Supplier Diversity & Inclusion Within Cummins

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At Cummins you appreciate the culture and core values which we are immersed in, we all have a role to play in adopting a growth mind-set to further develop Cummins from a multi-national to a global company. I have been with Cummins for almost 11 years now, and in procurement for a lot more, and have seen great strides taken on many fronts and especially on the journey of diversity and inclusion.  From on-boarding of new employees through to peer group adoption, going from a US based initiative to a truly global program through diversity advocates and champions nurtured in all regions.

At Cummins, we have a long legacy of commitment and recognize diversity as one of our Company’s six core values.  Cummins understands that businesses owned by diverse suppliers help contribute to the overall economic growth and well-being of the communities in which we live and work.  We also understand that establishing strategic partnerships with our suppliers helps create value for our customers and provides us with a competitive advantage.  Collaborating with such businesses to provide goods and services to our company creates a cross-cultural competency that only comes from multiple perspectives.

At the core of Cummins, and embodied in our philosophy is Diversity. Cummins works with suppliers who complement our values and operate across cultures, functions, languages, differing in age, gender, race, nationality, ability and language, as well as in personality, behaviour, sexual orientation and religious beliefs.

My purpose is to seek to align potential diverse and underrepresented supplier groups to Cummins opportunities to enable evaluation and selection of the best suppliers for our businesses. This includes:

  • Creating and implementing a regional diversity and inclusion plan for the purchasing organisations within regions
  • Working with recognised organisations to identify, communicate, educate and select potential suppliers to be included in Cummins sourcing opportunities
  • Participating in, and effectively contributing to, recognised organisation events
  • Networking with other Corporate organisations that are aligned with the same values and philanthropic beliefs to further enhance the diversity and inclusion work within Cummins and other Corporate entities for the benefit of minority groups
  • Communicating the business case for supplier diversity and inclusion internally with all stakeholders at every opportunity to ensure diversity becomes an integral part of the procurement process at all levels.

It is the intent of Cummins that opportunity shall be given to diverse businesses to participate as suppliers and contractors to Cummins in their area of expertise. We are committed to fostering business growth through outreach efforts and supplier development in order to cultivate potential suppliers and to educate them on the Cummins processes so that they have a full understanding and can compete on an equal level.

Cummins is dedicated to working with diverse suppliers that best deliver excellent products and services to our stakeholders.  Through Cummins Diversity Procurement Initiative our goal is to increase purchasing opportunities with diverse suppliers by developing and engaging new and existing diverse suppliers.

I am proud to be a leader in a company that embraces diversity as a core value. I am committed to supporting the work of our Cummins Diversity Procurement Initiative both to help foster diverse and small business development and to ensure that Cummins provides excellent service and the best products to our stakeholders every day.

 By Denis Ford MBA MCIPS Corporate Indirect Purchasing International Leader EMEA, NE/SE Asia & S. Pacific, Cummins

Making Procurement Inclusive for a Stronger and Fairer Economy

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We all buy goods and services, and when we spend our money on these goods and services, it sustains businesses large and small, paying for wages and supporting our economy. In other words, we are always playing an important role in our local, national, and global economy, and each decision we make has an impact, even though we may not think about it most of the time. Using our purchasing power as individuals and businesses to improve society is an easy win for everyone.

This is at the heart of why ten years ago I founded MSDUK, the UK’s leading non-profit organisation driving inclusive procurement. Just as our individual purchasing decisions can have a positive impact on society, so – even more so – can the procurement choices of large corporations with huge purchasing power. Inclusive procurement helps to ensure that companies support a diverse portfolio of businesses, including those owned by ethnic minorities.

MSDUK connects supplier ethnic minority businesses (EMBs) with buyers, often from global companies. These contracts have the capacity to fuel quantum leaps in growth for EMBs. On the procurement side, we help buyers by providing them with access to our network of certified EMBs.

This is important because ethnic minority businesses (EMBs) have a disproportionately positive impact on the economy and society, yet they only receive a marginal share of procurement spend.

For example, consider how the UK government buys goods and services. The UK public sector – including central government and local councils – spends an estimated £353 billion a year buying goods and services. Large private sector corporations sometimes spend even more. Procurement decisions can have a huge impact.

What is striking to me is that Small and Medium size Enterprises (SMEs) get such a small share of the procurement spend from public and private sector organisations, even though 99% of businesses in the UK are SMEs, and nearly 8-10% of SMEs are owned by ethnic minorities. These EMBS are hugely underrepresented in both sector’s supply chains.

This is clearly unfair, but even more importantly it is not healthy socially or economically; supporting EMBs is good for business. Research from the US indicates that companies that focus heavily on supplier diversity generate a 133% greater return on their buying operations.

I am an economic migrant born and brought up in India. I came to the UK in 2000 to study and later started doctoral research on supplier diversity and inclusive procurement. The research I did for my dissertation led me to found MSDUK in 2006. As I was doing my research, reading statistics such as these, I observed an urgent need for a platform to connect large private sector firms and ethnic minority businesses to allow them to meet, interact, learn and access business opportunities.

EMBs have a disproportionately positive effect in tangible and less tangible ways. They are often the key drivers of economic growth in some of the poorest areas in Britain.

EMB owners are also a unique and dynamic entrepreneurial community; they represent diverse experiences and viewpoints, and this diversity is key to innovation and to a thriving, sturdy economy. EMBs increase competitiveness, understanding and knowledge. These business owners rely upon their unique life experiences, and the contribution of their knowledge is important to a vibrant society and business environment. It is important to Britain’s economic future that EMBs succeed.

The purchasing power of corporations can be distributed in ways that support supplier diversity and EMBs, in turn fuelling growth in poorer areas and supporting local communities. An inclusive procurement approach, where both private and public sector purchasing organisations actively seek to reach out and include all sizes and types of businesses, results in a fairer and more robust economy.

This year is MSDUK’s tenth anniversary. It has grown enormously over the ten years, but there is still more to do in the field of diverse procurement. I want to continue to help share the benefits of supply chain activity fairly amongst the business community and SMEs including highly underrepresented EMBs, for the benefit of everyone.

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About Mayank Shah
Mayank is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minority Supplier Development UK (MSDUK), the UK’s non-profit corporate membership organisation in the UK driving inclusive procurement.

Prior to the establishment of MSDUK, Mayank managed the two-year Supplier Diversity Pilot Programme at CRÈME, funded by the East Midlands Development Agency. He was responsible for planning and delivery of the project, as well as raising and securing funding. By the end of the project, over £2m worth of business was secured for ethnic minority businesses which laid the foundation for setting up MSDUK as an independent not-for-profit organisation, promoting and championing supplier diversity in the UK. Mayank holds an MBA in Management from Leeds Beckett University, U.K. and a Masters of Commerce degree in General Business and Commerce Programme from Delhi University, India.