Insight from Honda Executives on Becoming a Honda Supplier

Becoming a Honda supplierThe Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) recently hosted a supplier town hall briefing by executives of Honda North America. As one of the few automotive ERP software solutions that is fully approved by Honda of North America, Inc to meet their stringent EDI requirements in multiple functional areas, IQMS was excited to attend this industry event.

Julie Fream, President and CEO of OESA, welcomed more than 300 attendees to the presentation and Q&A session by the Honda North America managers. The Honda executives stressed two main topics during the presentation – investment in the culture and future of Honda North America and a commitment to North American suppliers.  Some notable points from the presenters included:

Investment in the culture and future of Honda North America
No. 1: Honda North American leadership has been working to instill a “Passion for Quality” culture in its associates and supplier partners. Honda has asked its suppliers to appoint internal corporate quality leaders to help spread this “passion” throughout the organization.

No. 2: Honda’s mission and goal is for “Honda products to create joy for its customers.” All new product research, design, engineering, development and production must support this goal.

No. 3: Given the changes in the United States EPA CAFÉ (up to 54 mph by 2025) and emissions standards reductions (COdown by 30 percent), Honda research and development focus is on lightweight materials/designs and powertrain innovations to dramatically reduce overall vehicle weights while assuring impact safety.

No. 4: To help overcome shortages of qualified skilled production workers, Honda is working with public school and university STEM students with mentoring, work-study programs and special events to build interest in manufacturing jobs in North America.

Commitment to North American suppliers
No. 5: As an example of Honda’s commitment to North American production, the newest 2016 Civic was designed and developed in North America for production worldwide. If the launch is successful, then suppliers can expect more vehicle designs from U.S. engineers.

No. 6: Honda’s engineering and development teams are increasing emphasis on computer-aided engineering tools for design, simulation and analysis to shorten vehicle development time, improve fit/finish quality for early builds and increase durability of the new Honda vehicles being launched up and down their product line. Additionally, Honda design, application and quality engineers are emphasizing more hardware, software and integration checks throughout their new development flow.

No. 7: The Honda team emphasized that the best path for a prospective supplier to become part of Honda’s supply chain is to offer innovation in materials, designs and processes that are unique and valuable. The executives also stressed that they are looking for overtures from innovative suppliers or others with special technology.

No. 8: Finally, the Honda team responded to a question about opportunities for suppliers who are not a part of the legacy keiretsu suppliers. Their response acknowledged Honda’s loyalty to the keiretsu suppliers who “followed” them to North America, established engineering and manufacturing facilities close to Honda plants here and continue to provide quality products. However, for Honda to be competitive and successful with delighting their customers, it must welcome new technologies in North America to continue to delight its customers.

None of the points above came as a huge surprise to IQMS. Our customers continually rely on our ERP software to achieve Tier 1 authorization to all major automotive manufacturers including Honda Motor Company of America, Inc., Toyota Motor Company and Daimler Chrysler. At IQMS, we understand the requirements needed to keep manufacturers modern and competitive. To learn more about our automotive offerings, please visit:

Ed Potoczak, IQMS Director of Industry Relations, has more than 30 years of experience in the manufacturing industry. Formerly an ERP consultant at the Oakstone Group and Plante Moran, Ed has also held positions as a senior systems engineer for Chrysler, technical sales leader in parts suppliers and general manager for a process equipment builder.