Diversity Content

How to reach your goals on supplier diversity and supplier management

When a company considers how to improve its supplier diversity, it can do so along with improving its supplier management overall. But how does a business go from getting started to reaching its goals with suppliers?

In the first article in this series, we showed that businesses starting this process don’t have to choose between supplier diversity and supplier management. You should do both at the same time.

But now, let’s consider how to execute a plan to build relationships with suppliers and reach your business goals. You’ll need to understand three areas of SRM, or supplier relationship management: how your suppliers align with your business goals, how you manage supplier risk and how you address supplier development.

Supplier diversity and supplier management: Don’t choose, do both

Supplier diversity connects to many trends occurring in supplier relationship management (SRM) these days, including developments like the rise of digital transformation, supplier networks and supplier collaboration.

As a business trying to start the supplier diversity process, it can be a daunting task to wade through-diverse supplier certifications and classifications to help you find a certified minority-, woman-, veteran- or LGBT-owned vendor for your company. But it can be worth it.

The methods that have made supplier diversity successful over the years now apply to other areas of procurement as well. Find out how.

ConnXus Brings ‘Quick and Clean’ Supplier Data Cleansing to the Masses with SmartScrub: Vendor Snapshot Update [PRO]

For the majority of procurement organizations today, obtaining and maintaining accurate supplier master data is a huge pain point. Most organizations still do not trust their vendor master as a single source of truth (or even have one!) — nor do they have the time or personnel to continuously validate and enrich supplier records to the degree that is necessary to create that level of trust.

One solution to this problem for the last decade or so has been to gather a list of suppliers the organization has worked with in the past year and submit the records to one of several firms that clean and enrich this data as a service for various purposes (e.g., deduplication, verification, enrichment, etc.). Among these firms is ConnXus, a best-of-breed solution provider within the Supplier Relationship Management & Risk SolutionMap category. ConnXus is best known for strong supplier diversity management and a growing set of adjacent capabilities (such as a next-generation supplier network where a supplier can register once and share its profile with any business).

As technology has improved in the market, new options for supplier master data cleansing and enrichment have turned this service into an increasingly automated process (e.g., doing so via API every time a new supplier is added). But offerings vary. Some require a license to the entire platform to use the data services, while others provide a cost-effective entry point that do not guarantee perfect results. So ConnXus, as of this week, is seeking to provide a middle ground between these two extremes: A competitively priced supplier data cleansing and enrichment subscription called SmartScrub that guarantees 98% accurate records for U.S.-based businesses returned in under 24 hours — often much faster, as the service is completely automated once users provide an uploaded template containing supplier name and valid address.

More important for procurement organizations, SmartScrub’s capabilities are available for purchase without engaging ConnXus’ supplier management solutions. And at the price points ConnXus is offering, most companies will have the ability to validate, centralize and report on diversity and industry data for thousands of records where before such solutions may have been inaccessible. Although ConnXus does aim to turn these subscribers into full customers, of course, especially as it quickly evolves its data validation capabilities into what it sees as the next logical evolution: mass supplier discovery of diverse and industry-specific vendors.

This Spend Matter Vendor Snapshot Update reviews ConnXus’ new SmartScrub subscription and explains how the supplier management vendor is taking a potentially disruptive approach to enabling MDM cleansing and virtualization. It is an addendum to our previous reviews and analyses of ConnXus:

Part 1: Background and Solution Overview
Part 2: Product Strengths and Weaknesses
Part 3: Commentary and Summary Analysis
ConnXus Envisions a Next-Generation Supplier Network With myConnXion: Vendor Snapshot Update

10 Tips for Women-owned Businesses Seeking Government Contracts

For Spend Matters’ weekly focus on public procurement, we take a look at Public Spend Forum’s 10 tips for how women-owned small businesses can succeed in government contracting. The public-sector opportunity for women-owned business has improved somewhat in recent years. In 2017, the government hit a goal of having 5% of its contracts go to companies owned by women. That percentage represents $17.8 billion, so there’s more money to be made. PSF sees this as the new baseline, with a lot of room to grow above the 5%. To help do that, it offers these 10 tips:

Supplier Inclusion: Moving Beyond Spend to Measure Impact

Spend Matters welcomes this guest contribution from Brian Peters, Gilead Science’s director of procurement, and Steven Wuerth, Gilead Science’s senior manager for supplier inclusion and data analytics. 

