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Gartner announces winners of the 2018 Supply Chainnovators Awards

Gartner announces winners of the 2018 Supply Chainnovators Awards

Gartner announced the winners of the 2018 Supply Chainnovator Awards. The awards, announced at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference taking place last month, recognise unconventional, innovative and high-impact supply chain initiatives in the healthcare, high-tech manufacturing and consumer/retail sectors. The six winners across the three categories are as follows:

Healthcare Supply Chainnovators:

Advocate Health Care — Advocate Health Care won the 2018 Healthcare Supply Chainnvator award for its supply chain and clinical collaboration with Abbott to address patient malnutrition. The cost consequences of hospital malnutrition has been a major concern for decades, with nutrition intervention being overlooked as a strategy to reduce readmissions and length of stay. Advocate and Abbott partnered to determine if screening patients and providing them supplements during hospitalisation would reduce readmissions. Informatics were implemented into electronic medical records to accelerate the automatic dispensing of oral nutrition supplements. An algorithm determined what type of ONS to administer based on the patient's diet and malnutrition screening. The partnership achieved significant results — 30-day readmission rates were reduced by 29 per cent; length of hospital stays were reduced by 26 per cent; and cost analysis illustrated savings of more than $3,800 per patient treated over six months.

Johnson & Johnson — Johnson & Johnson (J&J) won the 2018 Healthcare Manufacturers, Distributors, and Retailers Supply Chainnovator award for its 3D Printing Center of Excellence (COE). The COE, launched in 2015, is staffed by about 25 full-time people, mostly technical in the beginning. It expanded over time to include business development roles that connect with commercial and R&D organisations in each business unit. To date, the COE has launched 12 products and processes across the implants and instruments categories, with another 18 in the development phase. These products have been in the area of medical devices (such as orthopedic implants and reconstruction cages) and consumer health (optimising the Listerine bottle supply chain). The COE has provided the benefits of faster product development, the ability to develop personalised and on-demand health solutions, manufacturing efficiency, innovative designs, and overall lower supply chain costs from a reduced amount of inventory carried.

High-Tech Manufacturing Supply Chainnovators:

Flex — Flex, an end-to-end supply chain solutions company that provides design, engineering manufacturing, logistics and aftermarket service capabilities for more than 1,000 supply chains across 18 different industries, was recognised for its Intelligent Supply Chain Platform that enables near-real-time visibility and speeds up its ability to respond to supply chain events across its massive and complex network. The Intelligent Supply Chain Platform has transformed Flex's culture and the way employees operate by replacing fragmented data feeds — which slowed down the decision-making process — with synchronised near-real-time data. The increase in speed also reduced cost, accelerated working capital, reduced lead time and improved customer satisfaction. To date, Flex's Intelligent Supply Chain platform has generated hundreds of millions in free cash flow, paying for itself within 90 days of launch.

Intel — Traditionally an expert at in-house manufacturing, Intel now leverages a hybrid manufacturing model that integrates both internal and external manufacturing resources. To realise its goal of effectively managing this hybrid manufacturing supply chain, Intel pioneered a novel approach for blending demand, supply and procurement by creating one configurable, integrated system for planning and optimising its diverse portfolio of products and production sites. Intel estimates the value of its novel planning system in numerous ways — from the benefits of process simplification to its ability to speed and improve decision making. For the products planned and procured using this tool, Intel reports $100 million in positive impacts to gross margin, cost avoidance and resource optimisation. Through the team's focus on developing a tool with the flexibility to address the requirements of each unique business, the team deployed a system with the ability to replace the unique planning and procurement processes that had been previously performed by multiple tools, including email and spreadsheets.

Consumer/Retail Supply Chainnovators:

Consumer Product: Brightstar — Brightstar won for its circular economy supply chain initiative that allows the company to turn old mobile devices into a profitable new revenue stream. To achieve this, Brightstar leverages a network of telecom retailers to repurchase used devices. These are then rapidly assessed and processed using a combination of robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence before the devices are resold or rented in secondary markets. The Brightstar circular economy initiative has achieved significant results, helping to grow its reverse logistics into a multibillion-dollar business unit.

