As described by CIPS
, supply chain diversity is 'the proactive activity of ensuring that all relevant, potential suppliers have the fair and equal opportunity to compete for business'. The goal of supplier diversity and inclusion is to ensure small businesses, local businesses and minority-owned/run businesses all get a fair chance in an organisation's supply chain.
The importance of D&I in services procurement
And here is where D&I in services procurement is really important (and exciting). In knowledge-work, consultancy, and services provision, when an organisation outsources a project to an external supplier, they are saying, "In exchange for X, please use your experience and expertise to provide Y".
Of course, the supplier's perspective
has huge bearing on the solution it presents for any given problem. In other words, if you only ever work with the big-4 consultancies, you'll only ever get 'big-4' solutions.
D&I creates more innovative supply chains
Innovation, by definition, requires new ideas
. Different ways of thinking, different types of people, different backgrounds, different approaches combine to give a better, broader view on achieving an objective.
Using data to enable proactive D&I
Arguably, for most large organisations, D&I starts in the longtail of the services supply chain. This creates a couple of issues, which data
can help address.
Visibility is a relatively simple issue to tackle. By creating structured, consistent, profile templates
that assess D&I and giving suppliers control and responsibility to maintain their profile information, dedicated, best-of-breed, services spend tech makes it easier for procurement category managers to understand how diverse and inclusive their suppliers are.
'Proactive' is probably the most important word in the definition of supply chain D&I. To enable procurement teams to proactively create fair and equal opportunities for all relevant suppliers, data powered by tech is a fundamental – it empowers more inclusive procurement programs through better visibility and understanding of how best to leverage suppliers of all shapes and sizes.