Every year, Gartner releases a report on which businesses they rate as the top 25 supply chain companies. The report is designed to recognise and celebrate the teams that have excelled in supply chain management and mitigating high risks to the supply chain. The results are calculated through metrics including peer benchmarks to assess supply chain transformation.
This year Cisco Systems took the number one spot for the third year running, beating stiff competition from Schneider Electric and Colgate-Palmolive.
Whether you are working for an industry giant like the aforementioned brands, a new entrant to the list like Microsoft, AstraZeneca or Siemens, or in a more modest supply chain company, there are plenty of lessons to be learned from Gartner’s report. Here are some of the key findings and learnings you can apply to your business.
The need for more resilient, self-stabilising supply chains
Supply chain professionals have weathered a number of very turbulent years. Unfortunately, disruptions look set to continue well into the future so it is vital that businesses focus on creating more resilient, self-stabilising supply chains.
The Gartner report stated that organisations must “rewire” themselves to withstand “the constant barrage of disruptions”.
Recommendations based on the 25’s performance included agile programming which has enabled supply chain teams to pivot and adapt to disruptions. Furthermore, successful companies have had success using adaptive funding techniques to adapt to sudden changes or disruptions. The ability to reallocate resources was another shared characteristic among the 25.
The need for sustainable practices business-wide
Unsurprisingly, sustainability was a key focus of the Gartner report. This included Scope 3 GHG reductions across both suppliers and customers. Scope 3 GHG emissions represent 90% or more of total value chain emissions but they are difficult to measure. They are also very challenging to manage. Complete visibility across the supply chain is, of course, vital but when it comes to monitoring and identifying improvements for reducing emissions it is even more critical.
The report noted that the companies who are leading on ESG agendas are proven to hold internal and external partners accountable and provide 360-degree visibility and transparency to their social and environmental performance. They also demonstrate investment in meaningful opportunities that transform environmental performance in their networks.
Further to this, Gartner acknowledges the importance of diversity and inclusion in a successful, resilient supply chain stating that “leaders in this area are far more likely to have formal programs, goals and objectives for different types of representation and pay equity. Accountability for these goals is driven through management scorecards and direct links to executive compensation.”
Gartner’s report also highlighted the good work that the tech industry is undertaking regarding adopting circular economy models. Companies including the winners, Cisco, as well as Lenovo and HP have redesigned their broader business models away from simply selling and providing equipment to service-based models to include the responsible collection, recycling and disposal of end-of-life products.
Human-centric digital automation
We’ve written a lot about the need for digital transformation in our blog over the past year or two. The pandemic has certainly increased the need to accelerate the implementation of new technologies including machine learning, AI, Internet of Things and Big Data which is reflected in the report.
Gartner’s report found the top three capability areas for supply chain technology implementation and upgrade were planning (88%), visibility (84%) and transportation management (69%). The top three technologies being developed were advanced analytics and big data (88%), robotic process automation (84%) and digital twins (76%).
The report stated that “organizationally, about a quarter of leading CSCOs are taking on supply chain solutions either as the CIO or the head of supply chain systems, in addition to their operational responsibilities. They see a natural opportunity to jointly develop analytical and technical skills across the supply chain and IT in support of the broader digital transformation roadmap.”
Without effective adoption of these new tools, business leaders cannot make informed data-driven decisions that will help them weather the current and future challenges. They also need the right people and skills to help them do this.
If your business wants to digitally transform and you need access to the top talent in procurement and supply chain, get in touch with our team today. We would love to help.
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