Amazon is more admired than Apple for its supply chain excellence, according to research published Wednesday by SCM World, a global community of supply chain practitioners.
In a poll of 1,136 executives, 58 percent said they admired Amazon most overall for the way it operates its supply chain, compared with 37 percent who picked Apple. The remaining 5 percent said neither.
The Seattle-based retailer also came out on top in three of the four supply chain attributes when survey participants were asked to rate the two companies on agility, collaboration and execution.
"Amazon is locked in a high-profile battle with Apple in the fast-growing market for tablet devices and the digital content – music, movies, apps and books – consumed on them," SCM World said. “The companies’ rival products, the Kindle Fire and iPad, are expected to be among the hottest purchases this Christmas.”
"The purpose of our research was to establish which of these two leading companies is most admired by the global supply chain community for the way it manages its supply chain, and to understand what lessons they have to teach other companies,” said Kevin O’Marah, head of faculty at SCM World and co-author of a new report, Apple and Amazon: Lessons for the Rest of Us
"The results show clearly that the majority of supply chain professionals believe that Amazon – and not Apple – is the master of supply chain excellence,” he said.
O’Marah is a former group vice president for supply chain at Gartner and co-creator, in 2004, of the (then AMR Research) Supply Chain Top 25 annual ranking.
However, Apple won hands down on the fourth key characteristic of supply chain excellence – innovation – taking 78 percent of the vote, compared with just 19 percent for Amazon.
The online survey was open between Oct. 26 and Nov. 9, with respondents from a variety of sectors, including high-tech, consumer goods, logistics and distribution, and retail. Forty-three percent of respondents were based in the Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) region, 41 percent in the Americas and 14 percent in Asia-Pacific. - Eric Johnson