When it comes to supply chain management, one of the great debate topics is ranking the top supply chains in the world. My previous publication, Logistics Today, names the top supply chain organizations every year in its December issue, and for the past couple years AMR Research has compiled a list of what its analysts believe to be the top 25 supply chains.
There is no perfect formula for determining which company is clearly the absolute best at managing its supply chain, though AMR's rankings are weighted heavily toward inventory turns, return on assets and growth rates. But there is also a lot of subjectiveness to these types of lists as well, which probably makes them even more popular since creating lists and then arguing about them seems to have become one of our cherished national pastimes.
In any event, in reverse order, the top 25 supply chains of 2007, according to AMR, are:
23. Publix Supermarkets
22. Lockheed Martin
17. Texas Instruments
16. Johnson Controls
14. Johnson & Johnson
11. Cisco Systems
10. Samsung Electronics
9. Best Buy
6. Wal-Mart Stores
3. Procter & Gamble
According to AMR's Kevin O'Marah, "The crucible in product innovation right now is the cellphone industry, with three of the top 12 supply chains being cellphone manufacturers." He was referring to Motorola, Samsung and Nokia, but Apple could also qualify, once its iPhone hits the market.
So what happened to Dell, which has been the supply chain poster child for at least the last decade and in fact was at the top of the previous AMR list? O'Marah explains that because Dell's financials are in restatement, the company was not eligible for the Top 25 this year. Coincidence or not, on the same day that AMR released its list, Dell announced it plans to lay off 8,000 workers.