A WBENC-Certified woman-owned business, M. Davis & Sons, Inc. is a champion of supplier diversity and a leader in reshaping the landscape of their industry. At the heart of their success lies the unwavering commitment to diversification, a journey significantly influenced by the visionary leadership of Peggy Del Fabbro, CEO of M. Davis, WBENC Forum Board Chair and 2024 WBENC National Conference Co-Chair, and their active participation in the WBENC network.
This article delves into the origins, development, and profound impact of M. Davis & Sons’ own supplier diversity program, a testament to the power of inclusive business practices in fostering a more equitable and innovative industrial environment. All WBEs can take inspiration from M. Davis’ commitment to enhancing supplier diversity within their own operations.
Over the past decade, our commitment to supplier diversity has enhanced our business operations. This article explores the journey of our supplier diversity program, highlighting its growth, impact, and the reasons behind launching our initiative.
Back in 2014, we recognized the need to create a more diverse and equitable supply chain. The decision to establish our supplier diversity program was fueled by the belief that we could make a meaningful impact. By taking ownership of our commitment to diversity, we could tailor our initiatives to align with our values, strategic goals, and the specific needs of our industry. This realization came from our high level of engagement in the WBENC network through our RPO, the Women’s Enterprise Forum and as a Host Committee member for the 2014 WBENC National Conference and Business Fair in Philadelphia.
Once we decided to formalize our program, we took the following steps:
- Executive support: Beyond myself as CEO, educating our executive team at M. Davis played an important role.
- Who: There must be a person spearheading this initiative, so Christina MacMillan, who was already on our executive team, added Manager of Supplier Diversity to her title and responsibilities.
- Measurement: Our Accounts Payable system was able to handle the data and by getting accounting involved, we were able to measure our program across multiple diversity categories. We’ve also used the WBEC East Done Deals award application each year as a scorecard for our data so we can stop and see how we’re doing.
As the program matured, so did its impact. The inclusion of diverse suppliers led to a broader range of perspectives, ideas, and solutions. Over the years, the program has grown exponentially, not just in numbers but in the richness it brings to our business relationships. Our diverse suppliers have brought unique perspectives and creative solutions to the table, spurring innovation within our products, services, and processes. The collaboration has proven that a diverse supply chain is a source of competitive advantage.
In conclusion, our journey over the past ten years exemplifies the power of supplier diversity in reshaping industries and fostering a more inclusive economy. The value derived from working with diverse suppliers is not merely a checkbox but a strategic imperative that enhances our competitiveness and contributes to a more equitable business ecosystem.