Unilever Again Tops Gartner’s Supply Chain Ranks

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Unilever Again Tops Gartner’s Supply Chain Ranks

By CGT Staff - 05/31/2018

For the third consecutive year, Unilever scored the top spot in Gartner’s "Supply Chain Top 25" rankings for 2018, while The Home Depot rejoined the rankings after a three-year absence and adidas made the group for the first time.

Gartner's rankings identify supply chain leaders and highlight their best practices. Analysts from the consultancy announced the results last week at the "Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference." It's the 14th consecutive year that Gartner has published the rankings.

"Unilever has a strong supply chain brand, which is reflected by its top-tier opinion poll score,” said Stan Aronow, research vice president for Gartner. “It also received a perfect 10 for corporate social responsibility."

The Dutch-based consumer goods leader is making big bets in the digitization of its supply chain. "A key initiative is robotic process automation supporting the order-to-cash process, run from [the company's] regional service control towers. Its more than 20 'bots' have already automated hundreds of processes, with a roadmap for hundreds more," Aronow explained.

Elsewhere, longtime supply chain leader and last year's runner-up McDonald's Corp. joined Apple, Procter & Gamble and Amazon in qualifying for the "Masters" category, which Gartner introduced in 2015 to recognize sustained leadership over the past decade.

Aronow noted that 2017 was a strong year “despite heated trade rhetoric." Now, in 2018, protectionism is spreading in response to announced moves by several countries, including the U.S. and U.K. This has prompted many organizations to re-evaluate the location strategy for their supply networks.

“We also see strong growth constraining available supply in many geographies, increasing the cost of logistics and labor,” he added. “The most advanced supply chains are proactively managing these risks and continue to post solid performances."

Other consumer goods companies earning spots on the 2018 list were: Colgate-Palmolive (4), Nike (6), Nestle (7), PepsiCo (8), L'Oreal (15), Diageo (16), Samsung Electronics (17), Johnson & Johnson (18), Kimberly-Clark (21), Coca-Cola (22), Adidas (24) and BMW (25).

In addition to Home Depot (at 23), other retailers making the list were H&M (9) and Walmart (20).