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Supplier Diversity Reporting: A Comprehensive Guide

Leanne Strickler
Published June 29, 2024

Did you know that diverse teams outperform individuals when it comes to decision-making 66% of the time? And the positive impact only increases as teams become more diverse. 

Despite the fact that diverse teams are often more innovative and collaborative, many organizations struggle with their supplier diversity programs — especially when it comes to reporting. 

The challenge starts with gathering accurate and consistent data from various sources and extends to effectively engaging diverse suppliers. Ensuring compliance with regulatory standards and reflecting the true diversity of the supplier base adds another layer of complexity. 

This comprehensive guide will address these challenges, providing actionable insights to enhance your supplier diversity reporting efforts.

Key Takeaways

Working with diverse suppliers creates a host of benefits, including increased innovation, access to new markets, improved cost-efficiency, and more. 
Diversity reporting is an often complex process that requires access to centralized information, careful attention to details, and a high level of collaboration with vendors. 
SupplierGateway is a comprehensive supplier diversity management software designed to streamline your diversity program workflows and create transparency across your organization. 

What is Supplier Diversity Reporting?

Supplier diversity reporting is the process of collecting, analyzing, and presenting data regarding a company’s engagement with diverse suppliers. These suppliers are typically categorized based on characteristics such as minority ownership, women ownership, veteran ownership, LGBTQ+ ownership, and other underrepresented groups. 

The primary goal is to provide transparency, track progress, and demonstrate commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive supplier base. Key metrics and data points typically tracked in supplier diversity reports include:

  • Spend with Diverse Suppliers: The total expenditure on goods and services procured from diverse suppliers.
  • Number of Diverse Suppliers: The count of distinct diverse suppliers engaged by the organization.
  • Categories of Diversity: The classification of suppliers based on diversity categories.
  • Percentage of Total Spend: The proportion of total procurement spend attributed to diverse suppliers.
  • Year-Over-Year Growth: The change in spend with diverse suppliers compared to previous years.
  • Supplier Certification Status: Verification of suppliers’ diversity status through third-party certifications.

Different formats of reports serve varying purposes. Internal reports, designed for stakeholders such as executives and procurement teams, provide detailed data and analysis to support strategic decision-making, monitor progress, and identify areas for improvement. External reports, intended for audiences like shareholders and customers, highlight the organization’s commitment to supplier diversity, showcase achievements, and provide transparency. 

Standardized reports follow a consistent format and set of metrics, making it easier to compare performance over time and against industry standards, useful for benchmarking and compliance. Customized reports, on the other hand, focus on specific metrics, regions, or categories of diversity, offering a more granular view of performance and addressing unique stakeholder requirements or strategic objectives. 

Why Supplier Diversity Reporting Matters

Vendor diversity reporting not only showcases a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion but also positively impacts your organization with:

  • Increased Innovation: Diverse suppliers bring fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to the table, fostering creativity and a competitive edge.
  • Greater Resilience: A diverse supplier base strengthens supply chain resilience by reducing reliance on a few suppliers, thereby mitigating risks.
  • Larger Community Impact: Supporting diverse suppliers contributes to economic growth and empowerment in underserved communities, promoting social equity.
  • Improved Cost Efficiency: Engaging with diverse suppliers can lead to cost savings through competitive pricing and enhanced service quality.
  • Expanded Market Access: Partnering with diverse suppliers opens doors to new markets and customer segments, expanding business opportunities.
  • Elevated Brand Reputation: Demonstrating a commitment to supplier diversity enhances brand reputation and attractiveness to diverse talent and customers.

Supplier diversity spend reports are essential for transparency and accountability. It provides stakeholders with a clear view of how an organization engages with diverse suppliers, ensuring transparency in business practices. It also helps track progress towards diversity goals, identifying areas for improvement and ensuring continuous advancement. 

There’s a growing demand from stakeholders and investors for robust diversity data, reflecting a broader societal expectation for corporate accountability and commitment to diversity and inclusion. By taking the time and appropriate steps to find diverse suppliers, organizations not only meet these expectations but also strengthen their competitive position in the marketplace.

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Common Challenges & Mistakes in Supplier Diversity Reporting

A supplier diversity program, while beneficial, comes with its share of challenges and pitfalls. Organizations often encounter several common challenges and mistakes.

Data Collection and Management

Gathering accurate and consistent data about diversity spend from various sources can be complex and time-consuming. Organizations may struggle with integrating data from disparate systems or ensuring completeness and accuracy in reporting.

Easy-to-usSupplierGateway’s Tier-2 Diversity Spend Dashboard.e supplier sourcing dashboard.

Gather, store, and easily access all supplier data, whether it’s for Tier-1 or Tier-2 suppliers, in one intuitive platform. Quickly glean year-to-date diversity spend information across all diversity categories, compare data against past results, and get a glimpse into future estimates to support decision-making. 

Supplier Engagement and Participation

Encouraging suppliers to participate actively in diversity programs can be challenging. Some suppliers may face barriers such as capacity constraints or lack of awareness about diversity opportunities.

Ensuring Accuracy and Compliance

Meeting regulatory requirements and accurately reflecting the diversity of the supplier base pose significant challenges. Errors in reporting diversity metrics or failure to verify supplier certifications can lead to compliance issues and undermine credibility.

A streaInvite suppliers to complete sustainability assessments in the Sustainability Reporting dashboard. mlined onboarding process.

With SupplierGateway’s Sustainability Reporting, you can invite suppliers to complete assessments, receive results in as little as three weeks, and access data any time to ensure certification compliance. Your diverse suppliers can complete assessments quickly and easily, removing any major barriers to supplier participation. 


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Tracking and Measuring Impact

Assessing the effectiveness and impact of supplier diversity initiatives over time can be difficult. Without robust metrics and tracking mechanisms, organizations may struggle to quantify the business benefits and societal impact of their diversity efforts.

SupplierGateway’s Economic Impact Results dashboard.

With SupplierGateway, you can easily track your diverse suppliers program’s impact with our Economic Impact Results dashboard. Get a quick snapshot of the total number of jobs supported, total compensation, and more, or deep dive into the numbers to gauge whether your diverse supplier program is meeting organizational goals. 

Reporting Transparency

Communicating supplier diversity efforts effectively to external stakeholders while maintaining transparency can be challenging. Balancing the need for detailed disclosure with confidentiality concerns or strategic considerations requires careful navigation.

Create a fully-customized supplier diversity report based on filter categories. 

SupplierGateway’s reporting tools allow for full customization based on your desired filters and categories. Whether you need an in-depth diversity spend report for internal stakeholders or an at-a-glance impact report for customers, you have full control over your reporting workflows. 

Streamline Your Supplier Diversity Reporting with SupplierGateway

SupplierGateway simplifies diverse supplier information collection and reporting with robust supplier diversity management software. In addition to our specific diversity tools and capabilities, you also get:

  • Comprehensive Supplier Management: Seamlessly manage every aspect of supplier relationships, from sourcing and onboarding suppliers to managing supplier diversity spend.
  • User-Friendly Dashboard: Simplified navigation with color-coded sustainability ratings, streamlined sourcing processes, and visual diversity spend analytics for effortless usability.
  • Vast Supplier Directory: Access a database of over 6 million diverse supplier profiles, making it simple to strengthen and expand your supply chain. 
  • Seamless API Integrations: Our platform effortlessly connects with all ERP and AP systems through robust API integrations.

SupplierGateway is your comprehensive solution to gather, track, and analyze spend data for diverse businesses.

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Learn how we can help you organize diversity data, boost transparency, and ensure compliance.