Supplier Diversity for a Competitive Advantage

    Supplier DiversitySupplier diversity initiatives create an array of tangible and intangible benefits that can positively impact your organization. Minority-owned businesses are growing exponentially faster than ever before, and more corporations are making them a priority in their supply chains.

    Businesses that can tap into a wide variety of diverse suppliers have the potential to increase profitability, minimize risks in the supply chain, experience improved innovation, and positively impact communities and the local economy.

    The ISD diversity system is probably one of the most critical initiatives for corporate America in the last decade.

    ISD is the first company in the United States to develop a national diversity reporting, tracking, and validation system. Your reporting process will reflect that accurate diversity spending is reported and verified; there will be non-duplicated reporting that identifies them by company.

    We can cross-reference all reporting of diversity dollars with each MBE/WBE.

    Why is this important? It is important because this process ensures the accuracy of reporting and establishes measurements and accountability.

    Validation and Verification for Supplier Diversity Are Key Components

    Numbers don’t lie,” is an often quoted statement. However, in too many instances, numbers can be represented to paint inaccurate pictures. An unfortunate example of this is often shown in the world of business_ especially in terms of the amount of money that major corporations spend doing business with minority companies or the amount of money that is spent in minority neighborhoods or acknowledgement of the amount of money that minority  customers spend on certain products, which reflects the real value of minorities to these companies.

    In recent times, many technology companies have created platforms which are used to evaluate and parse minority corporate spend. However, only one company has a system that  accesses the amounts spent and actually verifies that the amounts that are stated are accurate.

    Validation and verification are the key components needed for accurate discernment of data. ISD is the only system with a proven track record over two decades whose system can both validate and verify that the reported numbers are accurate and authentic representations of minority spend.

    Identifying Diverse Suppliers and Best Practices

    The first step to developing an effective supplier diversity program is to identify various suppliers. A diverse supply chain relies on accurate business data to identify and assess vendors. Specialized resources are available and can uncover detailed demographic and socioeconomic data on business owners.

    Supplier diversity best practices involve the active engagement of all suppliers, including buyers, and measurable metrics for assessing their success.

    Establishing KPIs and goals is essential in a good business program, comparing the process to best practices at other organizations. It will vary between companies, but it is imperative to have benchmarks and goals to measure your supplier diversity program’s success. As your organization’s needs change and strategies shift, these should be reviewed and adapted periodically to ensure that your supplier diversity program remains a focal point.

    Setting a budget aside for diverse suppliers such as minority-owned and women-owned companies positively impacts the local community, the greater economy, and the purchasing company. Even though many diverse suppliers are certified by various government and non-government organizations, it is essential to evaluate your existing program or build a new one that incorporates an organized process of evaluating diverse suppliers of all categories and gathering critical information from them.

    Ensuring support for your supplier diversity program starts from the top down. There are many reasons to be sure supplier diversity is part of the company’s policies from the beginning. A strong diversity program can also help unlock doors to potential partnerships.

    Many Fortune 500 companies are committed to diversity in their suppliers and search for partners that share their values and practices. With so many advantages, the question is if your organization can afford not to commit to using diverse suppliers?

    Integrated Systems Design offers an online automated verification, reporting and tracking system that will verify and report your organization’s diversity expenditures. Get in touch and find out how to improve your supplier diversity program.