CWS 3.0: October 26, 2011 - Vol. 3.30

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Heard on the Street: Looking for Diversity

“Clients are looking for diversity status suppliers. They are bringing a new value-add to the supply chain. It’s not just about social awareness and responsibility but the fact that these suppliers can help clients meet goals toward their diversity spend.”
— Hemin Shah, co-founder and executive vice president at Collabera, a New Jersey-based provider of end to end IT services and solutions

Customers have high expectations from their suppliers, thanks to the evolution of contingent workforce management. Suppliers are constantly being assessed and rated. If they don’t perform, they are often being replaced by diversity status suppliers. Here’s why. Social responsibility is a current trend, and there is a lot more awareness now around minority and women-owned businesses.

“Companies cannot meet their diversity spend goals by buying large computers or office supplies. They can, however, fulfill those goals by engaging the right kind of contingent supplier,” says Hemin Shah. In addition to helping companies meet their spend goals, these suppliers bring new blood into an organization. It’s an opportunity for the client to get rid of the old and revamp their programs. These diversity status suppliers tend to be nimbler and more efficient in terms of operations and how they deliver their service. As a result, companies can save money without sacrificing on the quality of the temporary worker, says Shah.

Companies stand to gain more than lower costs by increasing using suppliers with diversity status. Some large utility companies have fulfilled their diversity goals and have been rewarded with incentives from the government. That having been being said, being a diversity supplier enables the company to get a foot in the door. Once in, it is up to the supplier to prove it can offer value and deliver.

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