Global Networkers, like most companies, experienced a decline in new business acquisition in recent years. “We decided to leverage our established relationships and focus on developing new business with our existing customer base,” Haygood says. An 8(a) SBA-certified minority business, it currently provides services to the federal government and municipalities as well as the commercial sector. “We are pretty well-diversified in these segments. We began as a Tier 2 [not having a direct contract] staff augmentation supplier with Bank of America. As we expanded our service offerings over the years, we were given the opportunity to extend those capabilities at the bank. We are now a Tier 1 provider of consulting services.”
FORD: Building Capacity and Scale
Ford Motor Co. is another business that has used supplier diversity to fuel profitable growth. “The Ford team is committed to ensuring that this growth includes the development of MBEs in commodities and services that support our global programs and facilities,” says Burt Jordan, executive director, Global Vehicle and Powertrain Purchasing and Supplier Diversity. “The high quality vehicles we manufacture at Ford would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of our suppliers.”
The automotive giant spent $5 billion with minority-owned companies and $1 billion with women-owned firms in 2011. For the third consecutive year, Ford exceeded its 10% goal of U.S. production and non-production purchases with diverse suppliers.
Sourcing incremental new business, providing loans through Dearborn Capital Corp. (a Ford subsidiary), and facilitating acquisitions or joint venture partnerships are some of the ways Ford helps build the capacity and scale of its diverse suppliers. Part of the automaker’s supplier diversity development program has been encouraging Tier 1 suppliers to spend at least 6% with minority-owned Tier 2 suppliers, 3% with veteran-owned Tier 2 suppliers, and at least 2% with women-owned Tier 2 suppliers. In 2011, Tier 1 suppliers spent $1.6 billion with minority firms, up from $1.2 billion in 2010.
Ford’s Aligned Business Framework, Joint Technology Framework Program, and Executive Heightened Awareness Meetings represent examples of how the automaker helps diverse suppliers through creating collaborative relationships and enhancing their business models and brand image in the marketplace.
View the 2012 Best Companies for Diversity here.
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