Going global with your supplier diversity programme

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An exceptional peer-to-peer learning and sharing workshop in New York 

As more and more USA-based corporations embark on a journey to take their local supplier diversity efforts global, it is critical they understand the opportunities and challenges they face.

On 16 May, more than 70 supplier diversity professionals from Fortune 500 firms gathered in New York at a workshop organised by the Global Supplier Diversity Alliance (GSDA) and hosted by Accenture.


Speakers included Mayank Shah, Founder and CEO, MSDUK; Cassandra Dorrington, CEO, CAMSC; Terrence Clark, CEO and President, NYNJMSDC; Theresa Harrison, EY; Nedra Dickson, Accenture; and Will Holmes, GSK.

The key takeaways for those thinking of developing a global supplier diversity programme were:

  • Do your research before deciding in which countries you want to start a programme. Context, history, culture, legislation and business climate differ between countries. To lay a strong foundation, it’s essential that you define a business case for each country
  • Local leadership commitment, support and engagement are the most important factors in delivering a world-class programme
  • Have a budget. Fund a full-time resource locally, invest in training local champions, budget for international travel and optimise resource utilisation by developing a regional strategy (EMEA, APAC etc)
  • Try to go into countries that have advocacy networks like MSDUK, CAMSC and WeConnect. These provide excellent support to local teams
  • Use forums like GSDA to connect with supplier diversity practitioners that have experience in running global programmes. This gives you access to best practice
  • Make sure you have a clearly defined business case for starting a programme in any country
  • Walk before you run!

The workshop ended on a high when three highly ambitious and inspirational minority business owners from the UK and USA shared their experiences of expanding their business globally. Sid Narang, CEO, The, UK,  Daniel Sung Park, CEO, Eclaro International, USA and Reshma Moorthy, President and CEO, Frontier Technology talked about their experiences, both good and bad, of going into new countries.


Tips for any minority business thinking of going global:

  • Understand and respect cultural sensitivity. Every country has a distinctive business culture. Respecting difference is critical to success
  • Patience is needed in abundance. If it takes a day to open a bank account in the US, it may take 60 days in the UK. If it takes only a week to start and register a company in one country, the same process may take six months somewhere else. Be prepared and have patience
  • Leverage governmental (chambers of commerce, export departments, etc) and non-governmental (GSDA partners) to get access to local research and regulations. Grants are available for attending trade shows or going on official business delegations
  • Use in-country supplier diversity advocacy networks to identify local minority business partners
  • Always have a good lawyer ready to help you draw up contracts and agreements
  • While choosing local business partners, take time to build trust before entering any legally binding contract
  • Follow your clients – this makes your journey faster and profitable!

It was an insightful workshop that left attendees excited and inspired!

Find out more about GSDA on .

Q&A with Supply Nation: Closing the economic gap for today’s emerging and evolving Indigenous Australians

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We sat down with Supply Nation president Laura Berry to discuss how the organisation has been working to close the economic gap for today’s emerging and evolving Indigenous Australians since its concpetion in 2009.

Q: What is Supply Nation?

Supply Nation is the Australian leader in supplier diversity. Since 2009, Supply Nation has worked
with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses along with procurement teams from
government and corporate Australia to help shape today’s emerging and rapidly evolving
Indigenous business sector.
Indigenous Australians face significant social, health, and demographic challenges that are totally
unacceptable in our society. Although Australia ranks 2nd in UNDP’s Human Development Index,
Indigenous Australians would rank 122nd. There are many organisations working to close that gap –
and Supply Nation does that using the lever of procurement.
The Indigenous peoples of Australia (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) make up around
3% of the population, but only own around 0.5% of the businesses in the country. In Australia,
supplier diversity is focused on achieving economic benefits for Indigenous people through business
Supply Nation’s vision is a vibrant, prosperous and sustainable Indigenous business sector and we
work towards that by supporting Indigenous businesses to get a seat at the table with the
procurement teams of our corporate, government and not-for-profit members.

