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Staff Insights

DEIA | Supplier Diversity

July 21st, 2022

Expanding your supplier base to include diverse suppliers is an excellent part of your overall sourcing strategy which should include a supplier diversity program. According to The Hackett Group, “companies that allocate 20% or more of their spend to diverse suppliers attribute 10-15% of their annual sales to supplier diversity programs. Conversely, companies that direct less than 20% of spend to diverse suppliers attribute under 5% of sales to their supplier diversity program.”

Here are three areas of focus and supporting actions to consider to expand your supplier base.

Supplier Diversity Plan

  • Share the business case AKA “The Why” for supplier diversity with your team and other key stakeholders.
  • Determine the amount spent with diverse suppliers over the past three years.
  • Identify a goal to allocate contracts to diverse suppliers (e.g. 20%).
  • Conduct an analysis to determine what will enable you to accomplish the goal and what can get in the way.
  • Build a plan to accomplish the supplier diversity goal.
  • Share the “why,” the vision, goals, and high-level plan with employees, contractors, and other key stakeholders.

Diverse Supplier Engagement

Your supplier diversity plan should address how you plan to get to know and engage with diverse suppliers. Here are ways to do so.

  • Maintain a list of diverse suppliers you’re already working with.
  • Regularly engage with those suppliers to understand more about what they have to offer and how they are experiencing your organization.
  • Participate in or host Supplier Diversity/Procurement Fairs.
  • Share supplier diversity efforts on social media.
  • Sponsor a diverse supplier’s certification and/or development.

Supplier Diversity Partnerships

RESOURCES

Sherrice Thomas 
Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Access
SherriceThomas@columbus.org