Image courtesy Simon Q under Creative Commons License.

This year, McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) placed second on the annual Gartner Top 25 Supply Chain rankings, having moved up six places over the last two years to challenge Apple for the top spot. This is amazing when you consider that the McDonald's supply chain is completely outsourced. In this first of three articles on McDonald's corporate strategy, Fool contributor Asit Sharma discusses unique aspects of McDonald's supply relationships and lays the groundwork for the second and third articles in this series, which delve into McDonald's current game plan to gain market share in the near future.

Fool contributor Asit Sharma has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and McDonald's. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and McDonald's. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.