Toyota Opportunity Exchange Connects Diverse Suppliers

donna charlesHundreds of Tier I suppliers occupy the trade show floor at Toyota’s Opportunity Exchange each year looking to make connections with women and minority-owned businesses. One of those is Multi-Training Systems of Southfield, Mich.

“I’ve been attending Opportunity Exchange for more than 10 years,” said Donna Charles, Multi-Training Systems sales and marketing manager. “We’re doing working with 10 or 15 different suppliers as a result of this event.”

Charles added that doing business with Toyota Tier I and other Tier II suppliers has led to innovation within her company. “Each year that I come here I get something different out of it. What has been very meaningful to me is working with the groups in terms of utilizing technology to promote my business. At last year’s event, the organizers released a great app that we could use on the trade show floor. So I started to think about how I could use apps in our training programs and to promote my business.”

That innovation was on display Monday and Tuesday, November 14 – 15, at the 27th Annual Toyota Opportunity Exchange in Covington, Ky. There, potential and existing Tier II suppliers learn that the best way to generate business with a Toyota Tier I is to provide a product of equal or greater quality at a reduced cost.

“The goal of Opportunity Exchange is to connect diverse companies with Toyota’s Tier I suppliers. By strengthening critical skills, business insight, and networking, our goal is to turn today’s connections into tomorrow’s relationships,” said Robert Young, Toyota group vice president of purchasing, supplier engineering development and cost planning.