Establishing a supplier diversity program can be challenging, but the effort is well worth it. Here are some supplier diversity best practices to ensure a successful program.
Defining a plan for your organization pays off in many ways, including access to new business opportunities, elevating your organization’s values and standards, and increasing your competitive advantage.
Having a larger, more diversified supplier base reduces risk in the supply chain by increasing the number and variety of products and services available to your business. More supply diversity also means more solutions and innovation for the organization. Diverse suppliers can also offer more flexibility because they are often small businesses that work more efficiently and faster to deliver results for your organization.
What are some supplier diversity best practices to ensure a successful program?
Focus on your organization’s goals and determine what you hope to accomplish through the process. Look closely at the goals of your organization so that you can establish benchmarks. Consider the number of diverse suppliers your company currently partners with, and identify the spend for each supplier. Look for ways to include more diverse suppliers into your organization’s portfolio.
From here, your organization can establish goals and define the focus for your diverse supplier program. Companies can also evaluate certifications for program acceptance.
Next, you will want to ensure that you have an open dialogue with all stakeholders regarding supplier diversity and its impacts across your organization.
Consult with senior leadership to support, champion, and reinforce the efforts throughout the company. Ensure supplier diversity is an integral part of the vendor acquisition process and gives your business a competitive advantage.
Have a plan for what success in supplier diversity looks like and measure against those metrics to see if you’re achieving your goal or not. Be sure to create checkpoints where progress is assessed periodically (i.e., every six months). Don’t be afraid to change course when necessary, as implementing these changes takes time!
Including diverse suppliers in your sourcing and procurement process enables you to have a wide range of options on what supplier offers the best solution for your organization. Develop a plan which benefits both parties via measurable goals. Identify diverse suppliers; seek new ones who may offer innovative solutions. Plan carefully – include metrics & clear goals.
Planning is vital to ensure that both you and the supplier understand each other’s needs, expectations, and goals for this partnership. This includes identifying measurable outcomes from this collaboration as well as developing benchmarks or milestones throughout the process. Seek out diverse suppliers with new ideas to offer innovative solutions when needed to achieve success together!
Strategic supplier development is essentially an excellent business strategy because it can help increase performance and growth within the organization. It is a well-established business strategy that aligns suppliers with purchasing goals, resulting in improved performance in areas of reduced costs, quality, and product development.
It also encourages transparency between the company and the supplier, which builds trust and project collaboration in the relationship. Suppliers appreciate the opportunities and will often streamline sourcing, improving quality assurance, and reducing lead times. For the organization, this means reliability and better customer satisfaction. Good communication and cooperation defines supplier diversity best practices.
Education, mentoring, and company performance factors are motivators for suppliers, creating incentives for sustainable growth. When suppliers excel and benefit from professional development, everyone wins as suppliers become long-term partners in the supply chain with the organization.
It is essential for minority suppliers to compete in the market by seeking out opportunities to partner and build long term relationships with companies to build alliances, enter new innovative markets, and gain a competitive advantage.