Supplier Diversity Is a Differentiator and Part of a Responsible Sourcing Strategy

Supplier Diversity Is a Differentiator and Part of a Responsible Sourcing Strategy
Jacinto Blanco, Senior Manager of Supplier Diversity

As supplier diversity is an important part of our sustainable procurement strategy in North America, we established a dedicated function to coordinate all related activities. Jacinto Blanco, Senior Manager of Supplier Diversity, is representing this key function within the region. We spoke to Jacinto to find out what is behind this approach, what is different to other supplier programs, and what key achievements in 2022 make him proud.

Jacinto, can you provide an overview of Yanfeng’s supplier diversity program? Why is it important?

Our supplier diversity program is part of our business model in North America, which includes a policy that diverse-owned businesses have equal opportunity to compete for contracts or subcontracts with Yanfeng.

We believe our program provides a competitive advantage for Yanfeng that contributes to the overall growth and expansion of our business. Our program is more than just purchasing goods and services from a minority business enterprise. We also assist in developing and strengthening diverse-owned businesses, through such initiatives as knowledge sharing. Some examples of this include providing cybersecurity training and mentoring support to diverse-owned companies.

In addition to Yanfeng’s established processes and the company’s participation in councils, industry events, networking, and development programs, the dedication of our leadership to mentor, partner, and advocate for supplier diversity has led to significant business opportunities for minority-/women-owned enterprises and supplier diversity professionals’ growth and program maturation.

Please highlight some key accomplishments of the program. What are you most proud of?

In 2022, we had several key accomplishments, including our spending with minority-owned business. Our spending accounted for 13% of total procurement dollars. We also received multiple accolades for our performance, including Corporation of the Year from the MMSDC 2022, and Supplier Diversity Excellence Award from the GLWBC. What I’m most proud of, however, is Yanfeng’s commitment – with leadership support – to including and growing our supplier pool with diverse-owned companies, which ultimately has an economic impact on disadvantaged communities.

What differentiates Yanfeng’s program from other suppliers?

There are multiple differentiators. Procurement has included supplier diversity in our KPIs, and all commodity managers and buyers have it in their goals that they must participate in at least one supplier diversity outreach/networking event per year. Supplier diversity also is included in our overall supplier scorecard.

We also established a tier-two program, which is a reporting process for our tier 1 suppliers, that encourages 5% of their spending to be sourced to diverse suppliers. We also are looking at ways to expand our supplier diversity program to outside of the US and Mexico. We are currently seeking to expand globally and are in the process of implementing the program in Germany.