Inside the world of GM Holden with Jaydeep Solanki

CEO

Jaydeep Solanki is a business leader with a vast global portfolio. After beginning his career with General Motors India in 1997, he’s progressed through various management positions and is currently the Director of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain of GM Holden.

In this conversation with Connect Intelligence, Jaydeep gives us exclusive insight into improving production, procurement and performance at the renowned car company.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges in procurement in Australia at present?

In Australia, procurement teams are under constant pressure to add more value to input cost savings as many companies are experiencing a lot higher rate of increase in cost of doing business (e.g. Energy, Compliance, Tax, etc.) Vs productivity increase. Procurement team capability to drive “Innovation” and “Creative Leadership” as the foundation of building long term supplier relationships are the biggest challenges in Australia today.

How have Holden’s intentions to become an import-only motoring company impacted the future of the car company at the production level?

The change in future business direction has led to some remarkable achievements at GM Holden with best ever cost structure across entire business and the best ever quality results at our manufacturing plant in Adelaide this year. Immediately after announcing change in business direction, GM Holden leadership set up a “Transition Program” with complete transparency about our goals for business, people and workplace culture. This program has been instrumental in preparing all employees to adapt as necessary with the aim to make “the last car – the best car” in Australia. Procurement team collaborated with all suppliers with complete transparency about our future direction and continue to work very closely with all suppliers to maintain stable supply-chain till end of production.

Measures for improving environmental performance continue to be a focus for many car manufacturers. What are the costs for enabling these sustainability measures and how do you ensure these practices enable your company to remain competitive in the market?

Environmental stewardship and sustainability are part of GM business model and core to our operations. GM is committed to not only maintain compliance and reduce environmental impact our facilities, but also serve and improve the communities in which we live and work around the world. GM is one of the largest user of renewable energy from solar, landfill gas, hydro and waste-to-energy applications with focus on cost savings through increased efficiency in materials and logistics operations. More details are available on GM corporate sustainability report published on www.gmsustainability.com

What do you believe is the most integral aspect of strong stakeholder management at the board level for a car manufacturing company dependent on so many different resources?

Shared vision and collaboration is the most integral aspect of strong stakeholder management. Ability to closely relate and work with stakeholders across all levels within organisation is another important aspect to get things done in a large complex corporate environment with multiple functional priorities.

Jaydeep will be sharing more of his insights at the Supply Chain Forum next month. 

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