- Coupa Software has launched the Coupa Inclusion Initiative, an effort to more easily connect businesses with diverse and inclusive suppliers. The program includes a diverse supplier portal to facilitate buyer-supplier connections and increase spend on diverse vendors, a Wednesday press release announced.
- Coupa's new program offers diverse suppliers mentorship opportunities, and resources to strengthen and scale, as well as the publicly available portal that allows businesses to fulfill corporate procurement needs with fresh suppliers.
- Rod Robinson, vice president of supplier inclusion and sustainability at Coupa, named benefits of working with diverse suppliers such as ROI, lower operating costs, higher profits and increased access to innovation. "Now within the Coupa Business Spend Management Platform, every company can make diversity and inclusion a strategic part of the business, rather than an afterthought,” he said in an email.
This year's revolution for racial equity and social justice has given procurement managers the perfect opportunity to add historically underutilized businesses to their supply chains, realize long-term diversity, equity and inclusion goals, and encourage healthy competition to better ensure quality goods flow in at the right price and time. If organizations don't seize on the moment and pivot, they risk losing out as expectations for social consciousness increase.
"We’re experiencing a really poignant time for diversity right now and the spotlight on systemic racism has made diversity in the supply chain more important, and actionable, than ever before," Robinson said in an email. "Socially conscious individuals are seeking out organizations with diversity and inclusion initiatives at their core — without one, businesses may lose access to great talent as well as business opportunities."
Coupa is looking to help businesses become more diverse — in line with its mission to break down silos for businesses to spend smarter. Even when the number of some HUBs has increased, their share of the pie has struggled to grow proportionately.
But there is nearly $2 trillion transacted over the Coupa platform, according to a company blog video. And the company's new initiative aims to tap that network to redirect corporate spend to diverse suppliers.
In the wake of this year's pandemic, supply managers have leaned into establishing relationships with more diverse suppliers to prevent stoppages of goods. A PwC survey in April of U.S. CFOs and financial leaders listed "a need to develop additional and alternative sourcing options" as one of their top three priorities going forward.
Standalone diversity, equity and inclusion programs have struggled to make a significant impact on business supply chains, due to a lack of access to the right technology and information, said Robinson. Instead, they should be an integral part of procurement and supply chain managers’ daily roles. The Inclusion Initiative seeks to make the process actionable, moving diversity from mandate-driven to business strategy.
Coupa partnered on diversity and inclusion with Global Supplier Diversity Alliance, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, National Minority Supplier Development Council, Minority Supplier Development United Kingdom and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.
The American Red Cross has already signed up for the program to increase its "ability to find and incorporate inclusive suppliers into our supply chain, which helps us meet our diversity goals,” Tom Nash, the organization's chief procurement officer, said in the news release.
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