AutoRevista.- How can you describe Coronavirus impact in the Purchasing activities of an OEM?
Juan Carlos González.- As in all of the disruptive events of the last years, Coronavirus has had an important impact on the Supply Chain of the OEMs. Since January when the Wuhan region was lockdown, the Supply Chain for components coming from this area started to be stressed. As the pandemic has being extending in other regions, Purchasing areas have had to overcome obstacles to continue supplying facilities that remain open. Moreover, the return to work of our facilities has meant a big challenge on ensuring availability of all required components regardless of their origin.
AR.- Has this situation led to lack components availability from certain regions forcing to rethink the localization of certain components?
J.C.G.- This crisis is creating a series of supply challenges that vary in time and area by area. There is no localization strategy completely free of risks. Therefore, our mission is always to be in close contact with our suppliers and work as Commercial Partners facing the challenges of each situation together, with transparency and proposing solutions that help to mitigate the identified problem. In this sense, we have been able to react quickly and effectively to the challenges that have been arising thanks to the high degree of commitment of our Commercial Partners.
AR.- How do you work with your suppliers in inventory management and alternative routes to minimize the effects and resume the operations? How do you work together in the application of health and safety protocols?
On April 15th ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association) and CLEPA (European Association of Automotive Suppliers) released and agreed code of business conduct in view of COVID-19. This code emphasizes the commitment of working together according to the competency laws to mitigate the effects and reactivate the industry. Moreover, it was mentioned as a top priority to preserve health and safety of our employees and citizens. It also promotes sharing the health and safety protocols and practices with our supply chain partners. Specifically, the Ford health and safety protocol for operations’ resumption has been shared with our supply base.
AR.- Can a situation of this magnitude require other types of monitoring and visibility of the supply chain?
J.C.G.- We already have a high degree of visibility of our supply chain in all relevant aspects of the business. The continuous improvement of these systems never stops due to the changing environment we live at, making us learn something new every year. The current situation brings us additional conclusions on areas of improvement that together with the current available technology and the high degree of coordination with our Commercial Partners we can have more reliable information up to the minute.
Read the complete information in the next issue of AutoRevista nª 2.350