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To take the Overall Winner trophy at the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards requires an organisation to demonstrate all the characteristics and attributes of a world-leading supply chain; it must lead its sector through the creation of innovative strategies, display dedicated and inspirational leadership, encourage team engagement, and of course, prove exemplary execution of the strategy to the overall benefit and performance of the enterprise.

The process for determining the Overall Winner involves the assessment and comparison of each of the five Industry Sector winners. So shortlisted for the trophy were – BMW Motorrad, Primark, Procter & Gamble, BSkyB and National Offender Management Services in partnership with DHL Supply Chain and Booker Direct.

From this list, three companies stood out.

BSkyB has created a keen customer focus to its entire supply chain, from supplier right through the return process, and has worked in close collaboration with Unipart Technology Logistics to achieve exemplary results. The judges could see clear and direct linkage between corporate and supply chain strategy, and the company’s acquisition of a key supplier of set-top-boxes demonstrated BSkyB’s commitment to controlling supply directly, quality and ultimately, customer satisfaction. The judges were impressed by the changes taking place at BSkyB and recognised the very significant advances the company has made in a challenging market. But there were two other highly rated contenders for the Overall Winner trophy – so the judges gave third place to BSkyB.

Procter & Gamble had many admirable qualities to its entry and demonstrated excellence in a great number of areas. The judges were particularly impressed by the fact that P&G “never wastes an opportunity – focusing on improving business fundamentals and supply chain strategy in the teeth of a global economic crisis.”

The company’s strategy of focusing on six core supply chain principles resulted in performance benefits that really paid off: customer service improved from 97 to 99 per cent, direct customer shipments increased by ten per cent and productivity increased by 30 per cent. The judges could see that the company had achieved great things under very difficult market conditions and were impressed by P&G’s ability to reduce working capital inventory while speeding material supply, introducing new products and reducing total delivered cost. Second place therefore went to Procter & Gamble.

However, for the judges there was one clear winner. What differentiated Primark was, say the judges: “Absolute passion for their business strategy and in doing so, they created an incredibly lean, customer driven supply chain with the potential to redefine performance for an industry.”

Europe’s fastest growing value fast fashion retailer has fully aligned supply chain strategy with the overall business strategy, enabling sales growth and geographic expansion – reducing end-to-end costs to reinvest in customer value.

“Change over the last three years has been truly transformational, without turning the business or the supply chain on its head. The entire Primark supply chain is managed by eight people, which is achieved through: a lean business model; ‘overhead phobia’ and a virtual business network. The overall results speak for themselves – despite being a small team, Primark have turned their supply chain around – starting with the customer and the store, Primark pull the right product through the chain in a highly efficient way,” the judges say.

Primark is focused on eliminating waste and has been passionate about simplicity, avoiding the building in of complexity from the outset. The company has delivered excellence through deep relationships with core logistics service providers and the supply chain has successfully enabled the growth of the business by delivering over 40 per cent more volume over the last three years.

Gordon Colborn, chairman of the judges says: “This is a £2bn supply chain which is run by eight people with incredibly short lead times. It is agile and responsive – what a great achievement for a company operating in such a highly demanding market.”

The Overall Winner of the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards 2010 had to be Primark.


Procter & Gamble


BMW Motorrad
National Offender  Management Services in  partnership with DHL  Supply Chain and Booker Direct
Procter &Gamble

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