The 2018 Ceramic Industry Supplier of the Year is Source International

By Susan Sutton, Editor-in-Chief

Manufacturers in the ceramic, glass, refractories, brick and related industries rely on the dedicated support of a multitude of suppliers in order to be successful. Ceramic Industry offers manufacturers the opportunity to acknowledge their valued suppliers by nominating them for our annual Supplier of the Year Award. Nominees are evaluated on a number of different qualities, including responsiveness, product options, reliability and overall performance (among others). I’m excited to share the news that the 2018 Ceramic Industry Supplier of the Year is Source International!

Supplier of the Year

Source International (SI) was nominated by Mike Bunge, director of Global Resources for Libbey Inc. In his nomination, Bunge writes, “SI has helped us to remove multiple barriers in our supply chain through proprietary systems that provide far greater visibility into lead times, service levels, quality levels, and pricing.”

According to Bunge, who also nominated SI for last year’s Supplier of the Year Award, the company serves as Libbey’s agent in Asia providing bilingual personnel who are available to assist with operations, logistics and supply chain issues, including product development and engineering, the monitoring of manufacturing processes, and social responsibility and quality compliance.

“Source International helps us execute globally,” says Bunge. “It’s very difficult to have boots on the ground in many regions. It becomes quite expensive. But the Source International reps are knowledgeable regarding common processes and procedures, and are further trained on our specific products and processes.”

Supplier of the Year

Supplier of the Year

SI is a 30-year-old manufacturing and supply management company with about 80 employees. According to Jim Ullum, managing partner, the company has been working with Libbey for 10 years. A dedicated team, comprising merchandisers, engineers, quality technicians, among others, works directly with Libbey to ensure smooth operations that result in quality products.

“Our motto is, we create partnerships for our customers’ success,” says Ullum. “We become an extension of our customers. We don’t work for the suppliers; we work for Libbey. Everything we do is in concert with what they want to do and what their goals are. We feel like we’re Libbey employees, even though technically we aren’t.”

Supplier of the Year

According to Bunge, SI’s size makes the company an ideal supplier for Libbey’s needs—large enough to provide the scope of support required while small enough to be flexible and adaptable when processes and procedures change. “I’m a big supporter of theirs because they’ve helped me, my team and our organization,” he says. “They’ve helped me and my team look good—internally to our organization—and they’ve helped our organization compete better on a global scale.”

Supplier of the Year

Ceramic Industry publisher Tom Fowler presented Source International with the 2018 Supplier of the Year Award on May 1, 2018 live from the show floor at Ceramics Expo in Cleveland. Joe Simon, VP Finance, represented SI and Ryan Routhe, QA/Materials Engineer, Global Sourcing represented Libbey at the awards ceremony. Ryan commented that SI helps Libbey to deliver great products to our customers….they are our feet and eyes and ears in the factories and take projects from beginning to end…just a great asset. Joe thanked Libbey and Ceramic Industry on behalf of Source International for the award and gave special accolades to the SI team in Asia which are the “boots on the ground” and that helps Libbey deliver quality products, on time using the proprietary database operating system (SIS) where customers can monitor the status of its products in real time 24/7.

To view a video of the presentation, please follow this link:

Ceramic Industry Supplier of the Year Award Video

For more information on Source International and the supply management services offerings please contact us to speak with one of our Operations Executives.

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