Colgate-Palmolive scored the top spot for the first time in the annual "Supply Chain Top 25" rankings compiled by consulting firm Gartner Inc.
The giant consumer products retailer was followed by Spanish fashion group Inditex, food and drink purveyor Nestlé, snack maker PepsiCo, and tech firm Cisco. Newcomers to the list included the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba (13th) and the Dutch chemical company Akzo Nobel (24th).
The list identifies supply chain leaders and highlights their best practices. Gartner announced its findings during its Supply Chain Executive Conference in Phoenix, Ariz.
"Colgate-Palmolive's strong financial performance, combined with its focus on an aligned organization and impressive work in corporate social responsibility, helped drive the move up from the fourth position in 2018 to the top spot in 2019," Mike Griswold, vice president, analyst at Gartner, said in a release. "The company is focused on building a business-first mindset enabled by new technologies, enhanced decision-making and leadership capabilities."
Perennial "Supply Chain Top 25" leader Unilever joined Apple, P&G, Amazon, and McDonald's in the "Masters" category, which recognizes sustained leadership over the last 10 years. In 2018, Unilever took the top spot for the third consecutive year, and in 2019 it marked seven consecutive years of scoring in the top five of the list.
"Unilever continues to lead the way with solid digital supply chain processes and operations, including leveraging automation, data science and machine learning," Griswold said. "The company also recognizes the importance of improving digital-enabled manufacturing initiatives by using emerging technologies for maintenance and process control."