Greetings! I’m John Munson, Jr., Manager of Supplier Diversity – Purchasing at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America. My team and I are responsible for building TEMA’s supplier diversity processes, and supporting sourcing and development of minority business enterprises (MBEs) and women business enterprises (WBEs) within Toyota North America.
Toyota’s supplier diversity processes incorporate initiatives that help generate opportunities for more M/WBEs to become strategic suppliers. Because we’re committed to developing long-term, sustainable relationships with our suppliers, we believe it’s important that we go “beyond the contract” by also providing resources, programs and networking forums to help our current and prospective suppliers be better positioned for business success.
Right now, we’re preparing for the 2013 Toyota Opportunity Exchange (or OE, as we like to call it), our annual two-day networking and business development conference. M/WBEs attend OE free of charge, where the agenda will include professional development sessions and presentations from leading business diversity leaders and Toyota executives. The event also features an interactive tradeshow where M/WBEs can build relationships with our Tier I suppliers and learn about upcoming opportunities with those companies.
The 24th Toyota Opportunity Exchange is coming up on November 11th & 12th at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. This year’s theme, “Leveraging Connections & Activating Opportunities,” encourages attendees to make the most of the strong relationships they build at OE.
Nearly 1,600 attended our event in 2012, and we expect a similar turnout this year. Not surprisingly, OE is among the largest events of its kind in America and serves as a benchmark for supplier development both within and outside of the automotive industry. We’re really proud that hundreds of millions of dollars in diverse supplier contracts have been generated over the years as a direct result of connections made at OE.
If you are a certified M/WBE, we invite you to attend OE. Or if you know a diverse business that might benefit from attending, feel free to share this information. There’s no charge to attend, but advance registration is required and available only on a limited basis at www.toyotaopportunityexchange.com.
Hope to see you there!