Biopharma Giant Achieves Five-Year Goal To Spend $1 Billion With Diverse Suppliers Three Years Before Expected
Entrepreneurship

Biopharma Giant Achieves Five-Year Goal To Spend $1 Billion With Diverse Suppliers Three Years Before Expected

Panelists at the 2022 NMSDC Minority Business Economic Forum (far left) Shelley Stewart, Billion Dollar Roundtable Chair, (immediate right) Cheryl Harris, Allstate CPO, (next right) Farryn Melton, BMS CPO, and (far right) Dr. Randal Pinkett, BCT Partners CEO. They are discussing the value of supplier diversity programs. Photo provided by Bristol Meyers Squibb.
Biopharmaceutical giant Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) has reached its goal of spending $1 billion globally with diverse-owned businesses three years earlier than planned.

The spending comes after BMS announced in 2020 it would pay out that amount with Black and other diverse businesses to create jobs and produce a positive economic impact in such communities by 2025. The company reported the goal was reached based on 2022 spending results.

The company disclosed businesses that benefited from its diversity pledge, including Black-owned firms like food service supplier Sodexo Magic, business management consulting firm BCT Partners, and The ACT 1 Group. That global enterprise offers employment, workforce management, and procurement solutions among its services to various industries. It is No. 2 on the latest BE 100s list of the nation’s largest Black businesses.

BMS called reaching its vow ahead of schedule a significant milestone for its ongoing global diversity program launched over 25 years ago. BMS indicated that it could not disclose Black supplier diversity funding numbers at this time. BMS has other minority-owned firms as suppliers as well.

Major companies connecting with diverse suppliers can be a massive plus for those firms by helping them scale up their businesses, boost their revenue and business relationships, and potentially help them become top suppliers to the Fortune 500.

“From our internal perspective, we believe contracting with diverse suppliers, in general, amplifies their credibility and visibility in the marketplace among large corporations,” says Rondu Vincent, executive director of supplier diversity and sustainability at BMS.

He added, “It also is an opportunity to help the firms grow capabilities and build capacity. We know first-hand that these three firms pay it forward through subcontracting with other diverse/small businesses and their own hiring of diverse talent.”

So, with its commitment being met, what is next for BMS on the diversity procurement front?

Vincent says the firm will continue to broaden the scope of its global supplier diversity program to include international contracting opportunities based on market readiness. And BMS will intentionally maximize inclusion and sponsor development opportunities and programs to help diverse suppliers grow capabilities and build capacity to compete for its business and for business across peer companies.

He added the company would continue to evolve its business practices and identify pathways that eliminate systemic barriers for diverse suppliers, build strategic alliances, and support new and emerging programs to complement BMS’ program efforts and investments.

Vincent noted BMS deliberately sponsors programs that focus on Black and Brown-owned companies, such as the Women of Color initiative with Women’s Business, Enterprise National Council; the Advanced Manage Education and the Emerging Young Entrepreneurs program with the National Minority Supplier Development Council; and the Communities of Color Initiative with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce among them.

“The benefits of working with a diverse supply chain go beyond tracking spend—there are notable impacts that drive economic empowerment for underrepresented communities, including job creation, income, wage generation, and tax revenue.”

Moreover, Vincent pointed out that many factors were instrumental in helping BMS reach its accelerated diverse spending achievement, including a strong commitment from leadership.

So, what should Black-owned firms aiming to develop or expand a supplier diversity relationship with BMS do? Vincent explained an important first step is visiting its site to see how BMS buys and procures. “We want to build relationships with potential partners and encourage suppliers to connect with us at conferences and events to discuss their capabilities and capacity.”

 Learn more about BMS diversity supplier-related goals, actions, and health equity commitments here.

 


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