Accelerating Supplier Diversity

By working with more diverse suppliers, companies can respond to an important social need, help create a more equitable world, and build competitive advantage. BCG’s supplier diversity consulting team works with organizations to build inclusive strategies for advancing supplier diversity, to strengthen their competitive position, and to use their business to address inequity.

Organizations have long attempted to improve supplier diversity in procurement. But with the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic and the renewed urgency around racial justice, companies now see an opportunity to double down on their supplier diversity commitments to build a more inclusive, more resilient economy.

To produce real change, companies understand that they must do more, starting with rethinking their approach to supplier diversity. Companies can begin by identifying minority- and women-owned businesses capable of growing into top-tier suppliers, and learning how they can best partner with and enable these suppliers, removing barriers and creating new access to opportunities. Where those businesses don’t already exist, companies can actively help create them—by funding startups and entering into joint ventures and other partnerships.

Committing to Supplier Diversity

To diversify procurement spending, companies need a different approach. In this video, BCG senior advisor Jim Lowry explains the steps they can take to improve.


BCG’s Solutions for Supplier Diversity

BCG partners with companies, nonprofits, and civic organizations to build inclusive sourcing strategies for advancing racial equity and business goals alike.

When guiding organizations through such changes, BCG supplier diversity consultants can draw upon the firm’s deep experience in procurement; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and total societal impact. We leverage the expertise of James H. Lowry & Associates, founded by BCG senior advisor Jim Lowry, to understand the minority business landscape and identify suppliers that companies can look to in order to quickly diversify their spending. In some instances, an organization may determine that the best way forward is to invest in or partner with diverse suppliers to help them grow—or even help launch a new business. In such cases, BCG’s supplier diversity consulting team can work hand in hand with the firm’s joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions consultants.

BCG has partnered with several leading organizations in the business community to build more inclusive vendor programs, including the Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Business Roundtable on Racial Equity and Justice, CEO Action for Racial Equity, and a number of leading companies.

Whether standing up a supplier diversity program or transforming an existing one, BCG can develop a comprehensive strategy to cover each component of the program in detail:

An Example: A Playbook for Accelerating Supplier Diversity

What does a next-generation supplier diversity program look like? BCG partnered with the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago to assess the current minority business landscape and how supplier diversity programs could drive impact.

The BCG playbook for leveling up supplier diversity programs is a repository of ideas and actions that companies can implement to accelerate supplier diversity in procurement. The playbook offers best practices and tangible examples from successful corporate supplier diversity programs, including:

  • Goals. Setting leader-driven ambitions, goals, and timelines, and integrating them into an organization’s overall mission and strategy.
  • Opportunities. Reviewing current business practices and approaches to building supplier diversity to identify opportunities for near-term and long-range improvements.
  • Actions. Identifying and prioritizing initiatives and actions that could help diversify supplier representation and procurement spending, either as individual companies or groups of peer companies pursuing coordinated actions.
  • Implementation. Creating a system to execute priority initiatives and track results in a way that leads to continuous improvement.

Strengthening BCG’s Supplier Diversity Efforts

BCG is making many of the same innovative changes to our minority- and women-owned business enterprise supplier policy while also measuring the diversity of our vendors. Our success hinges on our ability to elevate diversity of thought and experience, challenge established mindsets, and unlock solutions that enable organizations to thrive.

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