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Trends & Issues

Best Practices and Benchmarks for Supplier Diversity

Building Strong Programs Starts with Putting the Right Systems in Place

When it comes to supplier diversity programming, chances are you’re doing it wrong. Doubtful? In 2010, some 40 Global 1000 companies had their supplier diversity programs studied by The Hackett Group. The research pointed, not to success or creation of world-class supplier procurement organizations, but to wasted resources and serious misalignment between goals and business reality.

“Many companies are taking the easy way out, and as a result aren’t driving real supplier diversity benefits . . . they aren’t showing the attention to detail required to create programs that have real impact,” said Hackett’s North American Procurement Advisory Lead Kurt Albertson. To create truly meaningful and useful supplier diversity programs, companies have to dig deeper in the strategic value of diversity to the business bottom line and the best long-term interests of their own business. This means additional thoughtfulness around key best practices for your unique corporate needs, picking out leaders for your industry, modeling practices that fit your culture, and continually measuring the success of your initiatives.

Getting diversity programming right relies on best practices. These best practices don’t necessarily revolve around the easy points – corporate sponsorship at the top and funding. The truth is that diversity spending is at record highs and more than two-thirds of diversity executives report to a C-level executive, according to Best Practices, LLC. Instead, best practices that truly drive results are rooted in objective measures independent of enthusiasm for the program or the name behind it.

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