Apple, Dell, IBM among top global supply chains

MP3 player and Mac manufacturer is number one

AMR Research released its annual "Supply Chain Top 25" list, and the top dog leading the supply chain pack this year - as it did last year - is Apple.

"The composite score tallied by Apple shows dominance not only in peer and AMR Research opinion votes but also in financial metrics," notes the accompanying AMR Research report. "The success of Apple's iPhone continues to change the playing field for mobile devices. Even more importantly, it is changing the rules for software and consumer information services. The App Store adds to Apple's ability to deliver massive sales growth with extraordinarily low levels of inventory."

Following Apple are the 24 other companies - all household names - that are trying to sustain supply chain excellence during a powerful recession as well as take care of their intellectual property around the globe. "The collapse of credit and subsequent steep decline in demand have combined to kill off many, if not most, plans for expansion and investment throughout the global supply chain," states the report. "In such an environment, it should come as little surprise that our 2009 list comprises companies of deeply established reputations and long histories."

To create its list, AMR uses publicly available, 2008 financial data along with analysis and opinion from supply chain experts who are customers and suppliers, along with analysis by AMR researchers. (The AMR report explains the methodology in greater detail.)

See "The AMR Research Supply Chain Top 25," below, for the company names as well as a brief comment by AMR analysts.

The 2009 AMR Research Supply Chain Top 25

These 25 companies demonstrate leadership in applying demand-driven principles to their global supply chains.

The Top 25

AMR Comment

1. Apple

"An unbeatable combination of killer financials and stellar opinion scores."

2. Dell

"Remains highly regarded by its peers, with best-in-class inventory turns even as it undergoes a massive redesign of its business model."

3. Procter & Gamble

"Remains a leader in demand-driven concepts, now using this advantage to vault into emerging markets."

4. IBM

"Delivers holistic value to its corporate clients, with the added benefit of leading the way in sustainability."

5. Cisco Systems

"Combines a far-reaching supply chain vision, strong execution and deep collaboration with customers and suppliers."

6. Nokia

"Stays ahead of the curve on everything from regional sourcing and deep supplier collaboration to an organizational design based on true value chain principles."

7. Wal-Mart Stores

"Making a concerted effort to establish a major position in sustainability, potentially yielding substantial supply chain benefits."

8. Samsung Electronics

"Laser-like execution and a focus on channel demand sensing" allows it to "keep growing in a down market."

9. PepsiCo

"Backed by its best-in-class DSD, leadership in sustainability and a cultural DNA that is wired for excellence."

10. Toyota Motor

"Stands as the leader of lean, possessing an enviable execution engine and strong supplier relationships."

11. Schlumberger

"Leads the way in supply chain talent development and sophisticated logistics."

12. Johnson & Johnson

Moves up the list due to "a high regard from its peers and outstanding ROA."

13. Coca-Cola

Noted for its "formula that continues to create financial value with superior growth and ROA."

14. Nike

"Drives demand with fashion, a classic example of brand and design embedded in physical product."

15. Tesco

"High turns and enviable growth reflect Tesco's emphasis on 'smart standardization' and loyalty management."

16. Walt Disney

"Combines demand-driven replenishment with new collaborative models for pure content distribution."

17. Hewlett-Packard

"Acute operational focus provides the foundation for its large and complex yet effective global supply network."

18. Texas Instruments

Has "long led the use of advanced software tools for factory and supply chain planning, and design collaboration."

19. Lockheed Martin

"Lean strategies, masterful orchestration of its extensive partner network and a focus on PBL."

20. Colgate-Palmolive

"Stellar ROA and growth rates, and has been increasingly visible in demonstrating leadership."

21. Best Buy

"Continues to hone its celebrated total consumer experience expertise, introducing new services to attract and retain customers."

22. Unilever

"Impressive ROA and opinion ratings sit on top of its flexible supplier segmentation strategies and CSR record."

23. Publix Super Markets

"Superior ROA and turns and solid revenue growth despite a tough retail market."

24. Sony Ericsson

"Impressive system of measurement and visibility across its global supply chain."

25. Intel

"A leader in innovation, low-cost supply chain design and talent development."

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Thomas Wailgum

CIO (US)

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