Q: Who can join Supply Nation?
Supply Nation recognises two levels of Indigenous ownership of a business – Registered, which is
50% or more Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander ownership (caters for equal partnerships with
non-Indigenous owners) and Certified Suppliers that are at least 51% owned, managed and
controlled by the Indigenous party.
Suppliers who register their business with Supply Nation receive a host of benefits, including listing
on Indigenous Business Direct (the largest national database of Indigenous businesses in Australia)
access to networking events, trade-fairs and training. All this is provided completely free (apart
from tickets to Connect – Supply Nation’s annual Knowledge Forum, Tradeshow and Gala Awards
Supply Nation also supports a network of paid corporate, government and not-for-profit members
who receive training and consulting to develop a sustainable supplier diversity program within their
procurement departments.

Q: What is the scale and impact of supplier diversity in Australia?
Supply Nation now has over 1700 Indigenous businesses and over 400 members. Research
gathered from Supply Nation’s social investment of return report “The Sleeping Giant” shows that
for every dollar of revenue Indigenous businesses produce on average $4.41 of social return. In
addition, Indigenous businesses are up to 60 times more likely to employ Indigenous people and
Indigenous business leaders provide role models and leadership for other members of the
community. The number of Indigenous businesses growing at almost 23% per annum (more than
four times non-Indigenous businesses).
Since 2014, Business Council of Australia members have reported over $2 billion in spend with
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and since its introduction in July 2015, the
Indigenous Procurement policy has awarded 6,850 contracts worth approximately $1 billion to
more than 1,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.
Supply Nation has grown from 13 suppliers registered in 2009, with a founding membership of 32
corporate and government organisations – to today having over 1700 Indigenous businesses and a
membership of over 400 engaged organisations who support our vision for the sector.
Our members operate in diverse industries such as mining, construction, finance, IT and
telecommunications, pharmaceutical and retail. There are innovative and successful Indigenous
businesses in every sector and state – providing services from consultants to contractors; from
construction to cleaning and from cryogenics to climbing gear!

Q: How is Australia’s Indigenous business sector evolving and growing at the moment –
what changes are you seeing?
Supply Nation is about to enter our 10th year of operation – and in that time the Indigenous
business sector has grown and matured exponentially. Many organisations now include supplier
diversity in their Reconciliation Action Plan commitments, and the introduction of federal and state
government procurement policies with hard targets has really moved the dial in terms of
behavioural change.
Looking forward we expect the exponential growth to continue and accelerate as state and local
government implement mandatory procurement targets and as more corporate organisations
realise the benefits of supplier diversity – not only to their own business through increased
innovation and value; and decreased risk, but also to the Australian community and economy
through financial and economic empowerment of our First Peoples.

Join Laura and Supply Nation at Australia’s largest supplier diversity event in the Indigenous business sector in May 2019 for thier annual conference, Connect 2019.

For more information about Supply Nation and their impact, please read thir latest report Indigenous Business Growth


Global Supplier Spotlight – Winter 2018

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GSDA is a global network of business owners and entrepreneurs who intiate and contribute positive change to not only their respective industries, but also to the supplier diversity space.In every GSDA newsletter, we will be introducing a few standout businesses who deserve global recognition and appreciation.

This season’s most disruptive businesses:

  • CAMSC – emergiTEL
  • SASDC – Brima Logistics (Pty) Ltd
  • Supply Nation – Terri Janke and Company


Network: CAMSC (Canada)

Name of the company: emergiTEL

Sector: Recruitment

Year Established: 2006

2017 Revenue/ Turnover in USD: $66.3M

No of Employees: 111

Global Footprint/ Presence: Present in over 50 countries

Brief description of business

Founded in 2006, emergiTEL has evolved into a prolific Staffing Agency with a specialization in the placement of Technology and Business Professionals. With the expansion of its leadership team in 2016 and a re-alignment towards the growing need for full-time IT professionals, emergiTEL has experienced subsequent double-digit revenue growth year after year. emergiTEL’s diverse portfolio of clientele resides within the Telecom, CPG, Banking, Insurance, Management Consulting, Data Warehousing, IT Reseller Channel and Software Solutioning industries.

