The not-for-profit Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) has launched training for crisis management and business recovery – said to be the first of its kind for the automotive industry.

“As recent crises suggest, the supply chain is vulnerable,” said AIAG CEO Andrew Cummins. “A domino effect in the supply chain may be created when disruptions occur at any single point.”

DaimlerChrysler, Ford and General Motors, in cooperation with auto industry suppliers, developed the crisis management process at AIAG in a bid to help the industry save millions of dollars annually.

All automakers are urging suppliers to develop plans for crisis management, and in many cases, now require crisis management plans of suppliers.

“AIAG has recognised the need for training and beginning August 3 will premiere the industry’s first training for crisis management planning and business recovery,” Cummins said.

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A recent study by Michigan State University, titled Effective Practices for Business Continuity Planning in Purchasing and Supply Management, found that companies are courting disaster if their business continuity plans fail to ensure supply chain continuity. The findings further suggest that supply chains have become increasingly fragile.

The AIAG class builds on the association’s M-12: Crisis Management for the Automotive Supply Chain – said to be the first guideline for crisis management in the automotive industry. It provides companies with numerous tools and hands-on exercises for training workers and validating the plan.

Southfield, Michigan-based AIAG has over 1,600 member companies including OEMs and suppliers to the automotive industry with combined annual sales of more than $850 billion. Its primary goals are to reduce cost and complexity within the automotive supply chain and to improve speed-to-market, product quality, employee health-and-safety and the environment.