Guest Blog: The Need for Supplier Diversity in a Down Economy
I invited my Supplier Diversity Manager, Andrea Samuel, to share her thoughts regarding supplier diversity. Here is Andrea:
I found the perfect definition for Supplier Diversity in a recent article from the Black EOE Journal…..
President and CEO of DiversityBusiness.com, Kenton Clarke, states, “Supplier diversity is a business program amongst Fortune 1000 companies that encourages the use of privately held companies owned by historically underutilized businesses when purchasing good/services.”
We are so used to visiting the “big” corporations like Office Depot when we need office supplies, or a Best Buy or HH Gregg when we need computer services or consumer electronic products, that we have become oblivious to other vendors for the same products and services. Not that there is anything wrong with that, if you remember the Seinfeld way of thinking, but in the new economy with unemployment at its peak, and “mom and pop” shops struggling to survive at all, don’t we owe it to each other as a nation to take time to investigate the smaller companies that may offer the same or better than the big conglomerates? The answer is, “Yes!”
Even though Supplier Diversity programs started over 20 years ago, it seems that in recent years there has been a growing awareness of this kind of need and a development of such business programs in many companies. Big Corporate America has recognized the need to diversify its suppliers. Most even have developed mandatory Supplier Diversity departments and organizations, and track very carefully the corporate spend for diverse suppliers as a mandate to meet company goals. In addition, the representatives in this unique area of these organizations are responsible for researching new and innovative ways to do business with and be advocates for diverse suppliers. Slowly but surely, the Fortune 1000 leading the charge are being proactive with this very essential initiative.
When all sizes and types of businesses engage, this down economy may just stand a chance to rebound, which is a good for us all.