Why Supplier Diversity is Important

Supplier Diversity is a key element of customer value and a core component of supply chain management. America’s leading corporations are engaging new small business partnerships as a means to drive market share and enhance their brands. Moreover, diverse small business is the fastest growing component of American industry and government has a public responsibility to promote economic opportunity through business inclusion.

Frequently Asked Questions About Supplier Diversity

Most corporations have based their focus on MBE and WBE but the tent has grown larger. So, in 1985, Reginald Williams, Consultant to Corporate Management, introduced the term "supplier diversity" to ensure competitive access for all under-utilized (e.g.minority, women, disabled, LGBT, veterans) groups and strategic business partners. Since that time, over 90% of the nation's corporations and several government agencies have adopted the use of the term "supplier diversity.

By any measure the Billion Dollar Roundtable, an august group of leading corporations aligned to promote supplier diversity have set the standard for excellence in supplier diversity initiatives. They include, such companies as Johnson Controls, AT&T, Microsoft, Avis Budget Group, The Boeing Company, Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, Honda North America, and Proctor and Gamble Company, all of whom are current or former clients of Procurement Resources.

The leading text on supplier diversity applications are published by Procurement Resources on the Resources page. They include "A Buyers Guide to Doing Business with Minority Vendors" is a 135 page compendium that offers a template for starting and executing your supplier diversity strategy and "Second Tier Minority Purchasing - Effective Strategies in Supplier Diversity" written by Reginald Williams of Procurement Resources, contains specific information about the 2nd tier initiative. Another important publication on supplier diversity is the Billion Dollar Roundtable Supplier Diversity Best Practices guidebook. This working manual offers the reader insights into supplier diversity success stories, in addition to offering solutions to challenges associated with supplier diversity as a component in supply chain management.

The most effective process for launching a supplier diversity program in your company will be to begin collaborative engagement with key stakeholders starting with the supply chain team. This information sharing should result in shared purpose with a focus on embedding supplier diversity into the contracting and purchasing mainstream. Once this steering committee is underway, members of the team should participate in training on the business case for supplier diversity, which is routinely presented by Procurement Resources throughout the year, across the country. Contact PRI for more information.