Enabling Diversity

VerticalNet, b2bdiversity team to enable diverse suppliers

Tempe, AZ  August 21, 2001  B2B software provider VerticalNet will make its supplier enablement tools available to women- and minority-owned businesses through an agreement announced today with diversity-focused solution provider b2bdiversity.

Under the terms of the agreement, b2bdiversity, which sets up diversity-focused online portals for corporations and industry consortia, will offer VerticalNet's Marketplace Manager solution to its base of diversity suppliers and small businesses.

Rolled out last month to suppliers within VerticalNet's 59 industry-specific marketplaces, Marketplace Manager allows suppliers to present their products and services to corporate procurement buyers. The solution allows these businesses to publish discreet catalog content to multiple online marketplaces, manage the presentation of their catalog content and analyze online sales and lead information.

"The women, minority and small-owned supplier market is comprised of more than 24 million small- and medium-sized businesses, many of whom need a simple way to manage and showcase their products and services online," said Tom Roberts, vice president and general manager of the VerticalNet groups that focuses on small and medium businesses. "By teaming with b2bdiveristy, we gain a channel for offering our products to a new set of suppliers and are able to establish new relationships with enterprise buyers."

Dina Rosenberg, president of b2bdiversity, said: "VerticalNet's Marketplace Manager provides enablement capabilities for all of our suppliers regardless of size. Additionally, these tools will allow our corporate buyers to act strategically when sourcing from this community."

Are e-procurement and supplier diversity initiatives compatible? Supply chain practitioners say they are, and they have some advice for companies looking to balance the efficiencies of e-procurement with the imperative of maintaining a diverse supply base. For more insights into the e-procurement/diversity equilibrium, read the cover story in the August 2001 issue of iSource Business.