19 & 18: Countdown of the Top 25 Supply Chain Performers

Welcome to our countdown down the top supply chain performers – if you’ve just joined us, we’ve previously visited the success of six successful supply chains. These top performers offer a glimpse into innovative processes and provide teachings to enhance the world’s businesses manage their supply chains more efficiently. This article continues the countdown with British American Tobacco, who comes in at number 19, and Coca-Cola Company placed 18th on the list. So let’s look at what makes the supply chains of these two companies so successful.

19. British American Tobacco

British American Tobacco (BAT) has earned the number 19th spot on our top-performing supply chain list due to their steps in increasing their resilience and agility. BAT is another successful supply chain manager that places sustainability at the forefront because of its impact on investment decisions and its role in their future planning for success.

Digital Transformation

BAT has synchronized their systems into a single ERP system to streamline the operations between them and their suppliers. They’ve also invested in developing the capabilities of people in their supply chain and focused on automating particular business processes in recent years. Essentially, they’ve transformed the way they gather data which means the quality of the data is equally improved.

Incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning platforms into their logistics network has built resilience and crucial agility to their production, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. The data that powers their decisions are more accurate, informed, and intelligent, which results in more effective decisions company-wide.

Sustainability

BAT is determined to ensure their supply chain is fit for the future, and with current trends, a significant part of that is sustainability. British American Tobacco supply chain management focuses on improving the sustainability of the process, all the way from the crops they use to the consumer purchases. Their leading suppliers are tobacco leaf agricultural and non-agricultural materials, goods, and services.

BAT has integrated sustainability into its effective supply chain management strategies through comprehensive risk assessment and supplier programs. They analyze their supply on various criteria, including environmental, social issues, human rights, labor practices, government issues, and supply policies. By emphasizing sustainable practices in the businesses that support them, they can ensure a steady future supply of materials and mitigate associated supply risks.

Traceability

Tobacco crops will remain the core product requirement for BAT, so they’ve worked hard to ensure they have a secure, sustainable agricultural supply chain for long-term success. As well as sustainability, traceability is a focal point of their supply chain, allowing them to adopt a completely transparent view of their supply. BAT can trace their supply down to the farm level, enabling agile, efficient, and reliable supply to meet the demand of their customers.

BAT source their tobacco from direct contracts with farmers across local communities or third-party suppliers, with a vast majority of these suppliers being small, family-run farms. These businesses are less likely to have proficient procedures in place to mitigate supply risks, so this traceability is a crucial yet innovative solution.

18. Coca-Cola Company

Coca-Cola Company (CCC) has managed to remain an icon for decades because they don’t live in the past but adapt to modern innovation to fulfill the needs of their customers. Coca-Cola has been one to watch in many different business areas because they continue to meet their objection and vision of being the top beverage choice for consumers. Their modern-day success is similar to many other currently successful companies – credited to their focus on replacing old supply chain systems with advanced platforms that create cohesive production procedures.

Where Global Meets Local

CCC partners with over 225 bottling partners worldwide, with ingredients sourced both globally and locally, creating a complex supply network. The supply chain begins with sourcing raw materials, which include sugar cane, fruit, and water. CCC sources water and sugar locally to minimize the risks that come with a distant supply – bottling partners can also choose the type of sugar used.

CCC’s partners are then responsible for the packaging, marketing, and distribution of the finalized product, so the firm places significant responsibility on its partners. They mitigate the risk involved in delegating responsibility by focusing heavily on managing their supply chain to ensure the processes are working effectively.

Modern Technology to Empower Supply Chains

To incorporate the responsibilities of their many suppliers, Coca-Cola Company turned to implement modern technology that could diversify and personalize their systems. CCC collaborated with the technology company SAP to optimize their collaboration with the Coca-Cola supply chain and efficiently manage their 160,00 daily orders. Their platform leverages blockchain technology for a highly cost-effective process that allows closer communication with their partners and increased visibility.

CCC’s technology also facilitates communications from one supplier to another – s so if one partner has a vulnerability in their production, they can purchase quantities of materials through another partner, for example. Coca-Cola has reduced its order fulfillment significantly due to using this innovative blockchain technology which delivers real-time insights on transactions.

CCC uses other advanced technology in other business areas, like their production facilities using enhanced recycling technologies that allow the reproduction of bottles from plastic waste. Coca-Cola is a major corporation that has the capacity to create and trial new tech like this. However, it’s critical to recognize their efforts for the innovative movements that they are, which is why we’re proud to place them at number 18 on our list of top performers.