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Three Important Questions Every Executive Team Must Ask Themselves Before Launching Supplier Diversity Initiatives

Asking your team the right questions is a step in the right direction for exceeding your goals

Start by Asking Yourself Why is a Supplier Diversity Program Important for Your Organization?

Are you building a supplier diversity initiative because your clients have asked you to? Is the initiative being done because B2C companies feel it is important to reflect their diverse consumers?  

Asking yourself why supplier diversity efforts are needed for your organization is important because your strategy is built around how you answer this question. 

If your team does not have a clear understanding of the need for diverse vendors, then you may find greater challenges along the road.

Companies have a variety of reason for implementing this type of business strategy. Some organizations find that by having a supplier diversity program, they are encouraging innovation through new goods and services. Others apply such efforts to demonstrate their commitment to the economic growth of local communities. 

Regardless of your answer, knowing why a supplier diversity program is needed will facilitate a strong start towards meeting your goals.


“If your team does not have a clear understanding of the need for diverse vendors, then you may find greater challenges along the road.”


Who Will Be The Champions For Your Supplier Diversity Program?

It is often thought that such supplier diversity initiatives start with the CEO and works its way down. In reality, for many agencies, such programs start with the production, creative and media teams and works its way up to the c-suite of the agency. 

For that reason, you should ask yourself, who are your internal champions that make the strongest advocates for your supplier diversity program?  Internal champions are those individuals within an agency who are liaisons between the agency and its clients. 

By identifying your internal champions and meeting with them regularly, you will be able to gage your initiative’s progress while also gaining constructive feedback.

Does your program follow best practices for minority supplier development? Have you set up a database to track your spending? Does your plan include an outreach strategy? 

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What Are The Components of Your Organization’s Supplier Diversity Efforts?

Successful supplier diversity initiatives are structured around knowing which vendors will be recognized, carefully crafting outreach and having reliable reporting metrics.

Having answers to these questions are essential to the success of your supplier diversity program. NMSDC ’s guidelines for supplier diversity development serves as a constructive direction for any program, regardless of your agency.

Incorporating a database that tracks your supplier diversity spending is critical for the evaluation phase of your program.

Data managing tools like Datalou are time savers because they not only track your spending but also generate reports that adequately explain the progress of your program to your clients.

Implementing an outreach strategy is the primary vehicle of your supplier diversity initiative. Hosting an on-site vendor fair, is a great way for suppliers to meet your marketing team and your clients.

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