The 10 most common qualities that
users looked for in their vendors are:
1. Reliability—Without doubt, the sin-gle-most important element readers value is
reliability. These readers’ customers will not
accept excuses for service failures, so neither should they. And when a vendor has
proven itself to be rock-solid reliable, an
enduring partnership is assured.
2. Excellence—While good performance is expected, the vendors receiving
accolades for service always went over and
above what was required.
3. Value & cost savings—Readers said
their key motivation for purchasing any
new technology or outsourced service was
cost savings, but the most the important
financial measure was value in terms of
increasing sales, production or other rev-enue-related metric.
4. Expertise and knowledge base—
Manufacturers and retailers increasingly
look to their providers for best practices
specific to their industry, market or product.
9. Global reach—As supply chains
become more global, companies of all sizes
are looking for technologies and services
that allow them to operate with trading
partners all over the world
10. Strong management—Nothing
can damage the relationship between a
company and its partners faster than an erosion of commitment from the partner’s
management. Leadership is monitored very
carefully by companies that depend on
their supply chain partners.
Finally, here are some important points
to keep in mind:
• The methodology for exactly how the
100 Great Supply Chain Partners nominating process was conducted is spelled out
on this page. However, very simply, the
companies listed here are completely based
on voluntary responses from readers. No
one at SupplyChainBrain had anything to
do with which companies were nominated.
• We have included 100 vendors just
because it is a manageable number. We
nology and services that help you achieve
your supply chain goals, you not only give
them the recognition that they deserve,
but you point out to all vendors the qualities that you admire—and expect. That
effort helps the entire industry. Thank you
again, and we look forward to your participation next year.
To access the following case studies online,
The notion of competitive advantage didn’t
stop them from nominating partners who
helped them compete any time, anywhere.
Vendors that have this expertise quickly
become trusted advisers.
5. Problem-solving—Year after year,
this continues to be a major theme because
companies experience emergencies. Partners that effectively handle such events are
highly valued by their customers.
6. Continuous improvement—
Companies want to see a plan for product development (especially in technology) so they
know their needs will be met in the future.
7. Support—The downsizing of most
companies means that they have greater
dependence on their vendors to implement, train, maintain and support the technologies and service provided. The support
component is almost as important as the
technology or service itself.
8. Positive culture—The greatest
accolades were bestowed on those vendors that took on any challenge and found
a way to accomplish a goal without complaints or excuses.
actually received nominations for more
than 500. The companies included just
had more, and more in-depth nominations than the others. The comments
offered for these unmentioned companies
clearly reflect their customers’ appreciation, but we had to draw the line somewhere. For better or for worse, the
number 100 has become the standard for
any list of this type.
This year we’ve added another component, something we call Spotlights. In them,
we simply let the comments of some of the
satisfied customers of 11 providers tell why
they nominated them as Great Supply
We thank all of the readers of Supply-
ChainBrain magazine who participated in
the 2009 edition of the 100 Great Supply
Chain Partners nominations. By voicing
your appreciation for the vendors of tech-
The list accompanying this report is
based entirely on the entries voluntarily
submitted to SupplyChainBrain.com,
where the official nomination form has
been posted since the early spring. Over
the last few months, many readers
received emails asking them to participate and directing them to the form.
Other readers and users of the web site
independently found a link to the official nomination form on the home page.
Nominations could only be made
using the official web-enabled form that
required nominators to identify themselves, their position, their company,
their email address and a phone number
where they could be reached to verify
their responses. For their nomination to
be counted, the participants had to provide adequate identifying information to
verify their identify and their legitimate
role in the industry. Nominations from
participants selecting their own companies or closely allied entities were disqualified, as were multiple nominations
from the same customer company.
Participants could nominate up to
three companies and could support
their nomination with as much or as little commentary as they wished. To provide more in-depth information for this
report, some nominators were interviewed after they submitted their completed forms. We received over 2,700
qualified responses nominating more
than 500 different companies. The final
list presented here includes the 100
companies that received the most nominations. In the case of ties, the nominations with the most detailed justification
Methodology for the 100
Great Supply Chain