Why supplier diversity matters | By Farida Gibbs, CEO of Gibbs Hybrid

Many organisations are moving towards a more inclusive and therefore diverse supplier base, when it comes to procuring goods and services. This can only be a good thing – especially as it prompts the creation of a diverse supply chain that works to secure the inclusion of diverse groups in the procurement plans across all sectors. Emerging research shows that companies that include supplier diversity as part of their larger business plan tend to be more profitable than those that don’t.

According to a study in 2015 carried out by The Hackett Group, supplier diversity can add – on average – ‘$3.6 million to the bottom line for every $1 million in procurement operation costs’.

So how do you identify a diverse business? There are many different categories including Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE), and Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). In order for companies to be able to record diverse spend, it must ensure its partners are certified through the relevant third-party bodies. Here at Gibbs Hybrid, we are proud to be both WBE and EMB certified. Furthermore, we are the 6th largest global diversity firm.

We have found our certification invaluable and it has opened many doors for us with the very largest FTSE100 companies. Indeed, it is our mission to partner with and educate large corporate enterprises as to the benefits of working with a diverse business – after all, we want our customers to reflect the community, which is growing evermore diverse.

“In my experience, supplier diversity is of huge benefit to everyone.”

Frustratingly, many companies still see inclusion and diversity as some sort of ‘tick box’ exercise, which benefits certain groups but doesn’t have any impact on the bottom line. The fact is that a competitive advantage has been proven to exist, is leading to more and more companies including diversity as part of their strategy – those that overlook it are endangering their bottom line.

Naturally, diversity means that a whole host of new innovation, products, services and solutions can emerge, which provides a variety of channels from which goods and services can be procured. When it comes to the staffing industry, it means companies can attract and retain talent from across the board, providing a true reflection of the country and local communities.

“As small businesses grow, so will our economy.”

With that in mind, we are so proud of our initiative in collaboration with Barclays and Catch 22 to design and implement a solid apprenticeship that will help young people and veterans from all walks of life back into work.

In my experience, supplier diversity is of huge benefit to everyone. Speaking to many start-ups in my capacity as an ambassador for the ‘Women of the Future’ Programme and my position on the Advisory Board for Mosaic Network (Princes Trust) founded by HRH Prince of Wales, they mention encountering barriers that challenge their fledgling business. These barriers include access to capital and networking opportunities, which is why organisations like MSDUK are invaluable – that and more corporates getting on board and including diversity in the business strategies.

As small businesses grow, so will our economy. Because most diverse businesses are small businesses, they aid in the economic recovery and sustainability of their communities. Something we are constantly striving to improve and raise awareness of.

Farida Gibbs is the Key Note speaker at the MSDUK 2017 Business Show. You can register for the Show here and see who else will be speaking here.

About Farida Gibbs

Farida Gibbs is the CEO of Gibbs Hybrid.

For more information about Gibbs Hybrid, please visit their website