Supply Chain Examples: An Ultimate List to Learn From

5/17/2023

Supply Chain Examples: An Ultimate List to Learn From

Different companies use different supply chain management (SCM) systems to fulfil customer demands. In this article, we look at supply chain examples of companies from five different industries. But, before we learn about the SCM of specific companies, let’s take a look at the basic supply chain process.

The general supply chain process goes as follows:

  • The company sources raw materials.
  • Supply chain logistics help transport raw materials to the manufacturing unit.
  • The raw materials are processed and used to manufacture products.
  • The company then transports the products to distribution centres.
  • The distribution centres transport them to retail outlets or order fulfilment centres.
  • Customers buy products from retail outlets or online.
  • Supply chain logistics then ship those products to the customer’s address.

supply-chain-management-explaination

Let’s see some supply chain management examples of how different companies have changed this process to their advantage.

Supply Chain Examples of Fashion Retail Companies

The fashion industry relies heavily on meeting the demands of fashion trends. The industry offers great examples of fast chain and agile chain models for SCM. One of the finest supply chain examples of this industry is H&M.

Sales-of-major-apparel-manufacturers-and-retailers-worldwide

It is the second-largest clothing retailer in the world. Let’s first look at supply chain management examples from H&M. H&M relies on fast and efficient systems for inventory management. The company works with 60 pattern designers. They have developed a two-fold process for designing patterns. To manufacture their products, H&M works with more than 750 suppliers and 20 production units spread around the world.

To reduce the pressure on its supply chain, H&M produces about 80% of its products in advance. They manufacture the other 20% of products in response to market trends. H&M is also one of the best examples of supply chain management communication. They have digitised their communication and monitoring systems for efficiency.

If you want to see other examples of supply chain management in this industry, learn about the SCM systems of Zara, GAP, Ralph Lauren, PVH, and Fast Retailing. These are some of the largest fashion retail companies in the world. Their models are a good example of supply chains as they deliver to customers in several countries. 

Supply Chain Examples of Food & Beverages Companies

Companies in the Food and Beverages (F&B) industry need to consistently supply quality products to their customers. Furthermore, these companies produce perishable goods. So they have to organise their supply chain in deference to the product life cycles. Such companies are ideal supply chain examples of the continuous flow model.

F&B companies like Nestle and Coca-Cola create the same products for several years. They also have to ensure consistency in product quality and stock flow. Let’s see why these companies are considered great supply chain examples.

The Coca-Cola company is the largest beverage company in the world. It also ranks 12th among Gartner’s Top 25 Supply Chains for 2022. Coca-Cola has organised its supply chain in such a way that about 95% of the beverages are produced in the same country where they are sold. 

Furthermore, they also source the majority of their raw materials locally. This helped them cut down distances between suppliers, manufacturing, and distribution. Consequently, it reduced the cost of supply chain logistics.

In the same industry, Nestle is a great supply chain example of sustainability in sourcing raw materials. They ensure that they can trace each raw material to the point of origin. Nestle adheres to environmental and social responsibility throughout their supply chain.

Supply Chain Examples of Ecommerce Companies

The supply chain process of eCommerce companies is quite similar to retail companies. But, instead of retail outlets, the supply chain requires delivery directly to the customer. For many eCommerce businesses, the manufacturer is also the supplier. 

Different eCommerce companies use different supply chain models depending on several factors. These include locations of suppliers, manufacturing units, customers, and so on.

Amazon, the eCommerce giant, is an exceptional example of a supply chain that is fast and efficient. Their supply chain model focuses on keeping the inventory levels as low as possible. But, they do so in deference to the customer demand for various products. 

They are also one of the best supply chain examples of 3PL solutions for the supply chain management. The company deals with numerous vendors simultaneously for various supply chain processes. It has to coordinate with manufacturers, warehouses, retail vendors, logistics partners, and more.

You can also look for efficient supply chain management systems in other eCommerce companies like Alibaba, Otto Group, Rakuten, Wayfair and so on.

Supply Chain Examples of Technology Companies

Tech companies have very different supply chains compared to other industries. Technology companies are supply chain management examples of continuous flow, agile, and flexible models. 

There are quite a few tech companies in “The Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 for 2022” list.

The-Gartner-Supply-Chain-Top-25-for-2022

Tech giant, Cisco, sits at the number one spot among the top 25 supply chains in the world. The company has a very diverse supply chain that is spread across several countries. Many Cisco products are configured as per customer requirements. Hence, it can be considered an example of the supply chain of the agile model.

Their supply chain includes more than a thousand suppliers, sixteen CTO manufacturing sites, and 8 logistics centres. Cisco is also an example of a supply chain that is streamlined and digitised. After digital transformation, Cisco went from 250 custom applications to 15. They also reduced the number of software and databases.

You can also find good supply chain examples in technology companies like Schneider Electric, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, HP Inc. and Dell. All these companies are on the list of the top 25 supply chains of 2022.

Supply Chain Examples of Automotive Company

Automotive companies usually produce the same products for long periods. But, they also introduce customisations in the cars. Hence, they are great supply chain management examples of custom-configured models.

The BMW Group ranks 19th among the top 25 supply chains in the world for 2022. You will find several innovative examples of supply chain management systems throughout the BMW company. In 2020, BMW introduced blockchain technology to its supply chain. This helped the company monitor their supply chain and bring more transparency.

use-of-blockchain-in-supplychain

Additionally, the company is also one of the best sustainable supply chain management examples. BMW puts great emphasis on environmental sustainability and has introduced technological upgrades to achieve it. For instance, BMW uses LNG and electric vehicles for logistics. It also focuses on reducing the environmental impact of its manufacturing units.

You can find other good examples of the supply chain in automotive companies like Toyota, Ford Motors, Volkswagen, and General Motors. 

Conclusion

This article uses supply chain examples to show how companies from different industries modify the general SCM processes. Though you might not have a large or complex SCM network. But, you can still learn from the best practices adopted by the examples of supply chains mentioned in this article. This will help you reduce costs, improve efficiency, and create a sustainable SCM process.

 

Image Sources: Techtarget, Statista, Gartner, Press.BMWgroup

Post by Topic