We believe that collaborative action within our industry allows us to more effectively influence all levels of the automotive supply chain. We have taken an “open book” approach to our supply chain work, sharing best practices, challenges and opportunities with others in our industry. We primarily work at the automotive industry level through the Automotive Industry Action Group, or AIAG. The AIAG is a North American member-based, nonprofit industry group specializing in supply chain issues. It supports industry efforts to establish a seamless, efficient and responsible supply chain. Member companies donate the time of individuals to work at the AIAG, which operates as a noncompetitive, open forum that is intended to develop recommendations and best practices for reducing complexity and ensuring alignment on common issues across the industry.
We work on supply chain sustainability issues through the AIAG’s Corporate Responsibility Committee, which we chair. This committee currently focuses on five main issues: global working conditions, conflict minerals, greenhouse gases, chemicals management and reporting, and health care value. Ford staff chair three of these work groups: chemicals management and reporting, working conditions, and conflict minerals. Ford has also contributed an “executive on loan” to the AIAG to support the industry’s work and share what we have learned from working on these issues within our own operations.
Focus Areas for Industry Cooperation on Supply Chain Management
The work of the companies at the AIAG continues on several fronts:
- Exploring an industry response to raw materials sourcing and transparency challenges
- Providing common guidance and tools for responsible procurement
- Continuing to expand the factory-level supplier training program for a responsible supply chain
- Increasing supplier ownership of corporate responsibility issues through an expansion of engagement opportunities
- Developing additional resources and networks that will ensure the successful communication of responsible procurement expectations throughout the automotive supply chain
For all workstreams, the AIAG and the companies are actively reaching out to others in the automotive supply chain, including global automakers and heavy truck manufacturers, industry associations and major automotive suppliers, as well as cross-sectoral initiatives. Broader participation will be needed to achieve the vision of an industry-wide approach to promoting supply chain sustainability.