With the increased role that customer agreements and government regulations play in supplier diversity, organizations must improve spend reporting capabilities to satisfy audit requirements. Integrating technology into the workflow enables organizations to collect accurate supplier spend data, meet customer and compliance reporting requirements, avoid financial penalties, prevent reputation implications, and reduce the potential for lost business opportunities.
56% of survey respondents utilize Excel or other database programs to manage their diverse suppliers, while 24% use supplier diversity software, according to CVM’s 2019 State of Supplier Diversity
– Supplier Diversity Programs Report
As organizations search for technology solutions to advance their supplier diversity programs, they will discover that real-time collaboration tools shared among business users helps teams achieve common goals and remove information silos.
Cloud technology delivers real-time data that provides marketing and procurement teams 360-degree visibility into projects, diverse supplier certifications, and transaction detail, while improving data security and mitigating third-party risk. Organizations will benefit from pivoting and building out inclusive diverse supply chain strategies and advanced supplier diversity reporting capabilities.
Scalable, Self-Service Technology is Essential
In today’s business environment, marketers are looking to technology as a bright spot. The most capable toolsets provide users with cloud-based centralized workflows to support remote work environments and permission-based access – and deliver enhanced planning, execution, and reporting solutions that integrate with resource planning, accounting, and back-office functions.
Marketing teams can benefit significantly from today’s marketing execution technology, with the most robust systems having expanded capabilities which consolidate and streamline production controls. These new technology tools also support multi-component mailings, customizable project specifications, the ability to attached digital assets, and end-to-end project management to strengthen business and supplier collaboration.
Supplier diversity programs gain strategic advantage from collaborative marketing and sourcing technology as tools incorporate real-time procurement and reporting into a single solution. Diverse supplier master data and certification status can also be managed within these toolsets, with some able to synchronize with client master supplier lists and integrate with industry supplier diversity management solutions.
Better Data Management = Big Competitive Advantage
One notable marketing execution cloud solution also displays distinctive graphical icons to identify all diverse suppliers in the database. That refinement is visible throughout all screens and applications where supplier names are displayed.
As users navigate the tool, all procurement objects include this enhanced visibility. When requests-for-estimates (RFEs) are created, icons clearly display whether diverse suppliers are included in the bidding process and highlight those estimates received specifically from diverse suppliers, within a single system of record.
When a successful diversity program is endorsed and promoted from the top down, introducing robust campaign management and sourcing technology into the process is more likely to deliver efficiencies for marketing organizations, procurement, and diversity program managers, while providing enhanced reporting metrics that are pivotal in informing key stakeholders and executives about program results.
Through the adoption and persistent use of modern marketing execution and sourcing technology, organizations gain competitive advantage by improving supplier data management, maintaining accurate diverse supplier spend data, and creating new opportunities to grow their diverse spend while expanding their diverse supplier base – and that’s good business for everyone involved.
Ken McDonald is the founder of SourceSCM Consulting LLC, dedicated to partnering with businesses to drive cost optimization, accelerate organizational transformation, and execute innovative, customer-focused solutions. A trusted sourcing and supply chain expert with 30 years of Fortune 6 leadership experience, Ken focuses on sourcing, negotiations, contracting, supplier relationship management, risk, compliance, supplier diversity, distribution, and logistics operations in highly regulated industries. He began his career in retail and moved from there into lead roles in manufacturing and distribution. Ken volunteers as a sports coach and with various groups benefiting children’s charities, food banks, and struggling families.