Photo by Avantgarde Concept on Unsplash

BMW Manufacturing hosted the eighth annual Supplier Diversity Conference at the Greenville Convention Center in Greenville, South Carolina. The event provided veteran-, minority- and women-owned businesses with opportunities to network with BMW’s Tier 1 suppliers and to attend professional development sessions.

There were more than 2,400 registered attendees and 269 exhibitors for the event this year.

Guest speakers included author and educator Stedman Graham, BMW Senior Vice President of Purchasing and Supplier Network Americas Murat Aksel and BMW AG Board of Management Member in charge of purchasing Andreas Wendt.

Since the conference started in 2012, BMW has increased its spending with veteran-, minority- and women-owned businesses by almost four times.

According to BMW Group president and CEO Knudt Flor, the company believes that supplier diversity adds value throughout the organization, improves productivity and sparks innovation. Aksel added that 70% of BMW’s purchases in North America in 2018 originated in the U.S. and thus provides opportunities for local suppliers.