Unilever tops Gartner 2016 Supply Chain Top 25

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
23 May 2016

Unilever has taken the top spot in the Gartner 2016 Supply Chain Top 25 for the first time.

The company moved up from third in last year’s global ranking of large companies to claim first place, followed by McDonald’s and Amazon. Intel takes fourth spot followed by newcomer to the top five H&M.

Five new companies have entered the top 25, with Schneider Electric (18), BASF (20) and BMW (22) joining for the first time and HP (17) and GlaxoSmithKline (23) rejoining after several years.

Stan Aronow, research vice president at Gartner, said: “2016 marks the 12th year of our annual Supply Chain Top 25 ranking. In this year's edition, there are several longtime leaders with new lessons to share and a number of more recent entrants from the high-tech, industrial, chemical, auto and life sciences sectors.”

Apple and P&G remain in a separate “masters” category, set aside for firms who have held a top five place in seven out of the past 10 years.

“Apple continues to succeed by offering platforms that ecosystems of partners build on to meet customers’ needs,” said Gartner. “The big forward-facing question for Apple and its supply chain is whether it can deliver on the next big innovations to continue the revenue and earnings pace of the last decade.

“For the majority of its products, P&G is running an end-to-end synchronisation programme. Every part of the supply chain operates based on the daily cadence of consumption, in some cases triggered by demand at the shelf.

“The supply chain team brings data and analysis skills to the process with the ultimate goal of increasing the value that each active SKU [stock keeping unit] contributes to the company.”

The ranking, of firms with revenues of at least $12bn, is based on a number of elements including industry opinions, return on assets, revenue growth and a new quantitative measure of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Gartner said key supply chain trends included the adoption of advanced analytics, increasing emphasis on CSR and the concept of running a “demand-driven value network”, in which firms not only have integrated visibility of customer demand and their own manufacturing and logistics networks, but also those of partners.

The 2016 top 10 is:

  1. Unilever
  2. McDonald’s
  3. Amazon
  4. Intel
  5. H&M
  6. Inditex
  7. Cisco Systems
  8. Samsung Electronics
  9. The Coca-Cola Co
  10. Nestlé
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