Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash

Business owners may find it a daunting task to wade through diverse-supplier certifications and classifications to help them find a certified minority-, woman-, veteran- or LGBT-owned vendor for their company but it can be worth it. According to a Hackett Group’s supplier diversity study,nearly all diverse suppliers meet or exceed expectations and bring additional benefits, like new revenue opportunities.

Supplier diversity is about adding value for both the business owner and the supplier.

Start with Technology

According to a Spend Matters analysis,“any diversity program should begin with understanding how much a company spends and its current vendors.” Business owners should spend some time to develop spend reporting or analysis. 

Start with spend classification and working closely with accounts payable and quite often IT, as well. A detailed list of the past 12 to 18 months of spending data across all vendors is needed. A solution provider can match this record against its own databases that will flag known Small, Minority and Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (SMWBE) firms and even help a business discover other relevant data and potential issues with the vendors.

Supplier Networks and Collaboration

Companies are relying more and more on their suppliers to be a true partner.

Buyers-suppliers collaborating to grow the supplier, building relationships and driving innovation are now being championed for mainstream supplier management. The trend is businesses wanting suppliers to collaborate with them and add value to both parties.

Choose a supplier relationship management (SRM) firm with a robust network of diverse suppliers among its stable.