Chrysler Rewards Supplier Diversity Efforts

Automaker's diversity program aims to improve spending with qualified minority suppliers.

Chrysler LLC this week announced the top performers in its Diversity Supplier Development program, which recognizes suppliers and employees that exhibit exemplary efforts to successfully improve spending with qualified minority suppliers.

Established in 1983, the Diversity Supplier Development group develops and maintains a qualified, diverse supplier base that is reflective of the company and its customers while achieving diversity sourcing objectives. In 2007, Chrysler spent nearly $5 billion with minority suppliers, an increase of 81% over 2006 levels. Since 1983, Chrysler has sourced more than $38 billion from minority-owned companies.

For 2008, Chrysler recognizes the following companies and individuals:

2008 Corporation of the Year:
IBM Corp.
IBM supported the minority community by participating on over 10 regional minority business development councils, which support and grow minority businesses. The company employed a full-time global supplier diversity program director who led a team of eight local supplier diversity program managers, as well as four additional employees supporting global initiatives. The efforts of these individuals has helped IBM to achieve their Chrysler minority spend objectives for seven consecutive years.

2008 Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) of the Year:
Bartech Group Inc.
Bartech Group spent $27 million with Tier 1 minority companies, representing 11.4% in minority spending, a 300% improvement from previous year minority spending. Bartech Group management has a long standing record of involvement in civic and charitable activities. Most recently, Bartech launched a new social initiative to fund the construction of wells that will provide clean, safe drinking water for individuals in Africa, Haiti and other developing countries.

Plant Diversity Coordinator of the Year:
Timothy Jones, Chrysler LLC, production control manager.
Jones set the benchmark for all Chrysler plants by hosting the first on-site minority supplier plant event at the St. Louis North Assembly Plant. Local minority companies representing a variety of commodities were invited to meet with plant representatives regarding the needs of the facility. As a result of the event, KACE Logistics was awarded a one-year contract for the sequencing of door trip panels for the 2009 Dodge Ram pickup truck.

Global Sourcing Professional of the Year:
Richard Blomberg, Chrysler LLC, senior buyer, material handling equipment.
Blomberg took on the role of diversity supplier development champion within his global sourcing group. Blomberg exceeded his minority spend goal for three consecutive years by coaching, mentoring and consistently providing opportunities for MBEs.

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