Ford Motor Company recently received the Corporation of the Year award from the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC), where the automaker was recognized “for its excellence and commitment to working with and helping to develop and mentor minority business enterprises”. This marks the fourth year in a row that Ford has been honored as Corporation of the Year. In addition to the corporate recognition, Ford’s director of Supplier Diversity Development program Traci Preston was honored for individual achievements in supplier diversity.
These numbers put Ford’s effort into perspective: in 2012, The Blue Oval exceeded its sourcing goals by purchasing $5.7 billion in goods and services from minority-owned suppliers and $1.2 billion in goods and services from women-owned suppliers. In addition, Ford’s Tier 1 suppliers sourced $2.1 billion with Tier 2 minority- and women-owned companies last year.
“This win clearly underscores the company’s ongoing commitment to develop and grow its minority- and women-owned suppliers,” said Hau Thai-Tang, group vice president, global purchasing, Ford Motor Company. “As a company, it’s critical we continue to integrate supplier diversity into our sourcing process so that we remain highly competitive, innovative and sustainable.”
In recognition for her individual accomplishments, Ms. Preston received the Jethro Joseph Advocate of the Year award, which is presented annually to an individual who is not a buyer, but “still symbolizes through his or her actions the spirit and intent of supplier diversity in minority economic development”.
“Ford Motor Company continues to be a leader when it comes to minority- and women-owned businesses,” said Louis Green, CEO, MMSDC. “Ford’s dedication and commitment to develop and maintain a diverse supplier base was established decades ago and will continue for decades to come.”
Now in its 35th year, Ford’s Supplier Development Diversity program was initially established to deliver support to minority- and women-owned businesses to create business opportunities for diverse suppliers to grow into profitable enterprises, and to further strengthen a Ford supplier network base that reflects the company’s work force and customer base. Since 1978, Ford has spent $67 billion with over 400 minority suppliers.
The reasoning behind Ford’s efforts to work with minority- and women-owned firms is explained by Burt Jordan, vice president, Ford global vehicle and powertrain purchasing and supplier diversity.
“Because we live in a diverse world, it’s imperative we team up with the very best minority- and women-owned companies that reflect society’s landscape,” said Jordan. “Our diverse supplier base allows us to deliver great and innovative products and services that our customers around the world want and deserve.”
MMSDC’s Corporation of the Year award honors companies that actively include certified minority suppliers in their procurement opportunities. These firms assist in the development of minority suppliers, promote supplier diversity within their organizations, and encourage other vendors and business partners to take an interest in supplier diversity, too.
Specifically as it relates to the automotive OEM category, the winner of the Corporation of the Year award must distinguish itself in a very competitive field. Criteria used by the selection committee includes minority spend, mentoring, minority supplier development and other services that create sustainable growth of minority business enterprises.