Top 11 Georgia Supplier Diversity Programs
You don’t have to do much digging to learn that minority small businesses face more challenges in business development.
Supplier diversity programs aim to tip the scales in favor of equality.
Many large corporations in Georgia participate in supplier diversity programs. In fact, many require their vendors to participate in supplier diversity, creating a ripple effect of minority business expansion.
We’ll help you understand supplier diversity so you can take advantage of these opportunities.
Then, we’ll discuss the top eleven supplier diversity programs in Georgia, introduce you to the GMSDC, and explain how you can become a certified diversity supplier.
What Is Supplier Diversity?
Supplier diversity is when a company’s supply chain includes a variety of underrepresented groups.
To qualify as a diverse supplier, a company must be under the ownership (at least 51% stake) of a member of a minority group (ethnic minorities, veterans, women, and people with disabilities).
Most companies will gladly enroll a company into their supplier diversity program. However, to ensure that these programs are not taken advantage of, businesses need to be certified to be eligible.
How a Company Benefits from Supplier Diversity
While supplier diversity was put into place to ensure equal opportunity in the economy, companies reap many benefits from adopting a supplier diversity program.
Some of these benefits include:
- More options of products, services, and goods
- Increased vendor competition to keep costs down
Top 11 Supplier Diversity Programs in Georgia
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of supplier diversity, let’s look into some of the top supplier diversity programs in the Georgia area.
1. Coca-Cola Supplier Diversity Program
Coca-Cola is one of the biggest companies in the Atlanta area, and they have a famously effective supplier diversity program.
Coke recognizes that inclusion betters not only the community but also their business strategy.
According to a statement on their website, the company aims to spend a billion dollars in procurement from diverse suppliers,
They hold regular events for the development of their diverse supplier program and have even won awards from the National Minority Supplier Development Council for their dedication to expanding their supplier diversity.
2. Home Depot Supplier Diversity Program
Home Depot participates in supplier diversity and appreciates the benefits that this brings to their supply chain ecosystem.
They post their qualifications and registration forms on their site for any minority business enterprise to apply.
3. Delta Supplier Diversity Program
Delta Air Lines has a multi-tiered program that establishes a very diverse supply chain.
In their own words:
“To maximize returns to Delta customers, shareholders, employees, and the communities in which we operate, Delta seeks to utilize the products and services of qualified small, minority, and women-owned businesses.”
Visit their website to see a list of products and services that they need in their supply chain.
You can also read about the qualifications they look for and the process you need to go through to partner with Delta.
4. UPS Supplier Diversity Program
UPS states that they are dedicated to “DEI,” which is an abbreviation for “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”
Their supplier diversity program is proof of this.
If you want to be a supplier for UPS, you must first get certified, register, and add your certification details to their online portal.
5. Georgia Pacific Supplier Diversity Program
Georgia Pacific is one of the country’s top suppliers of paper products. This company’s sourcing strategy includes the procurement of products and services from certified diverse businesses.
To learn more about and apply to their program, check out the Georgia Pacific website. You can send an email to the address provided and start the process today.
6. Lockheed Martin Supplier Diversity Program
Lockheed Martin states:
“We’re committed to existing government outreach, small business innovation research, and veteran programs to provide opportunities as well as partnerships.”
With this commitment in mind, this global security and aerospace engineering company looks for ways to incorporate diverse suppliers into their supply chain.
If you are a diverse small business enterprise and believe that you can offer your services or goods to those categories, reach out to their team and see if you qualify.
7. AT&T Supplier Diversity Program
From cell services to the internet, AT&T is always a contender in the communications industry.
They also believe in keeping their supply chain full of diversity. Their program sees over a thousand applicants each year.
They have created their own AT&T supplier portal to make the application process as easy as possible. The company even sends out yearly notifications to remind potential suppliers to update their profiles to remain eligible.
8. Aflac Supplier Diversity Program
Aflac wants a supplier network that’s as diverse as the communities they serve.
They encourage all eligible suppliers to visit the Ariba Discovery portal and add their business to the database. Aflac and other customers who use Ariba’s services can browse the database to find suppliers that suit their needs.
9. Southern Gas Company Supplier Diversity Program
With a program based on four key principles (advocacy, development, procurement, and reporting), Southern Gas Company encourages their leaders to seek out direct contracts with diverse suppliers.
The company’s decision-makers have access to their diverse supplier database, which contains all certified companies who have applied to their program.
They are so dedicated to contributing to the advancement of minority-led small businesses that they have developed their own Supplier Diversity Business Development Program (SDBDP).
This program provides mentoring, resources, networking, and guidance to those who qualify.
To learn more about their supplier diversity program and to enroll in the SDBDP, visit their website.
