enable an enhanced customer experiences with more automated and insightful decision-making.

Because digital transformation is not be possible without the right talent, leading firms are engaging in ongoing formal skills assessment and strategic workforce planning. AI, machine learning and data analysis are the most sought-after capabilities when it comes to worker recruitment and development.

“Leaders must position new digital technologies as a means for employees to stop spending time on manual, non-value-added activities, so they can focus on providing value for their customers,” Mr. Griswold concluded.

Learn more and download the full Gartner report.