The university’s diverse supplier engagement strategy, established in 2013 and coordinated by Procurement and Payment Services (Procurement), supports Cornell’s Toward New Destinations initiative and includes the development of a targeted diverse supplier program and identification of minority-, woman-, veteran, and LGBTQ-owned businesses.
The effort to grow awareness of and interaction with diverse suppliers overall has been effective, with an increase in annual purchase volume from $31.4 million in 2013 to $44.9 million in 2018. The targeted diverse supplier strategy focuses on increasing our purchase volume with a select group of suppliers through the use of quarterly reviews, information sharing, and introductions to key campus buyers. These targeted efforts have yielded over $8 million in growth for these select suppliers since the program’s inception in 2013.
A key component of the targeted diverse supplier strategy has been partnership with the SC Johnson College of Business’ BR Consulting (formerly Big Red Consulting). This program, which provides consulting services to the targeted diverse suppliers, has been a tremendous success for the students and the participating suppliers. Each academic year since 2013, the Johnson students have teamed with diverse suppliers in an original initiative to increase earnings, yielding real-world experiences for the students, and insightful consulting recommendations for the businesses. This year’s projects with Roberts Office Interiors, Ames Linen, and Fork & Gavel Café are focused on helping these diverse suppliers increase their business with all of their customers, not just with Cornell.