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NHBB’s Annual Supplier Conference Draws Large Gathering of Key Suppliers

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NHBB’s President Gary Yomantas delivers his opening remarks at the ninth annual Supplier Summit.

NHBB’s President Gary Yomantas delivers his opening remarks at the ninth annual Supplier Summit.

September 25, 2012 (Laconia, NH) - Earlier this month, NHBB held its ninth annual Supplier Summit in Laconia, NH at the Lake Opechee Inn and Spa Conference Center. In attendance were more than 130 individuals from 73 service, manufacturing, and distribution companies that supply NHBB with everything from castings, lubricants, steel, and coatings to MRO goods like abrasives, cleaning agents, and tooling.

The theme of this year’s Summit was “Getting to Gold,” which was chosen to emphasize NHBB’s objective of building a world class integrated supply chain and to encourage the supply-base to continue raising their performance levels in order to fully support the quality, delivery, cost, and service requirements of NHBB’s customers.

In his opening remarks, NHBB’s president Gary Yomantas spoke of how stringent these requirements have become. “In the global aerospace market, the bar for supplier performance is constantly being raised,” said Yomantas. “It has reached a point where zero quality escapes is a prerequisite to earning more business and you could be held accountable, financially, if you fall short.”

In addition to highlighting the increasingly strict requirements of its customers, NHBB shared its plans for optimizing and integrating the supply-base. Some of the steps NHBB is taking include standardizing supplier performance metrics, conducting quarterly supplier performance reviews, and assisting suppliers with Kaizen continuous improvement initiatives.

NHBB is also planning to hire a corporate-level senior quality engineer, who will be responsible for driving the standardization of best practices throughout NHBB and coordinating quality assessment activities on behalf of all three NHBB divisions.

At the end of its presentation, NHBB outlined its updated supplier performance standards. At a minimum, NHBB’ suppliers need to achieve on-time delivery in the high ninety percent range, zero quality escapes, and low-cost competitive pricing. Suppliers also need to score high marks for responsive customer service, continuous improvement, product and service innovation, as well as dependability, flexibility, and trustworthiness.

Barry Wilk, NHBB’s director of materials, closed the meeting by talking about the importance of relationships in forming strong supplier partnerships. “It’s essential for our growth to build supplier relationships based on trust, openness, and cooperation,” said Wilk. “NHBB’s success is intertwined with the success of our suppliers, so “Getting to Gold” translates into competitive advantage, business stability, and increased profitability for both partners in the relationship.”