2020 will be remembered as the year of the pandemic and the challenges faced by supply chains around the world. In addition to “flattening the curve” and “social distancing,” supply chain capabilities became daily conversations. Gartner’s Supply Chain Top 25 for 2020 highlights leading companies and their ability to adapt to major disruptions.
Today’s supply chain leaders recognize resilience and adaptability as two critical capabilities required to effectively and successfully navigate disruptions. Companies reflected in the Supply Chain Top 25 are transforming business models and redefining markets by blending well-established capabilities with emerging digital innovation.
These leading companies have embraced three key principles:
- Creating and evolving purpose-driven organizations — Top-performing supply chains define and communicate your supply chain’s broader purpose in the world to inspire customers, employees and partners to act ethically and sustainably in support of the global community. Even before the pandemic occurred, supply chain teams at leading companies defined their work using the language of purpose. These companies recognize that solving the world’s largest problems only works through partnership with others in the broader community, as well as through their own radical transparency. They are pursuing this greater purpose while running efficient and effective supply chains.
- Enable and embrace business model transformation — One of the largest external forces impacting corporate supply chains is a dynamic competitive landscape that is driven by a combination of expanded customer expectations, new market entrants from existing industry ecosystems and the emergence of nontraditional competitors. Gartner’s Future of Supply Chain Survey conducted in late 2019 found that more than half of supply chain organizations, across a range of industries, believe that they are at risk of disruption in the coming years. Leading companies position their organization to be a disruptor by infusing agility into existing capabilities or acquiring startups offering the expertise and DNA necessary to compete in new or reinvented markets.
- Become a digital orchestrator — 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 accelerating investments in real-time visibility, planning and agile supply chain execution capabilities, well-suited for supporting uncertain demand mixes and volumes. Leading companies in the Supply Chain Top 25 are early, and frequent adopters of digital technologies. More importantly, these investments enable business capabilities and outcomes that allow them to thrive in even the harshest economic conditions. In addition to automation and augmentation in operations, many of the Supply Chain Top 25 also have some form of connected products in their portfolios to increase the value-add of customer offerings. These investments are often made as part of a shift toward digital business models.
Gartner analysts are often asked what does a good supply chain look like or who are supply chain leaders? The Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 is a good place to start. Two key aspects of the Supply Chain Top 25 ranking are the demonstration of demand-driven leadership and environmental, social and governance (ESG). We’ve been researching and writing about demand-driven practices since 2003, highlighting the journey companies are taking —from inward-focused supply management functions to supply chains that orchestrate a profitable response to demand. Beyond profit, these companies focus on people and protecting the planet. We reflect this aspect of leadership through a quantitative ESG measure (15% of the scoring), first added to our methodology in 2016.
We continue to invest in this supply chain leadership research to foster the enablement and sharing of best practices as a way to raise the bar of performance for everyone in supply chain management. Another objective of the Supply Chain Top 25 is to highlight and elevate the importance of the supply chain function and profession across our community, within corporate boardrooms and for the investment community at large.
Congratulations to the Gartner 2020 Supply Chain Top 25 and Masters!
All of the companies making this year’s Supply Chain Top 25 and our five longtime leaders (AKA “Masters”) have worked hard to incorporate these strategic shifts. More information on the Top 25 can be found on Gartner’s public website.
Congratulations on continued supply chain leadership and providing inspiration for all of us.
Gartner Supply Chain