I recently read an article from Spend Matters written by Vernon Griffin, senior consultant and supplier diversity practice lead at Source One Management Services and felt intrigued enough to write a brief response to his ideas.  According to Griffin (you can read the article HERE) supplier diversity needs to evolve when it comes to analyzing data on diversity.  Below is a short excerpt to understand his thinking:

For example, we can look at a box score from last night’s game and see how our favorite player performed. From those few numbers, we can assess how much “value” that player contributed to her/his team’s success. In the past 10–20 years in sports a funny thing happened. Batting averages, points per game and passing yards per game are still captured; however, WAR (wins above replacement for baseball), PER (player efficiency rating for basketball), and AYPA (adjusted yards per attempt for football) are also being measured, to provide “deeper” insight into how the player performed.

In a nut shell Griffin wants to provide “deeper” insight within supplier diversity as well.  In order to do this, Griffin believes more information is needed to properly rate corporations on their diversity scores.  Below is another example from the article.

At a glance, Griffin’s suggestion makes sense.  More information explaining how much diversity truly impacts a corporation and its community is a good way to properly grade a program.  However the one thing that is missing from this is the requirement on the business to track said information (and report it).

Supplier Diversity is certainly at a crossroads where some people are suggesting that added information is needed to understand the impact of programs, while others are signalling a need for a simplified structure.  As a business, tracking that type of information can be difficult especially if an employee for example does not wish to give that information out.  In addition, many corporations are worried that low numbers may negatively affect their bottom line and thus are reluctant to share it. I will admit that corporations are more open to do so than in the past, but it can still be a struggle.

In my opinion the idea of a new and better way to analyze supplier diversity programs is needed, but the suggestion of asking for additional information from corporations that may struggle to report data may not be the best route.  Regardless, I do like the suggested idea from Griffin and would like to see this taken further at some point.


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