High-tech companies continue to rank well in Garter Inc.'s Supply Chain Top 25, an annual listing rating companies' supply chain prowess based on financial results and the opinion of peers and analysts.
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) held onto the No. 1 position for the fourth year in a row. Dell Inc. ranked second, followed by consumer products company P&G. BlackBerry (Nasdaq: RIMM; Toronto: RIM), which was new to the list last year, rose to No. 4, and Amazon, another newcomer last year, was No. 5 in the 2011 ranking.
Four key themes emerged this year among the leaders, said Debra Hofman, research vice president at Gartner, in a press release, including how they deal with volatility, their approaches to value chain network integration, their focus on sustainable execution and their abilities to orchestrate.
Gartner made note of two disparate business models that both manage to build effective supply chains. Companies that are vertically integrated, such as Samsung, and companies that extensively outsource, such as Cisco, both have developed what Gartner calls "resilient" supply chains.
From the release:
Gartner analysts said speed, agility, efficiency, responsiveness and innovation all remain critical, but equally important is a resilient supply chain. Companies like Cisco, Dow Chemical, RIM, Unilever and others are actively designing in structures, processes and methodologies to create and expand this resiliency not only in their own supply chains, but in those of their trading partners, as well...
The key isn't whether a company owns all the pieces of its network — it's how well it controls the outcome of the activities that take place in the network that end in the delivery of a final product to a customer.
I usually read these types of survey with a grain of salt. People always tend to use the hottest company to use as Best practice or case study. Back in those days, Dell was the hottest supply chain company example. Then their sales dropped, no one really talked about them anymore. Apple is doing well. People are saying that they must have a good supply chain. Things are so subjective. So always have to think while you read and absorb
One of the things I like about this survey is part of it is based on peer opinion. Don't get me wrong--we need metrics and measurements-- but sometimes good execution is an anecodote or an experience that doesn't lend itself to measurement.
"Four key themes emerged this year among the leaders, said Debra Hofman, research vice president at Gartner, in a press release, including how they deal with volatility, their approaches to value chain network integration, their focus on sustainable execution and their abilities to orchestrate."
While these measures are important in assessing the nature of supply chain, I feel efficiency factor should also be considered in evaluating the performance of any supply chain. It is important to consider the relative cost of supply chain function in the overall costs and assess whether it's optimized enough and efficient. There can be cases where the supply chain functions within a company are smooth and reliable yet they may not be efficient in terms of the cost factor.
Apple industries are striving well without Steve Job also, sometimes back when Steve announced about his long leave everybody thought that may put an end to Apples success story. But still Apple is one of the driving forces in market. When compare with other products like Dell or P&G having global presence, the performance from Apple is very much appreciable.
Statistics could help in preparing rank, but I think also customers / users feeling is important to consider. It is quite strange for example Apple is still hold its star rank, but in some regions (i.e: Greece, Poland, KSA) are in progress official petitions requiring concrete steps from Apple in improving local stores, sales and support. Look for " we want apple " inside Internet search engines and keep an eye on results.
Apple wants to be on the top in all categories it looks like that, they are the stars in supply chain, best in smartphones, outstanding in their tablets and awesome in PC's and Mac's.
For the place they own now i feel all the credit should go to Steve jobs.
"The key isn't whether a company owns all the pieces of its network — it's how well it controls the outcome of the activities that take place in the network that end in the delivery of a final product to a customer,"
This is definitely a well quoted statement, this is the right way on how we can measure the supply chain of a company. Its just not the customer satisfaction also includes how satisfied are your partners.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.