Supplier Diversity September
Supply Nation’s annual campaign to drive engagement between Indigenous business and government and corporate Australia, Supplier Diversity September, has begun! This year we are hoping to get even more members talking to suppliers, more social media discussions and more support from the public. Why? Because there is nothing like a challenge to light a fire under a cause, especially a cause as worthy as supplier diversity.
Supplier Diversity September only has one rule; talk!
Talk to your team about how you can ramp up your efforts during September. Take an hour with the team to map your organisation’s procurement spend for the rest of the year. From this you will be able to build a plan to engage with as many Indigenous businesses as possible. Set yourselves engagement targets and be accountable to them. Make sure those targets are converting into real spend increases with Indigenous businesses.
Goal 1: With your team, build a map of upcoming opportunities and identify which can be opened up to responses from Indigenous businesses.
Talk to other business units. A supplier diversity program cannot be sustainable unless the business understands its value. Build relationships with HR, marketing and project teams. Let them know about the program and the value of purchasing from Indigenous business. Build a shared understanding about the limitations and opportunities facing the program. Once you have allies all over the business, you will find it much easier to make the argument for purchasing from Indigenous business.
Goal 2: Have a meeting with teams from three other business units to discuss why supplier diversity is good for your business and how they can help
Your tier one contractors, those businesses that allow your business to function, have to be brought along the supplier diversity journey. If they understand that engaging Indigenous businesses is important to your business, they are more likely to think about how they can grow their supplier diversity efforts. Your business can then report on spend with Indigenous businesses and improve the results of your supplier diversity program.
Goal 3: Send a communication to your 10 biggest suppliers outlining your supplier diversity program, what it means to your business, and how they can support you in achieving your supplier diversity goals.
If you’ve already got Indigenous suppliers, congratulations! Now you have to make sure your business relationship with them is sustainable and has room to grow. If your Indigenous suppliers are only being used for Indigenous events or Indigenous cultural training, chances are your business relationship with them is not sustainable. Think of ways you can take the relationship to the next step. Work out how to bring their business into the mainstream procurement process of your business.
Goal 4: Talk to your current Indigenous Suppliers and have an open conversation about what else their business can do. Find out if they are suitable for any other opportunities in the business.
Indigenous Business Direct, Supply Nation’s listing of Indigenous businesses is growing every day. Now that you know what opportunities are available in your business, hop online and find some new, capable, businesses that are ready to go.
Goal 5: Find new Indigenous businesses on Indigenous Business Direct, evaluate if they are suitable for the opportunities you have going, reach out to them and make the purchase!
Each member of Supply Nation has a dedicated account manager who is there to help you grow your engagement with Indigenous businesses. They can give you advice on how to build a supplier diversity business case, how to use Indigenous Business Direct and how to be an effective supplier diversity champion in your business. They are your ally in your efforts to build a supplier diversity program – so don’t be afraid to call on them!
Goal 6: Take your three biggest barriers facing your supplier diversity efforts to your account manager and workshop the best solutions.
Celebrate your wins! Whatever you do, don’t forget to occasionally take a step back from your program and celebrate your wins. Supplier diversity programs require hard work, but they are proven to deliver real results Indigenous communities. Any contribution your organisation makes is worth celebrating. Success stories that other teams can point to and be proud of will help build the sustainability of the program and grow the number of internal champions.
Goal 7: Work with your marketing team to build an internal and external communication about the growth of your organisation’s supplier diversity program. Spread the word via social media channels, newsletters and EDMs.
Supplier Diversity September is the perfect excuse to ramp up your supplier diversity efforts. You should tailor it to your organisation, but the first step is always to start a conversation. Start a conversation with your team, other teams, your tier one contractors, your existing Indigenous suppliers, new Indigenous suppliers, your Supply Nation account manager and the public! If you have those conversations, you can guarantee that, in some way, your Supplier Diversity September will be a success.
Check the Supply Nation website for more tips on how you can get engaged during #SupplierDiversitySeptember