Procurement Services coordinates the university’s diverse supplier engagement strategy, which is part of the university’s institutional diversity and inclusiveness initiative,. The strategy, coordinated with senior executives, is designed to enhance awareness of and interaction with diverse suppliers and includes several programs: the targeted diverse supplier program; an effort to identify diverse companies with which Cornell can do business; and a plan to help diverse businesses become New York State certified as a minority or woman-owned business. As a result of these efforts, during fiscal year 2014, the university increased purchases from diverse businesses by $2.2 million, or 7.3%.
Read on for more about successes in these efforts.
Advances in Toward New Destinations Goals. In June 2013, data on spending patterns with diverse suppliers was shared with the senior finance and senior business groups, with the request that more units adopt a Toward New Destinations goal of increasing purchase volume from diverse suppliers. Six colleges and administrative units adopted such goals in fiscal year 2014. Throughout the year, Procurement Services met with these colleges and units to help analyze spending habits, identify diverse suppliers, and develop strategies for growth. These six units alone increased purchases from diverse suppliers by nearly $500,000.
We are very excited that in fiscal year 2015, twelve colleges and administrative units established goals for increasing purchase volume from diverse suppliers. We continue to offer support to each college and unit.
Growth in the Targeted Diverse Supplier Program. The targeted diverse supplier strategy, which was developed in fiscal year 2013, focuses on increasing the university’s purchase volume with a select group of suppliers through the use of quarterly reviews, information sharing, and introductions to key campus buyers. The efforts were very successful, with over $1 million in growth in fiscal year 2014 for these select suppliers. We partnered with the Johnson Graduate School of Management to provide consulting services to these suppliers. The Johnson School students 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. The program was a tremendous success for both the students as well as the five participating suppliers and was continued for another year.
To learn more about the Johnson School’s Big Red Consulting projects, please read the Cornell Chronicle article, Diverse Suppliers page on our website. Look for the diverse supplier showcase at our Annual Supplier Show on June 10, 2015 at Barton Hall!. For a list of diverse suppliers, visit the
Identifying Diverse Suppliers. To increase campus interaction with diverse suppliers, during fiscal year 2014, Procurement Services undertook a project to classify diverse suppliers and to identify New York State certified diverse suppliers. This project resulted in the classification of 19 minority, 109 woman, and 11 veteran-owned businesses. This year, we are working to better understand the socially responsible purchasing activities of our preferred and contract suppliers.
Helping Diverse Suppliers Become New York State Certified. New York State (NYS) Executive Order 15A requires that a percentage of discretionary spending on each state contract be spent with a NYS-certified minority or woman-owned business entity and that state agencies demonstrate a good-faith effort to identify potential vendors. To help Cornell meet this requirement, we have been helping campus by improving access to NYS-certified suppliers and educating suppliers about the NYS certification process.
Our website includes a list of New York State certified diverse suppliers, along with links to New York State resources. On June 27, 2014, Cornell Procurement Services hosted the first-ever New York State Diverse Supplier Certification Workshop aimed at helping minority- and woman-owned business enterprises secure New York State certification.