Supplier diversity can have positive impacts on businesses and communities, but history suggests that program implementation has been difficult and, in some cases, borderline ineffective. In CVM Solutions’ 2018 State of Supplier Diversity Report, only 32 percent of respondents rated their supplier diversity programs as very effective,2 up 7 percentage points from their 2017 report3. This white paper by Gilead, a biopharmaceutical company with suppliers worldwide, contains reflections and learnings from our work to progress Gilead’s robust supplier inclusion program and to move beyond spend as “the” historical metric for supplier diversity so we can inspire and measure a broader impact.

Sponsored Article

Back to the myConnXion Future: Connecting Buyers and Suppliers

digital business transformation

As disruptors in the supplier management space, our team set out with a simple task: understand the challenges suppliers face, so we can help them better collaborate with buyers in global supply chains. We started hearing from many small and diverse businesses that it was difficult to engage with large corporate buyers. As a small, minority-owned business, we’ve faced some challenges ourselves, but wanted to confirm our thoughts with general findings from other organizations. To gather these insights, our product innovation team conducted a focus group with buyers and suppliers and received some interesting feedback.

Sponsored Article

Procurement Begins with Sourcing: The myConnXion Story

To understand procurement and sourcing as a buyer, we must start with the supplier. Small and diverse businesses are often cited as being more nimble, innovative and cost effective, but are often most strained in resources. Suppliers have to register their profiles with many different buyers (sometimes paying to do so, for buyers who adopt the pay-to-play model) and may not even get a contract as a result of their efforts. On the other side, many buyers end up with outdated supplier information and expired diversity certifications, contaminating their supplier database with inaccurate data. Sourcing with unreliable information hampers the abilities of procurement professionals and negatively impacts bottom line.

‘Pull In’ Initiatives More Effective Than ‘Lean In’ for Retaining and Advancing Women in Supply Chain

women

While women only make up about 20% of supply chain vice presidents today, that share is expected to rise to roughly one in three by 2023, according to a new report from Gartner and AWESOME, a leadership organization focused on the advancement of women in supply chain. Now in its third year, the 2018 Women in Supply Chain Survey focused on supply chain organizations’ initiatives on the retention and advancement of women. It found that while the percentage of women holding executive-level supply chain positions has risen in recent years, the average percentage of women leaders at other levels has remained flat.

The Case for Considering Contingent Workers in Your Diversity & Inclusion Strategy

Contingent workers are now sitting more firmly in the driver’s seat of their careers and are being selective in where they share their talent. While pay is still a significant driver, the culture and work environment of a business are also becoming important factors, similar to those seeking full-time employment. Organizations develop diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs designed to foster teamwork, acceptance and creativity within their full-time employee populations. Given the increased profile of contingent workers within organizations, is it reasonable to expect that this part of the worker population be considered when developing initiatives for the organization as a whole?

How to Incorporate Diversity and Inclusion Practices Into Contingent Labor Programs

supplier diversity

Many organizations struggle with how to incorporate D&I practices within their contingent workforce. In response to concerns regarding co-employment, buying organizations tend to keep non-employees at arm’s length. But given the increasing number of contingent workers in the workforce mix, as well as the central role they are playing in more organizations, one could argue that a different approach should be considered in acknowledgement of the changing dynamics.

Supplier Diversity Meets Supply Management: A Roadmap for Success (Part 4) [Plus+]

As we conclude our initial series on creating a roadmap for success with supplier diversity initiatives (see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3), we come to a handful of final, in many cases tactical, recommendations that can make or break program success. These are the “school of hard knocks” lessons focused on supplier diversity data management that we encourage our readers to take to heart, learning from the mistakes of others (including us) as we’ve helped to rollout and manage these programs over the years for dozens of organizations.

Supplier Diversity Meets Supply Management: A Roadmap for Success (Part 3) [Plus+]

Perhaps the most important element that supplier diversity professionals should incorporate into their program management efforts is how to constantly incorporate general procurement efforts within their own. Working with general procurement should be the top priority for diversity teams. All too often, the trap for supplier diversity professionals is to lead a silo-based activity with few touch-points with general procurement.