BMW’s Tier I supplier diversity Matchmaker has come a long way. From it’s initial start at the Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research, the event has grown from 600 participants to more than 2,000 over a 6 year period. The purpose of the conference is to introduce and hopefully connect BMW suppliers with qualified diverse organizations. While the event is usually geared to minority and women owned companies, veteran and service disabled veteran owned businesses are quickly being added to supplier diversity programs nationwide.
As a former participant of the event (not this year mind you), I can say that as far as supplier diversity matchmakers go, BMW is definitely one of the best. Gaining buy in from the top levels of leadership is always hard, but if you can do it the benefits are enormous. In addition to connecting suppliers, BMW also uses the opportunity to promote their upcoming products and services. In seeking to expand their supplier pool, growing their potential client list is a smart way to win business from those you’re helping in the process. In the field of supplier diversity it is a symbiotic circle where support can be given through all levels if the commitment is there. And BMW is definitely committed.