Comprehensive Guide to Vendor Diversity in Procurement & Supply Chain

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Supplier Diversity in Procurement refers to a supply chain that includes businesses possessed by diverse entities or groups. Diversity refers to an establishment's attempts to involve diverse suppliers or vendors in its supply chain and sourcing activities that are possessed by a smaller or deprived group comprising of people of colour, women, veterans, disabled, and LGBTQQIA+

Do you keep hearing the term “supplier diversity” but aren’t too sure what it means? When looking at most business terms the meaning and implementation can always wary by the business. This blog will therefore look at the general meaning behind ”supplier diversity and then delve a little deeper.

in a nutshell, supplier diversity is referred to as a business strategy that guarantees a diverse supplier base in the procurement of goods and services for any company or organization. It highlights the formation of a diverse supply chain that works to secure the inclusion of diverse groups within procurement plans for government, not-for-profits, and private industry.

In other words, supplier diversity refers to a supply chain that encompasses businesses possessed by diverse entities or parties. 

What Is Supplier Diversity?

Supplier Diversity Program

As with various business terms, the meaning and application of these exact words can differ by company. So let us start off with the overall definition, after which we can dive a little deeper to help you understand more about ‘’supplier diversity’’.

In broad, supplier diversity is an industry approach that guarantees a varied supplier base in the procurement of goods and services for any company or corporation. It highlights the establishment of a diverse supply chain that operates to safeguard the presence of diverse parties in the procurement strategies for government, not-for-profits, and private manufacturing.

Moreover, supplier diversity refers to a supply chain that includes businesses possessed by diverse entities or groups. Diversity refers to an establishment’s attempts to involve suppliers in its supply chain and sourcing activities that are possessed by a smaller or deprived group comprising of people of color, women, veterans, disabled, and LGBTQQIA+.

What is a Diverse Supplier?

When looking at a diverse supplier, you would be considering a business that is maintained and operated by a person or group that is part of a usually understated or underserved group. Within the United States, for instance, there are roughly 16 categories applied to classify diverse enterprises. Widespread standards are small-business enterprises (SBEs), minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs), and woman-owned business enterprises (WBEs). For an institute to track records and report diverse supplier spend, it is essential to safeguard that its contractors are licensed through third-party certification groups.

Diverse certification is an essential mark in the existence of a supplier since it verifies that the company is preserved, operated, and regulated by a qualifying diverse unit. Certification also unlocks the entry for prospects to deal with the state government, which has a directive to expand the number of diverse suppliers within an association’s supply chain.

Entities such as the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council (NMSDC), the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Vets First Verification Program place great effort on guaranteeing that companies are properly classified by presenting nationally recognized third-party certification services. Local councils and state and local governments also extend certification services.

Why Is Supplier Diversity Important?

On a greater level, helping supplier diversity grants the economy as well as the corporation’s more direct community with the inflow of cash. Nonetheless, commencing or ramping up current programs also offers a multitude of tangible benefits to your business, including improving market share, increasing company flexibility, and boosting competition among a business’s suppliers.

Most diverse firms are small and extending their business lets them expand and contend better in the market, which promotes competition and modernization amongst varied and non-diverse firms alike. Small businesses are an important part of the economy, making up 44% of economic movement in the U.S. in 2019 and 99.7% of employer businesses in the U.S. in 2012. So, helping them also facilitates to grow the economy and accelerates economic upturn.

To a more local degree, purchasing from diverse businesses permits them to boost current jobs and generate new ones, boost wages, and pay extra in tax revenue, which helps their local communities. Numerous companies with supplier diversity programs assess indicators of this economic influence like jobs endorsed and money donated to the economy to demonstrate how their diversity programs influence the world around them.