Most Exciting Achievements of 2018: emergiTEL were presented with the Supplier of the Year award at the  CAMSC Business Achievement Awards 2018



Brima Logistics logo

Network: SASDC (South Africa)

Name of the company: Brima Logistics (Pty) Ltd

Sector: Transport & Logistics

Year Established: 2005

2017 Revenue/ Turnover in USD: $3M

No of Employees: 70

Global Footprint/ Presence: Southern Africa with strategic partnerships to support a global service

Brief description of business

Since establishing Brima Logistics in 2005, the vision of Tshepo Mokholo, founder and owner, has always been to offer customers a broad spectrum of logistics services that will honour the principles of excellence, efficiency and productivity. With our strategic placement across South Africa, our route planning allows us to support a customer footprint across the entire Southern Africa region and beyond.

We believe that our growth is largely due to our unwavering ability to meet the dynamic logistic needs of specialised customers.

Each of our four core services – clearing and freight forwarding, warehousing, courier services and reverse logistics – are designed to save you time and money.



Terre Janke Logo

Network: Supply Nation (Australia)

Name of the company: Terri Janke and Company

Sector: Law

Year Established: 2000

2017 Revenue in USD: $1M

No of Employees: 12

Global Footprint/ Presence: Serving clients based in; Australia, New Zealand, Pacific, Philippines, Canada, Switzerland, France.

Brief description of business

Terri Janke and Company is an Indigenous owned legal firm that empowers clients to achieve success in business and innovation. A specialist in commercial law, with a focus on Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP).

The firm has developed a range of face to face Workshops, including; True Tracks, Looking Out For Business, Looking Out For Culture, Law Way, Joint Ventures & the Law and Good Governance.

The firm also manages the trade mark registrations for large and small clients.


View our Summer 2018 selection of businesses featured in the Global Supplier Spotlight


Global Supplier Spotlight- Summer 2018

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Network: MSDUK (United Kingdom)

Name of the Company:

Sector: Hospitality

Year Established: 2008

2017 Revenue/ Turnover in USD: GBP 8 figures,  working towards $100 million revenue.

No of Employees: 90+

Global Footprint/ Presence: Serviced apartments in over 100 gateway cities and six continents. is  a tech enabled global accommodation marketplace that provides four star corporate and serviced apartments in key cities across the world. manages its own premium residences, with end to end service delivered by world class hospitality experts.

Globally, curates premium and conveniently located residences near transit hubs whilst  providing hotel style services that are managed by world class hosts. is committed to providing a personal service to ensure globally mobile guests feel comfortable in locations across the globe.

Twitter: @thesqua_re



psg logo

Network: Supply Nation

Name of organisation: Pacific Service Group Holding  

Sector: Construction and facilities management

Year established: 2011

2017 revenue in USD: $50 million per year

No of employees: 160 employees nationally

Global footprint/presence: PSG Holdings has a national presence in Australia

Pacific Services Group Holding (PSGH) was founded in 2011 by Troy Rugless and Shane Jacobs, descendants of the Wiradjuri people, who were the first custodians of central western New South Wales.

PSGH are an established construction company specialising in commercial, industrial, government, defence and education projects. PSGH have a strong reputation for delivering high quality projects on time with outstanding customer service from the initial client contact to completion.

With a turnover of $50 million per year, PSGH has demonstrated its ability to successfully deliver large scale commercial projects. We pride ourselves on gaining repeat business through customer satisfaction.





The Contribution Of Supplier Diversity To Competitive Advantage

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By Leonard Greenhalgh, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and Michael Robinson, IBM Corp.


Many leading corporations have sophisticated supplier diversity programs. These exist when there is strong support from visionary senior managers who see the strategic advantage of ensuring long-term supply chain excellence. In the absence of such vision, the focus is on the next quarterly accounting report. In that context, the procurement function is judged on achievement of short-term savings, and the supplier diversity function is dismissed as superfluous and a target for budget cuts. In this article, we show that the proper role of supplier diversity professionals is to increase the competitive advantage that results from cogent outsourcing.

