Once again, Apple's supply chain has been ranked number one on Gartner Research's annual list of the top 25 supply chains.
This is the fifth consecutive year the Cupertino, California-based consumer electronics company, known around the world for its innovative iPhones, iPads, and iPods, has earned that accolade. Gartner said Apple was recognized for its combination of operational and innovation excellence, a zealous focus on the customer experience, and mastery in orchestrating its end-to-end value network.
Now in its eighth year, Gartner's annual report on supply chain leaders ranks companies for supply chain excellence based on execution metrics such as return on assets, revenue growth, and inventory turns as well as on analysts' and peers' opinions.
This year the giant online merchant Amazon moved up to the number two position from fifth place in 2011, while the fast-food restaurant chain McDonald's moved from eighth place in 2011 to third place. Dell dropped from its number two slot last year to fourth place, while Procter & Gamble fell from third to fifth.
In the report, Gartner analysts said they had noticed three trends across supply chain leaders in the past year. The first was a drive toward resiliency, with leading companies improving their supply chain visibility and network management capabilities to be more agile in the face of disruptions. The second trend was simplification, with more companies making changes to streamline the flow of their supply chains. And finally, leading companies are reassessing their sourcing and manufacturing locations and moving toward a more regionalized approach.
Here are the research firm's picks for the top 10: