How Supplier Diversity Networks Offer Innovation

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Here on the Fourth Revolution by Bartell, we talk about the disruptive technologies and trends that are changing the way we live and work. But today’s topic is a bit more retrospective, as host Shelby Skrhak discusses the importance of corporate diversity initiatives with Madi Dixon, Women Business Enterprises Business Development Ambassador for Bartell parent company, Heico.

“Diversity shouldn’t really be a conversation, but something that’s accepted throughout a company’s core values (and is) equally as important as costs and quality,” Dixon said.

A corporate supplier diversity program prioritizes using minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, LGBT-owned, service-disabled or veteran-owned businesses as suppliers. Heico has long been certified as a women-owned, operated and controlled business, or WBE.

Though supplier diversity been used as a vein of conscious capitalism in the past, almost as a gesture of goodwill, today’s diversity network programs are not only competitive in cost and quality, but offer businesses an advantage.

“Businesses want innovation and partnership,” Dixon said. “When we talk with businesses, they want to know how we can partner with them (and) how can we provide long-term solutions with something they may have never thought of before.”

To that end, Dixon offers this advice for businesses dipping their toes into supplier diversity programs: “Success in the supplier diversity network is through relationship building. Certification allows us to establish those relationships with supplier teams and, in turn, we create and grow the business.”

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