It is important to evaluate suppliers to ensure they are a good fit for the organization. Those who are should have demonstrated industry experience, knowledge, and the capability to rise to the top. Those who prove their value, as well as their ability to pivot and scale as demands shift, are passed along from project to project. They are often invited into partnering arrangements; sometimes acting as the prime and, at other times, a subcontractor based on need and the likelihood of success.  

But too many organizations are content to grow their diverse supplier lists by adding to a database of firms they will never use. Others count their spending and utilization in order to meet business objectives or regulations. These and other actions may ultimately increase revenue for the diverse business, but not always capacity. In order to build capacity, a systematic approach is needed. Capacity comes via extended capability. For that, you must know more about the company.  You must understand where they are and what they need to progress to higher levels of proficiency. 

Diverse Suppliers Utilize Resources

To build capacity in diverse suppliers, organizations must commit very specific resources. The goal of these resources is to help them obtain, improve, and retain the skills, knowledge, tools, and equipment needed to fulfill expectations. The smaller business must invest in its own growth. They must recognize the value that extends beyond revenue and bottom-line earnings. Capacity furthers resilience.

Growth From Novice to Expert

The most proven method in building capacity is in acknowledging levels of performance. A clear distinction exists between companies managed by a novice versus an expert. They are not at the same point in their understanding, experience, or performance. Beyond the extremes of novice and expert are three other levels in the progression of professional development business owners need. Each level indicates the capacity to accomplish more with less oversight. Mastery enhances confidence. 


Imagine applying a proven method to categorize companies and owners. This method quickly maximizes their learning and ability to produce. Each would be happier and you would too. But it cannot be business as usual. As Global Supplier Diversity practices become more advanced and more tied to corporate gains, the programs must rise to the occasion. They must move on from corporate community marketing, where little to no progress is made. Then they can tackle something real, measurable, and impactful for all. 

Outputs should outstrip inputs. Impacts of real capacity-building will support shared objectives for utilization, growth, and expansion. At this point, the highest levels of diverse supplier capacity are reached. This way, each company acts as an asset to the other’s growth. 

Learn how Bellewether’s decades of experience can lend itself to your company here!