The procurement function has grown in importance during the past decades. For most of the 20th century, major corporations were vertically integrated. They were structured to perform value-chain activities in-house whenever possible, so as to maintain control of supply safeguard intellectual property and maximize profits by owning all the value-added revenue streams. That approach had benefits, but it also led to inefficiencies. No corporation can be at peak efficiency and at the cutting-edge of innovation in everything it does. So, the conventional wisdom in management evolved from insourcing to outsourcing. Corporations retained in-house the functions that had strategic importance, depended on corporations’ distinctive competencies or created particular economic efficiencies. Other functions were outsourced. Reflecting this shift, supply chain managers replaced purchasing agents in the procurement function.

This evolution is perhaps most obvious in the transformation of the U.S. “Big Three” auto companies. Henry Ford, for example, once owned almost the entire value chain — including steel mills in the Ford River Rouge Complex and dealerships. His successors reconsidered the wisdom of his approach and began outsourcing to suppliers that could do a better job. Today, approximately two-thirds of the value of a vehicle comes from the supply chain; downstream in the value chain, dealerships are independently owned. And, the outsourcing phenomenon is not unique to the auto industry. Indeed, some pharmaceutical companies outsource as much as 90 percent of the value added.

In this new economy, supplier diversity professionals who do their jobs well are talent scouts. Their job is to understand their corporate strategies, know the supply bases and bring new outsourcing opportunities to the procurement function. They are looking for innovation, technical excellence, lower total costs, compliance with mandates and — in some cases — enhancement of the marketing message. They bring opportunities of which procurement professionals may not be aware.

The “business case” for supplier diversity

The supplier diversity professionals’ job is challenging when their roles are misunderstood by upper level managers. Supplier diversity professionals are neither civil rights advocates nor agents of corporate philanthropy. They are not human resource specialists charged with extending workforce diversity into the value chain. They are outsourcing specialists who should be contributing to the strategic conversation about how to enhance their corporations’ competitive advantages. They have a voice when they bring value; when they bring no value, they lament not being listened to and complain about how their corporations don’t understand the value of supplier diversity.

Supplier diversity professionals who don’t create value strive to justify their existences by seeking out the “business case” for supplier diversity, as if there are some magical words that can be spoken to justify their shares of management budgets. There are no magic words, but the fact that they feel the need to make the “business case” for their roles reveals a misunderstanding within the supply chain profession. Procurement professionals aren’t asked to make the “business case” for outsourcing to majority-owned suppliers. Everyone in procurement is expected to bring optimum value to corporations through outsourcing.

So, we need to focus on what opportunities supplier diversity professionals bring to their colleagues in procurement and how doing so contributes unique values to corporations. We will see that the contribution is different in different industries.

The strategic value of supplier diversity professionals

The most important contribution of supplier diversity professionals is to identify resources that other procurement professionals might overlook. Because competition is relentless and global, major corporations need to innovate and refine their operations in order to stay ahead of marketplace rivals. The majority of new ideas come from suppliers who are outside the mainstream businesses that typically serve corporations’ procurement functions — particularly small businesses, immigrants and diverse businesses. It is in this sense that supplier diversity professionals are talent scouts, scouring unfamiliar marketplaces domestically and globally to discover technical excellence and innovative ideas that will bolster the competitive advantages of their corporations.

Another contribution is to realign supply bases with corporations’ changing customer bases. Customers of the last century are different from the customers of the new millennium, due to rapidly changing demographics. Immigration, differential birthrates and the changing role of women have transformed the homogeneous marketplace of past generations. Major corporations must adapt to the different tastes, cultures and languages of today’s and tomorrow’s customers or lose competitive advantage. They need the input of suppliers and go-to-market partners that are as diverse as their customer bases.

Another demographic shift is important: Women and minorities are joining the entrepreneurial economy in increasing proportions. In the near future, diverse companies will outnumber majority-owned and -controlled businesses. Thus, supply bases are changing, and corporations need to keep abreast of these trends and the opportunities they present, if they are to maintain competitive advantages. Supplier diversity professionals are the link between outsourcing professionals and the evolving supply bases.

