Driving Collaboration to Create Win-Win

Partnerships Between Customers & Suppliers

October 23-24, Detroit

Day One
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Day Two
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Chair’s Remarks

Cost Engineering Secrets: Exploring Best Practices When Purchasing “Black Box” Electronics with No or Little Cost Breakdowns


  • Determining a method to estimate a target cost for electronics based on manufacturing costs rather than relying on market prices
  • How the automotive industry can gain influence when electronics providers with a niche solution set a cost and refuse to negotiate
  • Quantifying the growth of electronic components in light of autonomous and electric drive vehicles, and considering the impact on total vehicle costs

Audience Discussion: Costing the Vehicle of the Future


The vehicle of the future will be very different from today’s vehicles – autonomous, electric, lightweight, connected. Manufacturing methods and material choices will also continue to
advance. This session is an opportunity to benchmark strategies as the industry attempts to estimate and control the costs of these emerging vehicles.

Optimizing the Use of Cost Estimation to Improve Your Business

  • John Monica Internal Business Consultant, Siemens PLM Software


  • Understanding cost as essential to your quotation process: how to ensure profitability and avoid mistakes
  • How to successfully identify the “should cost” of purchased parts to drive successful negotiations with suppliers
  • Discovering how to select the right analytics to drive and improve your business

Morning Refreshments

10:20 Reducing the Disruption during the Transition to a New Software

  • Setting expectations for the deployment of new software: what does the roadmap look like?
  • Considering the training and time your staff will need to learn a new tool, while continuing with their day jobs
  • Maximizing the benefits and use of the software to retain buyin from staff and executives

Surya Chiravuri, Senior Manager VA/VE, American Axle & Manufacturing

11:00  Audience Discussion: Revealing the True Return of Investment for Modern Costing Software

  • Quantifying the time savings of using a dedicated software platform compared to using Excel
  • Reviewing the accuracy of cost estimates and quotes compared to traditional methods
  • Considering the business case for you: Would your team benefit?


10:20 Case Study: Outlining Best Practices for Estimating & Controlling Costs for Vehicles Beyond Automotive

  • Providing an overview of the challenges when working with lower volumes and specialty applications
  • Considering how process selection, machine set-up and equipment costs are incorporated as a higher percentage of total costs
  • Outlining the state of the supply chain and how quotes and targets are negotiated – how to deal with a limited supply base alongside government audit requirements

Michael Skrzypchak, Director of Cost Management, Oshkosh Corporation

11:00 Panel: Reflecting on Cost Engineering Processes for Lower Volume, Heavy Duty Components

  • Determining shared challenges between automotive and other vehicle cost engineering: where can industries best learn from
    each other?
  • Identifying issues that are unique to lower volumes and how to overcome those challenges
  • Brainstorming how professionals in the niche non-automotive vehicle market can develop a community to share ideas and improve best practices

Elysse Blank, Purchasing & Supplier Quality Cost Analysis, VA /VE & Special Projects, Webasto

Jessica Koslen, Senior Cost Estimator, MAHLE

Ed Pretzel, President, Collaborative Supply Chains

Networking Lunch

Managing the Diverse Range of Cost Breakdown Structures across Numerous Customers & Suppliers

  • Jason Sienko Director – Product Launch, E&E Manufacturing


  • Hearing how improved communication between customers and suppliers can help ensure cost breakdowns include the right information in the right format
  • Exploring ways to reduce the time spent filling in new forms, and what to do when a form doesn’t align with the data you have on cost
  • Determining the potential for standardization between partners and beyond to significantly improve efficiency

Audience Discussion: Benchmarking How the Industry is Gathering, Validating & Storing Cost Data from Multiple Sources


  • Mapping out the sources of labor, equipment and material costs across the world: what’s the minimum number of sources that can be used to find everything you need?
  • Assessing the trust placed on each source and what to do when sources are inconsistent
  • Comparing organizational structures for data gathering: do you have specialists, or is it a shared responsibility of all cost professionals?

Afternoon Refreshments

Panel: Benchmarking the Pros & Cons of Alternative Ways Cost Engineers Are Integrated into the Organization


  • Understanding why cost engineers may report into engineering, purchasing, finance or elsewhere – and why it matters
  • Assessing how departments can be structured to promote internal cooperation and sharing of project data and ideas: are our engineering, purchasing and finance teams working harmoniously together?
  • Exploring the optimal job roles and responsibility of a cost engineer: which responsibilities and authority do you hold, and is this optimal?

Audience Discussion: Incorporating Lessons Learned from Unsuccessful Bids to Continuously Improve Costings & Win More Business


  • Hearing how feedback on a lost bid is gathered and reviewed: is this done at all? Who is responsible for doing this?
  • Tracking information from one feedback meeting to the next bid: how are the lessons stored and remembered?
  • Improving staff training and corporate record keeping to ensure that lessons learned are understood by new staff

Chair’s Closing Remarks

End of Conference