Opportunity Knocks

Toyota Program Matches Minority, Women-Owned Companies with Tier I Suppliers
contracts Totaling $250 Million Generated over past 25 years

November 09, 2015
CINCINNATI (Nov. 9, 2015) – A diverse supplier chain often means innovation and cost savings – a combination that is good for business and the economy. Toyota has hosted its annual Opportunity Exchange for 26 years running – inviting Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBEs) to cultivate and strengthen relationships with Tier I (direct) suppliers at the free two-day event, happening Nov. 9 -10 at the Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati.
“The Opportunity Exchange is a demonstration of Toyota’s genuine commitment to connect MWBEs with opportunities,” said Eric Ellis, president and chief executive officer of Integrity Development. “Toyota is advocating for MWBEs and suppliers focused on building long-term relationships.”
The event began in 1989 with 300 attendees and has grown to nearly 2,000 people each year and has generated more than $250 million in contracts for MWBEs. The event includes seminars and panel discussions that focus on topics including how MWBEs and Tier I suppliers (both direct and indirect) can turn relationships into opportunities. Although OE is hosted by Toyota, MWBEs and Tier Is often work on deals related to other automakers.
“It’s a great chance to connect,” said Melvin Gravely, president and CEO of Triversity Construction. “Businesses get a chance to talk about your value proposition, and you meet with the right people who buy what you sell and start that conversation.”
Initial introductions often lead to talks that strengthen relationship and can lead to contracts. “One thing about being an MBE, about being small, we’re quick; we have a lot of innovation,” said Greg Battle, former president and chief executive officer of Coolant Control. “We have to show that the products we are offering have an intrinsic built-in value. They get a good price. They get a better-performing product. That’s our niche.”
Carl Satterwhite, president and CEO of RCF Group, agrees. “MWBEs bring value to Tier I suppliers by way of innovation savings and cost avoidance that can bring new twists and opportunities for both companies to bring to the market,” Satterwhite said. “Minority firms may see things from a different angle than larger companies, and that may lead to strategic business opportunities.”
For more information, visit ToyotaOpportunityExchange.com.
Over the course of more than two decades, Opportunity Exchange has helped generate new business for M/WBEs and continues to help direct suppliers diversify their own supply base. These partnerships help add value and innovation to Toyota’s products and services. For more information about Toyota's supplier diversity program, please visit www.toyotasupplier.com. Additional information can be found at www.toyotaopportunityexchange.com.
About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands.  Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America (10 million+ in Kentucky), where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 42,000 people (more than 33,000 in the U.S., with 7,500 employed at our Georgetown, Kentucky plant).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.67 million cars and trucks (more than 2.35 million in the U.S.) in 2014 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.  
Media Contacts
Mike Triebsch (502) 693-5975
Ashley Brauer (502) 649-3205
manufacturing & engineering toyota opportunity exchange oe

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