Supplier Diversity Part III: Keeping Pace as an OrganizationSustainability
In Part I and Part II of this series, we have investigated the way in which supplier diversity programs have developed over time and which nations are leading the way in the space. And while it’s good to stay abreast of how we develop as societies, it’s vital to understand how we can better align supplier diversity best practices as individual organizations.
Can Organizations Keep Pace?
The growth of supplier diversity initiatives in these regions (and others) provides unique opportunities and challenges for multinational corporations. The opportunity is around being able to leverage these regional initiatives and organizations to improve the corporation’s overall image, community engagement, and ethical spending as well as strengthening their global supply chain. The challenge is how can organizations understand all the different certifications and access all the different information repositories for these diverse suppliers effectively and efficiently.
Just in the limited discussion above, we noted NMSDC, CAMSC, and Supply Nation as sources of data and certifications, and there are many more. As more and more countries implement diversity programs, these unique certifications and data sources will increase exponentially. This will place a strain on diversity and supplier management teams within these organizations.
This is where these organizations need to be able to turn to their partners to enable this process and make it scalable. Specifically, Source-to-Pay solution providers are crucial partners to enable supplier diversity and customers should be trusting these partners to support their diversity initiatives.
Ethical Spend Toolset
At Ivalua we take responsibility for supporting these ethical spending and diversity initiatives seriously and we have focused on enabling our customers to successfully implement, manage, and scale these types of programs. The Ivalua platform serves as the core source-to-pay solution but connects to a wide ecosystem of data providers. Among some of the features and tools, we provide our customers that support these initiatives are the following.
- Ivalua provides clients standard diversity classification designations that can be applied to ensure these suppliers are properly designated. As the customer expands its presence or diversity programs, new diversity designations can be easily added by the customer without the need for a lengthy and expensive project. For US-based organizations who are entering new markets like Australia, the Certified Aboriginal Business (CAB) designation can be quickly added to existing designations like Women’s Business Enterprise.
- In addition to the diversity designations, Ivalua can store and manage the diversity certifications from the corresponding diversity agencies. Ivalua will expose these certifications on the supplier record, track expiration dates and send reminders to all appropriate individuals. For those customers that are focused on supporting diverse suppliers as they obtain certifications, Ivalua offers suppliers the ability to self-certify and attest they meet the requirements of the diversity designation they have declared. This is stored within Ivalua to provide customers the auditability and traceability to demonstrate process rigor.
- Ivalua offers a full collaboration library where customers can work with self-certified suppliers in obtaining formal certification by establishing a formal plan and tracking task steps in a shared plan.
- For customers who want to ensure diverse suppliers are included in sourcing awards or have specific set-aside requirements (as seen in the US and Australia), Ivalua’s Sourcing Decision Center allows customers to apply customer-defined logic and rules to sourcing analyses and award scenarios to ensure these requirements are satisfied efficiently.
- Lastly, to solve the challenge of supplier discovery and accessing all the various directories like Supply Nation for Australia and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), Ivalua has teamed with Tealbook to provide our customers access to Tealbook’s supplier intelligence platform. From within Ivalua, our customers can launch a search for a supplier using Tealbook’s machine-learning and Artificial Intelligence platform and use the advanced search functionality to search for diverse suppliers with specific designations, within specific locations. Our customers can then review a carefully curated and rich supplier profile complete with critical business information, contacts, and certifications (including diversity). In our Australia example, customers can quickly search for CAB suppliers certified by Supply Nation that provide the required goods or services. Once the suppliers have been selected, they are then directly into Ivalua where a profile is built that includes all required business information, contacts, and diversity classifications and certifications. The process of discovering and adding diverse suppliers to sourcing events can be reduced from weeks to minutes.
As more and more global businesses and governments embrace supplier diversity, they will be looking to technology to also embrace and enable the programs and work closely with diverse business communities. Ivalua is proud to work with some of the most respected brands in the world and is committed to supporting these brands as they elevate their global supplier diversity program.