In brief

In brief

  • Supply chains have moved beyond efficiency to support their companies’ growth and purpose, a move accelerated by COVID-19.
  • Accenture research shows 9% of growth market companies—supply chain “Masters”—stand out above their peers.
  • Masters’ supply chains contribute 3x more to total company revenues than their peers, with 11% higher revenue growth on average versus peers’ -3%.
  • The report lays out four actions that set Masters apart.

Efficiency is table stakes

Large companies have invested, on average, US$176.8M to transform their supply chain for growth over the past three years. With investments that significant, efficiency alone is no longer the measuring stick for successful supply chains. They must deliver return on that investment in the form of growth.

Our research, with top-level executives across nine industries at 369 companies in the growth markets of Australia, China and Japan, shows a few select leaders are transforming their supply chains to contribute to a customer experience that leads to growth. We discovered 9% have been able to successfully reshape their supply chains to create significant impact on their topline growth, versus Others.

Masters sail above others


Masters realize an 11% average growth rate, versus -3% for Others.


Masters contribute 3X more to total revenue.

Average daily share prices of Growth Market Masters vs. Others

(Indexed to 1st Jan 2020)

In addition, Masters’ enjoy better market perception, even during the trying time of COVID-19.

What are Masters doing right?

#1 A focus on the customer

Masters begin with the customer in mind. They base their supply chain strategy on what the customer values.

#2 Digital architecture for innovation

Masters help turn insight into innovation. They invest in digital architecture, creating a foundation for collaboration, inside and out.

#3 Select capabilities

Masters are highly mature in select capabilities. They focus on those that Masters engage their CEOs to convert conversation into transformation, who then ensure board-enhance supply chain agility and foster innovations, building security in.

#4 CEO engagement

Masters engage their CEOs to convert conversation into transformation, who then ensure board-level support for supply chain innovation and talent.

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#1 Masters begin with the customer in mind

They base their supply chain strategy on what the customer values, which is a more complex endeavor than it used to be because customer experience is now tailored and personalized.

As customers rapidly move toward products and services as experiences, they expect companies to provide a more holistic package. Supply chains play a crucial role in creating this value-driven customer experience.

Masters understand that addressing these changing customer expectations makes a huge difference, so they focus on the value propositions that matter most when investing in their supply chains.

Customers value propositions prioritized for supply chain investments

Top-5 customer value propositions for companies driving supply chain investments (2020-2022)

Source: Accenture 2020 Supply Chain Survey

#2 Masters help turn insight into innovation

They invest in digital architecture, creating a foundation for collaboration, inside and out.

Masters have recognized that creating value for customers relies on collaboration. Data has become the new currency feeding that value, so Masters are investing in new technologies to turn data into insights.

Accenture analysis shows that investing in building analytical, asset-light collaboration architectures may significantly increase the supply chain’s impact on revenue. Investing in three areas—collaboration, innovation and data-driven insight technologies—more than doubles the gains Masters make.

Growth Markets: Investments in analytical asset-light architecture – cross functional collaboration, new technology for innovation and data streams for insights – pay off.

#3 Masters are more mature in select capabilities

They focus on the ones that enhance supply chain agility and foster innovation, while building in security into their operations.

Growth Markets B2C Masters

Top 5 capability investment

  1. Customer and product segmentation
  2. "Asset light" operations
  3. Collaborative ang agile innovation internally and with ecosystem partner
  4. Point-of-scale product or service configuration
  5. Cyber security and data privacy

Growth Market B2B Masters

Top 5 capability investment

  1. Flexible fulfillment options
  2. Design to margin capabilities
  3. Predictive asset maintenance
  4. Customer and product segmentation
  5. Track and capabilities

*Those in bold are the ones that are different from global

#4 Masters engage their CEOs

Masters’ CEOs are more likely to drive supply chain discussions with the board. And they translate those discussions into results--actively allocating funds and talent that fuel innovation capabilities and transformation for their supply chain.


of CEOs allocate funding to drive innovation required to accelerate supply chain transformation.


of CEOs allocate top talent to drive supply chain transformation.

Creating your own license to grow

Higher growth rate and higher contribution to total revenue are the rewards reaped by companies moving their supply chains beyond efficiency into customer-centric growth.

The good news is that these rewards are within reach, following the example set by the supply chain Masters in our study. Never before has supply chain been so crucial to not only a company’s well-being, but also to society.

Making the most of your supply chain investments is within reach. And there’s never been a better time to do it, as not just business—but the world at large—relies on companies getting supply chain right.

Get the essentials

For more detailed insights on customer centric supply chains, read the full research report here.

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