Do You Know the Difference Between Strategic Sourcing & Category Management –  Supplier Diversity NEEDS Some Attention


First, I hope you are all staying healthy and safe.  Over the last 30 days we have written about this topic twice and I am hoping that three times is the charm.  If you have not looked at your Supplier Diversity (SD) program lately then chances are it’s time to do so.  Our email, phones, etc., are literally blowing up with clients asking for assistance in determining what can be done to improve their program. They are not sure how to think about it, or what best practices are out there that they should be considering.  To assist our clients, we have developed a Supplier Diversity Maturity Model and a corresponding assessment that helps them understand where they are today and where they need to go – it is our Supplier Diversity Readiness Risk Assessment and it has proven to be quite powerful.    Here are the domains we assess:

Here are some definitions for each domain:

Change Management – Ensures a business case, communication plan and change strategy are in place to successfully sell, implement and ensure adoption of the vision for SD across the organization.

Governance – Ensures the goals of SD are owned by the CEO and he / she hold the entire organization accountable to achieving those goals.

Role The Supplier Diversity Director is a key resource to executive management and is supported by a team of strong Supplier Diversity professionals.

Adoption – Ensures new ideas, processes, policies, models, etc. are implemented and integrated into the SD program and challenges the business to not revert to historical ways of doing business.

Stakeholder Engagement – Actively engages strong internal and external stakeholders to understand their Value Drivers and incorporate those into your Supplier Diversity program. 

Metrics  – Measurement processes and dashboards are in place to ensure that the adoption and commitment of SD goals across your organization are achieved.

Infrastructure – The Supplier Diversity process and corresponding tools are tightly integrated into the Strategic Sourcing and Purchasing processes to support and drive program growth.

Supplier Engagement  – Formal training, mentoring and development  programs are in place to support both Tier I and Tier II diverse suppliers in being prepared to serve the needs of your organization.

Training & Development –  Supplier Diversity training is provided to all employees to gain commitment and ensure Supplier Diversity is top of mind when executing their functional processes (e.g. Strategic Sourcing, transactional buying, etc.)

“Value” Focus –  The Supplier Diversity program is a reflection of the Value Drivers of all key constituents – employees, customers, regulators and the communities in  which you serve. 

The results of this survey will allow you to focus on the key areas that are critical to make your program a success.  We  highly recommend you, your Supplier Diversity executive, your Sponsor and any other interested parties within your organization participate in the survey to see what their perception is of where you stack up.  Now is the time to take a second look at your program before your CEO comes knocking at your door.

Let us know what you think and join in the conversation . . . .


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