Working closely with suppliers pays



The foundation for my company, MS Manufacturing Solutions, was developed while I worked for General Fasteners from 1993 to 2003. The owner backed a proposal to place sales engineers at our major Tier 1 automotive suppliers. Some of those manufacturers embraced the idea of having the manufacturing expertise in-house, so they provided a desk within their facilities. We were very successful in generating major cost savings and product development direction. However, as the supply strategies shifted and new management took over, the transparency clouded, paranoia set in, and the programs were canceled.

It is great to see that the Toyota team has rekindled that process and brought the experts in the individual manufacturing processes back into the development mix (“Toyota cozies up with suppliers,”, Sept. 3). I found it very beneficial to have a knowledge on many manufacturing processes and industry platforms. It was amazing to understand what a marine motor manufacturer did when working with an industrial pump builder. What was simple and obvious in one house was totally unseen in another.

MICHAEL SHUTT, President, MS Manufacturing Solutions, Upper Sandusky, Ohio. MS Manufacturing Solutions provides procurement and product development services.

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