Days ago, on March 5th, 2015, General Motors held its annual “Supplier of the Year” awards, recognizing the 78 Original Equipment Suppliers which best served the automaker last year.
But while the Supplier of the Year awards have been ongoing for several years, this past ceremony was a bit different. As Automotive News reports, the automaker used the event as an opportunity to attempt to court suppliers, and sell them on the benefits of bringing their very best to GM first.
Vice President of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain Steve Kiefer kicked off the courting ceremony at the event, saying that “the smart money should be on General Motors,” and that GM would be “sourcing hundreds of billions of dollars worth of new business contracts” over the next 2 years.
“We want to be your OEM of choice,” said Kiefer.
Historically, General Motors has had relatively poor relations with Original Equipment Suppliers, even going so far as ranking sixth out of six major automakers in last year’s Planning Perspectives survey. Supply Chain Chief Steve Kiefer arguably understands the task of wooing suppliers better than anyone, as he spent 20 years with Delphi, one of GM’s largest parts suppliers.
GM CEO Mary Barra also joined in on the pitch, telling suppliers: “We’ve empowered our front-line buyers to remove barriers, to make it easier for you to do business with us.”
She added that the automaker had been “changing the nature of our conversations, being more collaborative, more transparent and giving you a bigger voice in how we operate.”