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  First Thoughts

    Dan Gilmore


    Supply Chain Digest

Aug. 6, 2021

What Gartner Top 10 Supply Chains are Doing

Gartner Call Outs again Heavy on Sustainability

The well-known Gartner Top 25 Supply Chains list was released in May as usual, even if its conference where the list s usually unveiled was postponed because of the virus until later this fall.

I reviewed the list and explained the methodology in one column (see Understanding the Gartner Top 25 Supply Chains 2021), then summarized high level practices Gartner said were common to top 25 supply chains (see The Habits of Gartner Top 25 Supply Chains.)

Gartner also in the past has provided some discussion of what each company in the special "supply chain masters" category and the top 25 are doing in supply that contributed to their selection to the list.

Gilmore Says....

Alibaba was cited for a new service that enables small and midsize enterprises to instantly compare, book, manage and track bulk ocean and air freight in real time.

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This year, unfortunately, key initiatives only from the top 10 of the 25 are discussed.

That said, you will undoubtedly pick up the heavy focus on sustainabilty in the practices cited. That could be because that is where the main supply chain attention is, but I suspect it is more likely a reflection of companies being more willing to share activity in this areas than traditional supply chain operations, and indeed seeking to tout their efforts.

So here we go:

Number 1 Cisco is cited for setting ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals for 2025. That includes having 80% of its component, manufacturing and logistics suppliers by spend adopting public GHG emissions reduction targets. Also cited is Cisco embedding sustainability into its supply chain business processes "to help ensure continuous improvement and drive impactful change."

Gartner calls out number 2 Colgate-Palmolive for "utilizing customer segmentation strategies," and digital capabilities like factory automation and advanced network modeling," but without any real detail.

Also cited was Colgate's being named to Fast Company's 2021 list of the World's Most Innovative Companies for developing a first-of-its-kind recyclable plastic tube and openly sharing the technology with third parties.

Number 3 Johnson & Johnson was cited for continued strides toward achieving 100% environmentally conscious packaging by 2025. Gartner also says J&J monitors demand data from large customers and uses advanced algorithms to identify yet unidentified trends.

Gartner recognizes number 4 Schneider Electric for use of supply chain segmentation, saying the company employs "a thoughtful combination of people, process and technology to developed unique supply chains

built around the unique needs of its varied customer base." Schneider does so, Gartner says, in ways that are "both good for the company and good for the planet."

Also praised is Schneider's "openness and readiness" to share what supply chain practices have made it successful.

Number 5 Nestle, says Gartner, has made significant investment in transforming its global supply chain, focused on adapting to new business models (e.g., direct to consumer) and improving end-to-end planning.

Gartner also says the company last year expanded the use of recyclable paper packaging and recycled content across its product portfolio and piloted several new refillable and reusable systems.

At number 6, Intel was cited for an ambitious bid to regain its manufacturing lead by spending billions of dollars on new factories and creating a foundry business that will make chips for other companies. Also recognized was Intel's RISE (responsible, inclusive, sustainable, enabling) strategy, and its plan is to create "the most sustainable and energy-efficient PC in the world."

Gartner says number 7 Pepsico has distinguished itself by continuing to pilot the digital watermark initiative to drive increased recycling in Europe through something called the "Holy Grail" consortium. (I am not familiar with it.)

At number 8, Walmart is cited for Walmart+, its Amazon Prime equivalent, but to me it's late and a competitive necessity, nothing special. Also called out is Walmart's announced goal to achieve zero emissions across the its global operations by 2040 without carbon offsets.

Number 9 L'Oreal is commended for increasing agility through a more robust S&OP process and investing in data analytics and demand-sensing capabilities. Gartner also cites "an automated and data-driven distribution center that offers a wide range of value-added services including personalization and traceability" - I would like to know more on that.

Finllly, number 10 Alibaba "demonstrated leadership in supply chain sustainability, particularly in integrating a closed-loop recycling system into its operations," Gartner says. The company also released Freight, a supply chain-as-a-service offering that enables small and midsize enterprises to instantly compare, book, manage and track bulk ocean and air freight in real time.

So there you have it. It was frankly better last year to be able to pick a selection of the most interesting practices from the supply chain masters and full top 25, but I can only play the cards I was dealt.

Hope you enjoyed it.

Any reaction to Gilmore's column on the Gartner Top 10's innovation practices? Let us know your thought at the Feedback button below.

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