Issue: Feb 2014


by Jon Knox

Ford Motor Company, headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, has launched a pilot project to ‘map’ its global supply chain, to speed reaction time during risk events and to proactively identify and mitigate potential risks.

It is the first automotive company in the USA to work with Achilles – one of the world’s leading supply chain risk management firms, with offices in Houston and Detroit - home of the American automotive industry.  

Achilles already operates a supply chain risk management community and supply chain mapping solution in Europe. In the wake of a series of natural disasters which caused serious disruption to the automotive supply chain, Achilles started working with Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota Motor Europe to help them proactively identify and mitigate risk in their supply chains.

Achilles will now use the benefit of this experience in a pilot with Ford. Together, they will identify exactly which suppliers are involved with the production of selected key components down the supply chain. The aims are to:

·         Ensure supplier data is accurate

·         Map out which supplier manufacturing sites are potentially exposed to risks including natural disasters, to proactively mitigate any potential impact on global production.

·         Address potential bottlenecks, reliance on single suppliers, and identifying companies with long lead times which could impact production.

With the benefit of additional credible insights and data, Ford will also be able to take a more strategic approach to supply chain risk management.

Ford and Achilles are now inviting Tier 1 suppliers to provide information about their operations. Achilles will cascade automated requests for information on behalf of these suppliers down through their supply chain - creating a complete picture of supplier location, function and across countries in a single database.

Mike Sanders, Risk Manager at Ford, said: “With automotive supply chains becoming increasingly complex and globalized, we are always looking to continuously improve risk management and hope this trial could offer a potential solution.”

Chuck Zimmer, USA Business Development Director for Achilles Automotive, said: “We are extremely proud to use the knowledge and experience we gained in Europe to help a giant of the US automotive industry manage its global supplier base.”

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