Over the past few years, large enterprises have made incremental progress toward a more diverse supplier ecosystem, but we’re still not there. A recent survey of 100 large global companies by The Hackett Group found these companies intend to increase spending on diverse suppliers by over 50% during the next three years. While these commitments are a start, DE&I initiatives are empty without a plan.
Most businesses didn’t anticipate having to handle the supply-chain impacts of several disruptive forces at once: an ongoing pandemic, a severe crunch for talent and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Traditionally thought of as just being responsible for dollars and cents, the function of today’s procurement team goes much further than purchasing supplies needed to run an organization’s day-to-day operations. Beyond managing the entire supply chain process, their responsibilities have expanded in the wake of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) movement.
In the world of procurement, there is always another crisis right around the corner. Time and time again, the industry has been rattled by various disruptions and forced to reconsider how we will weather the storm better than we have had in the past.
Supplier diversity. These days, it’s more than a buzzword. It’s rapidly become a top priority for many organizations.
Jane Zhang and Naz Rahman, ETCH Sourcing
The value creation challenges we faced decades ago are the same that organizations still grapple with today. The main difference, however, is that the rate of innovation is accelerating daily. So, although studying the past should be a part of your strategy, we need to be careful it does not become a comfortable crutch. We cannot chart a path forward by looking backwards.
Global trends, including the COVID-19 pandemic, have taught procurement professionals the value of identifying supplier red flags and mitigating the risks they may pose before it’s too late. To do this, some organizations are making local buying their top priority, while others are committing to consolidating their supplier lists or further diversifying as their needs demand.
To continue the previous conversation on diversity and inclusion (see my other articles on the enterprise approach to supplier diversity and how to shape the future of supplier diversity), I’d like to look at the other side of the coin: What can suppliers do to help enterprise clients improve their diverse supplier inclusion, selection an
My last article was an overview of how large enterprises have historically approached supplier diversity initiatives and why they have underperformed.
This article will focus on ways the enterprise can improve diverse supplier inclusion, selection and support practices. I recommend that teams consider leveraging some of these tips best fitting for their respective organizations.
2020 brought us a time of reflection on many fronts, from how we eat to how we prioritize, how we think, how we get from point A to point B, to focusing on what matters. Diversity is one of the elements that came to the forefront in 2020 for many people and organizations.
As an immigrant and a minority woman, I never thought that we would be at this place in my lifetime where an open discussion of diversity occurs because I have seen how much of it was shunned systematically in the past.
Having a diverse workforce results in increased ROI for companies; but this isn’t breaking news. Companies in the top quartile for gender, racial and ethnic diversity are “more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians,” according to a McKinsey & Company report.
- Woman-owned business enterprises