IBM is committed to diversity in all parts of its business, and has been for more than 100 years.
IBM’s history of maintaining a diverse supply chain is no exception. The company first established a global supply chain diversity program in 1968. This was four years before the creation of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and 29 years before the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) was founded. We were the first IT company to conduct more than $1 billion of business with diverse suppliers in the United States. And we learned early on that fostering diversity is not only the right thing to do for society, but for business as well. A diverse supplier base not only provides talent, it also helps add stability and flexibility throughout our supply chain and promotes economic growth in local communities.
In 2012, IBM conducted $3.3 billion of global business with first- and second-tier diverse suppliers. Of that, $2.6 billion was contracted with first-tier suppliers, up from $2.5 billion in 2011. And of that, we did $939 million in business with non-US first-tier diverse suppliers, representing a 7 percent increase from the previous year. The growth in diverse spend outside the United States is the result of our creation of full-time diversity positions in growth markets such as China.
For these and other accomplishments in 2012, IBM Program Director of Global Supplier Diversity Michael K. Robinson was named Supplier Diversity Ambassador by Minority Business News USA. Robinson also received the Executive Leadership Award at the 2011 Congressional Minority Business Awards Gala, and he was recognized by Asian Enterprise Magazine as their Advocate of the Year.
In addition to the NMSDC, IBM is a founding member of the WBENC, WEConnect International, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and US Business Leadership Network’s Disability Supplier Diversity Program. IBM also participates in international organizations focused on supplier diversity, such as the Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier Council, the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council, Minority Supplier Development United Kingdom, Minority Supplier Development China, South African Minority Supplier Development, WEConnect Canada, WEConnect Europe, WEConnect India and the International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
Since the inception of IBM’s Supplier Diversity Program, IBM has received much recognition for its efforts. In the past 12 years the company has received more than 100 corporate and individual awards from local, regional, national and federal entities. This past year was particularly noteworthy, as IBM’s efforts in maintaining a diverse supply chain were recognized by more than two dozen organizations. Among the top honors were:
- Top Corporation by the WBENC
- Corporation of the Year by the Minority Supplier Development Council–UK
- A Top Corporation by DiversityBusiness.com
- A 2012 Corporate One recipient by the Michigan MSDC
- Corporation of the Year by the WBEC of PA-NJ-DE
- Corporation of the Year by the MSDC of PA-NJ-DE
- NMSDC International Committee’s Global Link Award
- IBM / Supplier Connection won the Best Collaboration Award from the Supply Chain Awards North America.
Looking forward, IBM will continue to foster the diversity of its global supply chain as our business needs evolve. IBM works with many potential diverse suppliers to clearly define its requirements in both direct and indirect supply areas. And we continue this work with diverse suppliers—especially our second- and third-tier suppliers—to help them grow their capacity.
of business with first- and second-tier
diverse suppliers in 2012
$ of purchasing with first-tier, non-US-based
diverse suppliers in 2012