Supplier diversity is often a key element in an organization’s supply chain management and business acquisition strategies. We believe that organizations should have a firm business case for supplier diversity that demonstrates: the positive effect that supplier diversity will have on the bottom-line, effective methodologies to identify qualified diverse suppliers and to train these diverse suppliers to become successful, processes in place to ensure that diverse suppliers have an opportunity to compete for all appropriate business opportunities, and an appropriate tracking and reporting infrastructure.

The Barthwell Group Approach

The Barthwell Group develops creative methodologies to assist clients in developing the business case for supplier diversity, identifying suppliers, enhancing supplier performance through training, setting up internal infrastructure and processes to ensure maximum opportunity for diverse suppliers, and developing the tracking and reporting infrastructure. We work with our clients to develop the business case for supplier diversity. This includes assessing customer requirements, penalties and incentives, and identifying the types of suppliers that are most desired (e.g., small businesses, businesses owned by certain demographic groups – women, minorities, veterans, etc., and/or businesses which have specialized skillsets or which can offer their services in specific geographic areas). We help our clients define the qualifications and capabilities that suppliers must have. After a screening process, we assist our clients in developing relationships with high-potential suppliers. We assist organizations in training their suppliers to be more effective in the procurement process and in their performance. In addition, we assist our clients in developing the appropriate infrastructure to facilitate supplier diversity and properly tracking spend with diverse suppliers and report that spend to customers, government agencies, or others.

The Barthwell Group Solution for Supplier Diversity Strategy and Enhancement:

  • Understand the Client’s Supplier Diversity Goals
  • Conduct a Comprehensive Assessment of the Current Supplier Diversity Program
  • Develop a Customized Strategy to Enhance the Supplier Diversity Program
  • Design and Implement Supplier Identification and Training Sessions
  • Develop Tools to Measure Results

Case Studies

Enhancing a Fortune 500 Company’s Supplier Identification Process


A major division of a Fortune 500 company recognized the importance of supplier diversity and wanted to enhance its supplier identification process.

The Barthwell Group Solution

We developed the concept for and coordinated the implementation of two supplier identification events. For each event, we interfaced with the Client to determine the general requirements / capabilities for the potential suppliers and with organizations to identify local diverse suppliers. We then screened the universe of suppliers to identify those who had the potential to do business with our Client, and developed profiles of each potential supplier. In addition, we designed the concept for the forum between the suppliers and our Client, and coordinated and facilitated all elements of the forum (logistics, materials, food, etc.). We also arranged individual matchmaking of specific suppliers with members of our Client’s procurement team. As a result of these events, multiple contracts were issued and there were several strong leads. Also, our Client has used this model to enhance its internal supplier identification process.

Assessing a Fortune 500 Company’s Supplier Diversity Program


Fortune 500 company recognized that its key customers increasingly are emphasizing the importance of their prime contractors implementing substantive supplier diversity programs. The company wanted to assess its supplier diversity program to ensure that it is meeting the requirements of its key customers.

The Barthwell Group Solution

We conducted a preliminary assessment of our Client’s supplier diversity program by reviewing materials provided by our Client and publicly available information. In addition, we interfaced with both representatives of key customers and our Client’s supplier diversity liaisons and conducted independent research to identify supplier diversity requirements and penalties. Based on the information we gathered, we developed preliminary recommendations to enhance our Client’s supplier diversity program’s compliance with the requirements of its key customers.

Designing and Implementing a Virtual Training Session for a Fortune 500 Company’s Suppliers


A major division of a Fortune 500 company wanted to improve the ability of its small business suppliers to compete and perform effectively in its procurement process.

The Barthwell Group Solution

We developed the concept for and implemented a virtual training session for our Client’s small business suppliers. In order to develop the concept, we conducted interviews with procurement managers and suppliers to determine key challenges and shortcomings of small business suppliers and developed recommendations based on the feedback from the interviews. We then interfaced with our Client to develop the presentations for each training module, reviewed all training modules, and coordinated dry runs for the training session. In addition, we designed the program materials (invitation, agendas, evaluation forms, etc.), and contacted the suppliers to encourage attendance during the training session.

The virtual training program modules were presented over three days. Each module was recorded and made available to the suppliers who were unable to attend the live meeting. During the live sessions, suppliers were encouraged to ask questions through the live meeting tool, which were answered following each presentation. The program received extremely positive feedback from both the suppliers and the procurement executives who participated.