Supplier diversity is about more than just buying products and services from minority-owned businesses; it’s about supporting communities.
Woman- and minority-owned companies represent more than 50% of the total small business population and are one of the fastest growing sectors of small businesses across the U.S. Many companies are taking notice and including more diverse vendors in their day-to-day operations.
PMUSA’s Supplier Diversity Program
As a certified Women’s Business Enterprise, Prestige Maintenance USA is very active in the diverse supplier community. For us, supplier diversity is a strategic initiative and a key part of our community stewardship platform.
Since we began tracking the numbers with the inception of PMUSA’s Supplier Diversity Program, PMUSA has spent nearly $3 million with more than 20 certified diverse-owned businesses all over the country. This includes businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans.
These companies offer far more than just diversity to our supplier lineup. They bring new perspectives and fresh ideas to the table and are uniquely positioned to support and improve the communities where we do business. By prioritizing diversity and inclusion as part of our business strategy, PMUSA creates opportunities for minority-owned businesses to thrive.
“As a woman-owned business, we value other businesses that are historically underutilized,” says Mary Martin, PMUSA’s Vice President of Sourcing and Technology. “It sends a message that we are invested in the community, the workers and the betterment of society in general.”
Defining Diverse Suppliers
“Diverse suppliers” are minority-, woman- and veteran-owned businesses that have been certified through a third-party certification process. This certification verifies that a business is owned and managed by a qualifying diverse individual or group.
PMUSA purchases everything from business cards, corporate stationary, office supplies, shredding services and uniforms from diverse suppliers. We are also committed to expanding supplier diversity through our engagement with sub-contracted cleaning companies, as well as other third-party service providers. The company PMUSA contracts with to conduct its new employee screening services, for example, is proudly woman-owned.
“Part of our criteria when vetting sub-contractors is that they be a minority-owned business,” says Martin.
As a certified member of the Women’s Business Council Southwest, and a corporate member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Minority Development Council, PMUSA also promotes diversity certification with prospective sub-contractors by providing them with information and offering support throughout the certification process. Since 2012, PMUSA has helped several firms gain minority certification.
“Supplier diversity is important to many of our clients as well, so by supporting diverse-owned businesses, we are also supporting our clients’ commitment to supplier diversity at the same time,” says Martin.
By becoming certified and participating in diversity groups, minority-owned businesses have the opportunity to network and engage with large corporate sponsors like Target, JCPenney, BNSF Railway, and FedEx to gain access.
PMUSA began as a certified member of these diversity groups and has now moved into more of a sponsorship position, helping other diverse-owned businesses learn about and participate in these coveted bid opportunities.
“For a long time, PMUSA was trying to get its foot in the door with these companies,” says Martin. “We are proud to now be able to give back to others in the same way we have learned from these industry leaders.”
All About the Community
Community stewardship extends beyond just buying products and services. By supporting and developing diverse-owned businesses, PMUSA is able to help improve the communities where we do business.
Many times, larger companies struggle to improve their supplier diversity because of a direct or unconscious bias — or more often, because they simply aren’t aware of diverse-owned businesses and don’t know where to find them.
But partnering with these small, diverse — and often highly innovative — companies can offer unique insights when it comes to improving efficiency and better engaging and communicating with workforces in the communities where a company does business. It also provides multiple channels to procure goods and services, which ultimately drives competition amongst vendors.
But most importantly, engaging with diverse suppliers and contracting with small and minority-owned third-party vendors enables PMUSA to help promote job creation at the local level and encourage the overall success of small businesses.
As small and diverse-owned businesses grow, so does the country’s economy. “Supplier diversity not only benefits PMUSA, it benefits the overall community,” says Martin. “And at the end of the day, that is what is most important.”
To learn more about Prestige Maintenance USA's supplier diversity program, contact us today.