Gartner Releases Top 25 Supply Chains and Lessons From Leaders

2020 was a year.

But there were lessons to be learned, and there will be shifts in the workplace that will be a permanent part of the landscape from now on. And Gartner surveyed the supply chain to find out what those lessons were and to rank their top 25 in supply chain for 2021.

Lessons From Leaders
In analyzing their survey results, Gartner found three key trends that leaders are using to accelerate their capabilities.

The purpose driven organization
Not only did supply chain keep the world running during the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain is uniquely situated to help solve the environmental and social challenges in the sustainability domain. “In large corporate supply chains, we’re seeing more ambitious sustainability goals being set in alignment with science-based targets. And fortunately, the plans to achieve these goals look more prescriptive than they have in years past. Most investments are now made to benefit both planet and business.” And even beyond sustainability, many organizations are increasing focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, not only internally, but by implementing supplier diversity programs.

Customer-driven business transformation
COVID-19 cause an abrupt shift in customer buying patterns and required supply chains to be highly adaptive. Pre-pandemic, supply chain organizations were feeling the strain of escalating customer requirements, but the pandemic cause and abrupt shift to direct to consumer shipping, rather than customers visiting centralized locations like stores. “Overall, the supply chains most able to adapt to shifting business conditions won in the marketplace. We expect this to be a winning trait for the foreseeable future, as market disruptions now feel more like climate than weather.”

The digital-first supply chain
The digital-first mindset provides more seamless customer experiences, and the pandemic caused a rapid acceleration of the adoption of this mindset. Data is king, and data-driven change management is what is allowing companies to remain nimble amongst the accelerated change companies are seeing. Artificial intelligence/machine learning, visibility, and talent are key to digital transformation.

Top 25
Gartner’s top 25 exemplified these three lessons for leaders, and also focused on creating partnerships with other companies to solve both internal and external problems. The full report and descriptions of why they were ranked can be found at, but the top 25 for 2021 are:

  1. Cisco Systems
  2. Colgate-Palmolive
  3. Johnson & Johnson
  4. Schneider Electric
  5. Nestle
  6. Intel
  7. PepsiCo
  8. Walmart
  9. L’Oreal
  10. Alibaba
  11. AbbVie
  12. Nike
  13. Inditex
  14. Dell Technologies
  15. HP Inc.
  16. Lenovo
  17. Diageo
  18. The Coca-Cola Company
  19. British American Tobacco
  20. BMW
  21. Pfizer
  22. Starbucks
  23. General Mills
  24. Bristol Myers Squibb
  25. 3M

The Gartner Top 25 recognizes that superior supply chains don’t just push products. Superior supply chains:

  • -Understand customer value
  • -Invest in demand management as a differentiating capability
  • -Promote innovation (not just compliance) against ESG factors

The Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 is a renowned annual ranking of the world’s superior supply chains. Now in its 17th year, the Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 identifies, celebrates and profiles excellence in supply chain management. Visit to learn more.