AT&T is looking to increase its current spend with diverse suppliers. Originally utilizing 25% of its purchasing dollars with diverse suppliers, AT&T’s recent purchase of DirectTV has seen its percentage drop to 18%. While this number may be good for some companies, AT&T feels it can do better.
According to D Magazine “At the Dallas Entrepreneur Center’s recent Diversity Entrepreneur Day, Oliver Turman, AT&T’s executive director of supplier diversity, said diversity is an issue that CEO Randall Stephenson takes seriously.”
The issue the company finds in contracting with diverse suppliers is scalability. While the company may be qualified in terms of product or service, its size may limit it from winning a smaller contract that could be worth in the tens of millions. In an effort to help diverse vendors scale, AT&T is suggesting that smaller firms first contract with prime suppliers, in an effort to win contracts they can handle before seeking to do business with a company the size of AT&T.
In the end, the competition is fierce whether it be diverse, or non-diverse suppliers. There are a myriad of qualified organizations for a number of contracts and only the most prepared businesses will win them. It’s all about what makes a small business unique and leveraging that advantage into a contract.
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