Supply Chain Perspectives from Emerging EV Suppliers

Supply Chain Perspectives from Emerging EV Suppliers

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Auto Supply Chain Prophets welcomes two guests from the OESA Supplier Summit in Novi, Michigan.

Supply chain shortages continue to persist in the automotive industry, but some EV parts suppliers are finding success and growing quickly despite the challenges. Jovani Gonzalez, CFO of Acument Global Technologies, and Carolyn Sauer, the business development director at Schaltbau North America, offer their perspectives on how to manage relationships with customers and suppliers.

As the automotive industry moves from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles, it’s more important than ever to have good communication with OEMs, tier suppliers — and internally. “Ask questions” and “fail fast” are the ingredients for future supply chain success.

Themes discussed in this episode: 

  • How suppliers can adapt to labor shortages and supply chain slowdowns.
  • The automotive industry’s shift from internal combustion to EV.
  • Why managing risk is better than avoiding it.
  • Transferring technology from existing industries to EV opens new doors.
  • Compared to automotive, the EV supply chain seems nontraditional.
  • How close contact and frequent communication lead to business success.

Featured on this Episode  

Name: Jovani Gonzalez 

Title: CFO at Acument Global Technologies

About: Jovani is a finance and operations executive with more than two decades of experience in manufacturing and automotive. Acument develops and manufactures fastening and assembly solutions for industries including auto, EV and aerospace.

Connect: LinkedIn

Name: Carolyn Sauer

Title: Director, Business Development at Schaltbau GmbH

About: An experienced marketing and sales director, Carolyn currently oversees business partnerships around EV infrastructure at Schaltbau North America. Her passion for safe and scalable electrification is built on more than 20 years of experience with global Tier 1 suppliers.

Connect: LinkedIn 

Episode Highlights

Timestamped inflection points from the show

[0:44] Built on tradition: Jovani discusses Fontana’s acquisition of Acument. Fontana is a global supplier of fasteners, and its long history of success can extend Acument’s reach.

[1:23] Shorthanded goals: How have labor shortages and supply chain slowdowns impacted Acument’s production? Jovani explains how his company approaches these challenges.

[2:15] Communication is key: Jovani sees an opportunity in building relationships. Suppliers must stay in close contact with OEMs as the industry moves from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles.

[3:14] Crunching the numbers: From a CFO’s perspective, Jovani explains the difference between avoiding risk and managing risk. Prioritizing efficiency combats the effects of inflation.

[4:29] Fail fast: Jovani’s recommendation to auto manufacturers is to be proactive. Future supply chain success relies on planning for changes, innovating and learning from mistakes.

[5:35] New kid on the block: Schaltbau may be an unfamiliar name to an automotive audience, but Carolyn shares how a rail company from Munich is bringing decades of DC power experience to the world of EV.

[7:01] Selling out: With so many applications for DC contractors in the EV space, Carolyn explains how one of the biggest supply chain challenges is finding the right buyer. It’s a big shift for the industry, but the increased networking presents an opportunity.

[9:37] The one thing: Carolyn’s advice for supply chain success is to ask more questions. “The best way to solve problems is to understand what people need.”

Top quotes

[2:03] Jovani: “Just like any other company in the automotive industry, we have been dealing with shortages in general [...] What we are doing is staying in close communication with our customers, but also with our suppliers.”  

[3:40] Jovani: “One of the things we do as a company is not to avoid risk but to manage risk. We have to be in contact with all the changes in the environment.”

[4:44] Jovani: “One of the things that prevent the industry from moving forward is the inability to be proactive against changes. The only way that we have to improve that situation is by making a strong plan. We test. We call this fail fast — adopt a change, then start moving forward.”

[7:30] Carolyn: “There are so many different applications for [DC contactors] and so many relationships between the OEMs and the tier suppliers, that it's a challenge to figure out who's best to talk to. So, I try to talk to everyone.”

[10:11] Carolyn: “The best way for me to solve problems is to understand what people need.”


Delivering on the Promise of Delivery: Automotive Sustainability and Profitability

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White Paper for Leveraging Risk Management in Automotive

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The 24 Essential Supply Chain

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Keep in touch with Auto Supply Chain Prophet's co-hosts Terry Onica and Jan Griffiths on LinkedIn.


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