Supplier Integrity

Today’s post is brought to you by guest blogger Matt Wrye.  Matt is a Lean Thinker, practitioner and blogger. By integrating his 10+ years of lean implementation and problem solving experience, Matt is able to draw on his successes and failures to tackle new challenges by presenting fresh perspectives and results-driven solutions. Matt’s full bio follows his article below.  

Respect for People.  That is a phrase the lean community uses a lot.  It may frustrate some people it is used so much.  It is a vague and all-encompassing pillar by design.

So what is an example of Respect for People?  Integrity.

Integrity as defined on dictionary.com:

“adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. “

I hear companies talking about having high integrity as a company policy.  They might have the best intentions but one example to understand the company’s level of integrity is how they view and work with their suppliers.

Suppliers are an essential part of any business, whether it is product creation or product development.  The question is does the company pit one supplier against another for ideas and cost or does the company develop partnerships with the supplier?

Here is an example to illustrate both sides of the question.

When I worked for an automotive supplier, early in the 2000’s, there were big differences in the way companies handled suppliers.  We worked with GM and Chrysler to design and develop parts that would improve performance and decrease cost.  As soon as we finished, GM and Chrysler took the new product outside to other companies to bid on getting a lower price.

When we worked with Nissan to develop a new painting technique/look, they rewarded us with a long-term contract and never looked to take the business elsewhere.

So, who do you think we liked working with?

Integrity was the difference.  Nissan had the integrity to stand by us and help us refine the process even more even though our costs were high to start with.  Nissan realized the work we did to support their business.

[tweetmeme]GM and Chrysler did not care one bit about the work we did to support them.  They wanted the cheapest cost possible by any means necessary.  They displayed very little integrity in dealing with their suppliers.

I am sure GM and Chrysler believed they were operating with integrity and in other areas they might have been, but not with the suppliers.  Integrity is something that needs to be held high in all parts of the company.  Not just some parts.

Integrity is a key component to have Respect for People.  Take a closer look at your company’s supplier relationships.  How does your company work with its suppliers?

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Today’s post is brought to you by guest blogger Matt Wrye.  You can see more of Matt’s work at Beyond Lean.

Matt is a Lean Thinker, practitioner and blogger. By integrating his 10+ years of lean implementation and problem solving experience, Matt is able to draw on his successes and failures to tackle new challenges by presenting fresh perspectives and results-driven solutions. Through his exposure to multiple business operation facets in divergent industries that include aluminum, electronics, auto, HVAC, and consumer goods, he is able to provide real-life lean solutions to everyday business challenges.

His cornerstone belief is that all levels of the business unit should be educated on lean thinking and principles. To this point, Matt diligently challenges his own lean knowledge while working with all business levels ranging from human resources, accounting and the manufacturing floor to senior managers, executives and presidents. By adhering to this continuous learning philosophy, Matt is able to focus his lean efforts to provide continuous improvement.

Matt has a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering. Among his other accomplishments, he is a certified Shainin Red X Journeyman and is certified in Statistical analysis and Kepner-Tregoe problem solving methodology. He is proud to have played a large and significant role in starting the Smith County Lean Consortium in Tyler, TX.

Matt and I share Purdue University as our Alma Mater.  I also enjoy reading his blog regularly and am pleased to have him contributing to Lean Leadership today as a guest blogger.

Please leave a comment below if you liked this article. You can also connect on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, subscribe via e-mail (right side bar), retweet, digg, or stumble this article. Your feedback is appreciated.

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About Christian Paulsen

Christian Paulsen is an Executive Consultant with 20 years of Lean Manufacturing. Chris adds value to organizations by driving process improvement and bottom line savings. Chris intends to help others by sharing the lessons learned after a quarter century of operational leadership, marriage, parenting, and even longer as a Cubs fan. Your comments on this blog are welcome. You can also connect with Chris via LinnkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook in the right sidebar. Chris welcomes your comments. Christian's professional services are available by contacting him through LinkedIn (right side bar)
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4 Responses to Supplier Integrity

  1. Pingback: Integrità del fornitore — Encob Blog

  2. While i agree integrity and respect for people is crucial.
    But i curious to know did the new supplier manage to serve GM and Chrysler better then former did ? Just curious brain at work Matt 🙂

    Thanks- good post, taking recent Toyota case, integrity got to come from both side.

  3. Pingback: Il meglio della blogosfera lean #100 — Encob Blog

  4. Matt Wrye says:

    I would have to say the other supplier did not serve GM and Chrysler as well since GM and Chrysler were treated the same way. GM and Chrysler did not discriminate against the suppliers. They treated all poorly. It was a sad situation.

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