For the third year in a row, Apple took first place in the Supply Chain Top 25, a ranking initiative conducted by AMR Research, a Gartner, Inc. company.
AMR Research has released a Supply Chain Top 25 report annually for the past six years, and this is the first time a company has been ranked No. 1 for three consecutive years. Analysts attribute Apple's success to its ability to consistently bring both operational excellence and innovation excellence to bear in some of the most competitive markets in the world. According to AMR Research, Apple has broken new ground in transforming a supply chain into a value chain by starting with the consumer experience and designing its network to serve that master first and foremost.
The Supply Chain Top 25 also includes other notable achievements. For example:
Second-placed Procter & Gamble (P&G) is the only company to have been in AMR's Supply Chain Top 25 for six years running.
Cisco Systems has climbed steadily in AMR's rankings for five straight years, moving up two slots to No. 3 this year.
Five companies Research In Motion (RIM), Amazon.com, McDonald's, Microsoft and Inditex joined the Top 25 for the first time in 2010.
"Twenty years ago, a typical product company had supply chain reporting to manufacturing, with responsibility mainly for inbound materials management and outbound shipping," says Debra Hofman, research vice president at AMR Research. "New data shows that supply chain reports to manufacturing in only 6 percent of companies surveyed, while 61 percent have the head of supply chain reporting directly to the CEO, general manager or president of the business. It seems clear that supply chain has grown up and the business has taken notice."
Here is the complete list of the Supply Chain Top 25:
2. Procter & Gamble
3. Cisco Systems
4. Wal-Mart Stores
7. Samsung Electronics
9. Research In Motion
13. The Coca-Cola Co.
14. Johnson & Johnson
17. Colgate Palmolive
22. Lockheed Martin
24. Best Buy
Interestingly, AMR Research sees that these supply chain leaders have broadened their scope beyond supply chain execution.
"Many companies focus primarily on supply chain execution," Hofman says. "With ever-increasing unpredictability of demand, leaders also focus on improving their ability to sense changes and patterns in their environment changes in demand, design, supplier risk and more earlier than their competition."
More details about the AMR Research Supply Chain Top 25 are available here.