Supplier Diversity: A New Idea All Over Again

Supplier DiversitySupplier Diversity is certainly not new.  The idea of purchasers (typically large corporations and government agencies) of goods and services proactively encouraging certified diverse, veteran, and women-owned small business suppliers to enter their supply chains has been around for decades.  Around equally as long, however, has been the “great divide.”   This is how I define the very real gap between Supplier Diversity good intentions and genuine opportunity.[more]

Sure, you hear of Cinderella stories when a small, diverse, start-up supplier offers just the right innovation, at just the right time, and is in just the right place to catch the ear of an influential buyer.  Mentored along to achieve incredible success, you can then hear their story from the podium of every supplier diversity event for the next millennium. [more]

A much more typical scenario is the thousands of diverse, small business owners who travel to Supplier Diversity events nationwide, attempting to catch that big break into the supply chain of a Fortune 500 corporation, only to be told that their programs are closed or they are too small to qualify … until now.

The “P&G Community of Partners” concept will prove to be a true game changer if, and when its Fortune 500 kin take note and follow in their giant footsteps. 

Already a leader in Supplier Diversity, Procter & Gamble is a member of the prestigious Billion Dollar Round Table, one of only 21 Corporations nationwide who purchase $1 Billion + with diverse suppliers – P&G is actually in its 8th straight year of exceeding $2B in diverse spend.    With an already mature program and a corporate commitment to Supplier Diversity, you’d think P&G would sit on its laurels and continue with the status quo.  Not so.  For such a huge corporation, they displayed incredible nimbleness and innovation at the 2015 NMSDC Business Opportunity Fair in October by introducing their “P&G Community of Partners.” 

P&G invited several of their already established “Prime” suppliers to exhibit alongside them.  They confirmed over 160 one-on-one opportunity meetings between diverse, small suppliers and these Primes in advance to take place during the one-day fair – pairings that were a fit for both sides.  Further, P&G challenged each Prime to come away with a commitment to follow through with least one new diverse supplier.  Loathe to term these opportunities as “Tier II” spend (implying something less), P&G views promoting diverse, small business spend through its existing Primes as an integral part of their program – and they’re proving it real time.

As the #1 provider of payroll funding and strategic services to over 350 staffing firms nationwide, we at Advance actively promote Diversity Certification to every qualified client.  We believe strongly in Supplier Diversity but recognized the gap between intent and opportunity some time ago.

Many Fortune 500 Corporations host invitation-only Supplier Opportunity Exchanges or Expos annually, including fellow BDR Member, Toyota.  Their 2015 Opportunity Exchange was intentional, targeted, and of real value to those who were invited to attend.  This new P&G model, however, opens the stage to close the opportunity gap in a very real, very public forum.

The “P&G Community of Partners” concept will prove to be a true game changer if, and when its Fortune 500 kin take note and follow in their giant footsteps. 

Learn more about the one-on-one assistance from Subject Matter Experts Advance Partners offers to help you leverage your diversity advantage.