08 May 2008 | Paul Snell
International motor giant Ford is reorganising its purchasing and product development teams to bring the two functions closer together.
According to Tony Brown, group vice- president of global purchasing, the changes will result in closer working and eliminate duplication in sourcing. It is also hoped common sourcing will drive down costs and boost sharing of parts.
Under the changes, senior leaders in the purchasing function will now take responsibility for buying parts on a global rather than regional basis. Categories that are now worldwide include interiors, electricals, chassis parts and raw materials.
Purchasing in Asia Pacific and Africa is to be integrated into procurement teams in Europe and the Americas, but a spokesman confirmed there would be no job losses or relocations. The spokesman told SM it would allow the company to take advantage of buying on a global scale.
In a statement Brown said: "Better alignment of our resources not only helps Ford, it will also simplify the way we do business with our global supply base by simplifying the sourcing process. This is consistent with the principles of our 'aligned business framework', which is strengthening collaboration with our key suppliers."
The 'aligned business framework', launched in 2005, is a scheme where a number of strategic suppliers work with Ford to reduce waste, increase innovation and reduce the number of suppliers.
The changes are being introduced to improve efficiency and speed up the time taken for new vehicles to reach the market.