2018 Supplier Diversity Superstars

January 11, 2019

We’ve talked about the Top 5 Challenges facing every supplier diversity program and shared some of the secrets of top performing programs. Today we’ll be highlighting four of DiversityInc’s Top 15 Companies for Supplier Diversity and discovering what makes their programs special.

Our top four include Cummins, Eli Lilly, Cox Communications and Comcast NBCUniversal. These companies set a great example by overcoming the challenges that face every program and maintaining an admirable commitment to their supplier diversity efforts.

In honor of the upcoming National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) Conference, we want to highlight the ways these companies are setting the standard for supplier diversity programs.

We’re partial to Cummins and Eli Lilly as fellow Indiana-based businesses. One of the Cummins top 3 supplier diversity goals is to “help…firms establish a mutually profitable business relationship with Cummins Inc.” This is a company that demonstrates its commitment to supplier diversity through mentorship programs with small and diverse suppliers to help them grow their businesses by benefiting from the knowledge of a larger company.

Eli Lilly is a superstar when it comes to Tier 2 reporting, which is becoming more and more important in evaluating the true impact of a supplier diversity program, especially economically. They’ve even published their two methods of collecting Tier 2 data so suppliers can choose:

Direct Method: Tier 1 suppliers report the spend dollars and names of small and diverse suppliers they subcontract with on Lilly business.

Indirect Method: Tier 1 suppliers determine what percentage the Lilly sales revenue is to their overall sales, and then multiply that percentage by their diversity spend amount for each small/diverse category.

Cox Communications and Comcast NBCUniversal are two media/communications companies that have put tremendous effort into their supplier diversity programs. Cox offers mentorship programs and financial assistance to their small and diverse suppliers to enable mutual success. They also diligently track data on spend and cost savings they’ve achieved from working with each diverse supplier. Comcast NBCUniversal also offers helpful guides to suppliers to help them navigate working with a large company and has been recognized among DiversityBusiness.com’s Top 50 Organizations for Multicultural Business Opportunities every year for the past decade.

One practice these supplier diversity superstars all have in common is that they offer supplier portals. Suppliers can easily log in to conduct business and share helpful data. Up-to-date information about changes to a supplier’s business (like ownership or location) is vital to maintaining clean and reliable supplier data, which is in turn vital to maintaining smooth supply chain operations. When those portals can connect to other systems in the business to share supplier diversity data across the enterprise, the possibilities for tracking, measurement and optimization of your program expand.

Allowing your business to keep track of diversity spend and the overall economic impact of your programs requires an easy, reliable and trustworthy way to collect data from suppliers and keep it updated. Businesses who are equipped to do this well tend to excel in their supplier diversity programs. Is your business equipped?

As you know, the ability to quantify program results is essential for proving your program’s success to internal stakeholders as well as the supplier diversity community.

The last thing you need is a one-size-fits-all data solution that’s so difficult to customize for your business that you might be better off doing nothing at all. That’s why Onebridge spends time embedding our team within our customers’ teams and understanding their unique challenges. We create a customized plan designed to solve specific pain points in your program or simply take it to the next level of maturity. As an MBE-certified and woman-owned business, data analytics services for supplier diversity programs is an intuitive part of our DNA because we understand both perspectives in a way that sets us apart. Chat with us about our supplier diversity experience today!

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