No longer is supplier diversity an obligation; it’s a strategic benefit for the enterprise. In fact, enterprises that don’t partake may find themselves at a serious disadvantage. Studies show that smaller and more diverse suppliers can offer a competitive quality-for-price proposition, while also providing a host of other benefits. There’s nothing small about the impact of the right supplier, and by partnering with lower tier suppliers, enterprises can make a big bottom-line impact across the organization.
The benefits of smaller, more diverse suppliers can be felt keenly in six key areas:
- Customer service: In order to work efficiently and effectively, large suppliers are inevitably beholden to processes that clients must accommodate. Smaller businesses, meanwhile, can more easily place clients at the epicenter of their business and work around them.
- Agility: Small companies can offer speed and flexibility that larger companies just aren’t capable of. Typically, they're also more likely to embrace the opportunities, rather than balk at the risk, of a new idea.
- Economic: Smaller suppliers can translate to bigger savings. With lower overheads, they’re able to offer competitive pricing along with non-monetary benefits, like more senior liaisons and white-glove treatment.
- Access: Working with small businesses means wading through less corporate layers than their larger counterparts. That means you’re more likely to work with more senior management and a team who is committed to turning your vision into a reality.
- Innovation: Smaller companies are more likely and more able to embrace the esprit of entrepreneurship. Change – a constant in today’s fast-moving world – is inevitable, and they may be better poised to respond to it and drive innovation.
- Community: Smaller suppliers are eager to create lasting relationships with their clients. They’re keen (and better positioned) to collaborate, gather feedback, and actually make improvements or changes based on their clients’ comments.