Discover how to start a supplier diversity program. Many companies have supplier diversity programs in place to ensure that they’re sourcing materials and services from a diverse group of suppliers. However, others are still hesitant to start their program not realizing the value in these programs.
This blog post will explore both the why and how of starting your supplier diversity program.
When starting a supplier diversity program, it’s important to have the right intention. That is, you want your suppliers to be able to provide for you and make sure that they’re treated fairly in doing so.
Companies start their programs varies; some do it because they feel like there aren’t enough diverse suppliers being given opportunities, while others do it with an eye on how such initiatives will affect both the company and community.
Whatever reason or motivation may compel people to start up these types of programs. One thing remains: when done correctly, supplier diversity can benefit businesses’ bottom line!
When starting a supplier diversity program, it’s important to identify diverse suppliers. To do so, you’ll need to start looking at your current vendors and asking them how they find new suppliers.
You can also ask for referrals from other companies who have implemented their programs or are interested in diversifying their supply chain – this is how many businesses find some of the best potential candidates!
It’s also good practice when sourcing out products that customers will use (i.e., food) to always ensure that those items meet certain standards before purchasing them through these supplier relationships. This means doing things like checking on whether ingredients were sourced locally where possible and confirming with third-party certifications (like fair trade and organic).
You can also try to ensure that the supplier’s facility is up to your standard. For instance, some businesses might want a certain level of food safety certification or good manufacturing practices, as well as fair trade certifications like GOTS and OCS. Be sure you know what exactly you’re looking for in these areas before asking suppliers about them!
One of the first things you’ll want to do is find some organizations and people already doing supplier diversity work. You can reach out to them for advice, support, and networking opportunities. They’re also resources when it comes time to locate potential suppliers – just ask!
Some major players in the field include:
– Asian Women’s Business Council
– National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
– US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – LADOCENA Division
– National LGBT Chamber of Commerce
These may be a great place to start if you don’t have any other leads or contacts who’ve done this before, but they provide lots of valuable guidance on getting started.
When selecting an organization with which to partner up, make sure their values align with yours.
One of the most important steps in starting supplier diversity work is to set goals.
What are you trying to achieve? What do you want your program’s outcome to look like over time?
If this seems overwhelming, think about how many different outcomes there might be and start by listing three or four possibilities (e.g., increase inclusion rates for minority suppliers from 20% up to 40%; create more opportunities for people of color who have disabilities; improve compliance with procurement rules). Once these goals are established, it will make sense which ones should be prioritized at any given point in time.