Bank of America
Bank of America's commitment to minority business development begins with the support of our CEO and senior management, and is further demonstrated by the inclusion of supplier diversity goals at all levels of the Supply Chain Management organization. Supplier Development Managers located across the country support unique commodities and work with minority business enterprises (MBEs) to provide guidance and advice on how to become more effective as a company and a supplier to Bank of America.
MBEs, including Sterling Bank Services, a Native American-owned company that supports our nationwide network of Bank of America ATMs, vaults and safe deposit boxes, and H.J. Russell & Company, a certified MBE that was recently awarded a portion of a major Bank of America construction project, have realized the benefits from working with Supplier Development Managers just as Bank of America has benefited from the added value of working with more effective suppliers.
Bank of America's Supplier Development Program helps strategic MBEs become more efficient and effective in their roles, while also supporting broader Bank of America corporate goals. Throughout the supplier development process, Supplier DevelopmentManagers evaluate supplier relationships holistically, identifying areas where suppliers need to build strengths or capabilities, consider performance and market risk potentials and determine ways to add additional value to the bank through supplier relationships. Bank of America has adopted Six Sigma as the primary quality assurance methodology for process improvement. Our Supply Chain Management Supplier Forums provide MBEs the opportunity to network with Bank of America executives, sourcing managers, supplier managers and each other through workshops, seminars, matchmaker sessions and a business fair.
Dorothy B. Brothers Executive Scholarship
Bank of America supports the development of MBEs through the Dorothy B. Brothers Executive Scholarship. Awarded through Minority Business News USA, the scholarship supports the continuing education of MBE leadership through the resources of some of the country's best business schools. The program has awardedmore than 70 scholarships since its inception.
Sterling Bank Services (SBS), a Native American-owned company, has supported Bank of America since 2001. Supporting the nationwide network of 18,500 Bank of America ATMs, vaults and safe deposit boxes, SBS was trained to provide preventive maintenance on smaller bank equipment as well, enabling expansion of its service offerings to our corporation and other institutions.
H.J.Russell & Company, a certified MBE, was awarded a portion of a major Bank of America construction project. The project supports the creation of a joint venture between H.J. Russell and RT Dooley, where H.J. Russell is providing interior construction on the new Bank of America Corporate Office Tower in Charlotte, N.C.
Diversity and inclusion are part of our culture and core values at Bank of America. The bank actively promotes an environment where all associates have the opportunity to achieve personal success and can contribute to the growth of our business.
Our focus on diversity and inclusion makes a positive difference to the company and the workplace environment, and helps us better serve the communities in which we do business. We also know that by promoting a better economic environment through our supplier diversity program, the very communities we serve will continue to thrive and grow stronger.
A Growth Equation: Cargill and Minority Suppliers
Cargill Director of Supplier Diversity Tim Thomas is passionate about his work. "We award contracts based on competitiveness and competence, so my passion is rooted in impressive bottom-line results," he says. "Our people know that the next great idea can come from anyone, anytime, including from diverse suppliers. And when we look for it, we find it."
Take the example of Chief Adhesives in Fort Worth, Tex., which Oklahoma Chocktaw Leonard Goode founded in 1991 after working for over 20 years for the largest U.S. adhesive manufacturer.
"Our people know that the next great idea can come from anyone, anytime, including from diverse suppliers."
— Tim Thomas, Director of Supplier Diversity, Cargill
Only a few years after Chief Adhesives began to produce hot melt thermo-plastic adhesives, Cargill Solutions saw enough promise to award it a subcontract for service on one of its major consumer product customers. On the basis of that success, Chief Adhesives secured meetings with procurement professionals at other Cargill business units, and Cargill has since brokered meetings and introductions with other companies. Chief Adhesives' successful growth comes from its commitment to the highest-quality product targeted to individual customer needs, improving results for Cargill and Chief Adhesives. "'Thank you' just doesn't do justice to the value of our alliance with Cargill," concludes Dirk Bundle, director of sales and marketing for Chief Adhesives.
Synico Staffing Inc., a temporary and permanent staffing company founded in 1996, grew into a first-tier staffing contractor, thanks to the tutelage of Tim Thomas. Chief Executive Officer Robert Marsh, a Texas transplant to Minnesota, was focused solely on placing quality personnel, pleased that "about 80% of our temporary appointments became permanent."
