In this all-encompassing age of information, we are swamped by messages from sellers of products and services. It’s estimated that the average consumer of media is exposed to between 4,000 and 10,000 ads each day. And while advertising serves a vital role in generating sales, introducing new products and establishing brand identity, we can’t possibly process every one of those interactions. At some point, they become noise.
What remains in the brain is a more powerful type of promotional communication: the customer testimonial. When we go shopping on the Web today, how do we decide which product to buy, which establishment to frequent? By reading user reviews. Who better to tell you about the quality and value of a piece of merchandise — for better or worse — than one who has actually experienced it?
That’s the thinking behind our annual issue on “100 Supply Chain Partners” — where we elicit actual feedback from customers of logistics, transportation, technology and supply-chain management providers. To be included in this list, a vendor must be nominated by a satisfied buyer. It’s the true test of whether those bold advertising claims prove out in the real world.
So here’s our methodology for the 100 Great Supply Chain Partners nominations: The list is made up of solutions providers who have received multiple nominations from their customers and/or whose customers agreed to be interviewed by SupplyChainBrain for a published, in-depth study.
That said, times change — a lesson that has proved painfully true in recent months — and so do buyers’ priorities when seeking a service or product supplier. Nevertheless, year after year, we’ve seen the criteria for selection remain remarkably consistent. The order might change, depending on market and economic conditions, but these are essentially the top 10 issues that determine readers’ choice of supply-chain vendor:
Consistent qualities for any time, to be sure. But no one can deny the unique challenges that businesses and their customers are facing today, as the coronavirus takes its terrible toll and the economy suffers accordingly. That’s why agility and adaptability have come to the fore this year, as companies struggle to keep pace with change. And it’s why we’ve given this year’s edition of the 100 Great Supply Chain Partners the additional title “Meeting the Need for Speed.” Take a pandemic and economic freefall, then add in the accelerating influence of e-commerce, ever-changing customer tastes, rapid advances in technology and a labor force that won’t stay put, and we find ourselves in a race with no finish line.
Which is where these valued “partners” come in, as vital elements in keeping your company on the track. There hasn’t been a more uncertain and perilous time for business in anyone’s recent memory. So what you’ll find in the list below, along with the in-depth case studies that accompany it, is an invaluable guide to resources for meeting the need for speed — and fostering true partnerships along the way.
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