IT and communications equipment vendor Cisco Systems has topped Gartner’s annual rankings of supply chain excellence through a combination revenue growth, strength in environment, social and corporate governance and a recognition of leadership in the community.
Cisco hit the top spot for the first time, and was closely followed by Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, Schneider Electric and Nestlé.
Last year’s ranking saw Colgate-Palmolive take the top spot. Cisco moved up from the fifth position in 2019.
Mike Griswold, vice president analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice said: “With substantial amounts of the economy closed due the Covid-19 pandemic, leaders need an agile strategy that allows the supply chain organisation to sense and respond to changes in the business context as they happen.
“Our ranking highlights companies that possess these strategies and other differentiating capabilities.”
Gartner said that it recognised three trends compiling this year’s listing; purpose-driven companies; business model transformers; and ‘digital orchestrators’.
Griswold said: “We’ve seen apparel companies manufacturing personal protective equipment and airlines converting dormant warehouses into food processing centres. Those shifts would normally have taken months or quarters to plan and execute. However, purpose- driven supply chain talent managed to shorten these timeframes to a couple of weeks.
Gartner said that supply chain organisations had “learned to thrive” a “dynamic competitive landscape” either through “reinvention” or the ability to acquire start-ups which could invent new processes.
Griswold concluded: “In the current environment, the natural tendency of many companies is to pull back spending, including money tied to transformational programs.
“Advanced supply chains are pressing forward, and in some cases, accelerating investments in real-time visibility, planning and agile supply execution capabilities that are well-suited for supporting uncertain demand mixes and volumes.”
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