Acknowledging the essential roles played by more than 5,000 Maintenance, Repair and Operational (MRO) suppliers, Honda has recognized six top-performing domestic companies for excellence at providing services to Honda plants in Ohio and Indiana. The company honored another six suppliers in the central U.S. region with its Special Recognition Award.
MRO suppliers provide Honda plants with a wide range of goods and services that support the manufacturing of automobiles and other products in North America. Representing local as well as national companies, many have grown with Honda’s expanding manufacturing base in the United States, including the establishment of additional operations near new Honda plants. Honda honored its suppliers of parts and materials for vehicle production in a separate ceremony in April 2012.
Honda’s MRO supplier purchasing totaled $737 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012. This is up substantially from $500 million in the previous fiscal year, due primarily to the start of second-shift auto production at a plant in Indiana and the resumption of second shift at an Ohio auto plant, along with an overall ramp-up of production at all plants. Nearly $69 million went to minority and women-owned companies in the last fiscal year, representing more than 9.3 percent of the total.
Addressing representatives from nearly 150 suppliers attending the event, Jan Gansheimer, senior manager of purchasing for Honda of America Mfg., Inc., expressed appreciation for efforts the MRO suppliers to manage through disruptions to production last year caused by the disastrous earthquake in Japan and flooding in Thailand.
“I want to thank you for all of your efforts, because our collective response demonstrated that by working together we can overcome any challenge,” Gansheimer said. “Furthermore, the award recipients we are honoring today represent the superior business characteristics that help assure ongoing success in a dynamic and uncertain business environment.”
The Supplier of the Year Award goes to the top companies in various business categories that primarily support Honda automobile manufacturing facilities, based on excellence in safety, quality, cost, delivery and management. Recipients of the 2012 award are:
Tomita USA, Inc., Dublin, Ohio; Voith Industrial Services, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio; Dynamic Weld Corp., Osgood, Ohio; Woodruff Corp., Richmond, Ind.;Health Fitness Corp., Minneapolis, Minn., and Cisco Systems Capital Corp., Columbus, Ohio.
The Special Recognition Award is presented to suppliers that demonstrated the ability to overcome uncontrollable circumstances, perform admirably on a major project or demonstrated exceptional effort to exceed customer expectations. Special Recognition recipients are:
John A. Becker Company, Dayton, Ohio; OTP Industrial Solutions, Inc., Columbus; AVI Food Systems, Inc., Warren, Ohio; IBM Corp., Dublin, Ohio; Central Sheet Metal Products, Inc., Columbus, Ind., and Ferguson Construction Co., Sidney, Ohio.
During the annual MRO Supplier Conference, leadership from Honda also provided an overview for the upcoming year, and direction on what Honda and its suppliers need to do to meet high customer expectations in a challenging business environment.
“Over the next three years, we will launch a number of new models for our automotive business, and introduce a new generation of power-sports products in our North American plants,” said Rick Schostek, senior vice president of Honda of America Mfg., responsible for corporate planning and other support strategies. “The speed of doing business is critical. We must be an agile company that can respond to the needs of the customer.”
With nearly 30 years of experience launching new products in America, and ongoing investment into new technologies, Honda’s North American operations are taking on increasing responsibilities to support other Honda regions around the world, said Jim Wehrman, Honda of America Mfg. senior vice president responsible for supply chain, production engineering and environmental management strategies.
“We are greatly expanding our local product development and production capabilities in North America, and we want to establish North America as Honda’s most competitive region in the world,” Wehrman said. “What does this mean to purchasing strategy and suppliers? We will be challenged to make Honda’s North American region the most cost-competitive region in the world.”
Honda has 11 major plants in North America involved in the production of automobiles and the engines and transmissions that power them. The five plants in the Central Region include an auto plant in Greensburg, Ind.; auto plants in Marysville and East Liberty, Ohio; a major engine plant in Anna, Ohio, and Honda Transmission Mfg. of America in Russells Point, Ohio.