The companies with top performing supply chains in 2022 embraced four macro trends, including an evolution of the chief supply chain officer (CSCO) role, self-stabilizing supply chains, a broader sustainability agenda, and human-centric digital automation, the analyst firm Gartner Inc. says.
That finding was part of Stamford, Connecticut-based Gartner’s “2022 Global Supply Chain Top 25” list, which ranked Cisco Systems in the top spot for the third consecutive year. The rest of the top five were Schneider Electric, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, and PepsiCo.
"Cisco continues to adapt in various ways to the changing environment, and its supply chain moves in alignment,” Mike Griswold, vice president team manager with the Gartner Supply Chain practice, said in a release. “ESG is a big focus, with circular concepts incorporated in the design, operations, and consumption aspect of the products and the supply chain.”
The report also contained a “masters” category which recognized sustained supply chain excellence over multiple years. For the 2022 study, companies that have attained top-five composite scores for at least seven out of the last 10 years include Amazon, Apple, P&G, McDonald’s, and Unilever, Gartner said. “All of the Masters provide prime examples of how to deliver agility and responsiveness at scale for sustained periods of time,” Griswold said. “Other chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) can look to them and the other organizations in the ranking to learn their best practices.”
In addition to sorting the corporations by their performance, Gartner also identified four attributes that the top performers shared.
First, Gartner found that CSCOs have become drivers of new business models, sustainability efforts, and commercial innovation. To fulfill those new responsibilities, supply chain leaders are now looking beyond their own company and creating coopetition-based ecosystems to address larger scale challenges. One example is the Consumer Goods Forum which helps develop plastic recycling technologies.
Second, leading companies are handling ongoing disruption with better agility. For example, some businesses have created “temporary transformation teams” to address near-term challenges, knowing they will return to their day-to-day work once the environment has stabilized.
Third, the top companies have announced ambitious “net zero” climate goals that include Scope 3 emissions reductions with suppliers and customers, not just within their own corporate realms. “Companies such as Walmart, Microsoft and Unilever have formal programs in place to track the status of supplier reduction projects and quantify the resulting reductions over time,” Griswold said.
And fourth, supply chain leaders are balancing their long-term investments in automation with immediate investments to improve employee workflows. Examples include relationship building, responding to new operating conditions, and working alongside cooperative robots (cobots).
Each year, @Gartner_SC researches the supply chains of companies and scores them using a mix of qualitative & quantitative data. The top performers offer valuable lessons in supply chain excellence - see what sets them apart ➡ https://t.co/0Op1j6nXky #GartnerSC #SupplyChain pic.twitter.com/ewKX3xgSLw— Gartner (@Gartner_inc) May 31, 2022