February 29, 2024

Article
3 min

The Transformative Power of Supplier Diversity

Bridging the gap in supplier diversity for business growth and customer value.

Organizations have been making significant commitments to support disenfranchised communities since our society was rocked by a series of impactful events like the COVID-19 pandemic and the George Floyd tragedy. Over the past several years, meaningful events like these have lead to increasing enterprise business diversity and environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) efforts. This has brought more focus to growing equity and participation amongst disadvantaged and often over-looked businesses through formalized supplier diversity efforts.

What Is Supplier Diversity?

A successful supplier diversity program seeks to provide equal access to purchasing opportunities to enterprises owned by minorities, women, veterans, members of the LGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities. It also promotes diverse supplier participation reflective of the community and customers; optimizes your supply chain; creates revenue, jobs and wages; builds stronger communities; unleashes economic growth; and raises the competition as corporations need to meet a diverse supplier spend.

CDW’s Approach to Diverse Supplier Enablement

Since CDW formed its business diversity program in 2007, more than $25 billion has been spent with diverse-owned businesses. This success has been achieved through working with our customers to meet supplier diversity spend goals and partnering with disadvantaged businesses. CDW’s flexible supply chain of more than 1,400 highly qualified and vetted diverse suppliers allows customers to tap into our network while reducing risk. Furthermore, our diverse partners gain access to leading, global corporations without committing to burdensome contracting requirements set forth by large enterprises.

Meaningful Customer Value

Supplier diversity also creates a special opportunity for enterprises to deliver more substance to their customers. Businesses that understand the power of diversity within the supply chain are poised to drive home unprecedented value — value that's not just seen but felt by their customers in meaningful ways.

Allowing customers to directly engage with our trusted smaller, diverse partners demonstrates the real value of our program. It removes the roadblocks and barriers that have traditionally prevented disadvantaged businesses from independently accessing enterprise customers.

This proactive approach instills trust and cements long-term client relationships, aligning with the broader goals of economic and social impact.

Bridging the Gap

CDW is committed to expanding our network of diverse partners within our supply chain. We continuously introduce meaningful enhancements that benefit both our diverse partners and customers, further enhancing our ability to bridge gaps through our flexible supply chain program. Through supplier diversity, we continually seek to extend our reach, ensuring that we offer the most robust and resourceful solutions possible.

If you were to look at our Business Diversity Economic Impact Report, you won’t find our spending targets. Why? Because we’re not just focused on tracking expenditures; we’re dedicated to ensuring those expenditures have a meaningful impact. What you’ll discover are pages filled with the results and effects of our efforts.

You will feel impact of our dedication not only in our high-quality products and services, but also through our ESG program and commitment to business diversity. It has become an integral part of our bottom-line strategy. Whether your organization has an economic impact goal or a social impact goal, we can meet you where you’re at.

Taking the Next Steps to Meet Your Supplier Diversity Goals

No matter where you are on your supplier diversity journey, CDW is well equipped to help you meet your goals. CDW’s business diversity team of supplier diversity and supply chain experts can assist in crafting and executing a strategy to generate meaningful results.

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Kristin Malek

Director of Business Diversity
Kristin Malek serves as the director of business diversity at CDW. In this role, Malek has firmly established an innovative business diversity strategy that aligns with CDW’s core values. As the architect of CDW’s diverse supply chain with more than 1100 suppliers, Malek ensures CDW’s continued investment in diversity, equality and inclusion within their businesses.

Mohammed Hussain

Senior Manager Supplier Diversity
Mohammed Hussain, senior manager of business diversity at CDW, brings 15 years of experience to the table. His primary focus lies in expanding CDW’s Business Diversity offerings to customers, maintaining an inclusive supply chain, and ensuring that business diversity at CDW becomes a revenue enabler program for all its sellers, diverse partners and customers.