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In the spirit of Kyōdō, Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) and Isuzu Motors South Africa have joined forces in a Black Supplier Development programme with Algoa Components Manufacturers (ACM). When the Port Elizabeth-based, black-owned supplier of fuel fillers, side impact beams and instrument panel carriers reported concerns about the future sustainability of its business, the two original equipment manufacturers (OEM) intervened. TSAM and Isuzu have partnered with Propella, a Port Elizabeth-based business hub, to offer skills transfer and mentoring support to ACM.

The mentoring process is well underway in a bid to improve ACM’s production capacity as well as its future business sustainability. TSAM and Isuzu have committed to assist ACM in the overall improvement and optimisation of product process flows, plant layout, space utilisation and the determination of material and manning standards – all in support of creating a more efficient production system.

Senior Manager of Enterprise and Supplier Development at TSAM, Kim Nisbet, says: “At TSAM, we value supplier relationship management and are proud to be working with our suppliers on a one-to-one basis to improve their performance for their benefit as well as ours. We value this opportunity to work with Isuzu in jointly developing and supporting this black supplier and it is important to both OEM’s in terms of increasing local manufactured content but more critically, it is our responsibility to ensure the sustainability of our local suppliers. We also believe that skills transfer and mentoring are essential elements in order for ACM to build its production capacity.”

Nisbet adds that in order for the local automotive industry to comply with the South African Automotive Masterplan (SAAM), local content needs to be increased from just under 40% to 60% over the next few years, and small and medium black-owned businesses must be brought into the supply chain to help the country succeed in transformation. Toyota’s strategy to support SAAM is clear and developing black-owned business suppliers is a priority.

Isuzu Motors South Africa adds that it is equally committed to broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) and embraces opportunities to accelerate the transformation of the automotive value chain. “We are fully committed to the upliftment, transformation and growth of our country’s economy. We should always remember that an economy cannot grow by excluding people and that an economy which is not growing, cannot integrate all of its citizens in a meaningful way. It is thus vital that Original Equipment Manufacturers are actively supporting the long-term sustainability of the automotive supply chain,” says Gregory Wood, General Manager of Purchasing at Isuzu.

“We are confident that the collaboration will yield meaningful process improvements thereby improving on ACM’s high quality standards and driving further cost efficiencies. We are also proactively engaged in initiatives to help grow this supplier and to this end supported ACM to showcase their production capabilities at the Naacam Show which was held in Durban earlier this year,” concludes Wood.

During the course of the past 6 months, ACM has shown very good progress in terms of process improvement, efficiency levels and have further plans to improve. Toyota and Isuzu have committed to continue their support into 2020 and aim to conclude the Kyōdō initiative as early as the first quarter in 2020.