“Using CVM Supplier Locator, we identify suppliers we don’t have in our system with a needed trade,” says Duke Realty’s Minnis. “They have 11 million diversified suppliers across the country. Depending on the community, we can find [one we need] because the platform is connected to every major certified organization in the country.
“This is an evolving process,” she adds. “We want to get all our associates involved with using the system, understanding its features and how it works. There was no difficulty getting associates up to speed on the benefits of the system. Once people realize those benefits, it becomes second nature. Some use it more than others, but it’s being used. The payback for us is on the projects we have been awarded.”
Effectively managing suppliers is, of course, a key element of business. By moving to a single source, a more accurate picture of supplier activity is gained, duplicate and out-of-date records are eliminated, and supplier relationships are easier to discern.
Getting back to diversity, companies need a proactive program to identify minority and women-owned suppliers that supports their diversity goals. Other major supplier management benefits include the identification of savings or new revenue opportunities through the improvement in working capital by leveraging linkages in the existing supply base to manage same suppliers’ payment terms, and increased community involvement and competitiveness from minority- and women-owned businesses.
Minnis emphasizes that it’s necessary for companies who want to ensure a diverse work force to know exactly what they’re looking for.
“If they’re looking to get a feel for the existing supply chain and who’s diverse or not diverse, there is a tool for that,” Minnis says. “If they’re looking to manage suppliers and new vendors inclusively, there’s a tool for that, and if they’re looking for a way to identify potential vendors, there’s a tool for that. You can identify who they currently do business with and manage new suppliers.”