Advantages to the Business Seeking Diverse Suppliers

Possibly the most substantial benefit of having a supplier diversity program is an upsurge in market share. Businesses that set aside 20% and up of their expenditure for diverse suppliers report that 10-15% of their yearly sales come from these programs. In The Meantime, businesses that distribute less than 20% of their spending to diverse companies attribute less than 5% of their trades to their supplier diversity program. The more a company raises its diversity spending, the further its market share intensifies. On a correlated note, improved diversity in the supply chain permits a company to grow more easily into markets with diverse demographics. The rising number of minority people in the U.S. indicates that minority purchasers will expand purchasing by up to 70% between 2000 and 2045, corresponding to the Department of Commerce, so these are huge markets to tap into.

Aside from these advantages there are other motivations to boost diversity supply; adding further diverse suppliers gives a company additional opportunity to procure supplies while boosting competition between suppliers for the best service and price. Furthermore, a robust supplier diversity program presents the chance for good press. It also proves to customers, stakeholders, and other groups that a firm takes an interest in promoting the broader community.

What Is Supplier Diversity Spend?

Diverse supplier spend, often phrased as diverse spend, describes the procurement dollars spent exclusively with small and diverse businesses, often conveyed in a dollar quantity or proportion of total procurement spend.

Supplier Diversity Spend

Why Companies Should Invest in Supplier Diversity Program?

So why does your company require a supplier diversity program? It seems to be a straightforward enough question, but it is worth discovering some of the motivation’s supplier diversity can be a benefit to companies that can drive growth, efficiency, revolution, and corporate morals. Here are 5 motivations to consider:

1. It Is Great for Business

This is a straightforward factor. Whether you produce sanitiser, market production services or supply computer parts, your consumer base is expected to consist of a diverse set of customers and companies. When your buyers recognize that the business is in harmony with their needs and produce the goods and provide the services that they acquire, they are more than expected to offer greater assistance to your company. Your name will benefit as you are improving your market existence and boosting your devotion to local communities’ economic expansion and welfare.

2. It Shows Your Corporate Morals

As population demographics are everchanging, businesses recognize that diversity and inclusion are essential to the ethos of a business. As most companies know, one important measure for business victory is the capability to entice and retain talent. Having an entirely functioning supplier diversity program–where prospects are offered to diverse firms that offer bottom-line corporate worth to your supply chain–is one method to prove to potential employees and other stakeholders that your business certainly does value diversity and inclusion. 

3. It Is Great for Innovation

In business, innovation refers to taking concepts and inventions and turning them into goods and services. Frequently, innovation is encouraged by your business associates and suppliers, and these same associates and suppliers are the ones who can assist you with building an improved mousetrap. But unless you have a diverse supply base of associates with diverse ideas, viewpoints, backgrounds, and knowledge, how you innovate at your business could be improved if you are looking at the universe with a multiple, rather than singular, prism. Diverse suppliers can also play a key part in developing innovative procedures to generate competitive environments that eventually drive efficiencies, lower charges, and decrease costs – which is a must for a business to grow. 

4. You Increase Your Business Profile

While supplier diversity has grown from that of a corporate selfless endeavor to one of a business imperative, when your business can aid diverse firms to grow and prosper it puts your company in a very positive light with a plethora of investors, including selected representatives, controllers, consumers, the media and peers. The national government takes small and minority enterprises seriously, as emphasized by programs such as MEDWeek, which acknowledges diversity business activists and applauds minority business initiatives. As your supplier diversity program progresses, your coverage expands as you get out to industry events, trade shows, opportunity fairs, and the likes to employ diverse new suppliers as well as discuss, shop and trade best practices with other companies and supporters. Demonstrating that you value diversity in your industry relations that come with gender, age, background, sexual orientation, disabilities, and religious identity variations implies your organization certainly will be considered positively.

5. You Affiliate with the Company and Corporate Morals of Your Associates

This matter is most vital as it could plainly mean the disparity between winning and losing business. What if your extremely vital corporate client has a vibrant and popular supplier diversity program? What if you do not? Evidently, diversity and inclusion are essential to your business client, and you lack alignment with a key account. Surely, companies want to understand that their business partners are completely in sync with their corporate principles. If you are not, be cautious, as that partner may try to find other collaborators who are. Just as with sponsors, if something is not in sync, they usually pull out to safeguard their brands. Business alignment is essential.

How to Determine Objectives and Best Practice in Supplier Diversity?

