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Ford, suppliers aim to find vendor matches at MEDC event

By: Dustin Walsh
Crain's Detroit Business

February 22, 2013

DEARBORN, MICH. — Michigan Economic Development Corp. is looking to play matchmaker between Michigan-based companies and Ford Motor Co. in an invitation-only event next month, and some plastics processors are participating.

MEDC's Pure Michigan Business Connect program will host a Ford procurement summit March 21 at the Ford Conference & Event Center in Dearborn.

Ford and 30 automotive and non-automotive suppliers, including Robert Bosch LLC, Delphi Automotive plc, Team Detroit and Lear Corp., are seeking meetings with vendors with a variety of specialties. For instance, Ford is seeking companies capable of manufacturing large injection molded parts and fuels tanks. Bosch is seeking forgers, tooling and office supplies.

Trevor Pawl, director of Pure Michigan Business Connect, said Ford and the suppliers are working to learn more about functions or products within Ford's existing supply chain, as well as new companies.

Companies that apply to participate in the event will be chosen by a team of purchasers from Ford and the suppliers for one-on-one interviews on the day of the event, Pawl said.

"I look at it like a job interview process. You apply, get the call and a first interview," he said. "All we are doing is setting up the first interview, getting companies in the door. What happens after that is up to them."

More than 500 companies have already applied to attend the event — which is expected to feature a presentation in the morning followed by the one-on-one meetings in the afternoon.

To apply, go to puremichiganb2b.com/.