Many companies have Supplier Diversity programs. These programs, also referred to as minority owned business enterprise or MBE programs are intended to help large corporations do business with small companies owned by African, Hispanic, and Asian Americans. The effectiveness of Supplier Diversity programs varies widely, depending on whether the company wants to use theirs as a strategic means to lower their bottom line costs and improve profitability, or only as a public relations vehicle.
Here are some of the characteristics of the best practices for Supplier Diversity programs:
- Clearly documented commitment from the company's CEO
- Specific annual goals for purchasing from minority owned businesses
- Attainment of the goals tied to the compensation and performance plans of senior management
- Inclusion of Supplier Diversity in a strategic plan for diversity
- Head of the Supplier Diversity program is at the senior management level or above, and has control over corporate purchasing
- Consideration of minority owned businesses included as a formal part of the contracting procurement process
- Second-tier subcontracting to minority owned businesses also included as part of that process and written into the prime supplier's contract
- A comprehensive database of minority owned businesses that is actively maintained and integrated into the purchasing process
- Purchasing system that tracks supplier diversity performance and can target specific contracts for additional focus, outreach, or consideration
- Visibility on the company's Internet website, including program details, contacts, and list of products and services purchased
- Strategic partnerships with ethnic chambers, publishers, and other organizations that can assist in outreach
The Supplier Diversity Summit is West Michigan's premier business development and networking event for minority business enterprises (MBEs); and is the place for large and small businesses, federal, state, and local governments, and other buying entities to meet, connect, and build relationships among certified minority-owned firms. Our 2011 theme, "Diversity's Global Reach," highlights the need for businesses to be globally savvy and able to offer global solutions to customers.
The Summit features dynamic presentations including a minority business panel showcasing their international success stories, and is open to people with an interest in, and concern for building our economy and society through inclusion. We invite you to register and attend this important conference.Join us August 10-11, 2011 in Grand Rapids, Michigan