Working Relations Index® Study

Measuring and improving company-supplier working relations

The North American Automotive OEM-Supplier Working Relations Index® (WRI®) Study is a comprehensive annual survey that examines the working relations between Tier 1 suppliers and their North American-based OEM customers from the suppliers’ perspective. Using our proprietary WRI® methodology, the qualitative working relations of each OEM are quantitatively determined and ranked on a 500-point scale.

The WRI® Study is valued by OEM leadership and the automotive industry overall. We invite suppliers to share their firm’s day-to-day working experiences with the OEMs for whom they have commercial responsibility through this confidential study. This honest supplier feedback provides actionable information and can help improve timeliness, cost, and quality of every interaction between OEMs and their supply bases.



History of the North American Automotive OEM-Supplier Working Relations Index® Study

The WRI® Study is rooted in academia and continues to follow the same quality standards today. The study began in the early 2000s when Professor John Henke sought to independently survey suppliers and discover their perceptions of working with their North American OEM customers and what was driving these perceptions. The Henke survey continued on with Planning Perspectives, Inc. (PPI), which joined Plante Moran in January 2019. Our manufacturing and automotive teams have experience working with both suppliers and OEMs for nearly 100 years and provide comprehensive audit, tax, and consulting services to help companies succeed.

Collaborative supplier working relations

Collaborative relations increase customer and supplier profits. Customer WRI® behaviors and foundational activities help create those collective efforts. Once established, collaborative working relations influence the supplier behaviors impacting value creation. The weights applied to the variables, components, and formula to calculate the WRI® metrics are the intellectual property of Plante Moran and are not shared with any individuals outside of Plante Moran.

Methodology of the North American Automotive OEM-Supplier Working Relations Index® Study

The WRI® methodology is a quantification of suppliers’ qualitative working experiences with a single company (buyer) to whom they provide products and/or services. The WRI® result is expressed as a single metric and represents the degree to which collaborative suppliers’ working relations are present.

The WRI® model comprises five major components, with each component containing two or more variables. Each variable is represented by one or more questions in the survey questionnaire. The value of each individual variable is the average response of the suppliers who answered the variable-related question.


Our proprietary insights:

Automotive leadership