Suppliers in demand: our directory of diversity programs from America's largest corporations can help your small company gain access to business-building contracts.

Position::SMALL BUSINESS (PART 1 OF A SERIES - Directory
 
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FOR THE PAST HALF DECADE, DIVERSANT INC., with offices in New York, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Chicago, and Atlanta, has developed strong relationships and a solid track record that has positioned the firm as a Tier 1 supplier to Wells Fargo in Wholesale Banking and a Tier 2 vendor in Technology Banking. Gene C. Waddy, CEO of the Red Bank. New Jersey, IT staffing firm with revenues of $100 million, has been a "legacy supplier" who has worked closely with Senior Supplier Diversity Director Derek Cantey since before Wachovia Bank was acquired by Wells Fargo in 2008. His 8-year-old firm has been a beneficiary of the company's initiatives for minority vendors, gaining coaching on sales strategy and access to corporate decision makers "all the way up to the top of the mountain ... CEO John Stumpf.

"Not all supplier diversity programs are created equal. At Wells Fargo, supplier diversity comes from the top: They actively bring you to the table where procurement decisions are made," says Waddy. "The biggest upside for me is that I am poised to become a primary national vendor enabling me to expand West into Dallas, Minnesota, and San Francisco."

Wells Fargo believes in having "collaborative partnerships" with its vendors. "We look for suppliers that have the right solution," Cantey says, stressing that candidates should understand the needs of the $86 billion financial service company's operations. "Our efforts are around outreach and education. We want them to stay competitive and be prepared for the marketplace."

Cantey says his team is committed not only to building viable companies that can better serve Wells Fargo but powerhouses that add value to an array of corporate clients, industries, and communities. By doing so, Wells Fargo produces a stronger, more capable pool of vendors with the ability to handle complex assignments and offer innovative solutions. That's a tall order for a corporation that has spent more than $8 billion on diverse suppliers over the past decade. Within the past two years, procurement spend has grown more than 16% (see chart). Currently, the company is seeking to beef up its minority supplier representation in professional services--accounting, legal, and consulting--to add to the number of diverse IT firms, temp staffing agencies, and construction companies it has already tapped.

Major corporations like Wells Fargo demonstrate their commitment to diversity and increase their minority vendor pools by expanding procurement opportunities and development programs. To enable companies like yours to spot similar opportunities across industries, we have produced this directory of America's leading supplier diversity programs. Our team researched such targeted initiatives among the nation's 100 largest corporations and created a list complete with program highlights, the link to apply, and designation as a corporate member of the National Minority Supplier Development Council--whose member companies combined to spend more than $100 billion with Minority Business Enterprises, or MBEs, in 2011. Those companies that are corporate members of NMSDC are highlighted on the list.

Supplier diversity still has a long way to go when it comes to minorities receiving their fair share of corporate purchasing dollars. In the latest Corporate Diversity Report based on data from a number of the nation's largest 500 publicly traded corporations and released by the office of Sen. Robert Menendez in 2010, African American firms were awarded a mere 2.58% of total corporate contracts.

Developing a great relationship with companies on our directory can not only reverse those numbers, but it can help entrepreneurs overcome major obstacles. Supplier Diversity Business Manager Tonia Woodbury says that Wells Fargo supports the economic growth and development of companies through a battery of one-on-one coaching sessions and management training programs. "We want to take established business owners to the next level," she maintains. "We want them to grow from second-tier suppliers to first-tier Suppliers." For example, Wells Fargo encourages entrepreneurs to engage in rigorous coursework at the Minority Business Program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond to improve financial performance, sharpen operational efficiency, and enhance branding strategy.

Woodbury also points to the internal Leaders of Change development outreach program, which has helped advance hundreds of minority and women-owned businesses since 2010. Through this initiative, emerging entrepreneurs gain access to programs that help improve strategic plans, manage cash flow, communicate effectively, and target prospective customers.

On the next few pages, you can identify corporate customers that can offer your company the same level of opportunity, guidance, and partnership.

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Wells Fargo Supplier Diversity Spend (in millions) First Tier Second Tier *% of total spend 2010 $565.50 $56.10 5%* $621.60 2011 $612.90 $119.60 7%* $732.50 2012 $508.90 $214.30 7%* $723.20 Note: Table made from bar graph. Black Enterprise Supplier Diversity Directory Company Name Supplier Diversity Program Abbott Supplier Diversity Site Coordinators are in Laboratories place at each of Abbott's major manufacturing sites. In 2011, Abbott spent $1.4 billion with small and diverse businesses. Aetna Aetna tracks its progress attracting and engaging diverse small business suppliers with a quarterly Supplier Diversity Scorecard, and it also has a 2nd tier...

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