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Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI, says it is entering into new long-term agreements with select strategic suppliers globally to strengthen collaboration and develop a sustainable business model to drive mutual profitability and technology development.
The new "Aligned Business Framework" agreements establish working business models for both Ford and the selected suppliers. The agreements comprehensively and formally spell out business practices designed to increase future collaboration, including phased-in up-front payment of engineering and development costs, extended sourcing and data transparency. As part of the deal, Ford intends to significantly expand the volume of business with these select suppliers.
"The Aligned Business Framework is an innovative bilateral agreement between Ford and its family of selected suppliers. It is designed to create a stronger, sustainable business model for us both," said Tony (Thomas K.) Brown, senior vice president, Global Purchasing. "This is not business as usual. We're not only asking our suppliers to step up. We're also asking ourselves to step up."
Autoliv, Delphi , Johnson Controls, Lear, Magna, Visteon and Yazaki are the first of the strategic suppliers Ford has identified in the initial phase of the effort. Additional suppliers that have the capability to provide technological innovations and show a commitment to quality, costs and delivery performance will be identified in the coming months.
"Innovation will be part of this new supplier partnership - as it will be part of every aspect of our business strategy going forward," said Ford Chairman and CEO Bill Ford. "Not only does innovation apply to safety, technology and design, it also will differentiate how Ford and our suppliers will define our relationship going forward."
Key elements of the new Aligned Business Framework agreements include:
In the first phase of the Aligned Business Framework effort, Ford expects to reduce by approximately 50 percent the number of suppliers it sources new business for 20 high-impact parts and commodities. The commodities - which include seats, wiring, restraint systems and instrument and trim panels - represent about half of Ford's annual production buy globally.
"Ford has laid the foundation for this action over the past several years. We've worked with our key suppliers on several programs to take out waste, increase economies of scale, improve quality and customer satisfaction, and create a framework for stronger relationships," says Brown. "Although we've made progress, business conditions require us to accelerate these efforts and raise the nature of our relationships to an entirely new level."