When the Right Thing is Also the Smart Thing: the Supplier Diversity Win-Win
While a very strong ethical case can be made around the ability (and need) for large companies to use their power and influence to help address racial injustice through actively diversifying their vendor pools, equally strong arguments can be made for the business case for supplier diversity. A more inclusive procurement strategy provides more options to businesses to meet their specific needs, can increase healthy competition, lower costs, improve quality, and make supply chains more reliable and flexible.
As more companies proactively seek these relationships and commit to building them, diverse suppliers must also prepare to pitch their products and services to large companies so they can be seen and considered, and must learn how to interact effectively with large, complicated and often slow-moving organizations.
As much as diverse suppliers often just need an introduction to get their foot in the door, big companies also need help casting a wider net to find new suppliers. Mark your calendar now to attend the 2022 Global Supplier Diversity Conference (GSDC) to better understand how to forge these new relationships and connect those offering needed products and services with those seeking them.
The first supplier diversity programs in the U.S. can be traced back to General Motors that set up programs in Detroit in 1968, creating a ripple effect throughout the automotive industry.
Inclusive or diverse procurement practices enable companies to use their huge spending power to provide greater opportunities for populations that have traditionally enjoyed fewer of them in our society. That includes small business owners, minority-owned businesses, woman-owned businesses and, increasingly, businesses owned by other underrepresented groups such as members of the LGBTQ+ community, veterans and people with disabilities.
Benefits for big and small
Such programs help society by generating increased economic opportunities for disadvantaged communities. They engage companies in operationalizing DEI goals. And they are attractive to potential employees. A survey conducted for UPS found that more than half of respondents said that a company with a supplier diversity program was a plus in considering where they wanted to work.
Supplier diversity programs also help companies in many ways that tie directly to the bottom line. “An inclusive procurement strategy widens the pool of potential suppliers and promotes competition in the supply base, which can improve product quality and drive down costs,” according to the Corporate Outreach Manager of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, Katie Date, and Ashley Barrington, founder of MarketPearl, a B2B sourcing marketplace. “And by providing more sourcing options, inclusiveness can make supply chains more resilient and agile – an increasingly important advantage in these uncertain times,” they write in Harvard Business Review.
Access to more diverse suppliers can also promote innovation through connection with vendors that offer a different range of products, services and solutions than those a company already contracts with for various needs.
Benefits to small business owners include the opportunity to grow substantially by entering new markets, securing larger contracts and gaining additional business referrals through the increased visibility and network-building that comes from swimming in a larger pool.
Attend the 2022 GSDC
The fifth annual Monica Motivates full-day Global Supplier Diversity Conference (GSDC) September 22, 2022 is designed to launch new vendor partnerships and increase the number of successful underrepresented small business suppliers. This business-expanding event will be sponsored for the fifth year by Porsche Cars North America and will feature expert speakers who are senior leaders from major Fortune 500 companies. Participants will learn how to:
- Build a strong presence and position in their field so companies can easily find them.
- Understand and articulate their value proposition and connect it to the needs of specific companies.
- Make data-driven decisions.
- Compete effectively in the RFP process.
- Forge strategic partnerships that fulfill the interests of both organizations.
- Scale their business beyond local markets.
- Activate a strategic framework to close deals.
When you apply the strategies shared at the GSDC, you will have the framework you need to take advantage of exciting opportunities unfolding for diverse suppliers and scale your business to the next level.