Establishing a new supplier diversity program can appear overwhelming – How do you obtain established diverse businesses? How do you track performance? What system of measurement should you be tracking in the first instance? Take Into Consideration the following best practices when forming your innovative supplier diversity program.

Supplier Diversity Dashboard

Benchmark And Goal Placing

The initial step in establishing a successful supplier diversity program is choosing whom you will scale your program against and why. Resolving the “why” should be relatively simple – to meet the organization’s targets.

Deciding important goals links supplier diversity to business policy for the organization as an entirety. Your goals ought to be realistic and attainable, assist to detect weak areas that need development, confront the status quo, and prevent complacency, reinforce the necessity for shift and offer strong enthusiasm for transformation. This last point is crucial to determining worker buy-in.

The “whom” to scale against is more difficult. Benchmarking is equally a management tool for development improvement and a core learning and communicating tool that constantly improves practices by encouraging culture shifts based on the notion that the company can be amongst the greatest in the world.

For your association to be an industry leader, look in the direction of best-in-class benchmarking. In the case of supplier diversity, consider beyond your individual industry and assess the procedures used by leaders in other trades. Introducing techniques from other areas may give you a competitive advantage over your peers and establishing your business as a leader.

A reminder: Benchmarking should not just be about guessing out your target figure; it must also steer you toward forming the methods and ethos that assist you in attaining those outcomes throughout the business.

Pinpoint Proven Diverse Businesses

Creating a Tier 1 program may be simpler than you believe. The first phase is to run your list of suppliers through a third-party data enhancement course to recognize the diverse suppliers you currently do business with. Once you have recognized these qualified diverse suppliers, act on constructing your relationship and growing spend with them.

Once you have increased openings with your existing diverse supplier base, the subsequent effective way to find established firms is via a master database of small and diverse suppliers comprising of detailed supplier information. This file should allow seeking suppliers through a Net portal centered on any parameter you want. It ought to assist your internal players, or even your main suppliers, locate diverse businesses by making it simple to find certified MBE, WBE, LGBT, SDB, 8(a), HUBZone, veteran, service-disabled veteran, and small-business providers in one place.

Work Together Internally With Procurement And Other Departments

An efficient supplier diversity program should continually explore prospects for existing and brand-new diverse suppliers within the company. Work with your procurement team to get visibility into when existing contracts are ending and new sourcing prospects are coming up, then connect with diverse suppliers about proposal conditions and deadlines.

Additionally, the key to expanding your diverse supplier base is incorporating new suppliers into your supply chain. Begin by recognizing commodity categories (or the NAICS code) for each supplier your business is presently doing business with, then run your supplier report through the third-party supplier data enrichment procedure.

Estimate the percentage of your existing spend with diverse businesses for each class. When you have these calculations, connect with a company that has contact to WBENC, NMSDC, NGLCC, and other certification agencies’ supplier data to see the most comprehensive availability of diverse suppliers in your geographical region. Your objective is to recognize types that have (1) low utilization of diverse suppliers by your business and (2) a high-level concentration of diverse suppliers per the certification organizations.

Now you are prepared to discuss with your purchasing team about possibly switching some of the current non-diverse suppliers when their contracts terminate or bringing in diverse suppliers for brand-new openings.

Track Accomplishment

Supplier Diversity Reporting

A winning supplier diversity program is one that evidently drives business expansion and increases shareholder profit. Tracking spend with Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers is crucial but think about going outside these numbers to calculate the program’s effect on the entire company. Cost reserves, market share, business image, revenue impact, and economic influence are all important metrics to assess the long-term achievement of your supplier diversity program. Effective supplier diversity programs are continually evolving by tracking outcomes on a regular basis, modifying metrics when required, and improving the program over time.

Launching a high-impact supplier diversity program is a journey requiring multiple measures: benchmarking and establishing goals; recognizing qualified diverse suppliers and openings for additional diversity spend; and tracing the program’s execution. Pursue these best practices to determine a successful, robust supplier diversity program that generates innovation, diminishes costs, and improves competitiveness.

