Top 10 supply chain businesses

How the supply chains of the world’s leading businesses help shape our daily work and home lives

Supply chains shape and serve consumers and businesses alike. Multinational organisations in the B2C and B2B spaces keep our home and work lives ticking over. Other businesses – specialists in logistics, cloud technology, AI & ML and software services – make sure that the world’s supply chains are resilient and efficient.

Here we look at the world’s top 10 companies, chosen because their supply chains affect our daily lives, or because their services are indispensable in the supply chain space. These are taken from our Top 100 Supply Chain Companies publication. 

10. Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is one of the world’s largest healthcare and life sciences companies. Sectors it serves include pharmaceuticals, medical devices and consumer healthcare products. Globally, J&J employs an estimated 135,100 employees worldwide.

Its pharma offerings see it develop and manufacture an array of prescription drugs, including treatments for oncology, immunology, cardiovascular diseases and infectious diseases. 

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).

Johnson & Johnson

9. Oracle

Oracle is a multinational technology company develops and provides enterprise software products and services. “Our mission is to help people see data in new ways, discover insights, unlock endless possibilities,” it says.

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

It also offers consulting and support services, to help customers implement, customise and maintain their software solutions. 

Oracle

8. Accenture

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. 

To expand the scope of its knowledge across the areas it covers, Accenture acquires specialist consultancies, with Avieco and Greenfish in the sustainability space just 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.

Accenture

7. Deloitte

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.

6. Nestlé

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". 

5. IBM

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.”

4. Apple

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. 

Outside of its core product range, ​​Apple also runs a global chain of Apple Stores, and in recent years it has expanded its offerings to include content and  entertainment services around music, TV, gaming and fitness.

3. Unilever

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.

Unilever operates in three main areas: Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment. Within these categories, the company offers a diverse portfolio of well-known brands including Dove, Lifebuoy, Omo, Cif, Domestos, Knorr, Lipton, Magnum, Ben & Jerry's, Hellmann's, and Wall's ice cream. 

Unilever says it “strives to be a responsible and trusted company that contributes to a more sustainable and equitable world”. 

2. Amazon

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.

Beyond retail, Amazon has diversified into B2B services. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud computing platform offering cloud services, including computing power, storage, database management and AI.

It has also built a vast logistics infrastructure, to ensure fast and efficient product delivery, operating fulfilment centres worldwide. It also employs its own last-mile network, and has introduced innovative delivery methods such as Amazon Prime Air, an unmanned drone delivery system. 

1. Microsoft

Microsoft's 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, meanwhile, 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.

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