NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Survey: GM Improves Supplier Relations

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Survey: GM Improves Supplier Relations

Associated Press 06.04.07, 10:04 AM ET

Toyota and Honda still have the best relationships with their parts suppliers, but General Motors' efforts to soothe bad relations are paying off, according to an annual survey released Monday.

GM's improvement, though, knocked Ford into last place of the top six auto manufacturers, according to the survey by Planning Perspectives Inc. of suburban Detroit. It said 308 top-tier parts suppliers returned its surveys.

Toyota Motor Corp. (nyse: TM - news - people ) led all manufacturers in the survey, which measures items such as degree of trust, open and honest communication, amount of help given to reduce costs and the opportunity to make a profit.

The survey ranks automakers on a scale of zero to 500, with 500 being the best.

Toyota scored 415, followed by Honda Motor Co. (nyse: HMC - news - people ) at 380, Nissan Motor Co. (nasdaq: NSANY - news - people ) at 289, DaimlerChrysler AG (nyse: DCX - news - people )'s Chrysler Group at 199, General Motors Corp. (nyse: GM - news - people ) at 174 and Ford Motor Co. (nyse: F - news - people ) at 162. The industry mean was 270, the study said.

A ranking of zero to 249 indicates very poor to poor supplier relations, the study authors said.

GM, which held last place for the past 15 years, improved from a 131 score, the most dramatic increase in the 15 years that PPI has been doing studies of this type, PPI President and Chief Executive John W. Henke Jr. said in a statement.

The improvement was due to a 2005 program to improve supplier relations, Henke said.

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GM, which held last place for the past 15 years, improved from a 131 score, the most dramatic increase in the 15 years that PPI has been doing studies of this type, PPI President and Chief Executive John W. Henke Jr. said in a statement.

The improvement was due to a 2005 program to improve supplier relations, Henke said.

That is an impressive improvement for GM. I wonder how Toyota's PR people were able to convince those 308 suppliers to give them such a high rating every year?

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That is an impressive improvement for GM. I wonder how Toyota's PR people were able to convince those 308 suppliers to give them such a high rating every year?

having dealt with both, I can tell ya it wasn't their PR dept.

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All the more reason to believe in the leadership. Improving supplier relations in the midst of a turnaround is certainly impressive.

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sounds to me like they are paying off their depts...

I remember in 2005 when they were losing so much money... their suppliers didn't want to help them at all...

because gm wasn't even paying their suppliers...

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Could have a lot to do with streamlining processes, which is what we have been told has been happening. A few years ago, I talked to a manager at a plastics company who was dealing with GM for mouldings and trim on the (then) new Colorado. He complained that designs were changed frequently and that nobody seemed to know what they were doing at GM. I remember him saying something about a key manager at GM not even understanding basic design computer language.

If rumours and stories about the bureaucracy and layers of committees at GM are true, then one can only imagine how the suppliers must get jerked around. Perhaps like a lot of big companies, just getting a straight answer from GM has been a challenge in the past. Dinosaurs, anyone?

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sounds to me like they are paying off their depts...

I remember in 2005 when they were losing so much money... their suppliers didn't want to help them at all...

because gm wasn't even paying their suppliers...

most still don't like doing business w/GM

According to the study, 85% of GM suppliers characterize their relationship with GM as being poor and 53% of suppliers would “prefer not to do business” with the automaker or are “ambivalent” about it, whereas 63% of Honda’s and 73% of Toyota’s suppliers consider these automakers “very preferred” or “most preferred” customers

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most still don't like doing business w/GM

Possibly, but this isn't a case of where someone became worse than GM. GM is actually improving.

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