Thomas, however, began working with Synico on its scope and scale. Marsh called the two-year process intensive, but he stuck with it. Synico's staffing service was enhanced to include recommendations for improving productivity of low-performing teams. After the first Cargill online auction bid was successful, he told Thomas, "We should pay you!" Since then, Synico has successfully staffed implemented operations in 31 different Cargill locations and has every expectation of adding more locations in 2009.
Cargill engaged in a more formal alliance with Catalina, a Minnesotabased manufacturer of premium tortillas. Both companies wanted to better serve their mutual client, a major restaurant chain, and the solution was Catallia Mexican Foods (Catallia), a 2005 joint venture, with Cargill owning a substantial minority interest. Catallia was able to purchase and retrofit a former warehouse and immediately achieved new efficiencies and increases in production.
After only two years of operation, Catallia is, in Cargill's estimation, "wildly successful." Its revenues are $12 million, its workforce has increased from 4 people to 48, and the plant is positioned for growth. Catallia is already considering additional plants in the U.S., Canada and even overseas.
Cargill knows from experience that supplier diversity is a compelling business strategy. Or, as Chief Adhesives' Bundle declares, "Cargill gets it — from top to bottom."
The growth of APC's IT consulting business likewise relies on a network of loyal, reliable and high-quality vendors and suppliers. "I've done this steadily by providing suppliers with opportunities to assess, develop and improve services to our clients, and I've never had a problem including minority- and women-owned businesses," says Chief Executive Officer Roy Roberts. "When both partiesmeet the client's expectations, feel rewarded and want additional joint opportunities, APC is successful." With over 200 supplier strategic alliances, retention is nearing 100%.
Ensuring Suppliers Reflect the Communities Verizon Serves
In 2007, Verizon Communications spent more than $8.4 million daily in goods and services with diverse suppliers, for a total of $3.1 billion. A wireline and wireless communications company, Verizon has been successful at meeting its goal of increasing its spend with companies owned and managed by minorities, women, people with disabilities and veterans year over year.
Two Decades of Leadership in Supplier Diversity
For more than two decades, Verizon has been ensuring that its supplier base is diverse and reflects the communities it serves. The company was a founding member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable, a coalition of 13 U.S. companies that spend at least $1 billion annually with minority- and women-owned companies.
In 2006, Verizon consolidated its supplier-diversity initiatives into a single organization to increase the focus on creating and developing relationships with diverse suppliers, says Tanya Penny, vice president of sourcing and procurement operations for Verizon. The consolidation ensures that the high-tech communications company meets its procurement objectives and streamlines the processes across the company's business groups, making it easier for suppliers and partners to do business with Verizon.
Operationalizing Supplier Diversity
In 2007, the Verizon Board of Directors implemented a change to the 2007 annual incentive plan that ties supplier diversity success to senior management's Short-Term Incentive compensation. Also in 2007, the company enhanced its Supplier Code of Conduct to promote ethical standards among its suppliers worldwide.
Verizon Is Both Customer and Mentor to Minority Businesses
As Verizon has set upon building the nation's fastest and most advanced fiberoptic network, Fortune Metals has helped Verizon recycle more than 21,820 tons of fiber, copper and plastic over the last three years.
Victor Ng and Norman Ng of Fortune Metals, based in Jersey City, N.J., work with Verizon to recycle and recondition materials for reuse whenever possible. Verizon's relationship with Fortune Metals is one example of its commitment to doing business with minority businesses and its commitment to respectful, responsible and positive influence on the environment in which the communications company's employees live and work.
Verizon Business and eKohs, a certified, woman-owned minority supplier in Virginia, have cultivated a strategic alliance under the Mentor-Protégé program in the Department of Defense. The program helps small businesses transform themselves in order to perform as Defense Department prime contractors and subcontractors through relationships with a mentor. As a mentor, Verizon supports the development of eKohs' leadership teamby sponsoring training at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Management.
Verizon has also supported the growth and development of IBS CompreCore, a minority-owned company that resells copper wire, fiber optics and power-cable products. Because of that relationship between Verizon, IBS and cable manufacturer General Cable, IBS is now the sole provider of aerial servicewire to Verizon in 28 states.
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