10. Cox Enterprises Supplier Diversity Program
Cox Enterprises makes it easy for companies to apply for a partnership. On their website, they list the specific products that they buy and explain how to register to become a supplier.
They even provide helpful tips to aid small businesses in this process. For instance, they suggest researching the company to get an idea of where your products or services might fit into the supply chain.
11. Grady Health Supplier Diversity Program
In Grady’s words, the company is:
“… committed to providing quality, comprehensive healthcare in a compassionate, culturally competent, ethical and fiscally responsible manner.”
One important way that they fulfill this commitment is through their supplier diversity program.
You can register to become a part of their program by filling out an application here.
The Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council
When it comes to building more diverse supply chains in Georgia, the Georgia Minority Supplier Development leads the charge.
A branch of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the GMSDC is an organization that leads the fight for diversity in the supply chain.
This is how the organization explain their identity on their website (gmsdc.org):
“The GMSDC is the state of Georgia’s leading advocacy organization for small business development and supplier diversity. Our primary focus is simple – to certify Minority Business Enterprise firms, help them prepare to engage global supply chains, and then facilitate partnerships with corporations and governments in need of their goods and services.”
Certification as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) is the door to all kinds of opportunities.
We’ll explain how to get certified below.
Aside from helping companies get MBE-certified, the GMSDC advocates for supplier diversity in a variety of ways.
The GMSDC offers education and training to individuals who own or operate a diverse supplier business. This training helps companies to earn supplier contracts.
The Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council also holds weekly, monthly, and annual events. These events are great opportunities for sharing information and networking with the local business community.
Here are some of the events that GMSDC holds:
MBEIC Lunch and Learn
At this lunch, representatives from companies not yet granted MBE status meet with small business executives whose companies are certified. It’s a chance for those seeking certification to learn from those who’ve been through the process, and it’s a fantastic networking opportunity for everyone.
Executive Breakfast Series
These educational breakfasts are focused around building leadership skills.
Each breakfast features a speaker who shares their insight and a chapter of their favorite thought leadership book. Attendees get a free copy of the book.
Georgia Mentor Protege Connection
This mentorship program connects small business owners with executives from larger corporations.
The mentor provides coaching sessions to aid the protege in attaining certification and success as a diverse supplier.
Spirit of Alliance Awards
At this red carpet event, companies receive awards for excellence in supplier diversity. Executives get to dress up and recognize those who are leading the cause.
This event is a great place to connect with others and widen your professional network.
Business Opportunity Exchange
The central component of Georgia’s Minority Business Opportunity Week (MBOW), this conference is geared toward sharing contacts, ideas, and experiences. The conference is spread out over five days and features many presentations and roundtable discussions.
Periodically, the GMSDC will post a Corporate Spotlight on their website that highlights the contributions that one of their committed members has made to minority small business development.
To see the newest Corporate Spotlight and any upcoming events, visit https://www.gmdsc.org.
How to Acquire a Diversity Supplier Certification in Georgia
To become a diversity-certified supplier in Georgia, the company must be over half owned and operated by a member of a minority community.
If you are certain that your company meets this criteria, here are your next steps:
Before you can begin your certification process, the Council requires all applicants to attend a precertification informational session.
Once you have attended one of these events, you can fill out the application.
The cost to apply is $600 the first year and $350 for recertification each year after that.
Be sure that your application includes all the required documents before sending it in. See the list of required documents here.
After you have sent in your application with all required documents, the council will review it.
Next, a member of the Council will conduct an on-site audit at your place of business.
The committee and board will review all the information provided. This second step is the lengthiest and can take up to 90 days.
The last step is the notification of acceptance into the certification program. If you’re accepted, you’ll attend an orientation on how best to use this certification in the procurement of contracts.
Here are some other articles that might interest you:
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Other Third Party-Diversity Supplier Certifications
The GMSDC isn’t the only organization that certifies businesses as diverse suppliers. You won’t become a part of the NMSDC network, but you can get a diverse business certification through these organizations:
- Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (www.wbenc.org)
- National Women Business Owners Corporation (www.nwboc.org)
- National Minority Supplier Development Council (www.nmsdc.org)
- U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (www.uspaacc.com)
- State and Federal Government Agencies which certify M/WBEs (Minority/Women Business Enterprises) and DBEs (Diverse Business Enterprises) (www.sba.gov)
- National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (www.nglcc.org)
- Disability: IN (https://disabilityin.org/)
- Center for Veterans Enterprises (https://www.va.gov/osdbu/verification/)
Supplier diversity is essential to maintaining the economic development of this country’s underserved communities. These programs provide a range of opportunities for certified minority business enterprises.
Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council contributes by holding many events and opportunities for small businesses run by minorities in the Atlanta area and statewide.
If you’re interested in becoming a supplier for one of the large corporations that operate in The Peach State, start the application process today!
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