For the second year in a row, consumer goods company Unilever received the number one spot on Gartner's annual Supply Chain Top 25 list, followed by McDonald's, Inditex SA, Cisco Systems Inc., and H&M. The analyst group's full list can be seen in Figure 1.
Additionally this year, Gartner added online retailer Amazon.com Inc. to its "masters category," recognizing the company's sustained supply chain leadership over the last 10 years.
"Hardly a day goes by without another announcement of Amazon's foray into a new market, ownership of its logistics capabilities, or filing of patents to improve customer experience," said Stan Aronow, research vice president at Gartner.
The masters category also includes Apple Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co.
The Supply Chain Top 25 rankings are based on two main components: business performance and opinion. Publicly available financial and corporate social responsibility data are used to calculate the business performance score. This data provides a view into how companies have performed in the past. The opinion component is based on feedback from both Gartner analysts and a panel of peers. It is meant to assess future potential and reflect the company's leadership role in the overall supply chain community. These two components are combined into a total composite score.
This year's Top 25 supply chains managed to achieve success in spite of operating in a particularly challenging global economy, according to Aronow.
"Today's supply chain leaders face a much different business environment than just 12 months ago," said Aronow. "A general trend toward protectionism, as evidenced by Brexit and the policies of the current U.S. administration, has caused some companies to shift supply network-design decisions and create contingency plans in anticipation of new trade policies."
According to Gartner, this year's top 25 supply chains shared the following key characteristics: