By David HW Turner, Chief Financial Officer
In today’s competitive market, having a diverse supply chain is critical to success.
From a business standpoint, sourcing the highest-quality goods and services for our organization helps us remain competitive and, in some cases, can create a significant advantage. Seeking out diverse companies for the products and services we need ensures that we are assessing the full breadth and depth of potential suppliers. Supporting diverse businesses also benefits our communities and clients—many of whom want to know that they are working with an organization that supports diverse enterprises.
In 2008, KPMG established a Supplier Diversity program that has enabled us to more than double our expenditures with diverse businesses in a few short years. Our efforts are built around a few key strategies:
First, KPMG actively seeks and encourages qualified diverse enterprises to compete for our business. As part of our procurement policy, we aim to ensure that at least one diverse supplier is part of each request-for-proposal process that our organization initiates, and we evaluate them against the same criteria—including cost, quality, and risk—as all other current and potential suppliers.
Second, our organization successfully utilizes the databases of several independent agencies that certify and classify diverse businesses. This helps us to not only find potential suppliers, but to also take advantage of the networking opportunities afforded by these agencies through conferences and other activities to develop relationships with diverse businesses.
Third, the supplier experience is enhanced through our use of technologies such as procure-to-pay systems, which streamline ordering, tracking, and payment procedures. We also conduct regular performance reviews with our top suppliers to provide them with feedback and help them better understand our needs and expectations.
Like our clients, we also track our “second-tier supplier diversity spend,” which is the amount our vendors and suppliers spend with diverse companies.
At KPMG, diversity and inclusion are fundamental to our strategy, structure, and governance. And they’re woven into everything we do—including the way we approach our supplier relationships. We’ve made great progress in supporting and encouraging diverse businesses through our Supplier Diversity program. Building our network of diverse suppliers will continue to be an important area of focus for our organization.
Internal Partnerships Help Drive Success
A successful Supplier Diversity program requires a solid commitment from leadership, a focused strategy, and the support of strong internal partnerships. It’s what we have—and will continue to drive forward—at KPMG.
Our program provides qualified diverse businesses much more than the opportunity to compete for KPMG’s business. We also actively encourage our employees to become involved with these companies—as volunteer board members, committee members, and site visitors.
For example, KPMG is a founding partner of the U.S. Business Leadership Network’s (USBLN’s) Disability Supplier Diversity Program, so our employees have an opportunity to volunteer to help certify businesses as disabled owned, making the businesses eligible to submit proposals to, and win work with, KPMG. In fact, volunteer members of KPMG’s Abilities in Motion network have been a driving force in developing and implementing this certification program. As a result of their work, KPMG recently made its first purchase from one of these certified disabled-owned suppliers.
KPMG is proud to support supplier diversity advocacy organizations like USBLN, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), and National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). As a national corporate partner and active member of these organizations, KPMG makes annual contributions in support of their events and respective missions, and provides volunteer support.
We’re proud of the success we are experiencing in this area, not only because it reaffirms our commitment to inclusion, but also because it provides our employees with opportunities to get involved in diversity in very tangible, meaningful ways.