Becoming a Strategic Partner with Toyota

Open. Honest. Humble. Transparent.

“We’ve only strengthened Toyota’s opinion of us as a strategic partner,” said Daric Morell, director of manufacturing, as he talked about his recent presentation at Toyota’s Fall Supplier Event. “Our philosophies regarding people, production and products align closely.”

After impressing attendees and Toyota at Bluegrass Automotive Manufactures Association’s (BAMA) annual conference in February, Toyota invited Daric and Mark White, president, to speak at their Fall Supplier Event. Shape was the only supplier to speak at the event which was limited to their top strategic suppliers.

Daric spoke to attendees, many of which were CEO’s or Presidents of other Toyota suppliers, about Shape’s lean manufacturing journey on September 22 in Tucson, Arizona. Toyota was impressed with our discussion that spoke to our leadership’s commitment to continuous improvement. Attendees were also interested with our most recent monozukuri (advanced continuous improvement), that dives deeper into reducing waste at the front end of production, Design for Manufacturing.

After the presentations, Mark and Daric were able to talk with key leaders within Toyota about our partnership and the next steps of improving our production systems.

In February, we will be speaking at BAMA again to continue the conversation.