By: Rod Robinson
The NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange is the nation’s premier forum on minority supplier development. For four days, thousands of corporate CEOs, procurement executives and supplier diversity professionals from leading global companies, as well as leading Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native American business owners and international organizations congregate to share best practices to better diversify corporate supply chains. The conference kicks off with a one-day Business Opportunity Exchange where nearly 800 exhibiting booths provide major corporations and minority business enterprises an ideal platform to showcase their products and services.
This year, ConnXus had the unique opportunity to pilot a next-generation supplier matchmaking tool that fosters quality connections between high-performing Tier 1 primes and diverse suppliers. The new cloud-based tool, ConnXSmart, acts as a host for a corporation’s preferred primes and diverse suppliers to meet in a private and secure, virtual meeting place. ConnXSmart facilitates a more diverse, and sustainable supply chain by opening more opportunities for Supplier Diversity further down the chain.
At the 2015 NMSDC annual conference, ConnXSmart facilitated 180 meetings between 68 P&G primes and diverse suppliers during the Business Opportunity Exchange. Needless to say, the P&G village (that’s right, the village not booth) was buzzing with activity all day from the valuable connections being made. I had the opportunity to speak with several participating companies and the feedback on the platform’s ease-of-use and quality of the connections made was extremely positive.
From P&G’s perspective, it’s about creating a user-friendly match-making platform to provide diverse suppliers with access to new growth opportunities. P&G is already at the Billion Dollar Roundtable and has been for some time, but this concept of intelligently connecting preferred Primes with high-performing diverse suppliers is P&G setting the stage to increase the number of billion dollar round table members.
Based on my observations, these connections led to conversations that will likely lead to contracts. I envision a day when that round table is too small and the Billion Dollar 100 will be most appropriate name for the Supplier Diversity World’s most prestigious membership organization.
Rod Robinson is the founder & CEO of Connxus, Inc. (www.ConnXus.com), a cloud-based supplier relationship management (SRM) platform that streamlines the management of corporate supplier diversity programs. Follow him on Twitter.