Business in the 21st century; it’s very much dog eat dog. However, one way organizations are able to meet the challenges of an ever-changing global market is by incorporating a diversity supplier program into their business model. Mid-market, as well as larger corporations such as Hilton Worldwide, Target, Boeing, and Darden Restaurants Inc., are taking advantage of this changing landscape by linking with minority-owned suppliers of goods and services.
From a corporation’s perspective, how would you feel about penetrating an underserved market niche? That’s exactly what Michael Byron, a senior director of supplier diversity at Wal-Mart Stores, noted in a recent seminar, saying that minority suppliers are frequently involved in their communities. He stated that doing so could not only help improve that retailer’s image, but may better meet the needs of those minority communities. And what could give you a leg up into gaining access to a government contract more than having a supplier, such as Lodestar Solutions, which is an upstanding member in the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council? It’s all about searching for suppliers, like Lodestar Solutions, that bring not only value to clients, but a fresh perspective.
Truth be told, not only do you have the obvious identifiers like gender, race, sexual orientation, age, and religion, but you must dig deeper and look to towards other characteristics such as marital status, socioeconomic status, accent or even appearance. It’s these segments which could lead to other doors of exposure, expansion, and ultimately, profit.
If you are thinking about adding a diversity supplier program, or if you already have one in place, I would suggest taking a look at those suppliers, such as Lodestar Solutions, who can bring not only diversity credit to you, but also help you unlock more innovative solutions or niche markets. Who knows, by using them, you could end up being one of the “big dogs” on the track with all the others chasing you.