Top 10 supply chain businesses

Top 10 supply chain businesses
Top 10 supply chain businesses
Here are the top 10 organisations from the recently published Supply Chain Magazine Top 100 Businesses 2023 publication

Supply chain is a theatre of change and evolution, a fact reflected in our list of the Top 100 companies for 2023. Included are many smaller, innovative businesses you might not have heard of before, but the top 10 is dominated by multinational businesses of global renown

10. Johnson & Johnson

CEO: Joaquin Duato

J&J is a global healthcare company that operates in three main segments: Consumer Health, Pharmaceutical, and Medical Devices. Globally, J&J employs an estimated 135,000 employees worldwide. 

Its medical devices division produces products, such as surgical equipment, orthopaedic devices, diagnostic tools and contact lenses. J&J's consumer health division, meanwhile, manufactures and sells well-known brands such as Band-Aid, Listerine, Neutrogena, and Tylenol (in the US). 

The company marshalls a vast global supply chain network to support its global operations. It has manufacturing facilities, distribution centres and logistics hubs across six continents to ensure timely and efficient product availability. 

J&J makes strong supplier relations the beating heart of its supply chain, working closely with suppliers to ensure the quality, reliability and sustainability of raw materials, components and services.

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9. Oracle

CEO: Safra Catz

​​​Oracle is a multinational technology company develops and provides enterprise software products and services. It was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in California, US. It’s one of the world's largest technology companies and operates across 175 countries.  

It is best known for its popular relational database management system, Oracle Database, which helps organisations efficiently manage and store large amounts of structured data. 

Another business strand is Oracle Cloud, which offers cloud-based solutions, as well as enterprise applications, designed to support critical business functions including customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, supply chain management and human capital management. 

It also offers consulting and support services, to help customers implement, customise and maintain their software solutions. One such area is supply chain planning solutions, to help organisations optimise demand forecasting, inventory management, production planning and distribution processes. 

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8.  Accenture

CEO: Julie Sweet

Employing an estimated 624,000 people in 200 cities across 50 countries, Accenture provides solutions in strategy, consulting and operations in the space between business and technology. 

Its expertise spans 40 industries and all business functions. / It helps clients implement ESG strategies, operating models, processes, and technologies so that organisations behave more sustainably. 

To expand the scope of its knowledge in across the areas it covers, Accenture has acquired specialist consultancies, with Avieco and Greenfish in the sustainability space two among many examples. 

On logistics, Accenture helps client companies design 4PL operating models, typically featuring a network of control towers that coordinate regional and global transport that are orchestrated by 4PL providers. 

These providers manage all transportation activities on the client’s behalf,

leveraging their detailed logistics expertise and regional market knowledge.

Regarding its sustainability credentials Accenture says it leverages “the purchasing power and multi-billion-dollar supply chain to cultivate a culture of responsible buying on a global scale”. 

To this end, the organisation focuses on five core pillars: corporate citizenship, social impact, environment, inclusive workplace and core values. 

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7. Deloitte

CEO: Joseph Ucuzoglu

Deloitte is an umbrella brand for several global independent firms, comprising tens of thousands of dedicated professionals specialising in audit, consulting, financial advisory, and tax. 

One of the Big Four accounting organisations, it offers financial accounting and regulatory services, including those around sustainability requirements. Deloitte works collaboratively and dynamically by bringing together multidisciplinary teams of people with diverse perspectives, skills, and expertise. 

The firm, founded in London in 1845, serves a number of industries including energy, life sciences and technology. It currently employs an estimated 330,000 people across 150 countries. 

A key area that Deloitte advises around is supply chain strategy. Its team of regional experts help customers identify efficiencies and design a roadmap for enhancements. 

Among services it offers in this area is supply chain planning, including demand forecasting, inventory management, production planning and distribution optimisation, with Deloitte using advanced analytics, modelling techniques and tech-based solutions to enhance decision-making.

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6. Nestlé 

CEO: Ulf Mark Schneider

Nestlé is one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies. It operates in 190 countries and its product portfolio includes household-name brands such as Nescafé, KitKat, Maggi and Purina, among many others. 

It has invested heavily in its global supply chain, with key areas of focus being ESG leadership, reducing packaging waste and new business models to improve end-to-end supply chain. 

Switzerland-based Nestlé has a ‘Creating Shared Value’ strategy that drives sustainability through partnerships with suppliers and environmental organisations, as well as with other corporations. 

The company says its supply chain professionals “play a critical role in ensuring quality and sustainable products reach our customers and consumers". 

To achieve this, its commercial teams develop demand forecasts, and its suppliers worldwide are vetted for the responsible sourcing of raw materials. 

Examples of Nestlé's sustainability work include its Caring for Water initiative, which promotes water conservation throughout its supply chain, and it is also a founding member of the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative.

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5. IBM

CEO: Arvind Krishna

IBM describes itself as a company that “brings together all the necessary technology and services – regardless of where those solutions come from – to help clients solve the most pressing business problems”.

