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Technology firms dominate the ranks of those businesses that have developed strong supply chains underlining the strength the channel plays in supporting vendor routes to market.
IT companies heavily populate the latest AMR Research Supply Chain Top 25 for 2010, which measures companies that have excelled at managing their supply chain from manufacturing right down to the customer experience.
On top for the third year in a row is Apple but also in the top ten were Cisco (3rd), Dell (5th), Samsung Electronics (7th), IBM (8th) and Research in Motion (9th).
Lower down the list there was also Microsoft, HP, Intel, Nokia and recent entrant to the UK market the giant US retailer Best Buy.
Debra Hofman, research vice president at AMR Research, said that managing the supply chain had become a board room matter that more CEO's were taking an active interest over.
"Twenty years ago, a typical product company had supply chain reporting to manufacturing, with responsibility mainly for inbound materials management and outbound shipping," she said.
"New data shows that supply chain reports to manufacturing in only 6 per cent of companies surveyed, while 61 per cent have the head of supply chain reporting directly to the CEO, general manager or president of the business. It seems clear that supply chain has grown up and the business has taken notice," she added.
Kevin O'Marah, group vice president at AMR Research, said that anyone wanting to learn from the best about the way to build a solid supply chain had to start working back from customer through reseller and back to the vendor.
"In designing your own supply chain strategy, take a cue from the leaders: Work outside-in, starting with your customers and working your way back and around your network of trading partners to design a profitable response," he said.