How to Keep an Eye on Supplier Diversity Performance?

Simfoni Spend Analytics offers a Supplier Diversity Dashboard, so if you do not know which vendors in our supply chain are certified minority suppliers, Simfoni Spend Analytics can quickly analyze your procurement to show you how much you currently spend with diverse suppliers and in what categories. This also helps support your Tier II spend as this scalable technology and tool makes it extremely simple and inexpensive to build and delivers real quantifiable results. A win-win for all. With a detailed spend classification and clean granular data down to the service, product, or even part number you can have a solution to quickly find alternative suppliers. Simfoni Spend Analytics uses automation and AI to review and classify your procurement spend in days, not weeks or months, making the initial diversity review and regular updates to check on progress a simple reality. Simfoni Spend Analytics’ Free Supplier Diversity Dashboard and Reporting can help you make that difference by accurately categorizing and analyzing your companies spend. We provide visibility and analysis into how you spend today and the breakdown of the information you need to strategically diversify your supplier base.

Supplier Diversity Performance

What Is Supplier Diversity Analytics and How to Implement It in Your Organization?

Supplier diversity Analytics dashboard facilitates in tracing the total spend of the business with diversity suppliers. It provides a snapshot of the difference as compared to the total spend as equated to what it was in the earlier month or year. This tool is directly linked with the spending tool and a column is included which shows as an identifier to introduce the type of diversity vendor. The diversity is classified as:

  • Woman Business Enterprise
  • Minority Business Enterprise
  • Small Business
  • Veteran Owned

Consequently, Supplier Diversity Analytics acts as a very effective tool to help businesses accomplish their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) objectives.

How To Run an Effective Supplier Diversity Program with Simfoni?

Simfoni provides industry-leading spend analytics and supplier diversity data to oversee Diversity programs around the world. Simfoni’s Diversity Program benefits consist of:

Visualize and Analyze Your Supplier Diversity Spend

Use Simfoni Analytics to identify opportunities to increase spend with minority-owned businesses.

  • Visually analyze spending with all types of diverse suppliers, including minority-owned businesses, automatically.
  • Easily Identify opportunities to increase spend to current diverse suppliers.
  • Uncover categories or business units where you don’t have diverse vendors, yet.

Automated baselining

There is no need to acquire data independently and trying to meticulously map suppliers to comprehend how much of your spending is diverse. Utilizing advanced AI/ML methods within supplier control, Simfoni can automatically find all the diverse spending in a spend base leveraging its partner list. This blend takes diversity up a degree, different from a one-off analysis, consumers can find out how spend is shifting month on month.

Prospect identification and goal setting

Simfoni has established numerous intelligent Insights that distinguish Cost centers and classifications that have minimal diverse spend and can be aimed as diverse spend development areas. Simfoni can also propose new diverse suppliers and support companies to set quantifiable goals for diversity spend.

Program managing

Using Simfoni Dashboards, program managers can generate ideas from these prospects, appoint employees to these proposals and push these to boost diversity. Offering an in-procurement cooperation platform for teams to work on these tasks – bringing statistics, action projects, best practices, and following mechanisms collectively to efficiently manage and drive results.

Simfoni offers an end-to-end contemporary solution for Diversity program management. With ever-increasing interest and importance to execute successful Diversity programs, Companies needing a rapid look to Simfoni to profitably manage and deliver solutions from Diversity programs.

Why Is Supplier Diversity Valuable?

Why must businesses make inclusive supply chains a main concern? The motivations vary from social obligation to the bottom line. Preferably, supplier diversity merges the greatest of our aspirations for a healthier, more unbiased world and the effort to be a competitive frontrunner in the marketplace. This firstly brings in great value-add when we look at social responsibility. In other terms, does your business have a corporate sustainability/social responsibility directive? If so, then supplier diversity ought to be in alliance with that directive. 

Above all, supplier diversity programming enhances economic importance since it promotes the development of diverse enterprises. Diverse businesses naturally face obstacles that test their start-up and sustainability endeavors, such as admission to investment and networking prospects, and successful supplier diversity approaches can relieve these pain points.

