Thomas Built Buses Annual Supplier Event Energizes Attendees

Julian Electric, Inc. Named Thomas’ Supplier of the Year

High Point, N.C. – Thomas Built Buses recently hosted its sixth annual supplier day event at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, N.C. The annual three-day event focuses on cost reductions, quality improvements, lead time reductions and technology and honors a Supplier of the Year.

Kelley Platt, Thomas Built Buses president and CEO, presented the 2011 Supplier of the Year award to John Julian, president, Julian Electric, Inc., Westmont, Ill. Julian Electric, which produces battery cables and wiring harnesses, has been a Thomas Built supplier since 2005, and was recognized for its competitiveness, excellent customer service and on time delivery.

Carling Technologies, Plainville, Conn., a switch and circuit breaker manufacturer, was recognized as the year’s Most Improved Supplier. Numerous Gold and Silver awards were announced, as well.

Platt said: “The value of the event lies in the face-to-face opportunity for us to express our appreciation, recognize the contributions of our suppliers, discuss the challenges of the coming year, and develop and nurture the relationships that are so important to our mutual success.”

Joseph J. Alesandro, vice president of fleet management for Student Transportation, Inc. (STI), Wall, N.J., was one of the speakers at this year’s event, offering a customer’s perspective. STI is the third largest independent student transportation contractor in North America with a fleet of approximately 7,400 vehicles.

Alesandro noted that the fact that Thomas Built invited a customer to speak to its suppliers “is evidence of the company’s forward thinking. It helps suppliers understand customers’ needs in today’s challenging business environment. Thomas Built takes our needs very personally, and does everything in its power to meet those needs.”

Donna Bauer, quality systems manager for Bemis Manufacturing, Sheboygan Falls, Wis., was among the supplier representatives attending the event. Bemis produces injection molded and extrusion interior trim, which is used on the consoles and above the windows of Thomas Built school buses. Bemis was the Thomas Supplier of the Year in 2007 and 2009.

Bauer, who attends the event every year, said she finds it helpful to get to know other suppliers, and what they do, and leaves feeling energized. “Thomas Built creates an environment where everyone is part of a true partnership,” said Bauer. “Through Thomas’ supplier event, suppliers share successes, benchmark performance and learn from each other to become stronger suppliers.”

The event drew more than 275 representatives from Thomas Built’s 100 largest suppliers. Speakers at the September 15-17 event included Chris Moore, Thomas Built Buses’ quality manager, and Daimler Trucks North America’s director of purchasing, Donald Chapman; senior manager warranty, David Dole; and chief operating officer, Roger Nielsen.

About Thomas Built Buses

Founded in 1916, Thomas Built Buses is a leading manufacturer of school buses in North America. Since the first Thomas Built bus rolled off the assembly line, the company has been committed to delivering the smartest and most innovative buses in North America. Learn more at or at

Thomas Built Buses, Inc., headquartered in High Point, N.C., is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America and a leading manufacturer of class 4-8 vehicles. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Daimler Trucks North America is a Daimler company.

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