Kellogg Company is a recognized leader in Diversity & Inclusion, and that extends to its Procurement function and Supplier Diversity. Kellogg's Vice President, Indirect Procurement, Tracy Joshua offers some insights into the company’s success strategies.
By Valerie Gomez
Kellogg Company is one of the world's most recognized food companies with a brand portfolio including Pringles, Eggo and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. The company is also recognized for embracing Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) and integrating those core values across its business operations. Kellogg summarizes those efforts simply by stating, “Diversity strengthens us. Inclusion advances us.”
Tracy Joshua, Kellogg’s Vice President, Indirect Procurement and a W.K. Kellogg Values Award winner for Diversity and Inclusion – the company’s highest honor – offers her firsthand experience with Kellogg’s best-in-class Procurement organization which embraces Diversity and Inclusion and Supplier Diversity to help drive growth.
A Focus on Networking
Tracy Joshua, a proud native of Detroit, joined Kellogg in 2014. A leader who is making a difference in Diversity and Inclusion, she has always been on the cutting edge and paving the way in her personal and professional life. Tracy earned a Bachelor's degree in business from Michigan State University with a focus on Supply Chain Management, a Master of Science in Engineering and Global Supply Chain from Georgia Tech, and a Doctor of Management, Executive Leadership from Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration. With experience ranging from the automotive and pharmaceutical industries, to the Detroit Turnaround team at the Detroit Public Schools system, Tracy is currently a leader in the Procurement organization at Kellogg.
When Tracy joined Kellogg, she brought her credentials, knowledge and experience, as well as a passion for D&I to her role. As an Indirect Procurement leader, a first step for Tracy was to focus on Supplier Diversity as a key initiative.
Tracy’s broad multi-disciplinary experience allows her to offer insights and best practices, which contribute to Kellogg's success. Some Supplier Diversity wins for Kellogg include facilitating opportunities for networking, such as the Annual B2B Summit to bring businesses and potential suppliers together to promote future partnerships. Kellogg is also a founding sponsor of the National Veteran Business Development Council, which certifies veteran-owned businesses and encourages leaders to sit on Supplier Diversity Boards. And, Kellogg’s Global Chief Procurement Officer Shelly Van Treeck is a WBENC board member.
Developing a strong, diverse supply chain that drives operational excellence and innovation is a major competitive strategy. Procurement is always striving to identify suppliers that deliver quality goods and services on time and every time to ensure Kellogg's manufacturing and administrative locations always have what is needed to maintain quality and meet production schedules. "Metrics and KPIs are tools used to ensure accountability," says Tracy. She further explains that, "Innovation, for me, is partnering with key suppliers to solve today's problems and to develop solutions for five years down the road, with a heavy focus on technology as one tool."
Developing a Best-In-Class Procurement Program
Kellogg has developed a best-in-class Procurement function by developing an operating model that focuses on a best-in-class structure around people, process, governance, technology and performance. "Some of the key features," explains Tracy, "are end-to-end control of the Procure to Pay process through buying channel compliance, stringent performance metrics, continuous improvement processes that include people and supplier capabilities, utilization of advanced technology, and automation of operations where possible."
Any discussion on Kellogg's success in Procurement and Supplier Diversity always leads to discussion on networking and collaboration as a key. The company has a robust "Supplier Relationship Management Program" which brings suppliers and stakeholders together on a periodic basis to drive value through the supply chain.
Reflecting the Communities Served
Key performance metrics are an important element of the Procurement organization including Supplier Diversity. The metrics include tracking spend, but the focus is on developing a supplier base that reflects Kellogg's consumers, employees and the communities where the company serves. Tracy explains, "Our goal is to be the benchmark to not only the food industry, but across all industries."
Procurement works with selected suppliers to help them build capacity. In time, I have seen suppliers transition and become successful Tier 1 suppliers after being Tier 2.
Kellogg meets and overcomes the challenges, and it does so with the support of knowledgeable and passionate leaders like Tracy Joshua, who help Kellogg live its founder’s values, and advance important initiatives like Diversity and Inclusion in its business, sourcing and procurement.