In 2013, Ford has exceeded the objective of its Supplier Diversity Development (SDD) Program, which is to source over 10 percent of its $50 billion U.S. purchasing budget with diverse suppliers on an annual basis. But there are a few more interesting elements to the SDD program that are worth noting.
Ford established its Supplier Diversity Development (SDD) program in 1978 to empower diverse communities, including women, minorities and veterans. The goal of the program is to help create wealth by fostering diversity across Ford’s supply chain, thereby prompting consideration of Ford products among those who do business with the company. Since its inception, the program has invested more than $70 billion with women, minority and veteran suppliers.
SDD currently works with over 400 suppliers, with over 25 of these companies having been Ford’s business partners for more than 20 years. The program also initiates partnerships with various community organizations, trade associations and business leaders to ensure that it continues to represent the interests of diverse businesses.
But the program goes deeper than Ford’s direct relationship with its suppliers, as the automaker encourages its suppliers to also support diverse businesses. The results speak for themselves: in 2013, Ford’s Tier-1 suppliers purchased more than $2.57 billion in goods and services from minority, women- and veteran-owned companies — an increase of 19 percent from 2012.
“For over 35 years, Ford has been committed to growing and strengthening its relationships with diverse suppliers,” said Carla Preston, Supplier Diversity Development director. “Through our Supplier Diversity Development program, we are contributing to the greater good, leading to new opportunities for economic expansion and job growth across Michigan, our nation and globally.”
The SDD program has been recognized by numerous national organizations for its supplier diversity efforts including:
- 1988, 1998, 2001, 2012 National Minority Supplier Development Council Corporation of the Year
- 2010 DiversityInc magazine Top 10 Best Companies for Supplier Diversity
- 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council Corporation of the Year
- 2010 and 2013 Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce Corporation of the Year
- 2011, 2012, 2013 United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Million Dollar Club
- 2011, 2012, 2013 Women’s Business Enterprise National Council America’s Top Corporation
The Motrolix Take
SDD is a great initiative for Ford, and should be looked at by other automakers as well, simple because diversity is a powerful ingredient: not only does it recruit consideration of Ford vehicles among more consumers, but it also brings more diversity (and therefore, more varying approaches, ponts of view, and opinions for a better end result) to Ford’s suppliers, along with the supplier base of those suppliers.