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Date:16/01/2018 04:25 PM
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Building Deep Supplier Relationships

Two Japanese automakers have had stunning success building relationships with North American suppliers - often the same companies that have had contentious dealing with Detroit's Big Tree. What are Toyota and Honda doing right?

"The Big Tree [U.S. automakers] set annual cost reduction targets [for the parts they purchase]. To realize those targets, they'll do anything. [They've unleashed] a reign of terror, and it gets worse every year. You can't trust anyone [in those companies]."
Director, interior systems supplier to Ford, GM, and Chrysler, October 1999

''Honda is a demanding customer, but it is loyal to us. [ American ] automakers have us work on drawing, ask other suppliers, to bid on them, and give the job to the lowest bidder. Honda never does that." 
CEO, industrial fasteners supplier to Ford,GM, Chrysler, and Honda, April 2002

"In my opinion, [Ford] seems to send its people to 'hate school' so that they learn how to hate suppliers. The company is extremely confrontational. After dealing with Ford, I decided not to buy its car."
Senior executive, supplier to Ford, October 2002

"Toyota helped us dramatically improve our production system. We started by making one component, and as we improved, [Toyota] rewarded us with orders for more components. Toyota is our best customer."
Senior executive, supplier to Ford, GM, Chrysler, and Toyota, July 2001

No corporations needs to be convinced that in today's scale-driven, technology-intensive global economy, partnerships are the supply chain's lifeblood. Companies, especially in developed economies, buy more components and services from suppliers than they used to.

Read more from:
Building Deep Supplier Relationships: Jeffrey K. Liker and Thomas Y. Choi
Harvard Business Review, December 2004

Point to ponder:
If none endeavour there would be an end to discovery.
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