IBM integrates technology and expertise, providing infrastructure, software – including market-leading Red Hat – and consulting services for clients as it “pursues the digital transformation of the world’s mission-critical businesses”. 

“Our clients’ systems support modern society,” says IBM Chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna. “In making them faster, more productive and more secure we don’t just make business work better. We make the world work better.” 

IBM offers a range of B2B services and solutions to help businesses address technology needs, enhance operations and drive digital transformation. 

One example is IBM Watson, which uses machine learning algorithms to analyse data and provide answers to complex questions. Watson first gained fame in 2011, for winning the US game show Jeopardy! when pitted against two human champions.

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4. Apple

CEO: Tim Cook

Consumer tech giant Apple is one of the world's most valuable companies. Its iconic and hugely popular product line includes the iPhone, iPad, Mac desktop and laptop computers, the Apple Watch, Apple TV, as well as numerous software apps, such as GarageBand.

In August 2021, Apple became the first publicly traded US company to reach a market capitalisation of $2 trillion. 

This growth has been overseen by CEO Tim Cook, who has doubled the company's revenue and profit since taking up the position in 2011, when founder and CEO Steve Jobs was terminally ill with pancreatic cancer. 

Cook’s first deed was to pare back Apple’s supply chain vendors, from more than 100 to 24. He also cut the number of warehouses by half and established relationships with contract manufacturers. 

Cook loathes inventory, telling Forbes he finds it “fundamentally evil”. “Inventory is like dairy products,” he has also said. “No one wants to buy spoiled milk.” 

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3. Unilever

CEO: Hein Schumacher

Unilever is a multinational consumer goods operation with a rich heritage that dates back to the 19th century. Its purpose is “to make sustainable living commonplace by offering products that enhance people's well-being and contribute to a more sustainable future”, it says. 

In Beauty & Personal Care, Unilever provides products for skin care, hair care, deodorants, oral care, and personal hygiene. Some of its popular brands include Dove, Axe, Sunsilk, Rexona, and Lifebuoy. 

Unilever also offers a range of cleaning agents and household products, including laundry detergents, dishwashing liquids, surface cleaners, and air fresheners. Brands such as Omo, Cif, Domestos, and Sunlight are part of its home care portfolio. 

Its Foods & Refreshment business, meanwhile, includes popular brands like Knorr, Lipton, Magnum, Ben & Jerry's, Hellmann's, and Wall's ice cream. 

With a global presence in 190 countries, Unilever says it “strives to be a responsible and trusted company that contributes to a more sustainable and equitable world”. 

It adds: “By blending business success with social and environmental responsibility, we aim to inspire positive change and make a meaningful difference in people's lives.” 

It has set out ambitious goals through its Sustainable Living Plan, which aims to improve health and well-being, reduce environmental impact, and “enhance livelihoods across our value chain. 

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2. Microsoft

CEO: Satya Nadella

Microsoft says its mission is “to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more”. To this end it creates innovative tech solutions that enable individuals, businesses, and communities to “realise their full potential”. 

Microsoft is known for its flagship operating system, Windows, which powers a majority of PCs worldwide. It also develops and distributes software including the Office Suite, Azure cloud platform, and Visual Studio development tools. 

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform that provides infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS) solutions to businesses in sectors including computing, storage, networking, analytics and AI. 

Azure Supply Chain Management is a recently launched set of cloud-based services and solutions that help provide end-to-end supply chain visibility, predictive analytics, demand forecasting, inventory optimisation and supplier collaboration. 

This helps businesses gain insights, automate processes and make data-driven decisions to improve supply chain performance. 

In the wake of the release, Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella posted on LinkedIn: “It’s time to transform supply chain operations. That’s why we’re bringing together data, AI, and collaboration – to tackle customers’ most urgent supply chain issues.”

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1. Amazon 

CEO: Andy Jassy

Founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, Amazon started as an online marketplace for books but today is a global leader in e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and AI. 

Its ecommerce platform allows consumers and businesses to buy and sell a vast range of products, including household electronics, books, clothing, white goods, and more. 

As well as selling products directly, third-parties can list and sell their items on the platform, and can use Amazon services, such as fulfilment by Amazon (FBA). 

With FBA, sellers send their products to Amazon's pick-pack-and-ship fulfilment centres. FBA also manages logistics, with FBA products eligible for Amazon's various shipping options, such as Amazon Prime's free next-day shipping. 

Business Prime provides additional benefits, such as free two-day shipping on eligible items and exclusive deals. It is designed to meet the needs of business customers and their procurement workflows.

Amazon has built a vast logistics infrastructure to support its marketplaces, ensuring fast and efficient product delivery from its array of fulfilment centres worldwide. 

Amazon Logistics is built around last-mile delivery manned by a network of delivery drivers, including Amazon Flex drivers and independent contractors. 

It uses advanced tracking systems to provide real-time package tracking and delivery updates to customers, and has introduced innovative delivery methods such as Amazon Prime Air, an unmanned drone delivery system.

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