Awards 2011: Overall Winner

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Overall Winner sponsored by PwC’s PRTM Management Consulting

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The Overall Winner Award is the most highly coveted supply chain award in Europe. Over the 14 years of the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards there has been a succession of truly excellent winners, companies and organisations that have led the field for their innovative strategies, dedicated leadership, team engagement and exemplary execution. This year is no exception; the outright winner of the 2011 Awards demonstrates all the characteristics and attributes of a world-leading supply chain. But before discussing the winner, let’s go through the process of filtering through the top contenders first.

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 – BASF, Danone Waters UK & Ireland, Virgin Media, Aircraft Carrier Alliance in partnership with Wincanton, and Travis Perkins.

By winning their Industry Sectors all were strong candidates for the Overall Award and consequently the judges debated their attributes at length and compared their scores across the core disciplines. However, three companies stood out.

Travis Perkins’ supply chain transformation demonstrated excellence in a number of key areas and impressed the judges by tackling long-standing industry challenges. The strategy of large-scale centralisation combined with regional distribution of heavy materials clearly delivered significant cost savings and competitive advantage. The judges also liked the way the company had successfully improved lead times, product choice and had focused clearly on customer service.

But then there was Danone Waters UK & Ireland. Over the past three years the company has been engaged in a series of initiatives to deliver improved customer service levels, a reduction in logistics CO2 footprint, a very significant reduction in supply chain cost per pallet and a 60 per cent reduction in overdue cash payments.

The results were visible as a distinct step change in performance for the organisation and the initiatives offered significant cost savings. Danone’s efforts on collaboration were also seen to have paid off, giving the company a competitive edge in a difficult market. The judges were taken by Danone’s dedication to achieving excellence and they had clearly demonstrated that, however, they were up against an extremely strong contender for the Overall Winner trophy.

For the judges there was one clear winner. This was a 60 billion euro company that has transformed its global supply chain to create cross-functional harmonisation focused on simply defined customer requirements. The judges were particularly impressed by the company’s innovative approach to understanding and reacting to customer requirements across such a complex market. This was a total transformation covering the harmonisation of key processes: Order to cash, non-conformance management, purchase to pay, transport management and planning. It had global and cross-functional scope, spanning across all regions, business units and functions and involved 800 project members. The scale, scope and complexity of the task was “mind boggling”, and yet the execution was made to look easy. The judges were hugely impressed by the way the company was able to take proven methodologies and apply them in a structured approach on such a vast scale.

“This was true excellence,” said the judges. The company is already confidently set to exceed the target benefits. “This was a transformation clearly targeted on benefits and its impact on the entire organisation – it was an astounding achievement to get a large organisation to move in this way.” The Overall Award for the European Supply Chain Excellence 2011 had to go to BASF.

Judge Gordon Colborn said: “In the end there was one organisation that stood out when we looked across all five core disciplines. This organisation follows in the footsteps of our previous winners in demonstrating how the supply chain can be used to create genuine competitive advantage. BASF demonstrated excellence across all five core disciplines in a very dynamic and competitive business environment.

“It developed and implemented a supply chain strategy which is a major contributor to their business success and market leading position,” said Colborn.



» Danone Waters UK & Ireland

» Virgin Media

» Aircraft Carrier Alliance in partnership with Wincanton

» Travis Perkins

Supply Chain Standard, December 2011

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