Acknowledging its strong base of more than 600 parts suppliers in North America, Honda recognized its top Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and Service Parts suppliers for excelling in their respective key areas, including quality and delivery improvements.
Fifty-three OEM suppliers and 64 Service Parts suppliers received awards, with some companies receiving multiple awards, during separate awards ceremonies at the company's annual supplier conferences in Columbus, April 28 and 29. (For a complete list of winners, click here.)
OEM Supplier Awards
OEM suppliers received their awards Thursday, based on their performance in quality, on-time parts delivery and productivity. Suppliers were eligible to win awards in more than one category. Marion Industries, Inc., Marion, Ohio, and Elesys North America, Inc., Suwanee, Georgia, stood out as "triple-award" recipients this year by earning top recognition in all three OEM categories. There were 13 double-award recipients.
Hidenobu Iwata, who leads Honda's manufacturing in North America, expressed deep appreciation for the efforts of Honda suppliers to meet the needs of customers during an historic economic recession and market decline. "You responded by making the necessary changes to keep your companies competitive," he said. "Your flexibility and willingness to work together allowed us to weather this storm."
Honda works closely with its 600 suppliers in North America to improve performance and optimize the supply chain. Even while responding to severe market conditions, they exceeded Honda's tough quality and delivery targets in the past year, said Bob Nelson, who oversees Honda's North American purchasing.
"Our suppliers had to make critical adjustments, but never lost sight of their customers," Nelson said. "Many of our suppliers have developed a sustainable business approach by strengthening their operations and achieving sound financial performance."
Involvement of suppliers at the earliest stages of new-model engineering helped achieve top quality levels with launch of the new Accord Crosstour and Acura ZDX. "Suppliers that empower associates to evaluate quality and other business characteristics are showing big improvements," Nelson said. "These advancements in suppliers' business characteristics help assure their success as globally competitive companies, and their future business with Honda."
In addition to operational performance, Honda recognizes suppliers for their social responsibility with the Honda Corporate Citizenship Award. The recipient this year is U.S. Engine Valve Company, Westminster, S.C. for demonstrating excellence in six areas: health and safety, equal opportunity, government relations, community involvement, ethics and compliance, and the environment.
Service Parts Awards
Service Parts suppliers, who received their awards Wednesday, were rated based on their performance in quality, cost, and delivery. Distinct from the OEM supplier awards, an overall score is based on the combined performance in all three categories. Winners achieved top combined scores.
"I want to thank you for your efforts to meet our delivery goals," Bruce Smith, vice president of Honda's parts division, told suppliers at the awards ceremony. "You have worked hard over the past year to improve your service parts business, and while there continue to be opportunities for improvement, it is clear that you are focused on achieving the objectives that have the most impact on our customers."
Smith noted a study demonstrating Honda's leadership in service and parts availability and satisfaction. In the 2009 Carlisle & Company Automotive Parts Manager Survey, Honda or Acura led in most major measures including parts availability. In terms of overall satisfaction, Acura led with a score of 95.9% followed closely by Honda. In condition of shipments, Honda led in all categories, followed closely by Acura.
In addition to gains in quality and delivery, Honda is working in partnership with suppliers to reduce truck transport. Honda carriers are using available space to pick up parts from some supplier plants, and suppliers themselves are sharing loads. "In one case, we were able to utilize available space on an existing Honda carrier to bring in parts from a supplier at one-third the cost, while reducing CO2 emissions at the same time," Nelson said.
Honda operates 14 manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles, engines and automatic transmissions, all-terrain vehicles, and power equipment products such as lawn mowers and mini-tillers. Approximately 600 suppliers support Honda's manufacturing operations in North. Honda's purchases from OEM suppliers last year totaled $13.3 billion.