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News | May 10, 2022
2 minute read

Warner Attorneys Discuss Supply Chain Issues at OESA’s South Carolina Regional Meeting

The Original Equipment Suppliers Association’s Regional Meeting in South Carolina comes at a tumultuous time as supply chain disruptions threaten current production while emerging technologies are fundamentally changing vehicle architecture of the future.

Two Detroit attorneys who are especially well versed in the industry, Katherine L. Pullen and Zainab S. Hazimi of Warner Norcross + Judd LLP’s Automotive Industry Group, will discuss critical issues impacting supply chain manufacturers and share best practices and strategies for dealing with them at OESA’s May 12 event at the Clemson University Center for Automotive Research.

Pullen will focus her presentation on ongoing supply chain strains, including price increase demands, component and raw material shortages, shipping issues, commercial impracticability claims, volume shortages, ever-changing production schedules and preliminary injunction threats. Hazimi will address the mounting workforce challenges for employers and HR professionals as their personnel return to in-person work, as well as implications of vaccine mandates, employee leave issues, workplace safety and recent employment litigation trends.  

With COVID-19 disruptions entering a third year, the automotive industry is still reeling from the combined impacts of labor and staffing issues, logistical bottlenecks, microchip and other shortages, rising raw material costs and other issues. It’s clear the old ways of doing business are gone and suppliers need to adapt to changing realities. In fact, impacts from the Russian invasion of Ukraine are only now coming to light.

“I don’t know that the industry has ever seen such tenuous relationships in the supply chain,” Pullen said. “Demand letters are flying, and contractual disputes are near daily occurrences. Manufacturers need to proactively communicate up and down their supply chains and scrutinize their contracts to understand where their strengthens and weaknesses lie.” 

As the industry continues to evolve, suppliers need to review their contracts to manage risks and set longer-term strategies. Long-term fixed-price contracts once coveted by suppliers are giving way to shorter agreements with added flexibility to reflect market volatility. Warner offers its clients flat fee or alternative fee contract review retainers to help suppliers assess their current contract portfolios to be better prepared to meet any eventuality.  

Warner’s interdisciplinary Automotive Industry Group is one of the nation’s largest groups exclusively representing automotive suppliers in the supply chain space. The firm has more than 220 supplier clients across six continents ranging from small family-owned businesses to multinational Fortune 500 companies.

About Warner

By providing discerning and proactive legal advice, Warner Norcross + Judd builds a better partnership with its clients. Warner is a corporate law firm with 230 attorneys practicing in nine offices throughout Michigan: Grand Rapids, Detroit, Midland, Macomb County, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Lansing, Holland and Bloomfield Hills. To learn more, visit www.wnj.com, follow us on Twitter @WNJLLP or connect on LinkedIn or Facebook.

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