Unilever tops ranking of top 15 best-performing supply chain leaders again

Unilever has topped research and advisory firm Gartner’s ranking of the industry’s top 15 best-performing supply chain leaders for the third time. Inditex, Nestlé, H&M and Schneider Electric are ranked in second to fifth place, respectively. The other companies in the top 15 are Novo Nordisk, L’Oréal, Diageo, BASF, Adidas, BMW, Reckitt Benckiser, Nokia, British-American Tobacco and Danone.

The ranking assesses the strategic and operational supply chain initiatives of the leading companies headquartered in Europe. Unilever secured the top spot thanks to a 10.3% return on assets, an inventory turn rate of 7.5 (2017 cost of goods sold/2016 quarterly average inventory) and revenue growth of 2.6%.

Stan Aronow, research vice president at Gartner, commented on the “excellent revenue growth” across the board, which at 8.3% is higher than in both 2017 (6.8%) and 2016 (3.7%). “Moreover, European supply chains scored very highly in the corporate social responsibility aspect”, he said.

Spreading protectionism

Aronow described the results of the top 15 as demonstrating “healthy growth, despite heated trade rhetoric”. This year, he has noticed that “protectionism is spreading in response to announced moves by the US and UK, which has led many organizations to re-evaluate the location strategy for their supply networks”.