Supplier diversity is something that’s extremely important to us and our customers. 

Lately, I’ve had the opportunity to travel and hear from others who understand the incredible value-add small and diverse suppliers bring to organizations. 

My team recently attended the Diversity Alliance for Science’s East Coast Conference in Newark. We engaged with so many inspiring leaders and companies focused on fostering effective, mutually beneficial partnerships between diverse suppliers and large organizations. Just two weeks ago, we were at the WBENC National Conference in Baltimore, supporting a diversity and procurement team. They were using our app to instantly capture and share new connections with women-owned businesses with global colleagues looking to partner with small and diverse suppliers. 

When Geri Stengel’s Forbes article, Supplier diversity benefits both large and small businesses, appeared on my LinkedIn feed, so many of her points resonated with me. They also mirrored what I’ve been hearing from the supplier diversity community and our customers. 

Stengel explains that the benefits of supplier diversity are substantial for any organization. 

“It also means access to diverse suppliers who are agile, cost-effective, and provide innovations to meet the needs of corporations better and to serve their customers better.”

-Geri Stengel, Supplier diversity benefits both large and small businesses

This is precisely the reason our team has made connecting small and diverse suppliers with large organizations our priority in the last year. We’ve endeavoured to develop and refine our technology to support the ever-growing importance of working with diverse partners. Our customers echo the benefits Stengel lists, as they see their ability to respond to shifting needs supported by quick access to diverse options.

In our platform, we have a half million small and diverse supplier profiles. These include women, LGBTQ, veteran and minority-owned businesses. We make it easy for these businesses to partner with large organizations by being recommended with smart search among all other suppliers. Our customers avoid checking static portals, and can seamlessly include small and diverse suppliers in any opportunity. 

Our partnership with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) is a perfect example of how technology can help promote supplier diversity. CCAB has “procurement champions,” some of Canada’s largest corporations, who are interested in working with Certified Aboriginal Businesses. By using Tealbook, they can log in and instantly view members’ profiles, and invite these businesses to opportunities. This is contributing to more access to the supply chains of major organizations for these innovative Aboriginal businesses. 

One of our Fortune 100 customers had an urgent need for a diverse supplier for a new business requirement. Normally when this customer is looking for a new business to work with, they use Google searches, internal knowledge and static databases. Using Tealbook, they were able to find seven diverse suppliers who met the critical criteria for the opportunity. These suppliers were located quickly and had contact info, certificates and all relevant info on their profile. Through using Tealbook, these innovative and diverse suppliers gained access to a major opportunity, while our client was able to grow relationships with diverse partners. 

“The large companies have a significant role to play in helping small businesses grow,” writes Stengel. “At the same time, small businesses have a vital role in helping large companies be agile, innovative, and responsive to changes in the market.”

We couldn’t agree more, and my team and I look forward to continuing to empower and promote supplier diversity. 

If you are a small or diverse business, I encourage you to sign up for a Tealbook profile (it’s free). If you are a procurement or sourcing team interested in growing or positively impacting your supplier diversity program, please request a demo. 

I’m always interested in hearing your thoughts and insight on supplier diversity. Please connect on LinkedIn to get the conversation started. 

Stephany Lapierre

CEO, Tealbook

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