A U.S retailer committed to diversity and inclusion within their workforce and supply chain approached S4RB to engage suppliers and collect information about gender and ethnicity across its suppliers’ business and supply chain.
Workplace diversity facilitates recognition and appreciation of the unique insights, perspectives and backgrounds of others. By feeling recognized, employees are more willing to perform on behalf of their organization. Research has found that the more diverse a company is, the more likely they are to achieve above average returns as well as being better placed to attract the best talent and attain high employee satisfaction. Considering the importance of workplace diversity, this major U.S retailer also recognized the value of reflecting its customer base. Its U.S workforce is made up of hundreds of thousands of associates from a variety of backgrounds. Moreover, 55 percent of all associates are women. The retailer is now focusing on developing productive relationships with suppliers that reflect the diversity of American society.
S4RB worked closely with the retailer team to implement an accessible portal specifically for suppliers, as well as an ongoing communication campaign to support the initiative and reporting throughout. The portal made it easy for suppliers to report on their ethnicity and gender diversity, providing them with visibility of their performance while also offering knowledge about how to use these insights to grow and advance. Based on S4RB’s award winning cloud-based supplier engagement platform, the tool has the capability to engage large supplier communities, while monitoring interactions with the site and any communications sent to the group. Tracking when emails are delivered, opened, read and whether a supplier provided diversity information is important to confirm the right contact is being engaged. Collecting data across executives, middle management and professionals ensured the retailer had a true indication of their supply base’s diversity. Furthermore, they could provide guidance on a more personal level to suppliers depending on which area of the business might require help.
Providing suppliers with an easy-to-use system containing information for them appropriate to the initiative meant less time was spent motivating them to use the system and compiling spreadsheets of data. This left more time for analyzing the data which enabled the retailer to focus on how it can guide suppliers and improve diversity in the future. Over 150 suppliers submitted data.
The portal offered the retailer oversight of a supplier’s diversity across several years as well as the ability to plot its supply chain against ethnicity and gender diversity.
The benefit of this is two-fold: the retailer was able to quickly identify the outliers and implement action plans. More importantly, it could recognize the success stories. Over 500 ethnicity and gender diversity scores were automatically calculated during the project. By building engagement with the correct contact through the portal, the resulting data was of the best quality. Making the insights available to the appropriate person at a supplier saved resource for the retail team.