Diverse suppliers bring value to clients in many ways. I commented recently that “By enlarging their base, the government agency or large business not only expands opportunities for these small and diverse businesses, they reap the benefits of new solutions and business opportunities offered by their own out-of-the-box purchasing.”
Laura Clise, a Director at Areva North America writes … “Over the past several decades, leading corporations have benefited from strategic sourcing programs that include purchasing from small, minority-owned, women-owned, veteran and disabled veteran-owned, and HUBzone (Historically Underutilized Business Zone) businesses. Their experience has shown the value and opportunities that exist for both large companies and the small diverse business entity (DBE). According to CEOs and supply chain executives, sourcing from DBEs can lower cost, increase flexibility, and improve quality and delivery while contributing to economic development and reflecting the diversity of communities and customers. In short, supplier diversity programs represent business value for large corporations and DBEs, alike.” You can find her comments at http://us.arevablog.com/2010/11/04/supplier-diversity-supports-supply-chain-sustainability/.
Eileen Carey wrote … “In the corporate supply chain, diversity programs have a unique ability to make a difference in socio-economic development. Simply put, they return value to the communities and the groups that either directly or indirectly influence where and how we sell our products and services. They also tap into a rich variety of talent that can provide competitive advantage.” Her article can be found at http://www.allbusiness.com/operations/facilities-commercial-real-estate/1180828-1.html.
Thought about holistically, Supplier Diversity becomes another version of “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”. It is a circle of life construct … developing creative and collaborative relationships, building stronger business communities, increasing employment opportunities, suppliers becoming customers with their own supplier diversity programs and encouraging the next round of entrepreneurs.