How One Health Care Provider Responds to Supplier Diversity Challenges
There are numerous benefits for the private sector, including heath care organizations, to prioritize supplier diversity. One key factor is that supplier diversity offers hospitals and healthcare systems the chance to mirror their patient and community populations. Taking special care to ensure that their suppliers reflect their local demographics, Novant Health’s goal is to provide diverse businesses the opportunity to participate in its procurement process at both Tier 1 and Tier 2 levels. By adopting a supplier diversity program, Novant Health supports the economic base of the communities in which they serve.
Novant Health has taken several steps to increase their supplier diversity. In 2006, the company hired a dedicated supplier diversity professional solely focused on this issue. Over the years, they’ve experienced notable milestones and increased their spend more than 200% with more than 400 suppliers. Recently, supply chain completed a new strategic plan redefining the role of supplier diversity and further aligning and intertwining the two efforts.
The supply chain diversity and inclusion team engages with system leadership, strategic sourcing and the supplier community to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with diverse suppliers and incorporating them into category reviews and bid cycles for products and services. The team raises awareness with internal and external stakeholders and works to expand the supplier network to include more businesses owned by women, ethnic minorities, veterans and physically-challenged individuals. They also track key performance metrics, based on system-wide goals, and report their progress to senior leadership.
Their latest endeavor includes adding a healthcare supplier diversity component to the Tuck School of Business Minority Executive Training program and encouraging more majority/minority partnerships which have resulted in more than $25 million in new business for diverse suppliers. According to Kevin J. Price, Director of Supplier Diversity for Novant Health, “The world of supply chain is rapidly changing. Incorporating supplier diversity makes it even more challenging. There has been tremendous consolidation and shrinkage over the last few years making it more difficult for small and diverse suppliers to survive and compete. Corporate supply chains must respond with more creativity and sophistication through greater use of a combination of outreach, education, partnerships, joint ventures, and utilization of diverse suppliers at the Tier 1 and Tier 2 levels, if this is important to us.”
Over the years, Novant Health has received numerous awards for their efforts including CVMSDC 2010 Public-Private Sector Organization of the Year, 2012 Leadership Award for Supply Chain Management Excellence in the category of supplier diversity and the 2015 Founder’s Award from M&F Bank. This organization continues to be a leader through networking and sponsorship opportunities and most recently you will find them at theNational MBE Manufacturers Summit 2016.