The Annual North American Automotive OEM – Tier 1 Supplier Working Relations Index® Study is a comprehensive Internet-based annual survey that examines the working relations between Tier 1 suppliers and their North American-based OEM customers from the suppliers’ perspective. Supplier salespeople are invited to share their firm’s day-to-day working experiences with the OEM(s) for whom they have commercial responsibility by means of a confidential Study. Using Planning Perspectives’ (PPI) proprietary Working Relations Index® (WRI®) the qualitative working relations of each OEM are quantitatively determined and ranked on a 500-point scale. The Study focuses on the Detroit Three and the Japanese Three.
The Study had its beginnings in the early 1990s, when Planning Perspectives began conducting supplier studies for various OEMs on how to improve their supplier working relations. The Studies always arrived at the same conclusion: The working relations with suppliers were poor and needed to improve to realize the potential competitive benefits associated with good supplier working relations. Like most studies, they ended up on a shelf without having much impact on OEM behavior.
Frustrated by this situation, Professor John Henke decided to independently survey suppliers and find out their perceptions of working with their North American OEM customers and what was driving these perceptions. He developed a comprehensive, academic-quality survey and conducted the first official Study in 2001. In it, suppliers indicated their perceptions of working relations with their customers by ranking the OEMs across six major purchasing groups broken down into 14 commodity areas.
The following year, the Study results plus other data from client surveys were used to develop the Working Relations Index®.