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(originally published by Booz & Company)


Transforming an Adversarial Relationship

Our survey of automotive manufacturers and suppliers reveals both opportunities and challenges for an industry in significant need of new thinking. Both sides are dissatisfied with the status quo. The conditions and best practices that characterize high-performing relationships are clear and achievable, and it is possible to identify the qualities needed in executive leadership on both sides to achieve that change. 

Author Profiles:

Frank Smeekes leads the Americas automotive practice at executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates. Based in Chicago, he specializes in senior executive positions (CEO, COO, and president) and board assignments.
Reid Wilk is a senior executive advisor with Booz & Company based in Detroit. He leads the firm’s sourcing business in the automotive/industrial market and works with a variety of automotive, industrial, and consumer products clients. He has nearly 20 years of experience in sourcing and business strategy in the automotive industry.
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  1. Ronald Haddock, Michael Pfitzmann, and Reid Wilk, “Knowledge-based Sourcing in China,” s+b Leading Ideas Online, 10/14/08: How structural shifts in China’s economy are forcing companies to adopt more personal strategies for supplier relationships.
  2. Bill Jackson and Michael Pfitzmann, “Win-Win Sourcing,” s+b, Summer 2007: The most effective procurement model fosters knowledge sharing, not mistrust.
  3. Bill Jackson and Conrad Winkler, “Building the Advantaged Supply Network,” s+b Resilience Report, 09/15/04: Collaborative strategies with examples from aircraft, consumer products, and auto manufacturers, plus advice for step-change planners.
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