Honda web photo 1

Honda of America wants its supply chain practices to be ahead of the automotive manufacturing pack.

By Jim Harris

For more than 20 years, Honda trailed much of the automotive industry when it came to its supply chain practices. For example, the operation was one of the last OEMs to partner with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider, which it did in 2006, Associate Chief Advisor Dana McBrien says.

Today, the operation is leading the industry in some supply chain and transportation practices such as the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) tractors. Honda partnered in a CNG fueling site located on its main manufacturing campus in Marysville, Ohio, and continues to use the tractors in an effort to be a better corporate citizen.

We wanted to not just catch up, but blow by the competition and do things better, McBrien says. Were committed to being innovators in the automotive world and want to have people watching us from behind for a while.

GW Lisk web photo 1

LISK continues to enhance its S&OP and other supply chain initiatives.

By Jim Harris

When LISK began its journey to implement a formal sales and operations planning (S&OP) process in 2015, global technology consulting firm Gartner Inc. provided an assessment tool which evaluated its S&OP maturity level to be 1.5 on a scale of 1 to 5. The evaluation measured the effectiveness of the company’s process based on key performance indicators including its IT systems, use of data and level of collaboration.

By the end of the following year, Lisk improved its rating significantly to 2.9. Today, the company estimates its S&OP maturity level to be between 3 and 3.5; a greater than 100 percent improvement in under three years. “With a commitment to internal improvements we have greatly developed our S&OP process in a short period of time,” says Ruud Vullers, vice president of supply chain and quality for the Clifton Springs, N.Y.-based manufacturer.

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Global Steering Systems web photo 1

GSS positions itself close to its customers and its suppliers across the world.

By Alan Dorich

When you turn your steering wheel in your Tesla or General Motors vehicle, there’s a good chance that you are using the products of Global Steering Systems (GSS) LLC. “We’re one of the top five global suppliers of steering assemblies,” Eileen Meade declares.

Meade is the director of global procurement and supply chain for the Watertown, Conn.-based company, which manufactures intermediate and column shafts and related components for steering systems. “We’re a proven quality supplier,” she says.

The company originally was part of The Torrington Co., which established its steering business in Coventry, England in 1964. The Timken Co. acquired Torrington in 2002, and sold the steering business to DriveSol in 2006. In 2009, GSS acquired the steering business from DriveSol.

“Much of the key personnel was retained through these transitions, along with 100 percent of the intellectual property,” Meade says. GSS today has manufacturing facilities in Watertown, as well as Changshu, China; Ponta Grossa, Brazil; and Opole, Poland.

Carmeuse Lime Stone web photo 1

Carmeuse’s purchasing department is leveraging technology to provide its internal stakeholders with better service and results.

By Bianca Herron

With more than 150 years in the mining industry, Carmeuse Lime & Stone is one of the leading manufacturers of high-calcium and dolomitic quicklime and hydrated lime, chemical-grade limestone and crushed limestone aggregate milled limestone, also known as ground calcium carbonate.

Carmeuse is a fifth-generation family-owned business located in Louvain la Neuve, Belgium, that maintains an international presence in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. In North America, its headquarters in Pittsburgh oversees 28 production facilities in the eastern United States and Canada, which employ more than 1,800 people.

Since its inception, a core strategy of Carmeuse has been to provide its clients with reliable products in terms of quality, technical expertise, and on-time delivery, according to Director of Purchasing Daniel Taylor.

B Braun web photo 1

B. Braun Medical Inc.’s strategic procurement department cultivates a base of reliable and high-quality suppliers.

By Tim O’Connor

The medical device market is one of the most regulated industries in the world, and the bar only gets higher every year. “It continues to be more rigorous,” says Michael Stammherr, vice president of strategic procurement at B. Braun Medical. “As an industry, we continue to see more regulations and requirements.”

Keeping up with those requirements is a constant challenge. Government agencies, customers, as well as B. Braun Medical itself continues to demand more transparency regarding its products and manufacturers must keep careful track of every material and compound to ensure they meet standards. “Our customers are constantly asking for product attribute information because they are being asked by their customers and agencies for this information,” Stammherr says.

American Axle Manufacturing web photo 1

American Axle & Manufacturing has implemented new supply chain strategies to increase efficiency as it continues to grow.

By Janice Hoppe-Spiers

American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) has stepped into the upper echelon of automotive suppliers over the past year after doubling in size through acquisition. Expanding from a $4 billion company procuring about $2.5 billion worth of materials into a $6.27 billion company with more than $4 billion in purchasing power, AAM continues to be a leading global Tier I supplier.

“The acquisition has impacted the supply chain positively,” Chief Procurement Officer Jake Stiteler says. “We have expanded the products that we now buy into – areas we hadn’t bought before – and take synergies between the two companies to consolidate the supply base, but at the same time looking at how we grow it and bring in new technologies.”

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