Spotlight on Top Supply Chains: Intel

Placing sixth on Gartner’s Top Supply Chains of 2017, the supply chain of Intel is well-recognized. But how did Intel’s supply chain get to where it is today? What makes it worthy of the list? A few reasons are real-time analytics, technology, and ethical practices.

Real-Time Analytics

Every year, Intel fulfills over 1 million orders in 100 countries. For this reason, it is important that they have an agile supply chain. However, Intel used to suffer from data hops, latency, and quality issues. How did they solve these problems? By using real-time analytics in their SAP HANA platform.

Before, supply chain managers had to wait hours for a report. Now, they can access up-to-date data in seconds or minutes. This greatly speeds up analysis and creates a “sense-and-respond” supply chain. As a result of this strategy, their supply chain is more visible, responsive, and simple.


As a leader in the microchip market, it is no surprise Intel pushes to use the newest tech. In recent years, Intel has made strong strides in Internet of Things (IoT). As Intel develops IoT tech for the supply chain market, they use their own supply chain to test it out.

For example, their RealSense camera uses 3D scanning for analysis and logistics. This reduces manual measuring or scanning time. Also, this makes sure packing space is accurate and optimized. By testing tech in their own supply chain first, Intel can find and correct mistakes. In the case of the RealSense camera, Intel learned that ambient light affected the camera.

Ethical Practices

Being conflict-free, Intel’s supply chain adopts ethical practices. Before, Intel was using minerals and metals from mines in Congo. These “conflict minerals” such as gold, tin, and tungsten are in many electronics. However, these metals funded Congo militia and rebel groups in the civil war.

Now, Intel works with local government to only use metals from audited mines. Between 2010 and 2012, funding from the metals for the rebel groups dropped 65%. Intel holds all their suppliers to their ethical standards. In addition, they have a program for reducing climate change risks in supply chain. As a market leader, Intel can make a huge impact and lead others to follow.


Intel’s supply chain is reputable for a reason. Real-time analytics allow Intel to stay up-to-date and quickly make decisions. Their drive for new tech bring constant innovation. Lastly, their conflict-free supply chain creates responsible products and has led many others in their industry. There’s no question that Intel has earned its spot on Gartner’s list.

Interested to learn more? Click here to read about more top supply chains.