Supplier diversity programs can provide manufacturers with that feel-good aura of social responsibility that companies often champion as proof they're model corporate citizens. Sometimes manufacturers implement such programs to meet customer mandates or federal supplier requirements.
But does a business case exist for establishing programs that target minority- and women-owned suppliers? Several large manufacturers that have created supplier diversity programs for both compliance and strategic reasons say yes. For one, such programs can help manufacturers connect with a major portion of their customer base.
Manufacturers that have implemented supplier diversity programs say the payoff has come in the form of stronger relationships with their supply base, new business opportunities and a more agile supply chain.
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