Industry focus: the changing role of suppliers.
As the automotive industry becomes more technologically advanced, suppliers in turn need to revamp processes in order to keep up. ASG Renaissance, an international professional services firm, has been helping U.S. suppliers understand how to adapt to the new technology that automotive companies are now expecting. One example is the THINK City electric car from Norway that has recently come to the U.S.
According to Beth Ardisana, chief executive officer at ASG, the key is how suppliers incorporate existing technologies. In addition, they also have to learn new practices, such as how to be nimble and effective when working--for example--with a smaller organization to figure out how to profitably do business at much lower sales volumes.
In a broader sense, suppliers in the auto industry may need to adjust business practices, manufacturing processes, and even attitudes to changing technology. Ardisana adds that new technologies require dealing with new materials and testing new products that are reliable. New technologies such as state-of-the-art telematics, sustainability and recycling arc causing suppliers to look at every component on a vehicle and find interesting ways to change them. Ardisana also notes that suppliers need to be thinking about features that people want, such as infotainment and multimedia.
Nina Coppola is a publications intern at the Detroit Regional Chamber.