American Honda Hosts First Annual Supplier Impact Summit

Eighteen women-owned businesses were welcomed to the American Honda campus in Torrance, California, last week with the goal of matching the companies with potential bid opportunities. It was a productive afternoon of networking with Honda associates in Procurement as well as those who work with request for proposal (RFPs).

“Supply chain inclusion is not just something that’s nice to do; it’s critical to our continued success,” said Charles Harmon, sr. manager of Procurement and Corporate Services at American Honda. “Just as women-owned businesses are critically important to our economy, women are critical to our business success.” In the last year, Honda’s investment in diverse suppliers increased to more than $3.3 billion, including over $21 million spent by American Honda with women-owned suppliers.

Overall, Honda continues to build sustainable relationships that benefit everyone. Left: Harmon welcomes associates and women-owned businesses to AHM’s inaugural Supplier Impact Exchange. Each supplier that attended the Supplier Impact Exchange is a women-owned business certified by the Women Business Enterprise Council (WBEC) West, which works with businesses in the Western U.S. and partners with companies like Honda help to seek out potential opportunities. AHM Procurement Inclusion & Diversity Administrator Samantha Varela, one of the event organizers, invited suppliers that specialized in various areas such as construction, logistics, marketing and more.

To kick off the event, Rich Richardson, business unit head and vice president of Human Resources, Administration & Corporate Affairs, shared the importance of expanding Honda’s supplier network. “As you may know, our industry is experiencing rapid changes,” he said. “As a result, we are looking for new and innovative ways to reach our business objectives. This includes continuing to diversify our supplier base as we seek out the best and most innovative partners who can help us prepare for the future.”  

Athena Chiera from Athena Engineering, Inc., loves it when corporate customers allow suppliers to come to their facilities. “It gives us a chance to really meet people,” said Chiera. “As a certified women-owned and minority-owned business, I appreciate that Honda has such a huge touch point with supplier diversity and really makes an effort to diversify their supply chain.”

Early survey results following the event indicate that associates want additional Supplier Impact Exchanges with even more suppliers in attendance. The positive feedback illustrates how strategically aligning the right type of suppliers with key Honda stakeholders has proven to be the right formula. The Procurement and Corporate Services team will be exploring opportunities for more Supplier Impact Exchanges in the future.

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