Furthering Our Collaboration with Diverse Suppliers

This article appeared in the Fourth Quarter 2019 Issue of The Navigator.
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Building upon the supplier diversity process initiative launched in 2011, Navigant formally created a Supplier Diversity Program in 2018. Key components and goals of the program include:

  • Development and maintenance of a curated list of diverse suppliers
  • Production of reports summarizing Navigant’s spend with diverse suppliers
  • Creating a greater awareness of the program with targeted suppliers
  • Increasing the number of accredited diverse suppliers utilized by Navigant

Program leaders Michelle Carr and Greg Rackett answer questions on the importance of these partnerships and the value it brings to both sides.

Q: Why did Navigant decide to implement a supplier diversity program?

A. At Navigant, we strongly believe that to address the diverse needs of a global marketplace, we must ensure the demographics of our suppliers reflect those of our clients and the communities in which we do business. We are committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our business, while delivering innovative and cost-effective solutions to our clients. Viewed as a best practice, supplier diversity programs promote innovation, drive competition, allow a company to take advantage of new opportunities for business expansion with the emergence of new consumer needs based upon shifting demographic realities, and showcase a company’s interest in and commitment to the economic growth of all communities.

Q. What qualifies as a diverse supplier?

A. Broadly defined, a diverse business (usually a small business as well, which we’ll cover in a moment) is any enterprise in which 51% of the ownership is of a designated diverse background, or even multiple diverse backgrounds. This may include women, minorities, LGBT individuals, veterans, or service-disabled veterans.

Q. How has a diverse group of suppliers helped the firm?

A. Working with diverse suppliers has helped Navigant to access the widest range of talents in the marketplace and have helped Navigant to meet diverse supplier percentage requirements in our contracts with the government and other entities.

Q. What benefits do the suppliers get from working with us?

A. By working with companies like Navigant, we help small businesses grow and foster economic opportunity in disadvantaged neighborhoods. As minority businesses grow, Navigant and other companies are able to rely upon them to meet customer needs.

Still in its beginnings, the Navigant program hopes to reap the rewards that other corporations receive through their supplier diversity initiatives. According to the latest State of Supplier Diversity Report by CVM, respondents named benefits of their programs such as “working with innovative companies that will work through challenges with you,” and “helping to decrease the inequality gap.” As our program grows, we look forward to unlocking the potential of supplier diversity.

To learn more about this program, visit the Supplier Diversity section on our website.


This article appeared in the Fourth Quarter 2019 Issue of The Navigator.
Subscribe here.
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