Major corporations have recently focused largely on the global economy and have tended to overlook their impact on local economies. This inattention is strategically shortsighted. When jobs are eliminated in local economies, the aggregate wealth of the locales diminishes. Obvious symptoms of this decline include shuttered-up businesses, crumbling infrastructures and higher local unemployment with its attendant increase in crime and social instability. Less obvious are the effects on the local workforces, whose educations suffer when the shrunken tax bases result in reduced funding for education and in tax revenues being diverted to increase police presence, build and staff larger jails, operate drug rehabilitation programs and pay unemployment compensation in all its various forms. Some of the corporations’ work forces are necessarily local — even when much of the value added is largely from global outsourcing. Higher local costs, underfunded local infrastructures and less-able workforces diminish corporations’ competitive advantages.

Note that in some industries, supplier diversity professionals create economic — as well as strategic — advantages. Utilities are a case in point. It makes economic sense to outsource to local diverse companies because the multiplier effect works to the utilities’ advantage. Who struggles the most to pay their utility bills on time? Diverse customers with limited earning power. Who votes on public utility commission price increases? Local customers, an increasing number of whom are minorities and women. Where are new power plants usually located? In low-income, minority-dominated communities. For these reasons, outsourcing to local diverse businesses creates public goodwill at the same time that it helps the bottom line.

Sometimes the value of a strong supplier diversity function is to facilitate compliance with mandates. An example is publicly funded construction of sports stadiums, convention centers and schools. Local taxpayers help pay for the projects, so it makes economic sense for local taxpaying companies to participate in the construction and operations. By putting money back into communities and letting the multiplier effect expand local wealth, public officials bolster the tax bases and make local economies more robust.

The effect is more diffuse — but just as logical — in the case of federal mandates. Job and wealth creation are antidotes to urban decay, so it makes sense to allocate some proportion of federal spending to alleviate poverty in poor communities. Supplier diversity professionals in this context are not agents of corporate social responsibility. They facilitate linkage of a public good — such as strong defenses or good highway systems — with targeted federal spending. When there is a public mandate, competitive advantage accrues to corporations that comply and produce real economic impact.

A final — and largely untapped — strategic advantage that comes from an effective supplier diversity function is increased consumer loyalty. We have seen “Made in USA” and “Buy Local” campaigns drive sales. Similarly, many women like to buy products and services from women-owned businesses, and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council is having increasing success in promoting this marketing initiative. Given that the fastest-growing sectors of the consumer market are minorities and women, when supplier diversity professionals do their jobs well, there is an opportunity to connect their successes to the marketing messages. General Motors, for example, is adamant about outsourcing to minorities; minorities, in turn, show disproportionate preference for Cadillacs, which have a large proportion of minority-sourced content. Thus, supplier diversity can be a source of competitive advantage in the consumer marketplace — if the fruits of these efforts are publicized.

Developing the supply base

It should be obvious from the foregoing that the supplier diversity function is important to major corporations when it is thoughtfully integrated into the outsourcing operations. But, being a talent scout is only half the job of the supplier diversity professional. It is not sufficient in any context to engage high-potential participants and then “hope for the best.” Recruiters for professional sports, for example, find people who have the potential to be excellent players, but that’s only Step No. 1. The talented players need to trained to be as good as they are capable of becoming, and they need to be successfully integrated into the team. Suppliers are no different. They need to be developed from high-potential suppliers into high-performing suppliers.

Supply chain managers need to be aware that the paradigm shift in sourcing, from insourcing to outsourcing, omitted an important principle. Vertically integrated corporations of the mid-20th century strove to make every functional unit as effective and efficient as possible — because corporate success depended on having no weak links in the internal value chains that would create competitive disadvantages. So if departments were underperforming, corrective action in the form of training or consulting would be prescribed. During the shift from insourcing to outsourcing, the locus of corrective action shifted from upper-level managers to purchasing agents, and the emphasis shifted from business unit development to supplier replacement.

Supplier replacement is seldom as good a solution as supplier development because of the learning curve effects. No new supplier is a perfect outsource partner at the outset. Suppliers need to learn corporations’ systems and processes, cultures and procurement decision structures. Then suppliers have to adjust their own operations to the corporations’ priorities regarding cost, quality, delivery, innovation and flexibility. Good suppliers engage in continuous improvement and relationship-building. Whatever progress has been made is lost when suppliers are replaced, generating real transaction costs that are not recorded in accounting reports.

