General Motors is launching the Strategic Supplier Engagement program aimed at building deeper strategic partnerships in its supply base. The Strategic Supplier Engagement program will offer perks like better access to GM purchasing brass, joint strategic planning and also training to suppliers that rate highly on several key measures -- from basics like cost containment to "cultural" aspects like open communication and technology sharing.
The program underscores how GM is relying on its suppliers more than ever to deliver technology in areas like safety and fuel efficiency, which are becoming vital battlegrounds for carmakers. GM may lose out on those innovations unless it can rise above its broken relationships with its supply base and become a go-to customer for suppliers.
"It's a framework for how we want to work with suppliers and strengthen our relationship with them to become the customer of choice," Lieblein told Automotive News in an interview. Among the 400 direct-material suppliers included in the Strategic Supplier Engagement, only those determined as "prime" -- those who have earn high ratings from GM on specified metrics -- will qualify.
On the other hand, suppliers that fell short of the criteria will have a chance to work with GM to enhance their performance in time for the next annual assessment, Lieblein said. GM will assign ratings to its 200 largest suppliers commencing in April, with the rest getting their assessments in June. [source: automotive news - sub. required]