In 2017, diversity in procurement is expected to take center stage. Diversity will be the focus of a summit held by the Institute for Supply Management this spring, and there are several reasons that instituting such a program can make a big difference for your company as well as your customers.
Many top firms are already embracing supplier diversity programs. For example, Google kicked off a best-practice supplier diversity program that brings partners into its Google Academy for shared learning in order to help drive innovation. Meanwhile, Microsoft has surpassed the $2bn annual spending milestone with M/WBE businesses, and AT&T includes suppliers as one of its “four pillars of diversity” along with marketing, employees, and community.
While public relations should not be the main reason to opt for a supplier diversity program, it is nevertheless important to find a way to let your customers know about the diversity of your supplier base. This can provide your firm with a competitive advantage, particularly in areas with a minority population that is experiencing a boom.
Better Customer Service, Innovation
Diverse suppliers often tend to be small businesses, which means they typically offer better flexibility, a stronger focus on customers, and lower costs than bigger businesses. They are also less likely to be subjected to excessive red tape and restrictive policies.
Moreover, diversity can often spur innovation. By bringing different experiences and backgrounds into your mix of suppliers, new perspectives can be gleaned that have the potential to transform your business. This is particularly important when you consider the fact that small businesses actually generate as many as 14 times more patents per worker than bigger firms do, according to a CHI Research study.
A proactive supplier diversity program is a great way to propel your business forward in 2017, spurring innovation, inspiring customers, and helping to set your company apart from the competition.
This blog post was based off of an article from Procurious. View the original here.