If you can get past the odd formatting, there's some great nuggets in this piece that I found in The Manufacturer earlier this week. The article talks about the evolution of supplier development practices, and how many suppliers are still left on their own to develop themselves, even as customer expectation's rise. The article quotes significantly from Patricia Moody's new book, noting that "Most companies, especially those engaged in lean, are very much process oriented, which is necessary to a point ... But they need to look beyond process and focus on the health of their suppliers in order to sustain the gains made with lean. We need to keep in mind why we are doing supplier development and relationship management, and profit needs to be the focus of our efforts. Profitable suppliers will tend to be happier suppliers, and happier suppliers will ultimately perform better." One needs to look no further than the case of the supplier development practices of the Japanese auto OEMs relative to their North American brethren to understand Moody's point.