Kudos to CPO Agenda for highlighting a recent research report to come out of the US automotive supply base. The report, the Working Relations Index (WRI) attempts to measure the working relationships automotive suppliers have with their OEM customers relying on what you might describe as a reverse scorecard. Based on "17 characteristics such as trust, communication, information, efforts to reduce costs and supplier involvement in product development" the study is perhaps the best objective measure we have of how OEMs treat their suppliers. Unfortunately, the findings from 2007-2008 do not suggest an improvement in OEM/supplier relationships despite the rhetoric from Chrysler and others about improving their supplier relationships. According to the study, "five of the six leading US auto makers reported a deterioration in working relationships in 2007-08, with an average fall of 7.8 per cent." The only bright spot in the study was Ford, "which saw a rise of 17.9 per cent that took it above its North American rivals Chrysler and General Motors (GM)." It's not surprising that Toyota, Honda and Nissan topped the rankings (although they, too, saw declines in their rating percentage).
- Jason Busch