Some people question why supplier diversity efforts fail to meet goals with certain groups, such as African Americans or Hispanic American suppliers. BNY Mellon did not just question. The financial giant took action to increase spend with targeted diverse suppliers by implementing a Fast-Track Initiative.
BNY Mellon has a vibrant diverse supply chain, which explains the statement on its website that, “We are invested in the ambition, ingenuity and perspectives of diverse entrepreneurs.” The company is always working to tap into the innovation and unique perspectives of diverse suppliers as a competitive strategy. Constantly striving to grow diversity at multiple tiers (and with great success), the company never stops working to embrace all groups of diverse suppliers.
Gladys Lopez, Global Head of Supplier Diversity, Global Supply Chain Management, BNY Mellon leads the effort, and the most recent innovative effort is the Fast-Track Mentoring Program. Launched at the end of July 2021, it is focused on increasing spend with current and prospective diverse suppliers in groups with lagging spend compared to other diverse groups in the Supplier Diversity Program. The current focus is on African American and Hispanic American owned firms. This targeted approach is designed to attract, advocate for, and coach qualified diverse suppliers to ensure representation of these groups is aligned with other groups.
Bringing Diverse Suppliers and Internal BNY Mellon Colleagues Together
One of the first points Gladys makes is that the Fast-Track Initiative does not cut corners when it comes to meeting the supplier program criteria. BNY Mellon has a rigorous vetting process applied to all suppliers, that can be intimidating to those who have not previously attempted doing business with a mega-corporation. Suppliers must meet the quality and operational criteria and show a strong track record of working within the financial industry. One of the challenges diverse suppliers face, however, is navigating the BNY Mellon supplier vetting process. “Through this initiative,” explains Gladys, “we will provide suppliers high-touch advocacy, coaching, and opportunities to present to and have interaction with key BNY Mellon colleagues.”
Creating an environment for the growth of African American and Hispanic American suppliers begins with identifying the procurement opportunities within BNY Mellon. By identifying them, Gladys’ team can then identify the suppliers who are most likely to meet the requirements and fulfill the procurement needs. An announcement is made to let suppliers know the procurement opportunities are available for bidding. Outreaching to diverse suppliers is a key step in attracting qualified diverse suppliers.
Suppliers are offered not only visibility to the procurement opportunity but also to other lines of business, meaning a specific procurement opportunity can grow into multiple ones. Facilitating networking opportunities between suppliers and internal decision-makers benefits both the suppliers and buyers and gives suppliers a chance to begin relationship building. There are many opportunities at BNY Mellon, and it is a matter of attracting the right diverse suppliers. Gladys explains, “Some of the category spend areas in which we would like to see more diverse participation include General Contractor services for construction projects in various US geographic regions, asset managers, dealer/brokers, and law firms.” If you are a supplier offering services within these categories, Gladys encourages you to contact the Supplier Diversity team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Measuring Success of the Fast-Track
Though a fairly new initiative, the Fast-Track Initiative is also a well-defined one. Adhering to the philosophy that what gets measured is what gets done, there are numerous metrics used to ensure the Fast-Track Initiative stays aligned to its mission. Of course, the increase in spend year-over-year is one measure, but there are many more that drill down to measuring effort and outcomes.
For example, one measure is the number of connections, meetings, and introductions made between suppliers and BNY Mellon key personnel. Measures also include the number of new diverse suppliers added to the supply chain, and the number of current diverse suppliers who get renewals and/or additional contracts.
“We also track the number of suppliers who establish new relationships and contracts with other financial institutions,” says Gladys. This demonstrates BNY Mellon’s commitment to the success of diverse suppliers. The Fast-Track Initiative strives to assist diverse suppliers with doing business with BNY Mellon but is really focused on helping diverse suppliers succeed, even if it means the supplier does business with other financial services companies. This is a powerful commitment to social equity.
Impacting Local Communities
The goal of the BNY Mellon Supplier Diversity Program is to develop a supply chain that reflects both diverse employees and the communities where the company does business. Gladys and her team celebrate the success of any diverse supplier that enters the company’s supply chain (or the supply chain of another financial services company), especially if the supplier succeeded through the support and services provided through the Fast-Track Initiative.
BNY Mellon’s Fast-Track Initiative has a goal of ensuring that historically underutilized and underrepresented groups have market access and a fair opportunity to participate in the supply chain. Gladys says, “We understand there is an economic impact effect. We do not currently track this metric, but we plan to begin to track early next year.”
The BNY Mellon Supplier Diversity Program, including the Fast-Track Initiative, plays a critical role in helping BNY Mellon achieve its business objectives. Diverse suppliers have become integral to the company’s ability to remain efficient and innovative. Gladys and her team work tirelessly to ensure the diverse suppliers are a good fit for the supplier’s business and BNY Mellon, and it is a big job. As of Sept. 30, 2021, BNY Mellon had $45.3 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $2.3 trillion in assets under management. The global financial services firm has approximately 48,900 employees globally. So, supplier diversity liaison Gladys is talking about a major effort when she says she works to connect diverse suppliers to internal decision-makers. It is this kind of effort that can bring real measurable change in underserved and underrepresented communities.
ABOUT BNY MELLON
BNY Mellon is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations or individual investors, BNY Mellon delivers informed investment and wealth management and investment services in 35 countries. As of Sept. 30, 2021, BNY Mellon had $45.3 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $2.3 trillion in assets under management. BNY Mellon can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, hold, manage, service, distribute or restructure investments. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available on www.bnymellon.com. Follow us on Twitter
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