Supplier Diversity

E&I is committed to developing a world class Supplier Diversity Program which reflects the diversity commitments of our members and the multicultural communities in which they serve. We recognize the importance of diverse suppliers and are committed to ensuring that diversity is an integral part of our sourcing and procurement processes.

Diverse Supplier Solutions

Our competitive solicitation process is designed to provide “best value” contracts for members. We’ve added processes to maximize subcontracting opportunities with certified diverse businesses by including a minimum of one diverse supplier in all new sourcing events (when applicable).

E&I develops solutions that exceed the growing demands of our members whose goal is to increase the amount of goods and services sourced from certified diverse businesses.

To address regional focuses of our members, we are constantly expanding the number of direct (Tier 1) supplier relationships with certified diverse businesses across the country.

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Supplier Diversity

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Partners with
Diverse Solutions

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Tier 1
Diverse Suppliers

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Diversity Supplier

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Easily find diverse suppliers with this guide that includes:

  • state procurement office websites
  • suggested diverse supplier preferences
  • advocacy agencies
  • diverse supplier certifications
  • recommended directories, if available

This guide is especially helpful if you’re navigating negotiated contracts, and includes:

  • state procurement office websites
  • small dollar quote thresholds
  • formal solicitation thresholds
  • procurement code references

You can play an integral role in developing new and innovative ways to meet the needs of our members.

We are committed to maximizing diverse supplier participation by developing mutually beneficial business relationships to strengthen our diverse communities.

Supplier Diversity Policy

It is the policy of E&I Cooperative Services that diverse businesses shall have an equal opportunity to compete for E&I contracts/or subcontracts. The purchase of goods and services shall be fully made from such businesses, consistent with this policy and the efficient performance of E&I’s operations. In addition, E&I will assist in developing and strengthening diverse companies.

This policy supports E&I members’ expectations to create a platform of contracts that provide solutions to increase diverse supplier participation and provide economic growth in the markets we serve.

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Partners with Diverse Solutions

E&I also has relationships with suppliers who are able to offer diverse spending solutions as a part of their product and/or service offering, sometimes referred to as Tier 2 suppliers.

Tier 2 Contracts

Diverse Supplier Classifications &  Advocacy Organizations

Certification by a third-party verification agency is required to participate in E&I’s Supplier Diversity Program. We recognize certifications from trusted advocacy organizations in support of our supplier diversity efforts, and also support numerous regional affiliate councils and local community organizations throughout the country that align with our member institutions.

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Supplier Diversity Member Toolkit

Enhance your institution’s supplier diversity program with our comprehensive toolkit. Each toolkit starts with a consultation with E&I’s Executive Director of Supplier Diversity, who will provide actionable insights based on industry best practices and the stages of your supplier diversity journey. From digital assessments and planning tools to economic impact reporting, our toolkit delivers tailored solutions to help you drive inclusive procurement practices.

E&I is continuously developing solutions that support the holistic value creation of supplier diversity. The current toolkit offerings include:

  • Digital Assessment & Planning Tool: evaluate the maturity level of your supplier diversity program and obtain strategic recommendations on best practices needed for program advancement.
  • Data Enrichment Services: access matches from national databases (city, state, local govt and private, etc.) to identify and flag diverse suppliers within your accounts payable system.
  • Supplier Diversity Tracking: track payments issued to diverse suppliers identified during the data enrichment process (establish reporting cadence of monthly, semi-annual, annually).
  • Tier 2 Reporting Module: create an online method to capture diverse supplier spending from prime suppliers.
  • Supplier Registration: create an online process to collect capabilities information (digital profiles) from diverse suppliers interested in doing business with your institution.
  • Diverse Supplier Directory: utilize nationwide data directories to identify diverse suppliers tailored to your institution’s specific needs.
  • Industry Benchmarking: research historical trends and industry-specific data needed for program success.
  • Economic Impact Reporting: measure the economic impact associated with spending with diverse suppliers in local communities in terms of job creation, wages paid, and increases in tax revenue.
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Cooperatively Speaking

Tune into the latest episodes of our podcast covering important diversity topics.

Supplier Diversity Leadership Series Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4 featuring Reggie Williams, CEO of Procurement Resources, Inc., Ralph G. Moore, Founder and President of RGMA, and Reginald Layton, Former Vice President, Supplier Diversity & Supply Chain Sustainability at Johnson Controls International Plc.

Stakeholder Capitalism & What it Means to Have a True Supplier Diversity Program

Get the history of supplier diversity, including stakeholder capitalism, investing back into your community, the numbers behind why it’s important, and what it truly means to have a real supplier diversity program.

Supplier Diversity is an Investment into the Future of Your Community

We cover what supplier diversity really means, best practices for growing your program with real-life examples, and why it’s critical to include diverse suppliers in your purchasing processes.

Join us for a deep dive into the historical context of supplier diversity, exploring its profound impact on local communities and the economy.

Discover how this practice extends beyond business, shaping a landscape that fosters inclusivity and community development.

From Supplier Diversity to Sustainability: Growing Trends to Maximize Supply Chain 

Learn how to implement supplier diversity best practices, understand its benefits for educational institutions, and explore the alignment between supplier diversity and sustainability for a stronger supply chain.

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