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American Honda Distinguishes 15 Suppliers with Premier Partner Award

Award recognizes partners who embrace Honda’s philosophy of exceeding customer expectations with exceptional quality and service

Fifteen distinguished suppliers to American Honda Motor Co., Inc. have received the 2014 Premier Partner Award from American Honda President & CEO Takuji Yamada today in a special ceremony and reception at the Torrance Marriott South Bay Hotel in Torrance, CA. This year’s recipients were selected from a pool of more than 1,000 eligible companies based on excellence in quality, value and customer service that defines Honda’s philosophy and reputation.

Premier Partner Award winners play a unique role in supporting Honda businesses and operations, including Honda and Acura automobiles, automobile engines and transmissions, Honda all-terrain vehicles, power equipment products, general purpose engines, and the HondaJet advanced light jet. Nine of the 15 recipients are repeat winners. This year’s class of suppliers includes a number of small businesses and minority-owned businesses.

“Amid record sales and continued strength across Honda companies, we are asking our suppliers to renew their commitment to exceptional quality and service,” said Charles Harmon, American Honda’s senior manager of procurement and corporate services. “We thank the outstanding organizations recognized today for answering that call and helping Honda to deliver on our own promise to our customers.”

2014 American Honda Premier Partner Award recipients include:

  • Accenture, LLP, for providing sales incentive management and reporting solutions.
  • ADP Lightspeed, for providing business management solutions.
  • Atlantic Container Line, for providing international transporting services.
  • BI Worldwide, for the development and execution of customer engagement programs.
  • CH2M Hill, for providing facility management and administrative services.
  • Delta Air Lines, Inc., for creating specific travel lanes and lowering prices on our most trafficked destinations.
  • flexis North America, Inc., for designing systems that balance dealer requests against production volumes.
  • Maritz Inc., for creating in-dealership launch training programs.
  • OC Tanner Recognition Company, for developing the Associate Service Award Recognition Program, integrating elements of the Honda brand, mission and values.
  • Pacific Technology Solutions, for E-learning and enterprise level software development solutions.
  • Resource One, for serving as our recycling management resource and embracing Honda’s zero landfill initiative.
  • RMI International Inc., a provider of physical security services at facilities nationally.
  • Sinclair Printing Company, for printing and delivery of informational materials in our vehicles.
  • Targetbase, for marketing strategy and consultation, and the development and management of customer databases.
  • Urban Science, for developing online systems that support customer retention.

Supporting Small Businesses and Supplier Diversity 
Honda desires to establish long-term relationships with suppliers based on trust and mutual benefit, and with a commitment to diversity. Working alongside minority supplier development councils and the Small Business Administration, diversity workshops educate potential ethnic minority and women-owned suppliers on Honda business operations. The workshops facilitate strategic alliances and joint ventures, and assist with loan and venture capitalization, empowerment programs and other available resources. In June, 2014 Honda joined 25 corporations for a discussion with President Obama about strengthening small business suppliers by supporting initiatives like increasing working capital, so they can grow their businesses and hire more workers.

Support for Small Business Suppliers is a Tide that Lifts all Boats

This is a great brief article that explains how American Honda vehicles sold in the United States are. Not only are they made in America, which supports local workers and economies, but Honda strives to support smaller, local businesses to increase that impact. This is an article from the perspective of the VP of Honda North America.

Our Perspectives
Rick Schostek, Executive Vice President, Honda North America, Inc.

When the White House asked Honda to sign a pledge in support of suppliers that are small businesses, there was never a moment of hesitation, because the goal of supporting small business is vital to the success of Honda in America.

It is a little known fact that Honda was established in America in 1959 with less than $125,000 in working capital.  With $100,000 of that going to purchase a very small building in Los Angeles, we actually had to borrow money to buy a truck to deliver our motorcycles to dealers.  We have never lost sight of the challenges of doing business as a small company.

Today, the small businesses that provide us with parts for our automobile, powersports, power equipment and aircraft production in America, and that provide services ranging from security to landscaping, are integral to Honda’s U.S. sales, manufacturing and R&D operations, and we have a long and deep commitment to hands-on collaboration.

At the core of Honda’s approach is our desire to establish long-term relationships with suppliers, based on trust and mutual benefit, and with a commitment to diversity.

So it was that on July 11, one of our suppliers, Billy Vickers, the president and chief executive officer of Modular Assemblies Innovations (MAI), of Dublin, Ohio, joined me in attending a roundtable discussion with President Obama at the White House.  During the discussion Honda signed a pledge to assist small business suppliers by reducing capital needs and providing insight into best practices.

We recognize that small business suppliers work on tight budgets with capital as a premium.  These constraints can stifle growth, innovation and efficiency.  Additionally, while smaller suppliers may have opportunities to improve their efficiency, they often lack the resources and expertise, which can put them at risk of falling behind their big business competition.

As Honda has expanded its manufacturing operations, we often work with existing, smaller companies to expand their business to serve our needs.  For instance, Billy Vickers’s company, MAI, has grown in Ohio, Alabama and Indiana, along with the growth of Honda operations in these states, and now employs more than 250 associates.

One of the ways in which Honda has supported a minority-owned business such as MAI is by providing adjusted payment terms, reducing MAI’s upfront costs by assisting with the purchase of costly components and giving the company the cash flow it needs to operate and expand its business.

We also provided on-site process engineering assistance at MAI to collaborate on best practices to help MAI improve its efficiency and quality in the company’s manufacturing processes. Because of this teamwork, MAI has been able to grow its business and venture into new areas. All of these approaches are aligned with the White House pledge.

We will continue to pursue and expand these types of efforts to help our small suppliers grow and invest in the United States.  The needs of each small business are different, but we understand reducing capital needs means the ability to expand, and learning from others is often the best way to improve efficiency.

Honda is no longer a small business. In 2013 alone, Honda purchased more than $23 billion in parts and materials from more than 530 suppliers across the country – that was a new record for our company. Further, Honda purchased another $10 billion in a wide variety of equipment, products and services from more than 5,000 MRO suppliers (Maintenance, Repair and Operational).

But we still operate with the spirit of a young and small business – and we are pledged to support other companies that are now in that position.  It is a great “win-win-win” formula for the supplier, for Honda and for the U.S. economy as a whole.

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