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2021 Shipper of Choice profile: Samsung Group

‘We secured solid profitability by effectively managing our global supply chain capabilities’

Samsung employs Six Sigma methodology to create an efficient global supply chain. Pictured is Samsung's home appliance manufacturing plant in Newberry, South Carolina. (Photo: Samsung)

Presented by FreightWaves, in partnership with ArcBest, the Shipper of Choice award recognizes the manufacturers, distributors and retailers that do the best job of keeping the American economy moving by fighting driver detention, providing accessible facilities and understanding what it takes to remove inefficiencies from the supply chain.

Among the top 25 Shippers of Choice for 2021 is … Samsung Group, which ranked 22nd. 

About Samsung Group

Korea Exchange ticker005930
HeadquartersSeoul, South Korea
2020 revenue$200 billion
2020 net income$23.7 billion
Top 25 Shipper of Choice appearances2021

Nomination notes for Samsung Group

Samsung Group credited its global supply chain management system for helping the company achieve record quarterly profits during the ongoing pandemic.

The world’s largest smartphone and semiconductor maker recently reported operating profit increased 34% to $10.97 billion during the second quarter, compared to the same period in 2020. 

“Our finished product businesses also contributed to the strong results, maintaining solid profitability by effectively managing our global supply chain amid strong headwinds such as component supply shortages,” Ben Suh, Samsung’s senior vice president of investor relations, told analysts on a July 29 call. “We secured solid profitability by effectively managing our global supply chain capabilities, as well as improving our cost structure and marketing efficiency.”

Samsung has several manufacturing segments, including semiconductors, consumer electronics, display panels, and IT and mobile communications.

For the consumer market, Samsung makes everything from TVs, tablets, smartwatches, desktop computers, laptops, monitors, printers, speakers, home appliances and security/monitoring systems to semiconductors.

The company also operates Samsung Heavy Industries Co., one of the largest shipbuilders in the world. 

Other major subsidiaries and key products include Samsung C&T (skyscrapers, buildings), Samsung SDI (consumer and industrial batteries) and Samsung Medison (medical equipment).

Samsung has more than 2,500 suppliers in over 70 countries around the world.

“Some of them supply raw materials or components while others provide equipment, but all of them are indispensable,” the company said on its website

Samsung evaluates its supply chain for business competitiveness through five criteria:

  • Technology ownership, patents and research and development investment.
  • Quality failure rates and quality management system certification.
  • Responsiveness — engagement in policies and activities for innovation.
  • On-time delivery and on-time shipping.
  • Cost increase rate in transaction value and competitiveness in cost.

Back in the 1990s, Samsung also began applying the Six Sigma supply chain methodology to its business processes.

The Six Sigma method was developed during the 1980s by Bill Smith, vice president and senior quality assurance manager at Motorola. Six Sigma is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement.

“Samsung is perfecting its fundamental approach to product, process and personnel development by using Six Sigma as a tool for innovation, efficiency and quality,” according to “Six Sigma in Electronics Company: A Case Study on Samsung,” published in the International Journal of Research in Management Studies in 2017.

View the Shipper of Choice top 25 winners here.

About Shipper of Choice partner ArcBest

With a relentless focus on meeting customers’ needs and unique access to guaranteed transportation capacity, ArcBest creates solutions to even the most complex supply chain challenges. The company focuses on providing the best customer experience possible with seamless access to a broad suite of logistics capabilities, including truckload, LTL, ocean and air, ground expedite, managed transportation, and warehousing.

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]