Building a Supplier Diversity Program

By Dennis M. Baker President and Chief Executive Officer, Avendra, LLC | November 02, 2008

Companies look to utilize diverse-owned suppliers for a variety of reasons ranging from regulatory requirements to constituency expectations to deep-seeded corporate philosophies.

As a provider of supply chain management services to the hospitality industry, Avendra has developed an approach to building relationships between customers and diverse-owned businesses that seems to work for all parties. In order to set up, maintain and monitor a successful supplier diversity program, we believe there are three vital steps:

  1. Identify success metrics - Clearly outline the business benefits and quantify the ultimate goals,
  2. Outreach & qualification - Set up an outreach system that both identifies and qualifies appropriate diversity suppliers for the given business goals,
  3. Measure & enhance - Keep track of the successes and the challenges, and look to constantly evolve your program to meet your unique goals.

Identifying Success

Start by really thinking about what your organization is looking to get out of a diverse supplier program. Many companies start with the foundational belief that using minority suppliers is good for business, then move to a more tactical view of how to make that vision a reality. What specific targets and metrics will allow you to meet your business objectives? What are the interim steps and milestones that are critical to helping you meet those goals? Keep those target metrics and milestones at the forefront of everything you do, and "check in" against them on a periodic basis.

A good example of an organization that has built a successful diversity program is Marriott International. Marriott has long recognized the importance of diversity in their supplier community. Marriott set a goal to spend 15 percent with diverse suppliers by 2009. By focusing on this goal they have been able to made headway in meeting their diversity objectives. According to Mike Tobolski, Senior Director, Supplier Relations, Marriott International, ""We are definitely on track with our diversity goals. Last year, we spent 13.6 percent or $478 million with diverse-owned suppliers."

Outreach & Qualification

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.