Diversity is good.
Whether you’re talking about clients, employees, tactics or something else entirely, diversity ensures a rich mix of experience and opinions. And that means better intelligence and results.
Consider this: If you were buying a house or mulling a major new investment, wouldn’t you seek out wisdom from a variety of confidants, rather than just one or two?
Diversity may not immediately spring to mind when thinking about suppliers, but it’s equally as important. Suppliers are key to getting the job done — they take on the tasks you’re not equipped to handle in-house, and let you focus on what you do best. And with a diverse supplier, you can expect stellar, outside-of-the-box results. Diverse suppliers often boast impressive instinct and savvy.
In fact, while the Federal Government remains the single largest customer for minority and small businesses, according to a recent white paper published by Dun and Bradstreet, “Global enterprises are recognizing the strong potential for supplier diversity programs to help them grow their businesses—whether through increased market share among emerging customer bases, stronger share price, faster innovation cycles or more intangible measures such as brand awareness and loyalty.”
Earlier this year, The Hackett Group, a premier bench-marking and consulting services firm, seemingly concurred. The recently published a report on the merits of engaging with diverse suppliers and the impact on the corporate bottom line. According to the study, “An effective supplier diversity process drives increased sales and cost savings, but the impact of supplier diversity goes beyond this increase by strengthening a retailer’s emotional connection with the customer, building brand equity, creating jobs and stimulating the local area where a company does business.”
And certainly recent statistics support the growth of minority business enterprises, as well as their impact on the economy. A March report from NBC News indicated that, “Minority-owned businesses have grown almost five times faster than non-minority-owned firms.” The graphic below, from NBC’s Richard Lui, shows 2014 product sales from various minority groups.
At SDI, we’re proud to be a diverse supplier. For 23 years, as a veteran Hispanic businesswoman and a certified woman-owned enterprise (WBE) I have been proud to share unique insights with a suite of Fortune 500 companies across a range of industries.
But diversity is more than just a buzzword at SDI — we advocate for it loudly and often. As a board member of the (USHCC) United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a national organization that advocates on behalf of nearly 3.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses, and a member of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), one of the world’s leading organizations for promoting diversity in the business realm, I am excited to be part of an organization that successfully advances business opportunities for minority business enterprises (MBEs).
Are you a start-up or entrepreneur who may be classified as a diverse supplier? The NMSDC offers MBE (Minority Business Enterprise) Certification to businesses that are Asian-Indian-, Asian-Pacific-, Black-, Hispanic-, and Native American-owned. They also offer an array of networking opportunities and plenty of educational programs as well.