Digital Disruption at ConnXus: A More Diverse Marketplace

Though the concept of supplier diversity emerged in the 1960s, the private sector has only recently begun to pay attention.

An eye-catching report by the Hackett Group earlier this year revealed 99% of diverse suppliers met or exceeded expectations of large corporate buyers and brought unique business opportunities (1). This dispels the notion that pursuing diversity neglects strategy (a notion some executives still believe). After all, procurement should foster competition. Firms should look for suppliers with different backgrounds, as smaller, diverse suppliers are more flexible and innovative. In the US, ethnic minority businesses (EMBs) have a positive impact on the economy disproportionate to the procurement spend they receive, which is marginal at best (2, 3).

Thinking Beyond Numbers

Firms simply wanting to improve their image or comply with regulations are encouraged to think long-term and integrate supplier diversity with overall strategy. But this is easier said than done. Many firms still rely on simple metrics such as “Percent Spend with Diverse Suppliers”, which can’t assess the impact of supplier diversity on revenue or market share. In calculating this number, some firms even exclude large spend categories based on the idea that they are not realistic opportunities for diverse suppliers. Exclusion standards are not adopted across the market (4).

A New Era of Digital Solutions

To fully benefit from supplier diversity programs, firms need to find suppliers who can be valuable partners in their supply chain. This requires aggregating current and accurate supplier data (5). The Hackett Group recommends working with third party organizations to find diverse suppliers and collaborate on product innovation (1). This task has become easier due to new technology and e-procurement solutions. Among the digital disruptors are self-service tools, which optimize the procurement experience. Smart automation in processes that require data extraction, enrichment, and validation drive analytical insights. Cloud-based technology enables procurement activities; supplier discovery software has been found to reduce the time it takes to find and qualify new suppliers by up to 31% (6).

Our Innovative Solution

At the forefront of supplier technology, ConnXus has partnered with BuyerQuest to offer a one-of-a-kind marketplace for your supplier diversity needs. Our platform will include pre-vetted, diverse suppliers with a wide variety of filterable products and catalogs. The Diverse Marketplace enables a flexible and responsive solution that allows buyers to source, compare, and purchase products from diverse suppliers to create an inclusive supply chain.

While this might feel daunting for a time-consumed startup with little to no e-commerce experience, rest be assured that all suppliers, startup through medium supply vendors, will quickly master the intuitive catalog upload, management and selling process. ConnXus is simplifying the digital product purchasing and e-commerce experience for all types and sizes of diverse supplies.

The Diverse Marketplace is an open ecommerce storefront that includes various products and goods, and integrates with current ERP/SRM systems, fitting right in with your procurement processes. Buyers will be able to filter vetted suppliers in a number of ways. The Diverse Marketplace will go into beta testing in quarter two of 2018 with a full release later in 2018. To watch a demo of what the Diverse Marketplace will look like, please click here.