AN INDUSTRY-WIDE initiative is underway to keep automotive suppliers in the e-business loop regardless of their size or position in the supply chain.
Consultancy AT Kearney has launched EuroAutoSupplier.com in a bid to determine how suppliers can best use e-business to their benefit.
Steve Young, the AT Kearney vice-president leading the project, claimed there was no guarantee that the more than 100 e-business initiatives already launched in the sector would meet the needs of the wider supplier community.
`Many of these are very limited in scope. The highest profile projects are being driven by the vehicle manufacturers or by the largest suppliers,’ said Young.
`Many Tier 2 or 3 suppliers feel uncomfortable about signing up directly to these ventures. They want to have a range of options and shape their own future,’ he added.
Young said one possibility was that the site will be developed as a `meta-portal’, providing its own services and links into other industry portals such as Covisint.
`We do not see this as competing with these other initiatives,’ said Young, who believes some of the biggest benefits could come in collaborative engineering.
His view is supported by engineering consultancy Ricardo, which is backing the project. Chief executive Rodney Westhead said: `As product life cycles are reduced there needs to be a step change in the effectiveness with which manufacturers and suppliers work together.’
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