The world’s supply chains are being put to the ultimate test; thus, driving businesses to identify innovative strategies and ways of operating.The world´s supply chains are being tested in unprecedented ways by the COVID-19 crisis. While many are now focused on the post-lockdown recovery as markets start to reopen, others are positioning themselves for the future. New ways of working are being identified and innovations are being developed.

This year supply chain leaders showed a real willingness to share and build capability across the community, with 100 overall submissions received across six industry categories – Consumer products, Industrial, High tech, Health care, Retail and Life sciences.

Submissions were diverse, ranging across a broad spectrum of initiatives including digital printing, supply chain automation, product serialization, digital twins and even a rethink of global innovation management.

According to Eric O’Daffer VP Analyst, “range is the key word” for innovations this year.  In an interview, he says Supply Chainnovator winners showed that innovation comes in a lot of areas. These innovations represented the best of our six primary industry groups from over 100 entries.

He adds that In light of COVID-19,  supply chain has never been more important to companies and consumers.

“We expect another banner year of supply chain innovation in 2021 as companies share how they dealt with disruption on a new level,” concludes O Daffer.

The six winners across the categories are:

Life Science: AMGEN

Amgen won the 2020 Life Sciences Chainnovator Award for the use of serialization and traceability technology to improve the accuracy of its reimbursement calculations for returned U.S. products and to capture significant value.

Healthcare: Cleveland clinic

Cleveland Clinic was awarded the 2020 Healthcare Chainnovator Award for its laundry plant cooperative with Evergreen Cooperatives, a network of companies that creates jobs and builds community wealth as a nonprofit, employee-owned cooperative.

High-tech: Intel

Intel won the 2020 High-Tech Chainnovator Award for its supply chain contract analytics technology. The solution can evaluate contractual risks for more than 100,000 Intel contract documents using 17 proprietary algorithms as well as optical character recognition (OCR) and natural language processing (NLP) to extract critical information from unstructured data. 

Consumer Products: Philip Morris International

Philip Morris International (PMI) was recognized for developing in-line digital hybrid printing capabilities for their folding cartons. In 2016, PMI partnered with Gallus-Heidelberg to develop an all-in-one digital press with the goal to deliver all printing, embellishing and finishing elements in one pass. 

Industrial: SKF

SKF was awarded the 2020 Industrial Chainnovator Award for its creation of a digital twin for analytics. With the data provided by the digital twin, SKF can automatically calculate each item’s external demand forecast and factor in lead times as well as actual stock levels throughout the supply network. 

Retail: Woolworths Group

Woolworths Group won the 2020 Retail Chainnovator Award for its 2/3 Pallet Initiative – a project with the goal of changing the primary unit load device (ULD) in its Australian supermarket network to improve both supply chain efficiency and the in-store shopping experience.