Former DaimlerChrysler manufacturing chief Dennis Pawley, whose stint as a supplier CEO taught him the difficulties of the industry, plans to teach.
Pawley has established the Lean Learning Center in Farmington Hills, Mich., to train auto suppliers in lean manufacturing. His first class is scheduled for April.
'I am truly concerned about the future of the automotive industry,' said Pawley, who until last December was CEO of lighting supplier Guide Corp. in Anderson, Ind.
'The automakers are under tremendous stress to increase market share and lower costs. They are placing unprecedented pressure on suppliers to reduce costs without affecting quality.'
Pawley resigned from Guide to protest what he said was unfair pricing from General Motors, Guide's largest customer for exterior lighting. Guide was spun off from GM in 1998.
There comes a point, he said, when nothing more can be cut without significantly changing the processes and culture of an organization.
He said Tier 1 and smaller suppliers must transform themselves into a lean organization. That may be the difference between them surviving or not over the next few years, he said.
Pawley formed the Lean Learning Center with Andy Carlino, a speaker, trainer and consultant.