As 2014 begins, and we set our own personal goals in the form of New Year’s resolutions, we sometimes forget the importance of setting professional goals. Professional goals don’t only mean promotions, raises, and bonuses, but also challenging ourselves to perform better in every aspect of our profession.
Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing a new blog series on becoming a better buyer. I compiled this list by speaking to active Ariba Discovery suppliers and have learned that there really are some simple steps buyers can take to become a better sourcing manager, procurement agent, purchasing analyst, or whatever buying position they may hold.
This week, I will write about the first method to becoming a better buyer: increasing supplier diversity by creating supplier diversity programs. Effective supplier diversity programs create win-win situations for everyone involved. For buyers, they can lead to more personalized and better quality service. They can also give a company the chance to gain a competitive advantage in minority communities by partnering with key stakeholders. And if your company wants to secure government contracts, increasing your supplier diversity can make you a more attractive option to do business with, and even help you meet a requirement for selection. At the same time, because these programs typically target small to medium sized companies, they help grow local economies and create new jobs in local economies.
Caesars Entertainment is a perfect example of a company that has seen mutually beneficial results from their supplier diversity program. For example, while looking for a supplier of carbon dioxide for soda machines, Caesars was able to find a local, woman owned supplier that also gave them the most competitive bid.
"We created a posting [on Ariba Discovery] and received strong bids from a number of suppliers, importantly diverse ones as well," said Kory Manley, Strategic Sourcing Process & Compliance Manager, Caesars Entertainment. "The best price came from a woman-owned supplier based in Cincinnati that would have been challenging to find absent the technology and detailed processes found in Ariba Discovery. These allow us to cast a wider net in our quest to find quality, service and price across a large number of small and diverse businesses."