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Companies are expanding their supplier base to make it more inclusive to better align with their corporate values, which can benefit their bottom line. According to Supplier.io’s 2022 State of Supplier Diversity report, 81% of respondents stated that “alignment with corporate culture and workforce inclusiveness was a primary driver of their supplier diversity program.” The diversity categories tracked were procurement from companies owned by people who identify as minorities, women, veterans, LGBTQ, or who have disabilities. Supplier.io offers a database to help identify and verify credentials of small and diverse businesses—one of the main issues associated with diversifying in the supply chain. A report in 2019 from Hackett Group found that companies participating in a long-term supplier diversity program tend to have 133% greater ROI and spend 20% less on their buying operations. A survey by Ivalua, which provides procurement software, stated, “Procurement leaders with modernized sourcing technology are 76% more likely to say they have an effective relationship with their suppliers, and they also consider procurement technology to be more important than growing headcount, by about four to one.” A platform created by MSDUK, a UK-based company, represents over 2,000 of the country’s minority-owned businesses for inclusive procurement. DeepStream, an analytics tool made by Nvidia, uses AI to automate procurement from a wider and more diverse range of suppliers. Alignment of procurement values is a step toward achieving ESG goals and meeting consumers’ expectations. Diversity fosters innovation, as diverse thought provides a wider array of potential solutions, studies show. Smart contracts could be set up to procure goods only with manufacturers that employ diverse talent.

Diversifying the procurement process

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