“Our diverse suppliers need to build capacity and scale so they can take advantage of those major contracts,” says Patterson. That means making sure adequate financing is in place to grow.
Supplier diversity best practices are being applied globally as well. “Major corporations are beginning to expand supplier diversity programs overseas,” says Patterson. NMSDC initiated international matchmaking opportunities for minority-owned companies about a decade ago. To expand, minority firms must broaden their reach across borders to become part of the global supply chain.
View the 2012 Best Companies for Diversity here.
BANK OF AMERICA:
Providing Credit Access and Technical Assistance Bank of America spent close to a half billion dollars with African American-owned suppliers in 2011. “As our company evolves and economic dynamics change, our commitment to helping African American businesses grow remains unchanged and as strong as ever,” says Tiffany Eubanks-Saunders, senior vice president and supplier diversity and development executive. “We look for suppliers that are willing to work with us to balance quality, performance, innovation, and cost with effective risk management. Our supplier diversity program ensures that we focus attention on the revenue-generation and capacity-building for the African American suppliers in the communities we serve.”
To support the economic growth of small and diverse suppliers, Bank of America has developed a Small Business Credit and Supplier Development Opportunity Seminar that brings together Bank of America’s Small Business Banking team, the Small Business Administration, and community development financial institutions to provide information about credit options and technical assistance. Also, Bank of America sourcing teams are brought in to identify and review potential suppliers for upcoming proposal requests.
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