The benefits of diversity

Editorial from the September 2014 print edition

October 15, 2014
by By Michael Power

Over the past few years, PurchasingB2B has made an effort to bolster the case for supplier diversity. To do so, we’ve included diversity among the procurement topics we cover on a regular basis, and have held roundtable and panel discussions on the topic. We’ve also worked closely with the Canadian Aboriginal & Minority Supplier Council, or CAMSC, for the past few years.

This has always struck us as the right thing to do. We’ve supported supplier diversity because it provides the opportunity for businesses that tend to be small or medium sized the opportunity to bid on contracts that they wouldn’t necessarily get the chance to participate in. I should stress that giving those businesses that opportunity doesn’t mean giving any supplier a handout. The intent behind such programs is to afford them an equal chance in the process.

Not only is supplier diversity something entirely different than a charity program, but if done properly can provide benefits to organizations that engage in it. Earlier this year, we published a panel discussion on the benefits of opening the doors to diverse suppliers (see our February issue). One of our intents was to provide examples of the benefits that organizations can realize by engaging with those suppliers.

In this issue, we feature another panel discussion we held at the 2014 Supply Chain Management Association’s (SCMA) national conference in Edmonton last July. That article, which you can read on page 11, seeks to provide some of the steps that procurement—as well as their organizations—can take to start and run a supplier diversity program. Our expert panel gives tips and best practices from their own experiences with supplier diversity programs. I hope you’re able to put some of them into practice at your own organization.