Not only does supplier diversity help understated organizations, but it also elevates the groups where those organizations are located through job formation, increased wages, and tax proceeds. This is termed economic impact, a system of measurement that determines how valued supplier diversity is to local economies and societies. An increased number of organizations are measuring the financial effect of their supplier diversity programs to gain a clearer representation of what diverse spend means for the groups they influence. A great example would be CVS Health, the company testified that their 2018 diverse spend contributed $5.5 billion to the U.S. economy and allowed them to sustain over 31,095 jobs.

Through the growth of small businesses means the growth of our country’s economy. Most small businesses tend to be diverse businesses, which assist in the economic recovery and sustainability of their societies. Studies demonstrate that when corporations increase their diverse spending, they realize an increase in market share. Unambiguously, the association between great diverse spending and amplified market share was evidently greater than the ROI from corporations with little diverse spending

Outside the social responsibility and economic impact system of measurement, the statistic is that supply chains that are inclusive present a competitive advantage, as broadminded establishments that have already applied an operative strategy have understood. According to The Hackett Group, “firms that assign 20% or more of their spend to diverse suppliers attribute 10%-15% of their yearly transactions to supplier diversity programs. Equally, firms that direct fewer than 20% of spend to diverse suppliers attribute below 5% of sales to their supplier diversity program.

Commitment to Supplier Diversity benefits a business as it:

  • Encourages modernization through the introduction of innovative products, services, and solutions.
  • Delivers numerous channels from which a business is able to acquire goods and services.
  • Drives competition (on value and service points) between the business’s current and possible vendors.
  • Permits a business to benefit from new prospects for business growth with the rise of new customer requirements based upon shifting demographic certainties.

The above final benefit alone indicates a tremendous untouched potential of working with diverse suppliers. Even though traditional products and services continue to be obtainable to customers, demographic changes create openings for diverse suppliers to meet the requirements of developing and/or fluctuating populations in the U.S. and across the world. 

Referring to a study put forth by the Department of Commerce, shows that this budding minority population will account for as much as 70% of the entire increase in buying power from 2000 to 2045. Why wouldn’t a business want a portion of that customer market?

Data from the 2020 U.S. Survey also reflects a continued surge in the economic influence of small and diverse companies in the U.S. economy. 

From taking this all into account, diverse-owned companies are a powerful force behind economic development and will remain to be a key segment of the U.S. economy in the 21st century as the evolution toward a more diverse demographic majority continues.

What Is a Supplier Diversity Program and How can a company implement one?

A minority of socially mindful major businesses have long played a part in tackling racial prejudice through supplier diversity programs that endorse an inclusive approach to procurement. As the attention on general racism roils the United States, these programs are more imperative than ever, yet a limited number of companies have them and countless of those who do have permitted their diversity creativities to become symbolic gestures.

By the utilization of Supplier Diversity Programs has reported a direct history of social and commercial influences. Strong research led by companies confirms that the commercial and social paybacks of such programs drive companies to reconsider their efforts and, if required, pledge themselves to taking them seriously.

Supplier diversity programs can be a segment of a business’s efforts to preserve high moral and ethical values. Kris Oswold, who is the vice president of global supplier diversity at UPS, explains that her company’s supplier diversity program, which began in 1992, cultivated out of its developing longing to be more inclusive and do what is true. The business now devotes $2.6 billion yearly doing business with around 6,000 small and diverse suppliers with an objective to grow that spend value year on year.

The UPS program has changed in the ways it recognizes and aids new diverse suppliers. For instance, UPS partners with and assists numerous councils and third parties such as the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the National Minority Supplier Development Council, to provide mentoring and training courses that back the development and achievement of diverse suppliers. This effort comprises of workshops, expert matchmaking at supplier diversity conferences, improving prospects for capital ventures, and management education.

