Apple has topped the charts in the eighth annual Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 research initiative as having the best supply chain in the world. The company received a composite score of 9.69 out of 10, roughly 80 percent higher than what second place Amazon finished with at 5.40.
The most interesting metric in the list has to do how quickly a company turns over its inventory. TUAW breaks this down simply as how long a product stays on the shelf in a store before being sold.
The Atlantic did some research into inventory turn metrics and discovered that typical manufacturing companies have between six and eight inventory turns per year. Furthermore, high volume / low margin companies like grocery stores could have upwards of 12 turns each year. This essentially means that for a typical manufacturing company, a product may sit on the shelf for around 45 days before being sold.
For Apple, their inventory turn around metric is 74. That means that an Apple product only sits on the shelf in a store for around five days before being sold. The only company in the top 25 that beat Cupertino in this category was McDonalds with an inventory turn of 142. Of course, keep in mind that they deal in perishable food items where a quick turnaround is mandatory.
For comparison in the same tech category, Dell had an inventory turn of 35 times per year while Samsung scored a 17 and HP did 13 turns per year.