GAITHERSBURG, Md., May 13, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life Services, operates at more than 9,000 client sites throughout North America, providing more than 100 technical services ranging from facilities management to food service operations. It is a huge operational footprint and an immense opportunity for diverse suppliers, which are increasingly in demand by Fortune 500 businesses.
Sodexo partners with nearly 1,700 vendors owned by minority, women, veteran, LGBT and disabled individuals and the company has an ongoing commitment to expand that network. It is a strategy mirrored by award-winning large business enterprises and a tremendous growth opportunity for diverse suppliers. To that end, Sodexo offers the following 3 tips:
TIP #1 UNDERSTAND THE RATIONAL
Companies no longer embrace a supplier diversity program simply for the sake of social responsibility or even solely as a way of helping to level the playing field for small or medium size enterprises. Businesses with effective supplier diversity programs understand the opportunity to achieve significant returns on their investment in terms of access to new customer groups and stronger, more productive relationships with their suppliers.
Supporting diverse suppliers, local economies and promoting inclusion are, without question, genuine endeavors for most of these companies. Still, it behooves diverse suppliers to understand a business-centered rationale for why a large enterprise would want to bring it into the supply chain. More importantly, they must be prepared to speak to it with solid data.
TIP #2 STATE THE BUSINESS CASE
According to a 2015 report by Ernst & Young (EY), leading procurement organizations that have a higher adoption rate of supplier diversity programs generate 133% greater return on the cost of procurement operations than average performers. That translates to an additional $3.6 million to their bottom line for every $1 million in procurement operations costs.
Nothing in a proposal will be more compelling than speaking to the bottom line. The EY example represents a single compelling data point for why a Fortune 500 company might consider adding diverse suppliers. The savvy business development professional will have a bevy of such stats under the belt when going in for the pitch and for the close.
TIP #3 DO THE HOMEWORK
Sodexo's diverse vendors are supported through multiple resources including education on the benefits of becoming a certified diverse vendor, maximizing the benefit of certification with other current and potential customers, mentoring, and a dedicated team that tracks diverse internal spending with an eye to increasing it annually.
Solid due diligence on the prospective company not only helps the supplier understand the resources available for developing an informed proposal, it also provides a window on what it will be like to work with the partner once the ink has dried on the contract.
A Billion Dollar Commitment Small and Diverse Businesses
In 2014, Sodexo announced its official Commitment to Action at the 10th Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting. That commitment supports the growth of small to medium sized enterprises with a pledge to purchase products and services totaling $1 billion by 2017. It benefits as many as 5,000 small businesses in 40 countries including 1,500 businesses being women owned and operated.
Sodexo delivers more than 100 services across North America that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life. The Fortune Global 500 company is a leader in delivering sustainable, integrated facilities management and foodservice operations.
Learn more about the company at its corporate blog, Sodexo Insights.
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