If variety is the spice of life, diversity may be the secret ingredient to business.
Not long ago, PMUSA needed a background screening service. The company invited a handful of suppliers to submit business proposals and shortlisted four. Of those, two were women-owned businesses. “Any time we do a [request for proposals] we make sure to include diverse suppliers,” says CEO Rachel Sanchez.
PMUSA’s supplier diversity initiative officially launched in 2012, though, as a woman-owned business, it has long counted this type of partnership variety among its core values. “Being able to partner with other diverse suppliers aligns with who we are as a company,” Sanchez explains.
Helping Clients Achieve Supplier-Diversity Goals
Introducing diversity to the supply stream has numerous benefits. “Many of our clients have supplier-diversity initiatives,” Sanchez says. “Having a supplier-diversity program and being able to report that spend to them helps them achieve their goals. It gives us a competitive advantage and helps us be a better partner to them.”
Sanchez’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. Last December, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council bestowed her with its highest award, “Women’s Business Enterprise Star,” citing her business accomplishments, inspiration to other women and active role at the helm of Prestige among the influencing factors. Debbie Hurst, President of the Women’s Business Council – Southwest, the WBENC partner organization that selected Sanchez for the honor, described Sanchez as a “shining example of a successful business leader who understands the importance of supplier diversity in today’s economy.”
Opening Doors, Delivering Value
A woman-owned company, Employment Screening Services, won the recent bid to conduct PMUSA’s background checks, though Sanchez is quick to point out that ESS didn’t get the business because it is woman-owned — ESS earned it. “They provided more of a competitive proposal, something more robust than we’re getting now,” she says. “Supplier diversity doesn’t mean that we award business just because you’re a diverse supplier.”
It’s a standard PMUSA holds itself to, as well. “I never get business because I’m a diverse supplier,” Sanchez continues. “I think there are doors opened because of it, and I’m able to talk to people that would be really challenging to get in front of otherwise. The supplier diversity piece is an advantage — for us and for somebody that we’re getting bids from — but overall, it’s about value. That’s exactly what we have to live out when we’re competing in our marketplace.”