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Ford brings together suppliers, small businesses

Matchmaking summit designed to help grow Michigan economy


March 21, 2013
by PurchasingB2B Staff

Dearborn, Mich—Ford is playing matchmaker with its suppliers and additional small businesses. The 2013 Pure Michigan Business Connect Ford Matchmaking Summit, hosted by Ford and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), in partnership with the Detroit Regional Chamber, allows Michigan businesses to help other Michigan businesses grow and be more competitive.

Ford is bringing 12 of its purchasing teams together with 30 of its Tier 1 purchasing teams to connect them to qualified Michigan suppliers. The company spent more than $15 billion last year with Michigan suppliers.

“The participation of Ford in Pure Michigan Business Connect opens the door to millions of dollars per year in additional procurement opportunities that may not have been previously available to Michigan suppliers,” said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. “Ford’s agreeing to be the first OEM to host a Pure Michigan Business Connect Matchmaking Summit brings this commitment to life.”

Ford started the process by asking its Tier 1 suppliers what they needed to source. The MEDC received more than 7,400 responses from nearly 1,000 Michigan companies interested in participating. From there, event organizers arranged nearly 700 matchmaking discussions for today.

“Michigan has a wealth of businesses that can help Ford continue growing as a global automotive leader,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “It is smart business for Ford and for a variety of companies and industries to tap into the outstanding network we have here in Michigan.”

A study released today by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) finds opportunities for Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers in Michigan are growing and that this growth can help spur the state’s economy and increase jobs. For example, CAR examined the impact of the $770 million investment Ford made in the past two years to convert its Michigan Assembly Plant (MAP) from building trucks to being the only plant in the world to build vehicles with five powertrain systems across the Focus and C-MAX vehicle lines. The company said the investment is core to meeting Ford’s global standard for flexible manufacturing.

In addition, Tier 1 suppliers located in the state account for the single largest share of MAP’s total purchase value, $1.1 billion, or 34 percent of the $3.2 billion total in annual parts purchases annually.

The 2013 Pure Michigan Business Connect Ford Matchmaking Summit mirrors efforts by Ford to engage and match qualified minority, women and veteran-owned businesses with its business and supplier network. Ford has an annual goal of sourcing at least 10 percent of U.S. purchases from these types of businesses and encourages its suppliers to follow suit.

“The 2013 Pure Michigan Business Connect Ford Matchmaking Summit is a great opportunity to bring outstanding businesses together for their mutual benefit, as well as to benefit Michigan’s economy,” said Tony Brown, Ford group vice president, Global Purchasing. “Ford is committed to helping further facilitate the dialogue started today as we all look forward to the significant value these relationships can bring.”