Nissan has recently been rated virtually dead last in terms of their relationship towards their suppliers. Tied with Fiat Chrysler; these rankings according to newly released annual surveys of auto suppliers. This drop in ranking was correlated with a change in senior management in the purchasing division of these companies. When I read this, I thought of Hau Thai-Tang and how his relationship with suppliers must be an extremely important part of his job. Although we didn’t specifically ask him about this part of his job we assumed that he, along with the purchasing division at Ford, has a good relationship with suppliers because of the shining reviews that Federal Mogul gave us about Ford. Although changes in purchasing management led to dissatisfaction from suppliers in two cases, in General Motors case, a change in management pulled them up from usually being at the bottom of these surveys. Toyota remained in the top spot while Honda was second.
These surveys are obviously very important to suppliers and OEMs because both Nissan and GM have responded to these results. GM, according to Henke the author of the surveys,”has been working their butts off, trying to improve,” This shows that although the OEMs have most of the power in the manufacturing process, the suppliers have a lot of influence in the process that cannot be ignored. This reminds me of our meeting at Federal Mogul in which they told us about how their relationship with manufacturers is very give and take. Such as how they can bring new ideas to companies as well as try to make parts that fit the ideas of the companies. The relationship between suppliers and manufacturers is vital for the auto industry, and every company that hopes to thrive in the industry takes note.