About a month ago, Gartner released its much-anticipated Supply Chain Top 25. At JDA, we are proud to say that a majority – 19 of the 25 of the companies on the list – are our customers. My marketing colleagues and I like using those kinds of statistics to talk about our customers. For instance, among the U.S. Fortune 500, 13 of 14 consumer products companies are JDA customers, as are 9 of 11 food and drug store companies, 4 of 5 specialty retailers and all 6 household and personal products manufacturers. You get the point: we work with many of the world’s leading companies, giving us a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of what it takes to achieve supply chain success.
As someone who favors words– my training, after all, is in journalism – numbers help illustrate a story. For me, the most interesting ones are those that make a real difference to companies around the world. They are the numbers that add up to supply chain success, such as:
- $8 million in freight savings in the first year of implementation by Kimberly-Clark
- 700 percent increase in planning productivity by Goya Foods
- 100 percent return on investment within one year by Ambev
- 40 percent increase in on-time delivery performance by Mitsubishi-Caterpillar Forklift America
- Annual infrastructure cost savings of more than $200 million for Lenovo
Numbers like these reflect many hours of hard work by individuals who are often the unsung heroes of their businesses – supply chain professionals who apply smart strategies, focused tactics, processes, cross-functional teamwork and the right technologies to make an impact to their companies’ bottom lines.
Unfortunately, I don’t have as many of these metrics – and the stories wrapped around them – as I’d like. That’s because for every company willing to step out and share their supply chain success – and the path to achieving it – there are many more who like to keep them close to the vest. It doesn’t mean those stories don’t get told – it just means I don’t have a green light to shout them from the rooftop. The good news is they do get told in Special Interest Group meetings, and at conferences such as JDA FOCUS and FocusConnect. They are shared in one-to-one reference calls and customer site visits, or at industry events such as NRF and CSCMP.
For all of the numbers you see on our website, in Real Results Magazine, web seminars and press releases, know that there are many more being shared in smaller settings and conversations. What numbers are you most interested in? How can we help you hear the stories behind them? I’m interested in your thoughts.