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Supplier Diversity: Driving Inclusion in the Supply Chain

Supplier diversity is like adding a variety of spices to your favourite dish—it enhances the flavour, or in this case, the performance and sustainability of your supply chain. Embracing supplier diversity means widening your network to include businesses owned by underrepresented groups, such as women, ethnic minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities.

So, how can we drive inclusion within our supply chains? Here are ten innovative strategies to help you foster supplier diversity and boost your business growth:

1. Establish a Supplier Diversity Programme

The first step towards an inclusive supply chain is setting up a supplier diversity programme. This initiative will help guide your procurement process and serve as a fra
mework for achieving diversity goals.

2. Source Locally

By sourcing from local, small and minority-owned businesses, you not only bolster your supply chain resilience but also contribute to the local economy.

3. Engage with Diversity Councils

Participation in diversity councils or similar bodies can help you connect with diverse suppliers and gain insights on best practices.

4. Set Clear Diversity Targets

Just like in any business strategy, setting clear, measurable goals for supplier diversity can help track progress and ensure accountability.

5. Educate Your Procurement Team

Your procurement team is the frontline of your supplier diversity programme. Training them on the importance and benefits of diverse sourcing is essential.

6. Communicate the Benefits to Stakeholders

By effectively communicating the benefits of supplier diversity to stakeholders, you can garner support and push for necessary resources and changes.

7. Adopt a Tiered Approach

Engage with your tier 1 suppliers to encourage them to adopt similar diversity policies, extending the initiative through the supply chain tiers.

8. Leverage Technology

Use procurement platforms and tools that can help identify and manage relationships with diverse suppliers.

9. Conduct Regular Audits

Regular audits ensure that the goals set for diversity are being met and highlight areas that need improvement.

10. Celebrate Success

Recognise and celebrate the success of your supplier diversity programme. This will foster motivation and further support for the initiative.

We'd love to hear your thoughts or queries about supplier diversity, so feel free to leave a comment below. If there's a topic you'd like us to explore in future posts, do let us know!

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