A few weeks ago I was on a conference call planning for an upcoming panel at a diversity event that we were all a part of. On the call were people from the corporate diversity office of a large global company, their procurement department, and several other MBEs, such as ourselves. One of the procurement people made a comment that I thought was really interesting. He said that he doesn’t attend diversity events very often, and being on a panel like this one was a rarity for him. If a diverse supplier wants to meet and impress him, it won’t usually be able to be done at a diversity event. He stressed that MBE companies also need to attend events in their own industry, which is something he was much more likely to attend.
I would like to share my experience at an event I was fortunate to attend last week- a hands on training, Duarte VisualStory™ Workshop sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. This exclusive education session was hosted by Dr. Sally Saba, Executive Director of National Supplier Diversity for Kaiser Permanente and presented with the help of the Supplier Diversity team. Scott Vowels, the President/CEO and his team of Northern California Minority Supplier Development Council did a wonderful job coordinating the event and generously extending it to the larger MBE community. One of NCMSDC’s strong beliefs is “training is valuable for all businesses, regardless of scope or capacity.” What a great opportunity!
Last month ATR was proud to be the MBE presenting sponsor for the Grand Canyon Minority Supplier Development Council Awards Luncheon and Business Exchange held in Tempe, AZ. This is the second year that we’ve been sponsoring the luncheon. The event is held each year to honor and award exemplary performance by minority businesses and the organizations that support them.
Last month I attended DiversityBusiness.com's 13th Annual Multicultural Business Conference in Las Vegas, NV. It was a wonderful opportunity to network and establish new relationships! That’s really the point of this conference, networking – meeting people that work to foster greater inclusion in the business community. It’s also about recognizing all sorts of accomplishments and sharing in each other’s successes – DiversityBusiness.com does this by giving out awards. This conference is designed for anyone with an interest in building our economy, educational system and, overall, a better society for us all through diversity and inclusion. A few sentences from their website will give you an idea of what the conference offered:
You may find yourself wondering why a company would become a certified Minority Business Enterprise. The truth is, there are many benefits including a wide range of business partnering opportunities.
Certification offers minority suppliers the opportunity to connect with many Fortune 1000 companies. These large companies typically have a database where only MBE’s can register allowing them consideration for future opportunities. In addition, the National Minority Supplier Development Council provides a national database which is accessible to corporate buyers and Supplier Diversity Professionals. Certification also provides access to private procurement and networking events and second tier MBE-to-MBE business opportunities.
Corporations value the social impact of utilizing a certified minority supplier. It’s good for the community and good for business. These companies are actively seeking diverse suppliers to compete for the products and services they purchase for their organization in order to build and develop their diversity initiatives. Most of these large companies in corporate America are required to maintain the classifications of their supply bases and report diverse spends. There are annual diversity goals that need to be met to promote the inclusion of diverse suppliers. These corporations can only count spend with certified suppliers.
Many corporations encourage their non-diverse primary suppliers to also share the business strategy by expanding opportunities to MBE certified companies. They too usually submit quarterly or annual report on diverse spends. Let’s face it, all corporations want to have the best product or service big or small. A diverse supplier adds both value and growth to the advancement of a company. This value arises from your company’s broader perspective and the diverse network you bring to them which helps improve their competitive position.
Supplier Diversity initiatives are growing and strengthening in corporate America. Don’t miss out on all of the possibilities of being certified. For more information about becoming a diverse supplier, please visit the NMSDC website where they can provide you with the additional information you need as well as direct you to your local home council. ATR is committed to assisting and mentoring other Minority Business Enterprises with the certification process, we will have a detailed eguide on the benefits and process available in March!
I would like to share a positive story about MBE to MBE spend with the hopes of inspiring other companies to support Diversity spend as well. A company does not necessarily need a Tier 2 program to support Minority Businesses. We have to remember that every bit helps.