Dell Named Number One Corporation in America for Providing Multicultural Business Opportunities recently announced the top 50 organizations for multicultural business opportunities and Dell topped the list.  This is a great honor.  Over 600,000 women and minority owned businesses were solicited in an online election to determine the top organizations, so this recognition demonstrates the fruits of our labor.  The procurement team and our business partners have worked diligently to advance supplier diversity and the inclusion of diverse suppliers in our procurement process and this award validates our leadership in creatively integrating those suppliers into our supply chain.  I appreciate their passion and tenacity and congratulate them on this prestigious award.

Supplier Diversity and diverse supplier development is an important focus for Dell.  It enables us to meet and exceed our customer’s diversity business requirements and supports approximately $12 billion in revenue while providing a competitive advantage by providing a network of suppliers for account retention and acquisition.  Our Supplier Diversity program activities also translate into loyal brand advocates in our strategic marketing segments.  Developing diverse suppliers also creates a strong community value proposition.  As we grow our diverse supply chain, share best practices and mentor, our suppliers in turn contribute to the enhancement of economic and social sustainability within their communities.

Over the past decade, the number of small businesses, including woman and minority owned businesses, operating in the United States has grown from nine million to over 24 million. Additionally,  minority owned businesses have grown at approximately twice the rate of other companies, generating over $205 billion dollars in annual sales.   Diverse suppliers help us better understand market trends, and the needs of our customers.  In many respects, they are the voice of our customers and provide us with insights and innovative ideas

The relationship between diverse suppliers and corporations is synergistic at best.  In the last 18 years, large corporations have significantly increased their business transactions with diverse suppliers.  The National Minority Supplier Development Council reported that corporate spend with minority businesses has grown from $86 million of goods and services to over $100 billion.  Many organizations, including Dell, have also implemented and deployed mentoring programs, best practice sharing and networking initiatives to help grow and develop supplier businesses.

This award is indeed a great recognition for our supplier diversity work and we will continue to pursue excellence in this arena.  I challenge all my colleagues and industry partners to look for innovative ways to include diverse suppliers in their procurement strategy and to understand and educate others on the rewards of diverse supplier relationships.

About the Author: Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown is a global supply chain executive with three decades of leadership in operations, technology, and procurement. Throughout his professional career he has focused on strategic and transformative initiatives, innovations and partnerships to increase efficiencies, savings, and effectiveness. As executive vice president of Global Operations and Chief Supply Chain Officer for Dell Technologies, a Fortune 50 corporation, Kevin leads an organization of approximately 7700 team members in 23 countries and a procurement budget of $67 billion. During his two decades at Dell, Kevin has occupied leadership positions in several of Dell’s business units, including Chief Procurement Officer, and earlier positions setting up lean manufacturing organizations in the U.S and Malaysia. Before Dell, he spent 10 years in the shipbuilding industry, working on U.S. Department of Defense projects. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an M.S. in Engineering Management from George Washington University. Kevin was selected as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations where he serves on the National Committee. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and a member of the Executive Leadership Council.