AMR Research released its fifth-annual "Supply Chain Top\n 25" list, and leading the supply chain pack this\n year is Apple. "Apple is No. 1 in 2008, signifying an epic\n shift away from the 20th-century production-efficiency\n mentality to a new era of value based on ideas, design and\n content," notes the AMR Research report.\n MORE ON CIO.com\n \n Fraud and Theft Risks in Global Supply Chains Are Everywhere\n \n How ConAgra's Pot Pie Recall Bakes In Hard Lessons for Supply Chain Management\n \n Can You Build a Carbon-Efficient Supply Chain?\n The iconic iPod and iPhone maker took the top spot due to\n "an intoxicating mix of brilliant industrial design,\n transcendent software interfaces and consumable goods that are\n purely digital," write AMR's Tony Friscia, Kevin O\u2019Marah,\n Debra Hofman and Joe Souza in the report. "The mechanical and\n financial benefits of this approach include extremely high\n inventory turns, minimal material or capacity limitations to\n growth, and excellent margins."In addition, Apple\u2019s "outstanding" financials proved\n impressive in all the categories AMR used to calculate the Top\n 25 rankings. AMR determines the top supply chains by analyzing\n a combination of corporate financial measures, inventory data,\n and peer company and AMR analyst opinion.Historically, notes the AMR report, Apple had a reputation\n for poor supply chain performance. But that has all\n changed."With its introduction of the iPhone, Apple could have\n stumbled meeting demand or failed on quality. It did neither,"\n states the report. "Behind-the-scenes moves like tying up\n essential components well in advance and upgrading basic\n information systems have enabled Apple to handle the demands of\n its rabid fan base without having to fall back on their\n forgiveness for mistakes." The AMR list is interesting in part\n because supply chain management is tough to get right in the\n global economy. (See Fraud and Theft Risks in Global Supply Chains Are Everywhere, How ConAgra's Pot Pie Recall Bakes In Hard Lessons for Supply Chain Management\n and The Supple Supply Chain for more on supply chain challenges.)To create its list, AMR used publicly available, 2007\n financial data along with analysis and opinion from supply\n chain experts who are customers and suppliers, along with\n analysis by AMR researchers. (The AMR report contains a full\n explanation of the process.)See "The AMR Research Supply Chain Top 25," below.The AMR Research Supply Chain\n Top 25These 25 companies demonstrate\n leadership in applying demand-driven principles to their\n global supply chains.\n \n The Top 25\n AMR Comment\n \n\n \n 1. Apple\n\n "Brilliant mix of design,\n software interfaces and consumable goods that are\n purely digital."\n\n \n\n \n 2. Nokia\n\n \u201cLeads the way in "supplier\n collaboration practices, design for supply chain\n and embedded innovation."\n\n \n\n \n 3. Dell\n\n "Outstanding inventory turns" and\n high marks from peers.\n\n \n\n \n 4. Procter & Gamble\n\n "demonstrated leadership, and an\n extension of the boundaries on innovation."\n\n \n\n \n 5. IBM\n\n I "Pioneer in supply chain\n management, with a track record of sharing its\n learnings."\n\n \n\n \n 6. Wal-Mart Stores\n\n "Translates consumer needs into\n sophisticated segmentation strategies."\n\n \n\n \n 7. Toyota Motor\n\n "An icon among manufacturing\n aficionados."\n\n \n\n \n 8. Cisco Systems\n\n Noted for work with sales\n channel.\n\n \n\n \n 9. Samsung Electronics\n\n Excels at "fine-tuning its\n supply-demand balancing decisions."\n\n \n\n \n 10. Anheuser-Busch\n\n Demonstrates "solid focus on\n delivery-to-schedule excellence in\n manufacturing."\n\n \n\n \n 11. PepsiCo\n\n "Sophisticated supply network\n planning, a focus on innovation, and an\n increasingly diverse product portfolio."\n\n \n\n \n 12. Tesco\n\n "A major focus on streamlining\n supply chain operations at home, and aggressive\n international growth strategy."\n\n \n\n \n 13. Coca-Cola\n\n "Relentless focus on supply chain\n operations and translating downstream demand\n insights into loyal customers."\n\n \n\n \n 14. Best Buy\n\n A leader in "home service and\n workforce management innovations."\n\n \n\n \n 15. Nike\n\n Noted for excellent blocking and\n tackling on its supply chain.\n\n \n\n\n \n 16. SonyEricsson\n\n "Excels in customer and channel\n demand management."\n\n \n\n \n 17. Walt Disney\n\n Handles "a growing retail\n presence and a complex set of supply chain\n challenges."\n\n \n\n \n 18. Hewlett-Packard\n\n Has "streamlined operations on a\n scale and at a speed that defy belief."\n\n \n\n \n 19. Johnson & Johnson\n\n Strong results through big\n acquisition, high marks from peers.\n\n \n \n\n \n 20. Schlumberger\n\n An "almost-obsessive corporate\n focus on building supply chain talent."\n\n \n\n \n 21. Texas Instruments\n\n Recognized for its technology\n leadership and operational efficiency.\n\n \n\n \n 22. Lockheed Martin\n\n Manages massive supply chain with\n emphasis on "next-generation lean thinking and\n supplier and program management."\n\n \n\n \n 23. Johnson Controls\n\n "Track record for supply chain\n innovation in a notoriously tough industry."\n\n \n\n \n 24. Royal Ahold\n\n "Stellar" inventory turns and\n operational efficiency and productivity.\n\n \n\n \n 25. Publix Super Markets\n\n "Known for its strong brand\n innovation and leadership in generic drug discount\n programs."