Achieving success in supplier diversity requires more than just setting goals; it demands a commitment to transparency throughout the journey. While organizations may initially hesitate to be transparent, embracing openness can actually highlight the progress and success they have achieved in supplier diversity.
The key to getting comfortable with transparency lies in understanding that the path to success involves both challenges and accomplishments. By sharing this journey more openly, businesses can reveal to their stakeholders their genuine commitment to supplier diversity.
Understanding the Purpose Behind Supplier Diversity
Supplier diversity must extend beyond a proclamation on a website and be an integral part of the organization’s decision-making process. Companies choose to implement a supplier diversity program for many reasons – these include contributing to the economic viability of the communities where they operate, meeting their sustainability goals, identifying new suppliers that bring innovative solutions to their company, and an overall commitment to socio-economic equity. Regardless of the reason, the company must articulate the “why” clearly and strongly enough that its people know how to – and are motivated to – implement it across all levels of the organization. This must be part of ongoing messaging to both employees and the community at large.
Assessing and Measuring Supplier Diversity
When assessing the needs within a supplier diversity program, the evaluation should encompass every business unit in the organization. A comprehensive approach starts with conducting a 360-degree internal and external assessment to capture an accurate picture of the organization’s current supplier diversity status. This process is driven by collaboration among designated supplier diversity champions and team leaders across departments.
A thorough assessment often reveals a complex and largely positive picture, particularly concerning community engagement. Businesses usually interact with their local communities in several ways, and hiring and buying locally is a powerful way to benefit both the community and the organization.
An accurate assessment helps companies examine their current practices as well as identify new opportunities to build more diversity into their supply chain, support their environmental commitment to buy goods and services locally whenever possible, and in other ways contribute to the community’s well-being.
Sharing the Journey: The Key to Success
Supplier diversity is a dynamic process that evolves over time. While the ultimate goal is continuous improvement, there will inevitably be fluctuations and challenges along the way. By creating an annual report on supplier diversity, organizations can track their progress, demonstrate their commitment to their local communities, and share their roadmap along with strategies for future success.
These stories have to provide knowledge and context to a variety of stakeholders – and not be limited to numbers alone. Telling personal stories about socio-economic impact helps to create consensus on why supplier diversity is a business imperative. This sets the foundation for a strong business diversity program that leads to increased employee morale, better communication, more effective messaging, and an improved bottom line.
Embracing Supplier Diversity with Laisar Management Group
For businesses looking to fully integrate supplier diversity into their operations, partnering with Laisar Management Group provides invaluable support. We work closely with organizations to assess their current status, develop strategies for improvement, and share their supplier diversity success stories. To learn more about how we can help you achieve your supplier diversity goals, contact us today.
About Florence Amate
Florence Amate is the Founder and President of Laisar Management Group. A management consulting company based in Silver Spring, Maryland, that is helping organizations rethink the role Supplier Diversity and Sustainability plays in their overall business strategy. Organizations in every industry have relied on Florence and her team to shape their community engagement and sustainability strategies.
Florence’s belief that companies are stronger when they take the time to understand their common interest within the communities, they choose to operate has been evident in the projects she has worked on over the last 12 years. Since 2011, she has successfully developed and managed economic and workforce inclusion solutions utilizing various proprietary business and data analytics applications. Organizations have embraced how internal and external data can be used to improve their bottom line, tell their story and build stronger and more vibrant communities.
Laisar provides supplier diversity, sustainability services and solutions. Laisar’s innovative, and integrated solutions for economic inclusion and workforce utilization, shapes community engagement and overall corporate strategies. We work with clients to develop and execute programs that bring socio-economic benefits to the communities where they live, work and play.
By Florence Amate published on Medium on October 21, 2023, 4mn read.
Photos: iStock Images.