Supplier diversity continues to increase in awareness and importance across various industries. While the social unrest movement in 2020 was a major impetus towards its revival, supplier diversity realized a significant growth in the number of leaders solely focused on overseeing its strategic growth among many Fortune 500 companies and other organizations.
There are many obstacles faced by supplier diversity leaders when building their programs. A major challenge in expanding a supplier diversity program is the inability for the program to mature. A basic supplier diversity program is typically created in a short period of time. However, in order to build an exemplary supplier diversity program, there are various steps a business should take to re-energize it, which include the following:
1. Reassess the program: Take a step back and evaluate the current supplier diversity program. Determine what is working and what is not and identify areas for improvement. A self-assessment such as the Ralph G. Moore RGMA Five Levels can help to identify the maturity level of your program and potential gaps. (SMI Releases New Resource to Re-energize Supplier Diversity Programs, 2023)
2. Set new goals: Based on the reassessment, set new goals for the supplier diversity program. These goals should be measurable, specific, and time sensitive. When starting a supplier diversity program most companies set goals that are broad and simple with a set percentage of procurement dollars to spend with diverse businesses. Goals should be updated as the supplier diversity program grows and achieves the goals set by the company. (Robinson, 2023)
3. Increase communication: Increase communication with diverse suppliers to learn about their needs and concerns. This can help build trust and improve the relationship between the business and the suppliers. Communication should be between the company and its diverse suppliers as well as between the suppliers themselves. Foster collaboration among diverse suppliers to share best practices and ideas. This can create a sense of community and promote innovation.
4. Provide resources: Provide resources to diverse suppliers to help them succeed. This may include training, access to capital, or mentorship.
5. Hold stakeholders accountable: Hold stakeholders accountable for supplier diversity goals. This may include executives, procurement staff, and suppliers.
6. Celebrate successes: Celebrate successes and share them with stakeholders to prove the value of the supplier diversity program.
Building a successful supplier diversity program is a never-ending process. The program needs to be reassessed periodically to ensure that the supply chains are inclusive. By taking these steps, a business can re-energize its supplier diversity program and ensure its continued success while producing positive results for the company’s bottom line that impact communities for which its company resides across the world.
Robinson, R. (2023, March 8). How To Make The Most Of Your Supplier Diversity Investments (forbes.com). Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2023/03/08/how-to-make-the-most-of-your-supplier-diversity-investments/?sh=7e71342bca36
SMI Releases New Resource to Re-energize Supplier Diversity Programs. (2023, March 30). Retrieved from SMI Press Release: SMI Releases New Resource to Re-energize Supplier Diversity Programs – SMI (smisupplychain.com)