This type of inclusive procurement also brings in larger societal profits by producing economic prospects for disadvantaged groups. The U.S. Small Business Administration provided an estimation stating that there were 8 million minority-owned establishments in the US as of 2018. The National Minority Supplier Diversity Council accounts that specialized MBEs produce $400 billion in economic output that contributed to the formation or safeguarding of 2.2 million jobs and $49 billion in yearly proceeds for local, state, and federal tax establishments. And those statistics are progressively growing.

To boost such evolution, Coca-Cola is devoting over $800 million yearly on diverse suppliers and has increased that figure to a further $1 billion at the end of 2020. Terrez Thompson, vice president of global supply inclusion and diversity at Coca-Cola mentioned in an interview, that the role that diversity programs play in nurturing entrepreneurship in extremely impacted minority groups. Both Coca-Cola and Georgia State University established a supplier-development association five years prior to delivering education on how to set up businesses for small and disadvantaged groups. Aside from this Coca-Cola also has the STEP program to support female entrepreneurs through coaching, education, and mentorship.

Some large businesses promote, and in various instances, require their suppliers to produce their individual diversity initiatives to increase the impact. A great example of this would be on the retailer Target who in 2019 spent $1.4 billion on goods and services offered by high-ranking diverse suppliers and influenced its high-ranking suppliers to purchase over $800,000 worth of contributions from second-ranking diverse suppliers.

When applying for Supplier diversity programs, you are also offering a great selling point when recruiting. A survey conducted for UPS by Hootology presented results that displayed that these respondents wanted to work for an organization that has a supplier diversity and inclusion program. Off the back of this research, businesses were able to shape how the company would approach recruitment as they ensured to let all candidates know about their supplier diversity efforts, as this was not something they had acknowledged prior to the research being conducted.

6 Ways To Support Supplier Diversity or Vendor Diversity

Supplier Diversity

Supplier Diversity refers to an organization’s efforts to include suppliers in its supply chain and sourcing process that are owned by a minority or disadvantaged group including, people of color, women, veterans, disabled and LGBTQQIA+.

George Floyd died on Memorial Day 2020, a day for remembering soldiers who lost their lives on the battlefield. His death sparked protests on the treatment of blacks that have lasted throughout June, also celebrated as Pride Month.

Individuals and corporations are responding to the wake-up call. Most are sending messages of support. Better yet, some are declaring specific actions they will take to create change in the world. Join those corporations taking action and create, or revamp, your Supplier Diversity Programs.

Here are 6 impacts your company can have by consciously improving your Supplier Diversity Program.

1. Reduce the Racial Wealth Gap

Today, the median wealth for white families is about 12 times that for Black families, averaging around $140,000, and one in four black households have zero or negative net worth compared to less than one in ten white families without wealth. Even more concerning is that by 2053, the median wealth for Black families is projected to fall to zero. And Latino households will join them at zero or negative wealth by 2073.

Small businesses and entrepreneurs have been longtime wealth builders in our society. By supporting Black-and Minority-owned small businesses, responsible corporations can create more opportunities for meaningful savings, property ownership, credit building, and generational wealth.

Support the diverse suppliers where you already have relationships and contracts. Find ways to shift your spending to give these vendors more of your business.

If you don’t know which vendors in our supply chain are certified minority suppliers, Simfoni Spend Analytics can quickly analyze your procurement to show you how much you currently spend with diverse suppliers and in what categories.

2. Increase Tier II Spend

Tier II spend refers to the payments to the suppliers of your suppliers. The Billion Dollar Roundtable identifies a Tier II program as an essential best practice of a mature supplier diversity program, offering opportunities for greater impact throughout the supply chain. According to figures released at the 2017 BDR Summit, consolidated Tier II diverse spending among corporate members for 2016 was $22 billion.

Actively working with your Tier I suppliers to improve their supplier diversity programs ultimately boosts your own supplier diversity success. For starters, the number of suppliers your company can partner with is finite, but once you get to Tier II, the potential is almost unlimited.

Corporations relying on manual data collection processes using spreadsheets make it impossible to even think of executing such a strategy. However, the scalable technology and tools available today make it extremely simple and inexpensive to build a truly world-class diversity program that delivers real quantifiable results. A win-win for all.

