Extending access to businesses owned by women and minorities

IBM’s supply chain diversity program is grounded in a mission to ensure that those groups who have been traditionally left out of the economic mainstream are given access to IBM’s procurement process if they have a product/service which adds value to our supply chain. Our program is global, and we work with businesses owned by diverse groups all over the world. In the U.S. this includes women, blacks, Native Americans, GLBT, and people with disabilities. In addition, we take local (country) context into account, and adapt our definition of “diverse” to be appropriate to the local cultural experience, such as including suppliers from the bottom of the caste system in India.

In 2008, IBM spent $1.5 billion inside the U.S. and $745 million internationally with first-tier diverse suppliers. First-tier is defined as suppliers with whom IBM spends directly (not through other companies).

IBM is a founding member of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) (link resides outside of ibm.com) and we participate in their International Programs Advisory Committee. Through this and NMSDC sister organizations, we are working to expand supplier diversity practice in growth markets. Also we are a founding member of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (link resides outside of ibm.com) and participate in their international programs. IBM is also actively engaged with the Minority Supplier Diversity China, an organization working with the Chinese government to open up economic opportunity to the country’s 55 ethnic minority groups. In 2008 formal recognition of the aboriginal population by the Australian government was granted and an organization called the Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier Council (AIMSC) was created—a direct result of a mission by the NMSDC, which included IBM. Our company has been working with diverse aboriginal suppliers since 2006.

Supplier diversity is just one aspect of IBM’s multipronged approach to facilitating access to the economic mainstream. We work with our internal employees, our marketing and community investment teams, and the Integrated Supply Chain so that the IBM approach to creating opportunity is always in sync with the industry.

Supplier diversity

In addition to those already cited, IBM has established relationships with a number of other organizations around the world that focus on supplier diversity programs for minority- and women-owned businesses. These organizations include, but are not limited to:

Point of View

“Artech’s diversity supplier status has given us the opportunity to develop a dialogue with large corporations. Certification and recognition through organizations such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) have opened the door to Fortune 500 via prequalification curricula such as the NMSDC Corporate Plus® program. Doing business with organizations that have highly evolved supply chains and standards like IBM has encouraged Artech to improve operational performance over the years. The experience has made Artech a leaner, smarter and more dynamic organization with a highly efficient operational infrastructure.”

Ranjini Poddar, President, Artech Information Systems LLC

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