Philadelphia Gas Works Launches New Portal to Support Improved Utilization of Diverse Suppliers and Small Businesses

New system will lead to improved reporting and transparency around contracts with Minority-, Women- and Disabled-owned businesses

PHILADELPHIA--Philadelphia Gas Works’ (PGW) new, online, Supplier Diversity Management System is now live. The new system improves PGW’s ability to monitor and audit the quantity of work performed by contractors and sub-contractors, and will help track how much of the company’s future contracting goes to diverse vendors. In 2017, PGW spent $12.7 million of total contract opportunities with Minority-, Women-, Veteran- and Disabled-owned (MWVD) businesses, a number PGW is committed to increasing.

“PGW is committed to promoting equality in its contracting and purchasing activities, and this new Supplier Diversity Management System is part of that,” said Erica Patterson, Director of Contracts Management & Supplier Diversity. “We recognize that we have a significant impact on the local economy. That being the case, we have a responsibility to ensure that disadvantaged businesses, including those that are local, have the opportunity to compete for, and take advantage of, the economic opportunities we offer.”

The new system’s automated compliance features allow PGW to track contractor performance against diversity participation contract goals and to verify the activities and participation levels of MWVD sub-contractors. Many of these businesses are smaller, and it can be harder for them to secure contracts themselves for certain types of work. Sub-contracting is a great way for these small MWVD vendors to access procurement opportunities that they could not fulfill on their own. PGW’s Supplier Diversity Management System verifies that these sub-contractors are being properly utilized, and that prime contractors are fulfilling the terms, and accruing the benefits, of the procurement opportunities.

“Supporting small businesses in our community doesn’t stop at awarding a contract,” Patterson said. “We know that 78.5 percent of American businesses have fewer than 10 employees, which means that contract management and administration can be a real burden for them, and can act as a disincentive to businesses which might otherwise compete for projects. This Supplier Diversity Management System allows vendors to focus on the work and makes contract communication, compliance tracking and reporting straight-forward, accessible and efficient.”

Powered by diversity management software company B2GNow, the new cloud-based system will improve PGW’s contractor management process, and its user friendly interface means that vendors can spend more time and energy on their own operations, and less on reporting. Vendors can log in and submit their utilization reports, and PGW can track contract goals and participation, verify sub-contractor payments, set up automated compliance communications and customize reporting.

“We are dedicated to growing and sustaining an environment where diversity is valued, and our vendors represent the community we serve,” said Patterson.