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Ford gives suppliers 'a single point of contact' in reshuffle

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Ford gives suppliers 'a single point of contact' in reshuffle

David Sedgwick

Automotive News -- July 28, 2010 - 3:08 pm ET

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. purchasing chief Tony Brown is using two key promotions to reorganize purchasing and provide “a single point of contact” for suppliers.

Birgit Behrendt has been appointed executive director of Ford's global programs and Americas purchasing. Burt Jordan has been named executive director of global vehicle and powertrain purchasing.

Both will report directly to Brown; their assignments took effect July 1.

Brown, 54, is reorganizing his purchasing operation ahead of the Oct. 1 retirement of his top lieutenant, Paul Stokes, 62. Stokes is highly regarded among suppliers for his efforts to upgrade Ford's purchasing.

Behrendt will work with Ford's product development teams to ensure they are meeting their program targets. She also will coordinate suppliers that are working with Ford's product developers on future powertrains and future vehicles. Previously, those two tasks had been split.

For any vehicle under development, Behrendt will help Ford develop a preliminary sourcing strategy, identify tooling requirements and work with suppliers during pre-production and vehicle launch.

While Behrendt coordinates product development, Jordan will oversee Ford's annual $50 billion purchase of production components.

Jordan, 43, is responsible for purchasing powertrain and vehicle components. Previously, those two responsibilities had been split.

Brown said the reorganization will simplify his purchasing operation, which should be a plus for suppliers. “It will be easier for suppliers to communicate with us because it will be clearer who is responsible for what,” Brown told Automotive News. Suppliers, he said, “will have a single point of contact.”

Behrendt and Jordan have been honored by Automotive News and Automotive News Europe as industry all-stars.

Behrendt joined Ford in 1978. Before taking her new job, she was Ford of Europe's vice president of purchasing and executive director of global programs. In 2008, Automotive News Europe named her “Woman of the Year.”

Jordan joined Ford affiliate Mazda Motor Corp. in 2001 and subsequently moved over to Ford. Before taking his new job, he was Ford's executive director of global powertrain purchasing.

Jordan also ran Ford's supplier diversity development program, which earned him honors last month as an Automotive News all-star. In his new job, he will continue to oversee Ford's supplier diversity program.

Jordan also will continue his role monitoring the financial health of Ford's suppliers.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100728/OEM/100729869/1424#ixzz0v12faKMx

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