More and more companies are tracking their companies “diverse” vendor population and reporting on purchase percentages and total spend dollars with these diverse vendors. Many companies have redoubled their efforts, or started new initiatives, to insure their organizations have diversity within their vendor and supplier populations. In fact, many large corporations now have a Chief Diversity Officer or some similar position, elevating the importance of diversity not only amongst their own human resource population but for vendors and contractors as well, to the C suite level.
For starters, it is important that we define what we mean by diversity or diverse vendors. Diverse vendors are a designation that is given to companies where a majority of its ownership qualify as a group deemed as diverse. This can be based on such factors as race, ethnicity, gender or even classes such as veterans or LBGT for example. Companies may choose to let vendors identify themselves and “self-certify” their status. This often happens in companies that want some visibility into their vendor makeup but are not concerned about reporting or hitting targets for government contracts or to meet investor requirements. Other companies interested in a more formal, certifiable process may require vendors to provide proof of certification of their particular diversity classification by providing a copy of the actual certificate from an authorized certifying agency. In these instances there is a need to track the expiration of these certifications to insure vendors stay in compliance and the data companies are reporting is accurate and up to date.
Having identified a vendor’s diversity classification, companies can then track the volume and types of spend with that organization and use that information for contracting, community outreach, vendor recruiting, investor relations, contract compliance, or many other uses. The problem however, for many companies this process of identifying, onboarding, tracking and vetting certification compliance, and reporting spend patterns can be manual and extremely labor intensive and costly.
Vendor portals, or supplier portals, that have robust vendor onboarding or supplier onboarding and vendor management capabilities can go along way to helping with the diversity tracking, certification, compliance, and reporting processes. ICG’s vendor onboarding solution has a highly configurable diversity module that facilitates the collection of information from diverse vendors which allows for establishing and maintaining compliance, and the collection of data on the diverse vendor for tracking and reporting purposes. By establishing a vendor self-service model, vendors now have the capability and responsibility to provide all the data and documentation necessary and buying companies can easily establish and manage a diversity program via the vendor portal. The buying company can then identify diversity vendors for sourcing and procurement activities, track diversity vendor information, and report on diversity spend with minimal effort. The vendor onboarding and spend management capabilities of a robust vendor management portal can add a lot of value to companies by promoting vendor self-service, decreasing costs, and improving vendor relations. Having AP Automation in place with a strong reporting component can make the tracking of vendor spend information quick and easy.
Contact ICG Consulting today for more information or for a demonstration of one of our comprehensive vendor onboarding solutions and the diversity compliance and tracking components of those portals. You can also watch a short video on all of ICG’s back-office solutions.