In an outsourcing context, efficiency and effectiveness are system-level challenges. The supplier diversity professional brings in high-potential supply candidates, then it is up to supply chain managers to make them as good as they can be. Here are four examples of actions forward-thinking corporations can take:

Focus consultants on value chain success. When outsourcing shifts the locus of competitive advantage to the value chain level, consultants need to pay attention to the efficacy and integration of the supply chain and the go-to-market partners. The strategies of many large corporations have been stymied by the combination of high dependence on outsourcing and weaknesses in the supply chain. The Boeing Co., for example, has a large backlog of orders for its 787 commercial airliners, and has the factory capacity to ramp up production. But, planes cannot move through the complex assembly process without critical outsourced components. That bottleneck has led to rethinking the issue of when to outsource and when to insource. Today, consultants need to span the boundary between corporations and their suppliers.

Allow suppliers to sit in on corporate training sessions. In the days of vertical integration, managers and employees of the various divisions were expected to learn how to do their jobs best, and corporations would engage trainers to teach them. Most corporations that outsource a large proportion of the value added give access to these training programs only to their own employees. This type of thinking is myopic. Suppliers need training too, and the variable cost of allowing suppliers to sit in on corporate programs is negligible. The strengthening of interorganizational relationships is a bonus. Clark Construction Group LLC has an exemplary program of sharing corporate training resources with diverse suppliers — the better the suppliers function, the better off is Clark Construction.

Pay suppliers on time. Accountants think like accountants. They know that if they stretch out payment terms, they will get free use of working capital that is owed to suppliers, improving the corporation’s bottom line. The issue of fairness and bullying aside, this is an unwise business practice. Good suppliers are often cash-poor, especially when they are succeeding in the marketplace and growing. Corporations’ costs of capital are usually lower than suppliers’, so the practice of stretching out payment terms creates value-chain inefficiencies, and is, therefore, self-defeating for corporations. Google Inc. is an example of a company that has figured out and pays its suppliers — if necessary — on 15-day terms.

Mentor suppliers that need mentoring. Corporations are strategically wise to make an investment in the success of their highest-potential suppliers. Entrepreneurs tend not to be business school graduates. They tend to be more motivated to start a business and face the challenges of newness than to sit in class and learn about what they might do if they ever started a business. The result is that most entrepreneurs are better at performing tasks —manufacturing products or delivering services — than they are at running their businesses. It is in corporations’ self-interest to help these suppliers succeed. Some of the supplier development can come from intensive learning experiences. However, it is hard to get entrepreneurs to leave their businesses for more than a week! But, they also need coaching. IBM Corp. has led the way in establishing the optimum balance between being taught and being mentored. It provides a strategic retreat for its diverse protégé companies, then invites the mentors to join the entrepreneurs’ top management teams to plan and then help the suppliers implement their strategies for greater success.


If supplier diversity professionals focus on increasing corporations’ competitive advantages, there is no need to justify the business case. They are allies to supply chain managers, providing novel opportunities from outside the mainstream of traditional procurement. If they want to be taken seriously, supplier diversity professionals must speak the language of the C-suite — particularly the language of the chief procurement officer and the vice president of procurement. The proportion or total value of corporations’ diverse spending is irrelevant; honors at diversity-oriented conventions are irrelevant. Publicity from sponsoring a golf outing or a “power breakfast” is irrelevant. Contributing to competitive advantage and fostering economic self-interest are persuasive and earn the supplier diversity professional a seat at the table.

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.

Pioneers for Change is a seed-bed for innovative thought. An activator of personal potential. A catalyst for collective energy. A community to drive social change.

Our annual, international Fellowship is open to anyone aged 28 – 108 years old. We gather change-makers — a business person, a community person, an investor, a thinker or doer — who are willing to harness their talents, energy and resources as a force for good. Pioneers for Change is an initiative of Adessy Associates.

Adessy Associates believes a better world is possible, and equips and enables organisations and individuals to make positive change happen, and contribute to a sustainable future. We focus on benefit for people, planet and profit. Our bespoke services harness sustainability, innovation, consciousness and purpose. We are proudly B Corp certified.

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.