What is a supplier diversity program?

The goal of a supplier diversity program, also called a supply chain diversity program or vendor diversity program, is to drive the inclusion of diverse-owned businesses in the procurement of goods and services within an organization.

  • A supplier diversity program is a set of related measures and activities with a particular aim.
  • Supplier diversity programming is the planning, scheduling or performance of an instructional process, with a long term view or goal.

Why your company may need a supplier diversity program

Simply put:

  • Competitive edge
  • Community engagement
  • Company culture and brand fusion

Having a diverse supply chain provides an advantage when competing for projects. Many state, federal, and large company procurement strategies encourage the award of contracts in a way that strengthens and increases business opportunities for Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), Women Business Enterprises (WBEs), Service-Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (SDVOBEs), Veteran Business Enterprises (VBEs), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs), and Disability-Owned Business Enterprises (DOBEs).

In addition, inclusive procurement strategies expand the number of potential vendors and increase competition. This increases the overall efficiency of the supply chain and can help reduce costs and increase product quality.

The flexibility of a diverse supplier base is another reason why diversity is so important. According to Coca-Cola, “Diverse suppliers can turn on a dime and are now considered for contracts that they would not have been otherwise due to the imperative for flexibility. They have proven themselves to be agile in terms of responsiveness.”

Finally, having a diverse supply chain makes employees and customers feel good about the company. According to the Harvard Business Review, the “feel-good” factor associated with diversity can help your brand. A 2019 study for Coca-Cola found that individuals who were aware of Coca-Cola’s supplier diversity initiatives were 45% more likely to perceive the brand as valuing diversity, 25% more likely to think favorably about the brand, and 49% more likely to use Coca-Cola products. As a result, the study estimated that Coca-Cola gained 670,000 consumers using the company’s products more frequently.

The bottom line is that having a diverse supply chain and a successful supplier diversity program makes business sense.

Download the Guide: Steps to Build a Supplier Diversity Program from the Ground Up

The supply chain is constantly evolving. As business continues to globalize, the need for supplier diversity is becoming a key component in companies’ competitive strategies. Learn how to build an effective supply chain diversity program.

How does Bellewether work with companies to develop supplier diversity programs?

As supplier diversity consultants, we start by understanding your objective. Next we apply a series of proprietary tools, techniques, and measurable analysis to form a customized approach to your diverse supplier cohort. The data we obtain through this assessment process provides the supplier with unprecedented information about his/her business operations, and creates a deeper understanding for your company about what each supplier may need to increase their value in your supply chain. This analysis helps us prioritize your resources (time, energy and dollars) to determine the best approach to helping suppliers actually achieve the next level of business growth.

FLITER® Supplier Assessment Tool

The problem with many supplier diversity programs is that there has historically been no system to evaluate the current state of suppliers and their business operations. Through the use of FLITER®, Bellewether applies a systemic approach to business growth through structure. Among small-to-mid-size companies, this approach is particularly helpful in speeding the development of those businesses that have experienced inequities due to their lack of management knowledge, administrative experience, and contracting opportunities.

By pinpointing an individual baseline for each firm, we can derive a proven pathway to measurable improvement. This enables these enterprises to stabilize their operations so as to predictably grow, expand, and scale, with minimal risk. These developmental steps help to support economic growth and eliminate systemic barriers in underserved populations.

Check out the video to learn more about FLITER®. When you’re ready to get started, contact us to get the ball rolling.

What our customers are saying about FLITER®

“The Bellewether process, using FLITER® as its foundation, revealed insightful glimpses into the inner workings of the participating companies, and offered salient strategies, measurements and outcomes by which to close performance gaps and to ultimately improve efficiencies and productivity. Simultaneously, corporate member participants were helped in improving their respective supply chain mechanisms, and advised on better ways to provide advice in their role as corporate mentors and resources.”

Why choose Bellewether to help with your supplier diversity program?

Bellewether has been a leader in supplier diversity program development and training for two decades. Vendor diversity is not a trendy add-on for us: it is a key part of who we are. We have worked with numerous companies and hundreds of suppliers to increase the diversity and overall value and performance of supply chains.

Let’s Get Started

Ready to make your business better? Contact us today!