How do you join the world’s supply chain elite?

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AMR Research has just revealed its Top 25 supply chains and, for the third year running, Apple has come top.

“Apple has broken new ground in the area of transforming its supply chain into a value chain,” said AMR, “starting with the consumer experience and designing its network to serve that master first and foremost.”

Apple is clearly pressing all the right buttons, but what does it take to join the elite in AMR’s list.

Well, it helps to understand the methodology. There are two sides to the AMR study – statistics and opinions.

Half the total score is down to the statistics. Revenue growth accounts for ten per cent of the score while return on assets accounts for 25 per cent. The third metric is inventory turns.

So to do well in this part of the assessment, your company needs to be asset light and growing rapidly.  Getting your inventory rotations up would also be a help.

AMR notes that electronics companies have always fared well in the Supply Chain Top 25. Perhaps it is because they tend to be above average in these three metrics.

The other half of the score is down to opinion – split between a peer group and AMR’s own specialists. The peer group consists of 154 senior supply chain executives while the AMR component is down to 27 voters.

I am certainly not going to suggest that you try to nobble them, but are there more legitimate ways to raise the profile of your company’s supply chain?

AMR points out that some excellent supply chain organisations in non-US companies miss the list partly because only 20 per cent of voters are based outside the United States. These include: BASF, Carrefour, LG Electronics, Novartis and Seven & I Holdings.

“Last but not least, we regret to see voters generally fail to notice the leadership coming from contract manufacturing specialists whose entire business model is built on enabling demand-driven supply chains for others. Flextronics and Jabil Circuit fit this bill.”

Clearly geography matters, as does being in a well recognised business sector. So, raising the profile of your supply chain achievements would be a big help.

And, at this point, I make no apology for a blatant plug. What better way to raise your profile that winning a prestigious award. I am, of course, talking about the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards which are organised by Supply Chain Standard in partnership with PRTM. Past winners figure strongly in AMR’s list. But time is running out. You can get full entry details at the web site:

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