The AIAG Quality Steering Committee (QSC) is pleased to announce its latest addition to the group, Ford Motor Company Supplier Technical Assistance (STA), North America Strategy & Business Office Manager, Alisha Punjabi!
In her current capacity, Alisha is responsible for Ford’s supplier business processes, including APQP, PPAP, Capacity, Launch Activities, and associated STA systems. She also leads and coordinates process updates to help drive efficiency across the organization.
As she takes on new challenges with the AIAG QSC, Alisha looks forward to collaborating on critical industry initiatives, including addressing 3rd party audit processes to align with OEM-identified gaps with IATF 16949 or Customer Specific Requirements, and exploring sub-tier supplier quality management opportunities.
Ready to hear from Alisha herself? Check out the following Q&A for her thoughts on connecting with industry peers, meeting new types of customer demand, embracing change to make a difference, and more!
Why do you think it’s important to come together at AIAG and participate in events or volunteer for other activities?
Collaboration will fuel the current transformation of the automotive industry. Vehicles are becoming more complex and expectations from customers are shifting to be focused on the user experience – collaboration is the main tool to meet these shifting behaviors. By OEMs and suppliers coming together at AIAG events and volunteer activities, we can put our minds together for innovative and efficient solutions for all our organizations to continue to improve in the midst of change.
How do you keep up on what’s new and happening in the industry?
I stay connected by interacting with my peers and colleagues from the networks built throughout Ford, other OEMS, and our supply base. Even recently being involved in AIAG activities, I’ve already been able to meet many peers that offer unique perspectives and have had energized discussions about our industry. Being in the Ford Supplier Technical Assistance Strategy and Business Office, I get to see many different views, from planning phases to fully launching a vehicle, working with global teams and viewing outlooks from multiple regions, and interacting with peers from AIAG and IATF. These experiences allow me to see what’s going on outside of Ford, and I’m excited to continue to connect and learn from others!
Based on your automotive experience, what current or emerging trends do you think are most urgent for the industry to prepare for?
While the shift to electric vehicles is rapidly growing and driving auto industry transformation, we must be prepared to meet the growing demand for connected vehicles. Vehicles aren’t just a mode of transportation for customers anymore; customers now desire a full user experience, specifically with communication and entertainment. The new types of demand from customers require our industry to really tap into software integration and usage of vehicle data to be more effective. In today’s world, staying connected is a necessity, and one that will be here for the long run.
What advice would you offer to those who are just starting out in the automotive industry?
Embrace change! As the industry becomes more tech-forward, we all are adapting to meet customer needs. This requires disruptive, innovative, and forward thinking. Change can be difficult, but it can be so rewarding with many opportunities ahead to adapt and meet the demands of the changing landscape. No matter how overwhelming it may seem, know that your efforts and ideas matter, and that even a small change can make a huge difference to our industry and its consumers.