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Gartner’s supply chain rankings released

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
June 20, 2011

Gartner Inc. has released the findings from its seventh annual Supply Chain Top 25. The goal of the Supply Chain Top 25 research initiative is to raise awareness of the supply chain discipline and how it impacts the business.

Analysts announced the findings from this year’s research at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona earlier this month. Apple held onto the No. 1 position for the fourth year in a row.

The event’s keynote address featured a “back to basics” theme that should resonate with Apple’s supply chain team.

“We live in a VUCA world,” said Jane Barrett, Gartner’s managing vice president. “And for anyone is not familiar with that acronym, it stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.”

First coined in the 1990s by military strategists, VUCA has been adopted by the supply chain community as a way of explaining sudden unanticipated disruptions.

Apple, it seems, has yet to fall victim to political upheaval or natural disasters.

Meanwhile, Debra Hofman, research vice president at Gartner, noted that four “key themes” emerged this year among the leaders.

“These include how they deal with volatility, their approaches to value chain network integration, their focus on sustainable execution and their abilities to orchestrate,” she said.

Gartner analysts said one of the trends they’ve seen over the last several years is a move from the notion of “supply chain” to “value chain” and a concomitant increase in the span of control of the supply chain organization.

Apple continued to post strong financials and top-of-the-line voting scores. Research In Motion, which was new to the list last year, rose to No. 4 this year with enviable financials and solid votes. Amazon, another newcomer last year, rose five spots to No. 5 in the 2011 ranking. Colgate-Palmolive, rising steadily since 2009, moved to No. 13 this year.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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