Find answers, ask experts and talk with the procurement community
Do you want to deliver savings faster, reduce risks and transform functional performance?
Inspirational thinkers and innovators share their vision, providing unique opportunities to network and share best practice
Diversity without inclusion is a lot like making bread without using any yeast; the dough will fail to rise without such an integral component to the recipe.
Similarly, having a supplier diversity programme without a plan to include diverse suppliers in your strategic sourcing process is not a recipe for success.
Inclusion is the key ingredient that will bring your sourcing strategy together. Too often, we hear about corporations with great intentions and plans to develop their own supplier diversity programmes. Although they will validate their diverse supplier data or acquire a supplier registration portal to track their spend, we often don’t hear about their plans to include diverse suppliers in their overall strategies and supply chains.
Many of these organisations have supplier diversity experts who don’t collaborate with their larger procurement teams - these professionals are incentivised differently and often don’t communicate with those they need to or they simply aren’t aligned on strategy.
As a result, corporate supplier diversity programmes often lack the intent to include diverse suppliers in their overall sourcing process.
Supplier diversity can be measured by many tools and metrics, but that doesn’t guarantee that any programme will be inclusive. Inclusion strengthens relationships with suppliers, both diverse and non-diverse, and transforms them from transactional to symbiotic ones. Bringing suppliers into your overall strategy allows them to the opportunity to help you solve challenges and develop innovations. Rating your suppliers and getting feedback in return fosters communication, promoting transparency and trust.
The success of your strategic sourcing strategy requires intent and inclusion. To drive that, you need to ask the following questions to gauge the current state of your supplier diversity and sourcing plans:
It’s easy to start a supplier diversity programme and turn on a portal in the hope diverse suppliers will register with you. But it’s much harder to create a deliberate inclusion plan.
The lawyer, author and diversity expert Vernā Myers once said: "Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance."
Develop and challenge your suppliers; ask them to dance. You may be surprised at the results.
Daryl Hammett is the COO and co-owner of ConnXus, a SaaS-based global supplier management platform.
This contributed article has been written by a guest writer at the invitation of Procurement Leaders. Procurement Leaders received no payment directly connected with the publishing of this content.