Even though I discount any supplier award coming from GM because of the firms tarnished history of treating suppliers poorly, it still says quite a bit when any manufacturer chooses to bestow its supplier of the year award to a logistics provider. Which is exactly what GM just did, awarding its annual award to Ryder. According to the above linked article, the criteria for selecting winners came from "a global team of executives from purchasing, engineering, manufacturing and logistics who base their decisions on supplier performance in quality, service, technology and price."
Given the importance of global, integrated supply chain management to GM's future, presenting Ryder with this award says quite a bit. After all, GM is managing to stay in business at the moment by localizing its supply chains in developing markets and sourcing globally for export for Western ones. But this strategy is not to say that GM has what it takes to keep up with the capabilities Ryder can provide. To wit, this award is coming from a company who -- at least up until recently -- would attempt to change some orders coming from overseas suppliers up until the very last minute (at least in the case of automotive interior fabrics) or even after the goods were on the water. And that's a type of poor demand planning and supplier management that not even a 3PL sent from the heavens could cure.
- Jason Busch