Q. Who is eligible for the Peer Opinion Panel?
A. Supply chain professionals and academia are eligible to be on the panel, however only one panelist per company is accepted. Excluded from the panel are consultants, technology vendors and people who don't work in supply chain roles (such as public relations, marketing or finance). Gartner monitors total representation, with an eye on reasonably balancing the panel across geographies, companies, industries, and functions, and reserves the right to accept or reject any offer to be a panelist.
Q. How do the panelists vote?
A. The polling procedure is administered as a simple, Web-based survey form. Detailed instructions are provided. There are no other absolute responsibilities for the peer opinion panel voters.
Q. When does the polling take place?
A. Polling is typically held in late March/early April. Eligible panelists are notified of their acceptance and are sent a link on the polling website's opening day.
Q. Are there any preparatory materials available?
A. Yes. Gartner has a number of published documents that provide background on definitions, terminology and reference models that panelists may find useful.
Q. How does the polling web form work?
A. The Web form contains a master list of companies to consider compiled from the Fortune Global 500 and the Forbes Global 2000. Each voter goes through a four-page system to get to a final selection of leaders.
- The first page provides instructions on how voters are asked to rank the top companies.
- The second page asks for demographic information.
- The third page provides the complete list of the companies to consider. Voters are asked to choose 25 to 50 that, in their opinion, most closely fit high supply chain maturity. This is done by checking off the boxes next to those companies.
- The fourth page automatically brings up just the chosen companies. Panelists are asked to rank the companies from 1 through 25, with 1 being the company that, in their opinion, most closely fits the ideal. Voters are then asked to submit their final ranking.
All the individual votes are then tallied across the entire panel, with 25 points earned for a No. 1 ranking, 24 points for a No. 2 ranking and so on. This procedure is identical to the polling procedure used for the Gartner analyst voting component.
Q. How much time and preparation are required to vote?
A. Average time to complete the vote is 15 minutes, and no voter should take more than 60 minutes. Panelists aren’t expected, nor are they encouraged, to conduct external research to place their votes. By definition, each person’s expertise is deep in some areas and limited in others.
The goal of the peer panel is to draw on the extensive knowledge of the professionals that, as customers and/or suppliers, interact and have direct experience with the companies being ranked. Additional knowledge of companies on the list is gained by exposure to periodicals, websites, white papers and conferences. The polling system is designed to accommodate differences in knowledge, relying on what author James Surowiecki calls the “wisdom of crowds” to provide the mechanism that taps into each person’s core kernel of knowledge and aggregates it into a larger whole.
Q. How many Peer Panelists are there?
A. Each year the peer panel includes 150-200 supply chain executives from a wide range of industries.