Webinar Recap: Keys to a Successful Supplier Diversity Program

Webinar Recap: Keys to a Successful Supplier Diversity Program

Eastridge Blog posted by Cynthia Contreras on March 10, 2021

On February 25th, 2021 Eastridge hosted a webinar, Keys to a Successful Supplier Diversity Program. We were joined by procurement experts G.H. Swaleh, Nancy M, and Nino Campos hosted by Kasey Hadjis.

They reviewed the steps to take if you are planning on establishing or modifying your DE&I program. Watch our webinar to get the full breakdown and learn why the following items are important to a successful program!

What are some of the biggest impacts you have seen from having a supplier diversity program?

  • Revenue growth for both the company and the diverse supplier
  • Brand enhancement and recognition
  • Competitive advantage
  • Stimulating economic growth in the underserved communities
  • Creating job growth

What are some of the biggest challenges organizations might face with building their program?

  • Executive sponsorship
  • Lack of education, awareness, and passion
  • Competing with other company initiatives
  • Shortage of qualified suppliers.
  • Lack of budget

If someone is struggling to get buy-in from leadership what are the key steps they can take to get started?

  • Help them, so they will help you — understand management's vision and commitments in your program. Help them achieve their goals.
  • Create innovative best practices on how to support your organization  
  • Create a preferred supplier base that sets you apart from the other preferred listings
  • Garner support across the enterprise
  • Educate, Educate, Educate
  • Set measurable goals

When developing a strategy, what is a key step that organizations tend to miss or overlook?

  • Define clear measures of supplier diversity success
  • Mentor diverse suppliers within the supply base
  • Pilot with a group of suppliers. Start small to show success before expanding.
  • Data Accuracy
  • Internal commitment
  • Mechanisms to locate opportunities.

How did you manage the program and keep it relevant to the company’s strategy?

  • Refresh goals and targets annually to align with corporate goals  
  • Meet with new executives early to provide awareness and garner their support
  • Introduce different diverse suppliers to the procurement organization frequently

What are the KPI’s that organizations should track to measure their impact?

  • Percentage of spend with diverse suppliers
  • Percentage of diverse suppliers in the supplier base
  • Measure the impact of Supplier performance — supplier innovation cost savings, etc
  • Number of diverse suppliers invited to sourcing events in the last year
  • Number/percentage of suppliers reporting second-tier diverse spend
  • Sales contribution — deals won from meeting supplier diversity requirements

Updating and enhancing supplier diversity programs will likely remain an imperative for companies in 2021 and beyond. The benefits are slowly gaining widespread attention. Implementing a program will take time, but don’t get discouraged. Nancy Minchillo stated, “Not every opportunity plays out as we would hope, however, any misstep is a lesson learned, so embrace that lesson and try again.” For more on supplier diversity benefits and best practices, view the webinar recording here!

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