Shift Toward Digital Supply Chains Seen As Gartner Announces 2017 Top 25 Supply Chains

Gartner, Inc. recently released the findings from its annual Supply Chain Top 25, identifying supply chain leaders and highlighting their best practices.

Unilever topped the Supply Chain Top 25 ranking for the second consecutive year in 2017, followed by McDonald’s, Inditex, Cisco and H&M. Two new companies made the Supply Chain Top 25, with Nokia rejoining after a seven-year hiatus and Diageo making the list for the first time.

Perennial supply chain leader Amazon joined Apple and P&G in qualifying for the “Masters” category, which Gartner introduced in 2015 to recognize sustained leadership over the last 10 years. Apple continues to improve and innovate both its solutions and the means of producing them. While the company has backed off plans to produce its own cars, it is still actively working on autonomous vehicle technology and experimenting with augmented reality (AR) technologies.

Consumer product giant P&G continues to innovate through digital automation of workflows, and the use of algorithm-driven tools to reduce exceptions and enable end-to-end planning. In recent years, P&G has also accelerated its investment in people and environmental initiatives.

Three key trends stand out this year for the supply chain leaders that are accelerating their capabilities, separating them further from the rest of the pack.

–Digitalization of Supply Chain
–Adaptive Organizations and Capabilities
–Developing and Fostering Healthy Ecosystems

Leading companies view digitalization as an opportunity to not only provide agile support for existing products, but to reduce time to market for new ones. Some of the most disruptive and impactful technologies include solutions combining automation, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, cloud computing and advanced analytics.

Simulation and optimization capabilities have moved into the mainstream and now cognitive computing capabilities, including machine learning, are being implemented in the most advanced supply chains. The digital supply chain puzzle is coming together in a way that will enable more holistic, real-time management of the entire ecosystem.

Gartner Top 25 Supply Chains for 2017

1. Unilever

2. McDonald’s

3. Inditex

4. Cisco Systems

5. H&M

6. Intel

7. Nestlé

8. Nike

9. Colgate-Palmolive

10. Starbucks

11. PepsiCo

12. 3M

13. Johnson & Johnson

14. Coca Cola Company

15. Nokia

16. BASF

17. Schneider Electric

18. Wal-Mart Stores

19. HP Inc.

20. L’Oréal

21. Kimberly-Clark

22. BMW

23. Diageo

24. Lenovo

25. Samsung Electronics

To learn more about how the digital supply chain is enabling on-demand, always-on supply chains, download the 2017 MHI Annual Industry Report.