The need for cultural progression is important, but when the pandemic hit the hospitality industry, the importance of supplier diversity shifted down the priority list. With a new year ahead, it’s the perfect time to approach your procurement in a new way and encourage supplier diversity throughout every area of your operation.
A diverse business is defined as any company that is at least 51% owned by one or more minorities. Supplier diversity is crucial to your commitment to inclusion and your procurement and purchasing teams have an opportunity to contribute to your companies’ overall D&I goals by partnering with more diverse businesses.
Partnering with more diverse suppliers fosters collaboration, drives company growth, and can boost your bottom line. Not only does a commitment like this benefit your customers, but it also improves brand reputation and supports your communities beyond just social gains.
No matter the size of your operation, you should create a D&I program to enhance your offerings and expand your supplier portfolio. Here are some steps your operation can take to create a more inclusive and diverse atmosphere and grow your relationships with suppliers:
Define Your Diversity Program
What are the reasons your company is interested in creating a D&I program? Do you have the staff support and manage the program? What is the scope of your new program? Do you have existing partnerships with any diverse suppliers? Your D&I program will be unique to your business. Defining your program, the mission of the initiative and who will run it are the first steps to starting a successful D&I program.
Join Diversity Organizations
By partnering with diverse organizations, you can add new vendors and extend your supplier diversity program. When suppliers see that your business is a part of a larger diverse network, they are more inclined to join forces with you. When you connect with organizations who value diversity and inclusion you are able to gain different perspectives and connect with like-minded groups who can help you bolster deeper partnerships. Not only does joining forces with diverse and inclusive organizations improve your brand reputation, but it also lets other suppliers know that your company is committed to diversity and inclusion, which can lead to future partnerships.
Embrace Procurement Technology
Once you’ve created your supplier diversity processes, you’ll want to evaluate how your new supplier relationships are creating value for both partners. Embracing procurement technology to assist with your supplier diversity efforts is key to making a true impact. By integrating procurement technology into your sourcing process, you can expand your pool of potential suppliers. Procurement technology opens a whole new world of diverse e-commerce partnerships and can help your business identify high quality products to source from more diverse brands. Once you integrate procurement technology with your new suppliers, you gain access to more diverse supplier data. Your new suppliers get a deeper dive into who is buying their products, how much they are buying and which products are big revenue drivers.
Launching a diversity and inclusion program doesn’t have to be hard when you are committed to growing your supplier networks. Defining your program, creating new partnerships, aligning with like-minded businesses, and embracing the power of technology are great steps to creating or improving your diverse and inclusive supplier relationships.
At Source1, we partner with many suppliers such as General Mills, Unilever, and PepsiCo, who all believe in more inclusive and diverse partnerships. When you become a Source1 member, you gain access to an alliance of suppliers who understand the importance of diversity and inclusion. We source products and services from many diverse businesses and are creating a supply chain network that values a more diverse pool of partnerships.