As 2021 ended, many supply chain leaders hoped for a return to “normalcy.” While 2022 looks different from 2021, many of our supply chain challenges remain. Disruptions continue, as do the requirements to deliver agile and resilient supply chains. Gartner’s Supply Chain Top 25 for 2022 highlights leading companies and their ability to navigate this year’s similar — but varied — challenges.
Companies reflected in the Supply Chain Top 25, have recognized and embraced four macro trends:
- CSCO as Chief Ecosystem Officer — CSCOs of the supply chain leaders are moving beyond simply representing their own company’s interests in the public sphere to forming coopetition-based ecosystems that drive outcomes that can only be delivered at broader scale. In our current era, some supremely responsible CSCOs have been steadily handed more scope. The organizational data for companies making this year’s global Top 25 and Masters categories show a trend of supply chain leaders no longer simply owning traditional functions such as planning, sourcing, manufacturing and logistics. Additionally, it shows they have expanded their remit to take over leadership of previously adjacent spaces such as risk management and corporate quality, which most often now work for the CSCO. CSCOs of leading supply chains have driven outcomes through networks and increased adaptability, agility and resilience in the face of escalating customer requirements and a perpetually disrupted environment.
- Self-Stabilizing Supply Chains — In the past three years, supply chains have been buffeted by powerful external forces driving global impacts. In today’s environment, organizations have needed to self-stabilize their supply chains, rewiring themselves to withstand the constant barrage of disruptions. We see leading companies dynamically flexing resources between addressing mission-critical operational challenges and driving their next vital transformations. Three emerging skills support this dynamic flexing capability: restructuring transformation teams, using adapting funding techniques and formalizing agile decision making.
- Progress on Broader Sustainability Agenda — Supply chain leaders are seeking to establish governance and operational mechanisms to build accountability, transparency, visibility and, most importantly, action to ensure that both internal and external parties move forward against sustainability goals. Leaders are making progress on a broader sustainability agenda that includes initiatives such as Scope 3 emissions reductions, regenerative agriculture, circular economy models and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Some specific topics have emerged as companies broaden their sustainability agendas: Scope 3 emissions reduction, regenerative agriculture, circular economy models and DEI initiatives.
- Human-Centric Digital Automation — In response to labor challenges, supply chain organizations are balancing investments in automation for the long term with landing technologies in the near term focused on reducing employee cognitive overload. In conjunction with the human-centric digital automation trend, supply chain leaders continue to recognize the power and competitive differentiation of digital capabilities. By 2026, the global supply chain management application market is expected to reach almost $31 billion in value, double the 2020 value of $15.85 billion. Consistent with supply chain’s strong focus on advanced analytics and big data, leaders are prioritizing programs that train digital literacy and dexterity. These educational and applied learning programs enable employees to use data-driven analytics for more informed decision making in their roles.
When asked “What does a good supply chain look like?” or “Who are supply chain leaders?” Gartner analysts turn to the Gartner Supply Chain Top 25. At a high level, the Supply Chain Top 25 rankings reflect a mature end-to-end orientation of the supply chain, as well as recognition of the importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) activities. Since 2003, we’ve been highlighting the importance of this end-to-end orientation journey and the shift from an insular, supply management functions to an outside in perspective that orchestrates a profitable response to demand. Leading organizations recognize while profits are important, equal focus must be placed on people and protecting the planet. We reflect this aspect of leadership through a quantitative ESG measure (20% of the scoring), first added to our methodology in 2016.
We continue to invest in this supply chain leadership research for two main reasons. First, is to highlight and elevate the importance of the supply chain function and profession across our community, within corporate boardrooms and for the investment community at large. Second, is to foster the enablement and sharing of best practices as a means to raise the bar of performance for everyone in supply chain management.
Congratulations to the Gartner 2022 Supply Chain Top 25 and Masters!
All of the companies making this year’s Supply Chain Top 25 and our five longtime leaders (AKA “Masters”) have worked hard to incorporate these strategic shifts. More information on the Top 25 can be found on Gartner’s public website.
Gartner Supply Chain