The Diversity Category

ConnXus: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses [PRO]

From a technology and content perspective, the market for supplier diversity-specific supplier management solutions has remained somewhat of a cottage industry for over a decade. Larger vendors, including both software and risk-centric providers, have not been able to take advantage of scale or reach. Further, over the years, even those organizations which have acquired diversity-centric vendors (e.g., Kroll, Jaggaer) have not been able to consolidate the market.

This has opened the door for more recent entrants, such as ConnXus, to not only develop technology, solutions and content for supplier diversity professionals but also to integrate these capabilities with broader offerings across the supplier management spectrum, as well as set a new standard for what should be included in a supplier diversity solution in the first place.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores ConnXus’ strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider the provider. The first installment our analysis provided a company and solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering the provider. Part 3 will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Can Procurement Save the Least Diverse Profession in the United States?

forced labor

The biggest change agent for the legal profession could be the as yet unspoken (rather than contractual) pressure from legal firms’ corporate clients, who are pushing their legal partners to go further into supplier diversity efforts. These corporations (e.g., HP, Facebook and Oracle), many of which have instituted their own supplier diversity programs, increasingly want their suppliers and partners to do the same, according to Lee Garbowitz, managing director of Procurement Managed Solutions for HBR Consulting. This helps the partners align strategically, with the ultimate goal of improving brand image and reputation on both sides.

How Procurement and Sourcing Can Help Close the Gender Gap: UN Women Report


Procurement functions can play a big role in supporting women-owned businesses, argues a new report produced by UN Women. The report points out that corporations are in a powerful position to help close the gender gap through their procurement and sourcing departments. Even though corporate spend accounts for trillions of dollars every year, only 1% of that sum goes to women-owned businesses.

SAP Ariba LIVE Dispatch: Does Supplier Diversity Have a New Visionary?

supplier diversity

SAP Ariba and ConnXus announced a new partnership Tuesday at SAP Ariba LIVE. ConnXus is one of the last remaining independent supplier diversity vendors with any scale, although still a small firm itself. There are only a few hundred people in the procurement industry who have tracked the market for supplier diversity databases and software solutions over the years and know it well. Those familiar with this area know that the road to tapping supplier innovation and managing diversity spend through these tools has been paved with the great intentions of vendors that somehow got sidetracked along the way.

Supplier Diversity Success Story: How an MBE Partnership Won a $100M+ Contract

As a procurement professional, I’m primarily tasked with identifying the best ways to utilize our spend and influence to as to create the maximum advantage for my organization. Obviously, this is extremely valuable for the company but can sometimes leave me feeling a bit uninspired. As a purchases manager at a global consumer products company, I was known to say to my closest colleagues, “It’s just soap and toilet paper. We are not changing the world.”

However, several years ago I was presented with a rare chance to make a difference in a way that was highly meaningful for me. I may not have realized it at the time, but I was fortunate to work in an organization that called out supplier diversity as a critical factor in its business strategy. A category plan couldn’t be written that didn’t include a supplier diversity component, and an RFP or business award couldn’t be made without addressing how we will reach our diversity targets.

Terry Applegate: Women in Procurement

Like many others working in procurement, Terry Applegate didn’t necessarily intend on spending her entire career in the field. But one of her first jobs out of college as a buyer for a small electronics company was enough to spark her interest in procurement. After nearly 35 years in the field, Applegate has gone from entry-level buying positions to higher roles like serving as managers, vice presidents and directors of procurement and sourcing organizations at multiple companies. She now serves as vice president of global contract operations for the global procurement department at Deutsche Bank.

Susan Grelling: Women in Procurement

Susan Grelling

Susan Grelling has a wealth of advice to offer people in procurement. After spending approximately 25 years in the field, Grelling has learned some valuable lessons she can pass on to others, such as how procurement can help smooth out profit and loss for a company or how to position the organization to be viewed not just as a “checkbook” but as a source of competitive advantage.

More than 20 Federal Agencies Get an ‘A’ Grade on SBA 2015 Procurement Scorecard

small business administration

The U.S. federal government spent over 25% of its contracting dollars in fiscal year 2015 with small businesses, giving the government a grade of “A” on the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Procurement Scorecard. The SBA released the scorecard earlier this week, showing the federal government surpassed its goal of having 23% of prime contracting procurement dollars go toward small businesses. In all, the government spent $90.7 billion during 2015 on contracts with small businesses, or 25.75% of its contracting dollars.

Rose Kelly-Falls: Women in Procurement

Rose Kelly-Falls knew she wanted a career where she would be deeply involved in business, something that empowered her to make important decisions. She also knew she wanted to work in some capacity with manufacturing. As a young professional, she didn’t know exactly that perfect job would be. Her experience working in operations at clothing companies in New York City after college would serve as her point of entry into procurement — a field she quickly realized she would pursue throughout her career.

Entelo Recruiting System Helping Companies Find Diverse Candidates

supplier diversity

There is a reason companies strive to have a diverse workforce — and if they are not, they should. Research has shown diversity produces a number of tangible benefits, such as company innovation and increased revenue. Recruiting and selecting diverse candidates is the first step to improving diversity at an organization. Entelo, a recruiting platform with specific diversity features, is helping companies source women and minority candidates to meet diversity goals.

Government Hits Goal of Spending 5% of Contracting Dollars with Women-Owned Businesses — or Did It?


The U.S. government said 5.05% of its fiscal year 2015 contracting dollars were awarded to women-owned small businesses, hitting a goal it set back in 1994. The Small Business Administration (SBA) reported the $17.8 billion awarded to women-owned businesses in 2015 is a “historic contracting achievement,” for the government and sets a new standard upon which to build.

Report: Minority-Owned Suppliers Lack Access to Capital, Education Around Financing Options

supplier diversity

Minority-owned businesses often lack access to the capital needed to compete and grow in their market, a new study released by the National Minority Supplier Development Council shows. Many minority business enterprise (MBE) suppliers have little or no knowledge of the opportunities available for obtaining capital, making education key for survival. NMSDC’s survey of 456 MBE suppliers showed the majority of the organizations had little to no knowledge about the types of financing available, such as private equity, angel investors and mezzanine financing.