3. Hold Your Suppliers and Yourself Accountable

Many large companies vocally support minorities and their diverse cultures but practice policies that keep systems of injustice intact. Whether it’s questionable marketing, hiring practices, or removing people from its stores, African-Americans and other minorities often bear the brunt of corporate discrimination.

Check-in with each of your suppliers to not only hear their statements of support and planned initiatives, but to see their actions and metrics on progress to date. Its critical to be able to identify those companies who do not share your values and replace them with the ones that do.

You should also demonstrate your own progress. If you are a Tier I vendor to another company, be able to state your values, explain your diversity program, the initiatives taking place, and the progress to date. Proactively sharing this with your customers will also let them know that by supporting you they are supporting the small and diverse-owned businesses you support – their Tier II suppliers.

Analyzing the diversity status of your entire supply chain may seem like a huge, daunting task. With a detailed spend classification and clean granular data down to the service, product or even part number you can have a solution to quickly find alternative suppliers. Simfoni Spend Analytics uses automation and AI to review and classify your procurement spend in days, not weeks or months, making the initial diversity review and regular updates to check on progress a simple reality.

4. Foster Job Creation

Among US firms, 99.9% of small businesses, and 50% of those are women- and minority-owned.

Since small businesses are likely to hire from their local community, supporting them can create jobs where they are needed most. In 2018, the unemployment rate for African-Americans fell to 6.6%, which was higher than other minority groups and almost double that for white Americans. Supporting small businesses grows the entire community around those businesses—providing new opportunities to achieve financial stability in locations where it can be rare.

5. Celebrate Diversity

Many entrepreneurs start businesses inspired by the richness of their culture itself—ethnic clothing stores, hair care, and make-up products, food, and children’s toys are just a few examples. And some diverse and minority-owned businesses are created to bring specific products and services to meet their community’s preferences and needs. When you support these special businesses, you get products and services that are valuable for the unique character they bring.

Think broadly. Why reward a team for a job well done with plastic trophies and certificates that collect dust. Treat them to dinner at some of the best ethnic restaurants in town. Or bring the experience to them with catering or food trucks. Reward new parents with a nursing pillow from the local veteran-owned shop rather than a Target gift certificate.

6. Increase Visibility and Representation of Diversity

The #BlackLivesMatters movement is everybody’s movement. Diverse groups are supporting each other so that this time people will take action and change the status quo. Today we are acknowledging the reality that #AllLivesMatter.

Being able to measure and report on the improvement of supplier diversity will go a long way to proving that corporations are taking effective action to drive positive change. Publishing these numbers will show the sad, starting state and keep the movement front and center.

Choose to make diversity a priority in your organization and those that you do business with. Take action and don’t hide it. When you vote with your dollar, are you voting for an inclusive economy.

Incorporating Supplier Diversity in procurement helps promote innovation through the entrance of new products, services, and solutions. It provides multiple channels from which to procure goods and services and drives competition (on price and service levels) between your company’s existing and potential vendors.

Simfoni Spend Analytics’ Free Supplier Diversity Dashboard and Reporting can help you make that difference by accurately categorizing and analyzing your company’s spend. We provide visibility and analysis into how your spend today and the breakdown of the information you need to strategically diversify your supplier base.

You can find more information on corporations that share the social responsibly to track and spend more with black-owned businesses here

Websites of Diverse Supplier Organizations and Certifiers:

Supplier Diversity Product Demo

Supplier Diversity Management by Simfoni

Knowing what percentage of suppliers is diverse is not enough. See how much you spend with each one and make positive changes to use and support them more.

With Simfoni’s Suppler Diversity Analytics you automatically know which of your suppliers are certified diverse suppliers and in which diversity categories – minority, women, veteran, and disabled. 

Book a demo today or learn more about Simfoni Solutions

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Supplier diversity refers to a business strategy that emphasizes sourcing products & services. These can be from a wide range of suppliers. Particularly those owned by individuals from underrepresented groups come under this umbrella. For example, minorities, women, veterans, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities etc. It aims to promote inclusivity and equal opportunities in procurement processes.

