CIS Among Matchmakers for Automotive Suppliers, Buyers

Southern automotive manufacturers and suppliers are forgoing the latest apps and going back to good old matchmaking when it comes to doing business.

In a collaboration between the Center for Industrial Services (CIS), the Tennessee Automotive Manufacturers Association (TAMA) and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD), the organizations created the Meet your Match Tennessee program. It’s a speed dating approach of sorts where automotive parts manufacturers meet one-on-one with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and tier-one suppliers in 15- to 20-minute rounds.

The most recent matchmaking session took place in Nashville, and put second- and third-tier parts and materials companies in front of prospective buyers from tier-one suppliers and the purchasing departments of Nissan North America in Nashville and the Volkswagen Group of America in Chattanooga.

“We had about 60 suppliers and eight buyers at this event resulting in more than 100 face-to-face meetings between buyers and suppliers,” said CIS Executive Director Paul Jennings. “We do extensive work with automotive suppliers and survey them frequently to identify their needs. This positions us to provide assistance on projects and training that prepare them for future growth and success.”

Meetings between suppliers and purchasing departments are not always easy to schedule, making the Meet your Match program a convenient concept for both.

“Since I’ve come on, we’ve launched several new projects including a series of forward-thinking events, such as this one to meet the needs of our members,” said Ashley Frye, executive director of TAMA. “Many of supplier members have mentioned that they would benefit from warm introductions to major OEMs. We created this matchmaker as a forum for those introductions. Hopefully it will generate new relationships, business and improved communications for our automotive manufacturing base in Tennessee.”