Our sister paper Automotive News has a daily podcast checking in with leaders from throughout the supply chain, which means you get a lot of different takes on what's happening in the car world.
The July 15 edition also touches on plastics as Patrick Clark, the global manufacturing chief for Novi, Mich.-based Cooper Standard Automotive Inc., spoke about accessing needed materials and the insights available when you listen to employees.
"About 18 months ago, we started a project to really get deeper and better knowledge of our supply partners and engage the supply base," Clark said. "We wanted to do what we needed to increase our strategic alignment. So whether it's around logistics risks that we're talking about or labor concerns that they're having or even cost reduction ideas."
When the pandemic hit, followed by material shortages due to the February winter storm in Texas, Cooper Standard was able to lean into those supply chain connections.
"We had a resin shortage coming out of the Texas issues where we were unable to get a material for an injection mold that that produces a number of our connectors for our tube assemblies," Clark said. "So it could have been a high risk to not just ourselves, but ... to our customers and on to a domino effect, so we did identify an alternative with the supplier.
"We worked together to produce samples to validate that material gain approval from our customers and we turned it around," he said. "We turned it into a win-win-win for Cooper Standard, our supplier and our customer."
Clark also talks about other key issues facing the industry, from chip shortages to labor recruitment. Check out the full podcast on Automotive News or via your favorite streaming services.