The elements of supplier diversity typically include:

  • Diverse Suppliers: Actively seeking out and engaging with suppliers from underrepresented groups.
  • Inclusive Procurement Policies: Implementing policies that promote the inclusion of diverse suppliers in procurement opportunities.
  • Data Collection and Reporting: Collecting and analyzing data on supplier diversity efforts and spend with diverse suppliers.
  • Supplier Development: Providing support and resources to help diverse suppliers grow and succeed.

Implementing supplier diversity involves:

  • Assessment: Assessing current supplier diversity status and identifying areas for improvement.
  • Set Goals: Setting clear and measurable supplier diversity goals.
  • Outreach: Actively seeking diverse suppliers through outreach, networking, and partnerships.
  • Education: Educating procurement teams and stakeholders on the importance of supplier diversity.
  • Measurement: Continuously measuring and reporting on supplier diversity progress.

Supplier diversity can be measured through various key performance indicators (KPIs), such as:

  • Spend with Diverse Suppliers: The percentage of procurement spend allocated to diverse suppliers.
  • Number of Diverse Suppliers: The quantity and diversity of diverse suppliers engaged.
  • Supplier Development: Assessing the growth and development of diverse suppliers over time.
  • Supplier Relationships: Evaluating the quality and longevity of relationships with diverse suppliers.

Supplier diversity is important for several reasons:

  • Inclusivity: It promotes inclusivity and equal opportunities for underrepresented groups.
  • Economic Empowerment: It fosters economic empowerment and growth within marginalized communities.
  • Innovation: Diverse suppliers often bring unique perspectives and innovations to the table.
  • Risk Mitigation: Diversifying the supplier base reduces risk by reducing reliance on a limited number of suppliers.

Supplier diversity is highly important in today’s business landscape. It aligns with principles of social responsibility, equity, and fair competition. Additionally, many organizations recognize that diverse suppliers can bring fresh ideas and solutions, leading to enhanced competitiveness and sustainability.

A supplier diversification strategy involves intentionally expanding the pool of suppliers to include a greater variety of suppliers, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds. This strategy aims to reduce dependence on a few suppliers, enhance competition, and promote inclusivity in procurement.

The goal of supplier diversity spend is to allocate a portion of procurement spend to diverse suppliers. Organizations set targets for supplier diversity spend to ensure that underrepresented groups have access to business opportunities and economic empowerment.

Supplier diversity and inclusion is a holistic approach that not only involves sourcing from diverse suppliers but also creating an inclusive environment where diverse suppliers are treated fairly and provided with opportunities for growth and development.

Three common ways to measure diversity in supplier diversity programs include:

  1. Spend Metrics: Measuring the percentage of procurement spend allocated to diverse suppliers.
  2. Supplier Count: Tracking the number of diverse suppliers engaged in the procurement process.
  3. Supplier Development: Assessing the growth and development of diverse suppliers over time, such as their revenue and capabilities.

The origin of supplier diversity can be traced back to the civil rights movement. The movement originated in the US during 1960s. It emerged as  response to need for equal economic opportunities for minority owned businesses. Over time, it evolved into broader global initiative to promote inclusivity and diversity in supply chains.

Two additional ways to measure diversity in supplier diversity programs are:

  1. Geographic Diversity: Evaluating the geographic locations of diverse suppliers to ensure a broad representation.
  2. Product/Service Category Diversity: Assessing the diversity of goods and services offered by diverse suppliers to cover a wide range of procurement needs.

Organizations can promote supplier diversity by establishing clear diversity goals, implementing inclusive procurement policies, providing training and resources to procurement teams, and actively seeking out diverse suppliers through outreach programs and networking events.

Challenges in implementing supplier diversity programs may include finding qualified diverse suppliers, overcoming resistance to change within the organization, ensuring fair evaluation processes, and tracking and reporting on diversity metrics accurately.

Supplier diversity can enhance a company reputation and brand image by demonstrating its commitment to social responsibility, diversity and inclusion. It can attract customers who value these principles and foster positive relationships with stakeholders who appreciate ethical and inclusive business practices.