Why We Need to Develop Schemas in Supplier Diversity: Part 3

Using Schemas for Bringing in New Diverse Suppliers

| January 28, 2019 | By Veronica Cook-Euell, M.A., M.B.A., M.Ed, Supplier Diversity Program Manager at Kent State University

This is the third of a three-part installment in our blog series on the importance of developing your diverse suppliers.

Example 2: Let’s Do Business Together

Consider the most frequent request made to a purchasing department, not only from diverse suppliers, but from anyone looking to do business with an organization: how can I get on a bid list, or is there a supplier diversity database or program?

Buyers and end-users are also looking to be inclusive and want to be informed when new potential suppliers have been identified, as well as their capabilities and past experiences – a soft vetting. The good news is that you don’t have to have a fancy portal or a formal database to collect the same data and use it to connect and advocate for your diverse suppliers.

Consider this:

Schema #2 © Veronica Cook-Euell

All this information can be collected in a spreadsheet and organized so that this schema makes this process as simple as it appears above. Managing this process on a regular and consistent basis will ensure the effectiveness of the schema and that it meets the objectives for which it was designed.

Once this schema is put into practice, a search for suppliers that can provide a product or service in response to an upcoming RFP will be an easy task, and information can be shared with buyers in a timely manner. While not every supplier encounter will warrant an introductory meeting, having a schema in place will help to identify which ones should.

Why Do We Need to Develop Schemas in Supplier Diversity?

Think back to the principles of management listed in the first installment: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.

  • Planning allows us to set objectives and develop the means to attain these objectives;
  • Organizing allows us to provide a graphic representation or model of what has to take place and when;
  • Leading involves motivation, communication, and ensuring effectiveness while implementing the objectives; and
  • Controlling simply involves ensuring that performance does not deviate from the standards set.

Bottom line, it’s all streamlined when we develop schema. We need to do this so we can continue to make advances in this practice profession without exhausting our valuable bandwidth.

Please take a moment to share your favorite schema in supplier diversity.


This is the third of a three-part installment in our blog series on the importance of developing your diverse suppliers.
Read the other installments:

Part 1:  What is a Schema & What Does it Have to do with Managing a Supplier Diversity Program?
Part 2: Schema Example 1: A problem occurs


About the Author

Veronica Cook-Euell, M.A., M.B.A., M.Ed is the Supplier Diversity Program Manager for Kent State University, where she is responsible for developing strategies to increase minority business representation in securing contracts, driving supplier diversity initiatives, and serving as an advocate and a liaison for diverse suppliers. She can be reached at vcook3@kent.edu.

Learn more about E&I’s dedication to supplier diversity.


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