Unilever tops European supply chain rankings

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Unilever is Europe’s top supply chain organisation – ahead of Inditex and H&M, according to the latest ranking from Gartner.

Other high scorers were Nestlé, BASF. All but BASF were in the top five last year. There were four new companies in the top 15 – Danone, L’Oréal, Diageo and GlaxoSmithKline.

The rankings are based on a number of factors: Return on assets accounts, inventory turns and revenue growth give up an objective set of numbers. More subjective score come in the form of peer opinion and Gartner opinion.

Unilever again climbed to achieve fourth position on the global Supply Chain Top 25, while maintaining the No. 1 ranking in Europe. Gartner said Unilever had continued to improve its financial performance and voting scores, demonstrating supply chain excellence and leadership year over year.

Pier Luigi Sigismondi, chief supply chain officer at Unilever, won the Individual Contribution Award in the 2012 European Supply Chain Excellence Awards which are organised by Supply Chain Standard.

Inditex, the parent company of Zara, maintained second position in Europe and reached twelfth position in the global Supply Chain Top 25. Gartner highlighted its ability to manipulate the finer details of its end-to-end supply chain. “Inditex also understands its consumers and is highly sensitive to trends. In addition, it effectively engages with social media and often shapes the fashion agenda.”

Third placed H&M was praised for its use of social media to sense what young and fashionable shoppers want. “It is highly proficient at managing its product life cycles and can refresh its fashion ranges many times within retail seasons.”

Tesco came in at number 13, scoring high on inventory turns, while Diageo, which has been decentralising it supply chain to improve market focus, moved into the listing at number 14.

Fourth placed Nestlé was singled out for its vendor management, the use of network modelling and a focus on sustainability which have been crucial to improving its supply chain performance.

“Top European-headquartered supply chains bring a wide range of best practices to the supply chain community, ranging from advanced collaboration practices with upstream and downstream partners, to innovations in demand sensing and shaping capabilities, to integrated business planning that brings sales and operations planning to the next level,” said Christian Titze, research director at Gartner.

Gartner European Supply Chain Top 15
1 Unilever
2 Inditex
3 H&M
4 Nestlé
7 Volkswagen
8 AstraZeneca
9 Danone
10 L’Oréal
11 Syngenta
12 British American Tobacco
13 Tesco
14 Diageo
15 GlaxoSmithKline


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