TORONTO -- Workers from the Takata Seat Belts Inc. plant in Monterrey, Mexico, are tying balloon hats around their heads and coloring eyeballs onto their shirts.
A worker from Associated Fuel Pump Systems Corp. in South Carolina is trying hard to think of a name for his make-believe spider.
Welcome to Honda Motor Co.'s North American supply chain.
Or more precisely, welcome to Honda's North American Circle Assistance Network conference. Honda uses the annual two-day event to reach its suppliers' rank-and-file employees - not their managers or executives - to tell them that Honda values creative thinking. This year's conference was held here in October.
It begins with a team-building exercise in which press operators from Ohio and assembly workers from Alabama are thrown together to create products out of arts and craft material, along with the advertising program to market them.
It ends with 500 workers from more than 100 Honda suppliers competing for global recognition from Honda for money-saving ideas they had at their factory workstations.