Retail: Lesara — Lesara, an online fashion retailer that sells across 24 European countries, was named the Retail Supply Chainnovator for 2018 for establishing an agile supply chain operation that creates products — from idea to consumer purchase — within 10 business days. Rather than conducting long-term market research, Lesara takes a data-driven approach to allow for near-real-time decision making and merchandise design. To support this rapid decision-making, an internally developed analytical tool that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning analyses image and text data scraped from across the internet with a focus on social media. Merchandisers leverage this analysis to ensure new product designs are aligned with real-time fashion industry trends. These are then passed to a network of established manufacturing partners within China that bid, via reverse auction, to immediately start production. Lesara's rapid time-to-market allows the company to utilise a demand-driven pull replenishment model rather than the push approach utilised in many traditional fashion retailers. This allows Lesara to achieve a full-price sell-through rate of approximately 90 per cent while turning inventory 11 times per year.

Through the Supply Chainnovator research and recognition programme, Gartner recognises supply chain innovation and impact delivered by supply chain organisations. Companies recognised as Chainnovators have been successful with unconventional, innovative and/or high-impact approaches that peer leaders can learn from and emulate. The programme provides chief supply chain officers with valuable insight for annual strategic planning, resource allocation and investment cycles.

These innovations must meet the threshold of being impactful, sustainable, unconventional, collaborative and measurable. Participants must be willing to share with the broader supply chain community lessons learned and how results were achieved. The goal is to recognise innovative approaches to supply chain excellence that result in a step change in business performance. The winners were selected by a panel of judges that consisted of Gartner analysts.

The 2018 Supply Chain Top 25 is revealed

Gartner also released the results of its annual Supply Chain Top 25, identifying supply chain leaders and highlighting their best practices. Analysts announced the results at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference, which is being held this week at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix, AZ.

"2018 is the 14th consecutive year, we are publishing the Supply Chain Top 25 ranking," said Stan Aronow, research vice president at Gartner. "The ranking consists of an impressive group of leaders with valuable lessons to share, including three recent entrants from the life sciences, retail and consumer products sectors.

"Looking back at 2017, we experienced a year of healthy growth, despite heated trade rhetoric," said Mr Aronow. "Now, in 2018, protectionism is spreading in response to announced moves by the US and the UK, among others. This has led many organisations to re-evaluate the location strategy for their supply networks. We also see strong growth constraining available supply in many geographies, increasing the cost of logistics and labour. The most advanced supply chains are proactively managing these risks and continue to post solid performances."

Unilever scored the top spot for the third year in a row, followed by Inditex, Cisco, Colgate-Palmolive and Intel (see Table 1). Home Depot rejoined the ranking after a three-year hiatus, while Novo Nordisk and Adidas joined the Supply Chain Top 25 for the first time.

"Unilever has a strong supply chain brand, which is reflected by its top-tier opinion poll score. It also received a perfect 10 for corporate social responsibility (CSR)," said Mr Aronow. "The Dutch consumer products leader is making big bets in the digitisation of its supply chain. A key initiative is robotic process automation (RPA) supporting the order-to-cash process, run from its regional service control towers. Its more than 20 'bots' have already automated hundreds of processes, with a roadmap for hundreds more."

Long-time supply chain leader and last year's runner-up McDonald's joined Apple, P&G and Amazon in qualifying for the "Masters" category, which Gartner introduced in 2015 to recognise sustained leadership over the last 10 years.

"The key to McDonald's success is skillful orchestration across a network of strategic suppliers, service providers and thousands of companies and franchise-owned stores worldwide," said Mr Aronow. "The company is also experimenting with digital supply chain capabilities like augmented reality to manage storerooms, so staff can spend more time with the customer."

Along with the “Masters” category, the Supply Chain Top 25 continues to offer a platform for insights, learning, debate and contributions to the rising influence of supply chain practices on the global economy.

The Top 25

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