General Motors is hoping more transparency will help it build better relationships with its parts suppliers. The automaker recently changed its collaborative process with its suppliers by enacting what it calls its Strategic Supplier Engagement process, a process that Automotive News notes rates the company’s 400 largest suppliers in two areas:
1. Business performance, which includes quality, cost containment and performance on new-vehicle launches.
2. Cultural performance, which assesses tougher-to-measure areas such as transparency and engineering innovation.
The changes come after a recent survey by Planned Perspectives, the self-proclaimed “leading authority on company-supplier working relations,” found that GM’s supplier relationship ranked last among the six biggest automotive manufacturers, claims AN.
According to the news outlet, “GM’s standing might have taken a hit because of controversial changes it made in 2013 to its standard purchasing contract, which included new terms that some suppliers believed exposed them to greater warranty liability and put their intellectual property at risk.” The company’s global purchasing chief, Grace Lieblein, reversed those changes in February.
With a focus on consistency, GM’s Strategic Supplier Engagement process appears to be working at mending the company’s relationships with its suppliers. As parts supplier Mann+Hummel CEO Alfred Weber told AN, “[i]n the past, we felt we always needed to bridge the message from one area to the other…Now, everybody is around the table. You come to conclusions and decisions much more quickly.”