WORLD CLASS SUPPLY CHAIN BEST PRACTICES - LEARN FROM THE LEADERS!
Source: Gartner Top 25 Supply Chain 2014, 2015, 2016 / IN-NOVA Graphics
Welcome to the “World class supply chain champions league”! For many years now, Gartner conducts a systematic poll among over 1000 leading global supply chain executives. Initially invented by AMR, this market reseach company got acquired by Gartner. Objective is to identify which companies these top experts see as their role models, and for what reasons. Which are the practices which define these companies to be in the “top champions league”? Based on the inherent success drivers of a well performing supply chain, High Tech and Fast Moving Consumer Goods companies tend to be among these super-champions. Why? Just look at IN-NOVA’s Best Practices Evolution  Model. For many years now, Apple has been identified as the Supply Chain Star - not based on the fancy products, but because of the rigor with which Apple implements relevant “leading practices”, and controls its supply chain from the very source, into the head of the consumer. Amazon has also paved its way into this champions league, again the real reason and key driver can be found in our SC-Evolution model. But it’s not the model why Amazon is so advanced, but because they are one single supply chain, following a fully integrated, highly leveraged, end-to-end supply chain model. Unilever is another interesting show case and role model. Some 10 years ago the supply chain top executive declared it as Unilevers key goal, to be in the top league of the Top 25. At those days, Unilever was a real laggard, who was not recognized at all for supply chain excellence. But the vision has come true - after a first entry in 2008, the company has every year reached a higher score - and evenutally, in 2016, was the leader in this list! Of course, only because Gartner has defined a new super-super league … the Top 25 Masters. Apple and Procter & Gamble have been taken out of the listing, and put into an even higher premium league, making space for others.
A brief comment on Gartner’s valuable research: Besides the research of Top-SCM-companies, Gartner conducts significant research on a wide range of leading-edge topics. Many of these are highly relevant for supply chain excellence, and securing the successful future of your company. Please take the time to have a look at their offerings, using this entry point: Gartner TOP 25 SCM 
Some selected practices of the “World Class Champions” Building demand-driven value networks:  Very intense levels of “customer centricity”, and understanding and integrating tightly with key customers. On that basis, very high levels of insights into customer demands, customer requirements, and joint interaction to accomodate and mitigate unpredictabilities. Centralization of customer service in regional hubs: Building economies of scale, establishing standardized best practices in all centers, and achieve regional proximity to customers. This allows to even have supplier delegates for critical components being place in this customer service center, or have them tightly integrated into the order intake process. High digitalization of processes: This leads to better visibility into the entire production and distribution network, and as a result much higher levels of options in case of emergencies or urgencies. It also provides a global network of consistent, real time performance management. Another key area is to integrate own data with upstream data to create and ensure supply security, and to mitigate disruptions very early in the process. Increasingly auto-replenishment procedures are used based on internet-based smart sensors embedded in the products. Advanced analytics for the end-to-end chain: The leaders have implemented and tuned algorithms to convert disparate data points into operational insights. In some cases, they link data from multiple systems (CRM, Sales, Supply), and use learning algorithms to predict a deal risk, or a delivery risk. In another case, big data analytics were used to link product failure risks, and absorbed performance data from the “real field”, with creating new, advanced test routines for final products to make them better in the future.      Source: Gartner Top 25 Supply Chain 2016