I interviewed Julio Franca who discussed A view on the Differentiating Factors of the TOP 5 SC ranked by Gartner.








Julio, thanks for making the time available for one more interview. Can you please firstly explain to us what is Gartner Top 25 rank and how it works?


Of course Dustin. Since many years now, Gartner has been deeply involved with the Supply Chain Developments. Annually, they publish a rank of the top 25 Supply Chain performers. They consider tangible and intangible variables to get into this ranking. Tangible variables are typically financially driven such as ROA (Return on Assets, Growth Ratio, Inventory Turns, etc). Intangible Variables are typically collected through Gartner’s wide network of Senior Supply Chain Executives, Faculties, Subject Matter Experts, etc. Recently, in 2016, Gartner added a new dimension into this mix: Sustainability.


Can you please briefly describe the reasoning why analyzing the Gartner SC Research could help?


Sure. In my view, Gartner ranking selects yearly the top Supply Chain performers and provide insights on what they are doing, how, why, with whom, etc. This for a vast range of industries, typically consumer goods, retail, consumer durables, auto, electronics, you name it. Looking in details at their studies over the years had significantly helped me to gain deep expertise on how a top SC performers should look like in terms of supply chain best practices, business partnering, external and internal collaboration, process improvement, technology usage, etc


Can you maybe summarize your thoughts around the key strengths of the TOP 5 Gartner performers, according to your viewpoint?


Of course. Firstly, it is worth mentioned which are the top SC performers according to Gartner’s 2016 rank. These are Unilever, McDonalds, Amazon, Intel and H&M, in that order. In addition to that, Apple and P&G continue to qualify for the Masters Category, which Gartner introduced in 2015 to recognize sustained supply chain leadership over the last 10 years.


The first observation is that these companies have a wide range of industry background such as consumer goods, retail, food, electronics, garments, etc. Having said that, there are still common areas that they continue to work on, perhaps in slightly different ways, however driving continuously supply chain in the direction of delivering Cost, Service, Safety, Quality, Speed, Flexibility, Innovation, Sustainability, among others.


I won't go into the specific of the strengths areas of each of these companies, which by the way can be found at Gartner, however, my intention here is to try to summaries, from my perspective, what are these common areas, perhaps with a view to providing the ones listening to this interview with some food for thought for further improving their supply chains.


In my view, those are the top 10 observations of what these high performers are doing:


1)    offering differentiated supply chain solutions to meet customers' needs

2)    delivering better, stronger and faster innovations

3)    running end-to-end synchronization programmes

4)    Increased Adoption of Advanced Analytics and Big Data to support the decision making process

5)    Emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility

6)    Enabling Multi-Channel businesses (including Digital)

7)    Sustainability: achieving zero waste through its “four R approach” - reducing, reusing, recovering or recycling

8)    Supply Chain professionals becoming real Business Partners (instead of only providing the functional SC expertise)

9)    Moving away from the Minimum Possible Cost of the Optimum Cost vs Value balance

10)    In-house customized capabilities and skills development


Well, that is quite a lot to digest, but it would be in my view a fair summary of where the SC leaders are heading to.


Finally, can you please briefly introduce yourself and Spin.


Sure. I am a Naval Engineer with a Master in Finance and a MBA at Rotterdam School of Management (top 5 in Europe). I have over 20 years of experience in Supply Chain, having spent ½ of my time as a Supply Chain executive in a FMCG manufacturer, running operations, and the other ½ of my careers as a Supply Chain consultant.


Currently I am one of the founding partners of Spin Consulting (www.spinconsulting.net), a specialized SC boutique who differentiates by delivering fast, tangible and sustainable results to our clients.


About Julio Franca







Julio Franca


Director at Spin Consulting


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