Chrysler gives suppliers online access to reviews

Looking to cut costs and improve quality, Chrysler Group has decided to give its suppliers online access to their performance scorecards, as well as to the performance data on competing suppliers.

The scorecards rank each supplier on quality, systems cost, technology and the ability to deliver a part, according to David Barnas, a spokesman for Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Chrysler Group, the North American unit of DaimlerChrysler AG.

Barnas said the automaker believes that showing suppliers where they stand in relation to their competitors will help drive down costs and improve quality. In addition, he said, Chrysler wants to ensure that suppliers aren't charging different business units of DaimlerChrysler different prices for the same parts.

Chrysler will openly share information with the suppliers, but what they do with that data is up to them, Barnas said.

"Information is nothing to be afraid of," said Peter Rosenfeld, Chrysler's vice president of worldwide production and supplier commodity strategy, in a statement to Computerworld. "What a supplier chooses to do with the information is their free choice."

Barnas said Chrysler won't use suppliers who aren't competitive. In fact, during the past three years, the auto manufacturer has shifted US$5 billion in contracts among suppliers, mainly because of quality issues, he said.

For the past three years, suppliers have had access to the scorecard data in physical form, according Barnas. The online scorecards will be rolled out within the next six months, he said.

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