Implementation of Supplier Diversity Policies
Establish effective policies that ensure diversity and inclusion strategies throughout the procurement process and maximize the number of diverse vendors in Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts’s supplier base.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) recently created two new policies that support and advance the company’s supplier diversity efforts. First, BCBSMA now has a policy that requires diverse vendor participation in all Request for Proposals (RFP’s). Previously, our policy required participation by diverse vendors only in RFPs with a value of $100K or more.
The new policy does not necessarily mean a diverse vendor will be awarded the business, but it does guarantee that a diverse vendor has a seat at the table and the opportunity to participate in all RFP’s regardless of the dollar amount. With more diverse vendor participation in the smaller RFP’s, the probability of these RFP’s being awarded to diverse vendors increases which will help increase the financial capacity of these companies.
In addition, BCBSMA expanded its procurement policy to broaden the pool of diverse vendors with which it does business. Since its inception over ten years ago, the Supplier Diversity Program traditionally included minority-owned and women-owned business enterprises. Over the past several months, the company took progressive steps to evolve the program to include veteran-owned businesses. BCBSMA expects to further expand the Supplier Diversity Program to include LGBT-owned and small business enterprises by the end of 2017. The company is also considering future partnerships with disability-owned businesses.
The new policies strengthens BCBSMA’s commitment to supplier diversity. Furthermore, they ensure that supplier diversity is woven into the company’s business strategies and procurement practices. The success of these new policies is reflected in the company’s supplier diversity metrics:
- The number of diverse vendors participating in RFP’s is expected to grow 75% by the end of this year as compared to 2016.
- The number of diverse vendors in the company’s supplier base increased 20% over the past year.
We are aligning our D&I strategy with our business strategy by maximizing the number of diverse suppliers we do business with and by ensuring that our vendors reflect the composition of our workforce and customer base.