Samsung, Lenovo, Toyota lead supply chain in Asia Pacific

Samsung, Lenovo and Toyota lead supply chain in Asia Pacific according to Gartner.

James Lisica, reserach director, Gartner said, “Asia Pacific supply chain leaders continue to create agile and lean supply chains capable of dealing with regional challenges.

“We have observed some key themes across most industry segments that include building customer-centric supply chains, aligning to local markets while still serving global customers, strengthening risk management processes, improving cross functional communication, driving operational excellence to achieve fiscal discipline and prioritising talent management programs,” added Lisica.

Samsung is at number one and continues to execute initiatives in planning, delivery, product life cycle management (PLM), corporate social responsibility (CSR) and talent. The vertically integrated South Korean manufacturer has also created a program for talent rotation between its headquarters and regional offices to train supply chain talents on a wider variety of issues, cultural differences, and various market characteristics.

Lenovo Group is at number two and prepares for providing total customer solutions by increasing its share of mobile technology. On the supply chain side, Lenovo has scaled up a corporate analytics centre of excellence (COE), supporting its supply chain, sales and marketing, and business units. It has also taken a data-driven approach and cross-platform visibility for manufacturing and sourcing decisions covering both in-house production and contract manufacturers.

Toyota is at number three and is working to improve interfunction communication, introducing new and better systems to collect and analyse supply chain data, and building flexibility in its production methods. They are also putting greater emphasis on customer care, fathering information on vehicle reliability and performance from customers, suppliers and dealers to deliver sustainable solutions. By expanding its global production footprint, Toyota has limited its exposure to currency risk.

Hyundai’s is at number 4 and its localisation strategy is producing and supplying high quality cars in physical proximity to its target market. They continued to shift focus from sales numbers to profitable growth and quality, investing in fine-tuning quality before adding any new capacities. Last year, Hyundai strengthened its dealer network in several emerging markets such as China and Mexico, to improve on customer service. On the product front, the company has begun reducing its product complexity through platform integration, which has seen it reduce its model development time from 40 months in 2002 to 19 months in 2013.

Huawei is at number five and its supply chain strategy revolves around strong customer collaboration, alignment with corporate objectives and the decentralisation of customer-facing operations. A supply chain COE drives critical process design and adoption, resulting in fewer supply chain personnel supporting aggressive revenue growth. Huawei has invested significantly in supply chain management technology, particularly back-office systems to support front-office processes, while strong cost-based optimisation models dictate trade-offs on profitable response to demand.

Woolworths is at number six and is the only Australian company to make the list. While other regional retailers are still developing supply chain strategies, Woolworths has already embarked on its supply chain transformation journey. Efficiencies gained from historical initiatives like ‘Mercury One’– that touched almost every aspect of the supply chain including procurement, distribution, order consolidation, inventory management, merchandising, and in-store stock availability – have helped integrate and mature Woolworth’s supply chain capabilities.

Honda is at number seven and improving its decision-making speed and supply responsiveness by reorganising its operations activities under the three separate business divisions. The company also set up a joint team of development, production and purchasing at each factory site to synchronise actions. On the supply chain side, Honda is building a more diverse tier 2 and tier 3 supply base to minimise the risk of disruption.

Flextronics is at number eight and focuses aggressively on customer-centricity, talent development and disciplined execution, balancing supply chain velocity and risks. The company minimises risk while maximising opportunity through product, customer and geographic diversification. With 3D printing and various advanced engineering services, innovation continues to play a significant role in Flextronics’ future supply chain leadership.

LG Electronics is at number nine and focuses on the end-to-end value chain has seen a drive toward closer integration as they continue to collaborate with suppliers. Their investments in advanced planning and forecasting capability drives tangible benefits across the value network. With a strong customer focus, LG continuously tracks trends on future lifestyles and user experience to design and introduce innovative products.

Sony is at number ten and is challenged with a need for faster product innovation. Supply chain risk continues to influence Sony’s strategy, with initiatives in place to build resiliency in strategic partners by improving information flow and supply-based data. Still lagging behind some of its major competitions, Sony’s rise this year shows a focus on network optimisation and end-to-end visibility, not to mention an exit plan from PC into mobile, game and imaging.

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