a good thing going,
you want to
from the rooftops.
Well, maybe not always. Maybe that only
happens in romance, or in the movies. In
business, it’s often quite the opposite. Mum’s
the word, everything’s a trade secret. Someone’s solution has given you visibility a
superhero would envy, a transportation
provider has taken a major load off your
mind, or a consultant has just saved you
beaucoup bucks, and—what? You don’t
want to tell anybody about it. You see the
relationship as giving you a leg up on the
competition, and why should you steer them
toward the folks who helped you out, right?
Which is what makes the 100 Great Supply Chain Partners report so remarkable.
Every company mentioned in here is real,
and the officials that run them don’t mind
telling the world how much they appreciate
what some trading partner has done for
them. They know the same great product or
service is, or could be, extended to others.
But they have no hesitancy in thanking
these vendors who provide them logistics,
technology and other expertise.
True, these companies generally have
their own great capabilities, customer
service, innovation, product or can-do
attitude. But no one can go it alone today,
not in today’s world. Everyone needs a
partner some time.
The 100 Great Supply Chain Partners
issue is about this kind of relationship
between vendors and their customers in
manufacturing, retail, distribution or some
other area. We’ve brought you 10 case studies this year that lay out in detail the kind of
contribution that supply chain professionals
feel their partners have provided them.
Some of these relationships are relatively
new, some are longstanding. But each is
emblematic of how true partnership leads to
a company’s success.
We are delighted that the notion of competitive advantage hasn’t kept these companies from sharing with you how their
vendors have enabled them to compete
any time, anywhere.
As always, the 100 Great Supply Chain
Partners issue is global in scope. More than
2,700 nominations from companies of every
size and description poured in from around
the world. Equally, vendors in every area of
supply chain activity—technology, transportation, consulting, finance, you name it—
were nominated. Big names and small ones,
too. It’s clear that partnerships are not built
just on broad and far-reaching networks;
sometimes they rely on the customized services that only niche providers, tiny in footprint but mighty in spirit, are able to render.
Mighty or modest, these partners are celebrated in these pages for the results they
have generated for their customers. These
nominations clearly show that that’s what
they are after: a partner that can help them
succeed, whether that’s in productivity
gains, inventory turns, cost containment,
increased customer satisfaction, whatever.
The 100 Great Supply Chain Partners
issue is the result of a six-month poll of readers in which logistics and supply chain professionals were asked to nominate vendors
and service providers whose technology,
logistics, transportation or consulting solutions have made a significant impact on their
company’s efficiency, customer service and
overall supply chain performance. The purpose of the list is to recognize those vendors
that have so impressed our readers that they
deserve to be singled out and to be held up
as examples for others in the industry.
To be sure, this is a chance to thank
those providers that have helped readers
achieve better results, and to let the industry
know who is making a genuine effort to be
a supply chain partner. At the same time,
comments included in the nomination
forms are intended to emphasize which
services, technology, expertise and support
our entire industry needs for all of us to be
As mentioned, nominations were
received for trading partners in every
aspect of supply chain management, and
many of those are represented on our
final list. Regardless of what type of vendor a reader nominated, there are clear
themes within the commentaries that
accompanied most of the ballots.