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  First Thoughts

    Dan Gilmore


    Supply Chain Digest

June 2, 2023

Lessons from the Gartner Top 25 Supply Chains 2023

Gartner Identifies Three Key Trends across Supply Chain Leaders


Last week. I presented the Gartner Top 25 Supply Chains for 2023, with look back at the previous two years.

I also provide a detailed look at the methodology used to select top 25. (See Understanding the Gartner Top 25 Supply Chains 2023.)

Gilmore Says....

Gartner says that CSCOs are achieving valued goals by shifting from a one-to-many network approach and recognizing the interconnectedness by actively adopting a many-to-many ecosystem model – whatever that means.

What do you say?

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As usual of late, Gartner identifies three key supply chain trends or areas of focus it sees across top 25 companies. I will summatize.

First up: Identify and Seize New Opportunities.


Business growth of course remains CEOs’ top business priority for 2023, even as uncertainties mount, Gartner says. Those forces include inflationary pressures, volatile economic growth rates, environmental sustainability pressures and geopolitical upheaval.

Gartner says that successful companies achieve their growth goals through collective executive responsibility for driving growth — bringing together all functions. And supply chains are an increasingly critical part of that.

That collective effort, I will note, is the driver behind integrated business planning, or IBP, a sort of successor to sales and operations planning (S&OP).

Gartner says that winning chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) are proactively focusing on the role their supply chains can play to drive up customer retention in existing markets through satisfaction and ease of doing business.

What’s more, Garner says leading CSCOs are focused on supporting commercial innovation “to unlock new growth opportunities as a partner for growth with their C-Suite partners.”

But all this comes with a growing focus on managing risk, Gartner notes, adding that “we see leading supply chains leveraging their resilience to exploit emerging opportunities quickly through disruption.”

Next: Transform How Organizations Work

Leading supply chains are redefining the skills, roles, relationships and structures within their organizations by accelerating cultural transformation and innovation, Gartner says.

Those organizations are also focusing on creating a new intersection of people and technology with new approaches to job design.

Interestingly, Gartner asks this question: Why reward hard work? It says that leading organizations are rewarding the elimination of hard work by leveraging technology to boost productivity through physical and logical automation, and via decision automation and execution.

Garter adds that those companies that are getting this right “have recognized the reality of employee fatigue and have supported their employees in the adoption of AI and other tools.”

Ultimately, these new tools are placed in skilled hands and enable more employee autonomy and flexibility while delivering enhanced productivity, Gartner adds.

Finally: Drive Collective Progress

Supply chains have a tremendous opportunity to drive individual and collective progress, particularly in environmental, social and governance (ESG), Gartner says.

It adds that “By working together across industry partners, organizations can achieve their own individual goals and move entire industries toward key challenges, such as achieving net zero and enabling the circular economy.”

It also says that CSCOs are achieving valued goals by shifting from a one-to-many network approach and recognizing the interconnectedness by actively adopting a many-to-many ecosystem model – whatever that means.

What’s more, enlightened leaders are developing partnering and data-sharing capabilities while shaping mindsets, and governance, to build enterprise-, platform- and purpose-centric ecosystems founded on trust, Gartner says.

These are being used “to not only address key challenges like sustainability, but can also enable improved resilience, cost and customer experience and speed up innovation by partnering with pooled resources, shared capabilities and data for insight.”

My take? These trends are OK, but rather high level, and like the opening Gartner conference keynote address I reviewed three weeks ago, was not really supply chain focused but more general business oriented.

Is this where Gartner is headed, using it supply chain prowess in part to get there?

We shall see.

What do you think of these Gartner trends? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.

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