HIGH POINT, N.C. — Thomas Built Buses named Julian Electric Inc. in Westmont, Ill., the 2011 Supplier of the Year at its sixth annual supplier day event in Greensboro.
Julian Electric Inc., which produces battery cables and wiring harnesses, has been a Thomas Built supplier since 2005. The company was recognized for its competitiveness, excellent customer service and on-time delivery.
Carling Technologies in Plainville, Conn., a switch and circuit breaker manufacturer, was recognized as the year's Most Improved Supplier. Numerous gold and silver awards were announced as well.
"The value of the event lies in the face-to-face opportunity for us to express our appreciation, recognize the contributions of our suppliers, discuss the challenges of the coming year, and develop and nurture the relationships that are so important to our mutual success," said Kelley Platt, Thomas Built president and CEO, who presented the awards.
Joseph J. Alesandro, vice president of fleet management for school bus contractor Student Transportation Inc. in Wall, N.J., was one of the speakers at this year's event, offering a customer's perspective.
Donna Bauer, quality systems manager for Bemis Manufacturing in Sheboygan Falls, Wis., was among the supplier representatives attending the event. Bemis produces injection molded and extrusion interior trim, which is used on the consoles and above the windows of Thomas Built school buses. Bemis was the Thomas Built Supplier of the Year in 2007 and 2009.
Bauer, who attends the event every year, said she finds it helpful to get to know other suppliers and what they do, and she leaves feeling energized.
"Thomas Built creates an environment where everyone is part of a true partnership," Bauer said. "Through Thomas' supplier event, suppliers share successes, benchmark performance and learn from each other to become stronger suppliers."
The event drew more than 275 representatives from Thomas Built's 100 largest suppliers. Speakers at the event included Chris Moore, Thomas Built Buses' quality manager, and Daimler Trucks North America's Director of Purchasing Donald Chapman, Senior Manager Warranty David Dole and Chief Operating Officer Roger Nielsen.