Technological Trends in 2019: A New Look at Supplier Diversity

Supplier Diversity Technology

In 2019, global supply chains are focused on technology and innovation. Today’s global supply chains are often complex, with many moving parts. However, procurement professionals are facing increasing pressure to manage them with efficiency and transparency. Creating a successful supply chain requires building a sustainable foundation. Though technology mobilizes supply chains to compete faster and better in today’s global economy, having a strategy to optimize your talent is just as important. Technology that gives business users more autonomy and security are reflected in a positive impact on your organization’s bottom line.

Based on my experience, many businesses have separate initiatives that fragment their supply chains and could benefit from pooling resources and aligning different stakeholders to the same common goals with the use of technology. For example, many businesses have separate supplier diversity processes. They have supplier diversity experts who don’t collaborate with their larger procurement teams. Sourcing and procurement professionals are often incentivized differently and often don’t communicate nor see eye to eye on the same overall strategy. With collaboration, your organization can streamline its supply chain and build a stronger foundation for process-driven results.

In today’s market, you can no longer ignore the rapidly changing landscape of digital transformation. Companies that are reluctant to embrace the technologies that bring better visibility and security to supply chains risk being left behind. To avoid that fate, here’s what companies can do in 2019 to improve supplier diversity and overall supplier relationship management process.

Find Common Ground

For many organizations, a big opportunity to save time and money lies in bringing procurement and sourcing professionals together to share the same vision. Key stakeholders from different departments should come together under the larger umbrella of sourcing and be incentivized under the same performance metrics. Buyers should have a high-level overview and understanding of every supplier, no matter the size. Procurement and sourcing professionals should always evaluate suppliers in the same manner to understand their company, no matter what they deliver to the door. Thoroughly vetting all suppliers, diverse and non-diverse, boosts data security, data validity and mitigates third-party risk.

Streamline RFx Processes

Category managers must have heightened awareness to make sure small and large businesses go through the same rigor. RFPs and RFQs need to be simple and nimble for all businesses to have equal opportunity to be included. It’s time for organizations to pivot and build out inclusive supply chain strategies. Supplier diversity and supplier inclusion has now risen to the point where it should be integrated with overall supplier management. Such an approach leads to improved collaboration and innovation, all contributing to your bottom line.

Invest in Cloud Technology

Cloud technology offers real-time data that prevents procurement teams from encountering outdated supplier certifications and inaccurate data. Real-time collaboration tools between business users helps teams share a common goal and gets rid of information silos. Promote a holistic and universal approach to procurement within your organization by asking more from your technology. Think strategically about inclusive sourcing and consider adopting technology that increases transparency and brings the demands of the supply chain together under one roof.

Mitigate Third-Party Risk

Ask all of your suppliers to be on-par with your security, code of ethics, financial management/reporting and audits. This requires building strong, symbiotic relationships with your vendors, challenging them to develop, and offering resources to foster competitive advantage through your most important buyer-supplier relationships. Spending the time to align your organization’s business needs and values with a partner increases transparency and trust. Ultimately, your organization can experience the high return on investment that diverse supply chains yield. With today’s growing tools, we’re able to provide a big-picture view of the way your procurement spend impacts the world.


You can connect with Daryl on Twitter, LinkedIn or meet him at the spring Global Executive Summit in Amelia Island, Florida, where he’ll be presenting on how to mitigate risk in your supply chain through supplier relationship management.

Daryl Hammett, CSMP, CSP, General Manager/Chief Operating Officer at ConnXus

Daryl joined ConnXus as General Manager/Chief Operating Officer in 2014. After retiring as Senior Vice President/General Manager of Sears Optical, N.A., Daryl founded Peabody Executive Coaching in 2012. With over 20 years of experience coaching c-suite levels in organizations large and small, Daryl leads a diverse, cross-functional team and manages day-to-day operations.