TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan, USA -- Visteon has replaced its global purchasing chief with a global sourcing council.
"We're looking for the best global price on a regional basis," said the council's chairman, Paul Radkoski.
Getting the best price is only part of the council's job. It also will look at quality, delivery and technology.
The council was formed in late May, soon after Visteon reassigned its global purchasing chief, Jonathan Maples, to head the supplier's Ford account in North America. Visteon says it moved Maples from vice president of quality and materials management because his experience will help Visteon manage its biggest customer.
Ford spun off Visteon in June 2000.
Radkoski, 44, was promoted to vice president of North American materials management. Visteon has not named a vice president of quality.
The council includes Visteon's three top regional executives and John Kill, senior vice president of product development.
"And we invited, out of respect for his opinion, Jon Maples, although he really doesn't have a say," Radkoski said here at the Management Briefing Seminars sponsored by the Center for Automotive Research and University of Michigan.
Not just North American
The council won't make every sourcing decision, only those with potential global conflict.
"With some commodity strategies, it's very clear that you're not going to buy certain parts out of Asia for the US or certain parts out of the US for Europe," said Radkoski, whose purchasing experience includes stints at BMW and Honda.
But for products that Visteon makes everywhere, such as climate-control systems, the company wants a good deal from a globally capable supplier. That way Visteon can save money by using common global platforms for its products.
"For the past two months, everything we've taken [to the council] has been very clear," Radkoski said. "But there will be times when, say, the head of Europe says, I understand this, but here's an opportunity I miss if we go that way,' or, Here's something I've got on my mind that isn't yet known.'
"We're trying to make the best decision for the whole company. We didn't want it to look like a North American decision, because it's not."
As Visteon decides future sourcing of its $10 billion annual purchasing budget, it will continue to cut its number of suppliers.
Visteon says it is culling suppliers because it's easier to involve a smaller number of suppliers earlier in the design phase of products.
Visteon used 2,500 suppliers in January 2002. That number is down to fewer than 1,500 and it will be cut to 800 by 2007.