17 November 2005 | Anusha Bradley
Dell, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and IBM have the best supply chains in the world, according to AMR Research.
AMR examined the supply chains of 212 retail and manufacturing companies in the Fortune 500 list and named the best in The AMR Research Supply Chain Top 25 for 2005
It found that the 25 leading businesses hold 15 per cent less inventory, are 60 per cent faster to market and complete 17 per cent more orders than the average of the survey.
Dell secured the top place for the second year running, followed by fast-moving consumer goods business P&G and IBM, both of which have moved up one place since 2004.
Kevin O'Marah, vice-president of research at AMR, told SM
that the top three supply chains shared a common trait of being built around demand.
Dell, for instance, only carries two days' worth of stock at a time, he said.
"It is a shining example of the demand-driven supply network model because it is so lean and is built-to-order."
He said P&G and IBM invest in research and development of products that customers require, rather than inventing new items and hoping demand develops.
Tesco, the only UK-based business featured in the report, remained in ninth place. O'Marah said Tesco was a "pioneer for what it had done in the direct-to-home market".
He added: "Good old-fashioned operational excellence is the thing it has a handle on. For Tesco, supply chain is business."