Every year this is the question that PRTM faces as we begin preparations for assessing the hopefuls in the supply chain awards.
How do you credibly establish, in a short space of time, which companies are the serious contenders and who are the true leaders? PRTM has been evaluating the entries for the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards for 5 years. Over this time we have continuously tuned our approach to arrive at the approach we use today. There are four key steps::
1. We review every initial entry and we screen out those that simply do not match the level of others, and who have no chance of winning to create a finalist list.
2. All finalist companies are invited to present their entry in person and are assessed using structured evaluation criteria customised to their category.
3. We then create a shortlist of potential winners in each category and will sometimes ask for additional information to help guide our decision making.
4. The final step is an all day review with the judging panel – consisting of both PRTM and external supply chain experts.
The assessment and judging of the entries is an enormous undertaking for us. We typically devote over 10 consultants working in teams to ensure we are thorough and fair and get views from different perspectives.
However even after all of this rigour we are often torn between two or more companies who are excellent. Where do we turn?
For us, what differentiates an award winning supply chain from an excellent supply chain is when it truly supports the achievement of competitive advantage in for the company. In the Innovation category, the winner is a public sector organisation that radically redefined practices and performance standards that have existed for decades. In the Hi Tech category, the Award goes to a company that has restructured the end-to-end supply chain to further increase already award-winning customer service levels.
Our Overall Winner this year clearly demonstrated that their supply chain is instrumental in delivering competitive advantage. In fact, they were able to demonstrate a level of performance across a range of key indicators that simply left others in their wake.
In the Awards there are many examples we can share of excellence, but the true winners are the companies that are winning in the market place by using their supply chain as a competitive weapon.