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GM Quality Goals Touch Casting Suppliers

Alicia Boler-Davis, senior v.p. of global quality and customer experience for General Motors, presented the automaker’s latest initiatives to the Motor Press Guild in Los Angeles, this month. Among the topics discussed was the latest drive for “no defects” in GM products.

Liability for recalls that result from flawed components is being shifted to part suppliers, as we reported this summer. (See “GM to Recoup Recall Costs from Suppliers.”) Boler-Davis’ comments shed some light on the subject.

GMAliciaBolerDavis“We’ve developed a plan to improve the ‘Built-in-Quality’ levels at our plants around the world,” she said, “working not only in-house with our product design, engineering and manufacturing teams but also with our suppliers. … We’re changing our mindset. We’re looking for longer-term partnerships with our very best suppliers based on higher levels of collaboration and cooperation.”

GM is introducing a Supplier Quality Excellence Award. The company also will be training suppliers’ development engineers on the company’s quality tools, techniques and terms. An initiative called “Strategic Sourcing” will engage top suppliers earlier in the vehicle production process.

“We gain better access to new technology, the suppliers get a longer-term contract with GM and the result is better technology, better quality and lower overall costs over the long term,” Boler-Davis said.

The overall impact on casting suppliers remains to be seen as GM reaches for its goal to provide the best customer experience in the industry.