PNC’s supplier diversity program: growing and evolving
New web portals make it easier for diverse suppliers to connect with PNC. Tier 2 opportunities are on the rise, helping small businesses get in the door
Supplier diversity is not new to the PNC Financial Services Group (Pittsburgh, PA). According to Maureen Bober Seskey, director of supplier diversity, PNC has been dedicating resources to diverse-owned businesses since the late 90s.
Recently, the company ramped up its efforts and developed a formal supplier diversity policy for its supply chain organization. “We now concentrate our efforts on intentional inclusion. We seek out diverse-owned businesses and invite them to participate in our sourcing events,” she says, “in an effort to strengthen and increase diversity in our supply chain.”
With more than 2,700 branches, a variety of online and mobile services and 7,400 ATM machines, PNC provides banking and investment services to consumers and small business customers across nineteen states and the District of Columbia. In 2013, PNC spent $281 million through its supplier diversity program.
“Of those dollars, $189 million was spent directly with diverse-owned business enterprises, and $92 million was spent indirectly through our prime supplier tier 2 efforts,” Seskey says. “These dollars represent 13.3 percent of our eligible spending, an increase of 1.4 percent over our 2012 results. Our efforts to help diverse suppliers to compete for PNC’s business are netting positive and measurable results.”
Partnerships with national organizations
PNC’s supplier diversity team attends annual conferences and other events sponsored by advocacy organizations. Team members participate in panel discussions, host booths at opportunity fairs and engage in networking and matchmaking sessions.
PNC maintains corporate memberships with the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the Women Presidents’ Organization, the National Women Business Owners Corporation, the National Veteran-Owned Business Association, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, and the United States Business Leadership Network.
“PNC’s regional market diversity councils are jointly chaired by the market president and the retail head, and they assist our supplier diversity efforts by engaging with the local affiliates of these national organizations,” Seskey says. “Our partnerships with business, civic and trade organizations strengthen our overall efforts and provide innovative methods for the identification and development of new diverse supplier relationships.”
PNC debuts new online registration tools
Suppliers who would like to interact with PNC directly can visit the company’s supplier registration portal at pnc.com/supplierdiversity. “Registration via the portal is a key first step for diverse suppliers who would like to engage with PNC,” Seskey says. “Once a business is registered, the supplier’s profile is added to our database. This is the first place our diversity sourcing specialists search when looking for diverse suppliers for inclusion in our sourcing processes.”
The supplier diversity team can also be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, she adds.
The supplier registration portal and a tier 2 portal tool are relatively new for PNC. “An update to the site with new content and improved functionality has allowed the team to improve suppliers’ experiences and provide enhanced capabilities that will allow PNC to better communicate and engage with potential partners,” Seskey says.
Staying ahead of challenges
“In this heavily regulated industry, financial services companies like PNC are developing procurement strategies that mitigate risk and increase control over their supply chains,” Seskey notes. This often leads to a decrease in the overall number of tier 1 supplier relationships, she adds.
“This reduction in the number of suppliers has impacted all our suppliers, and affected tier 1 spending with the diverse-owned business enterpri-ses in our program,” she explains. “To offset that decrease, PNC has invested our energy into encouraging prime suppliers to develop and report to us on their own supplier diversity programs, driving our supplier diversity initiatives deeper into the overall supply chain.”
In 2013, twenty-three PNC prime suppliers joined PNC’s tier 2 program, Seskey notes. “We feel strongly about the positive impact our tier 2 initiatives have made on the diverse business community. Tier 2 provides added opportunity for small businesses that may not have the capacity to directly service an organization of PNC’s size and geographic footprint.”
Increasingly, the business community on the whole is recognizing diversity and inclusion as important principles of good management. However, these principles have long been among PNC’s core values, Seskey asserts.
“Our supplier diversity program helps us to remain competitive in the marketplace and positions us for ongoing success as changing demographics continue to shape our country.”
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