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CAMSC Corporate Members Coach Suppliers for Success

CAMSC Corporate Members Coach Suppliers for Success

Toronto, July 7, 2015 –As an Aboriginal and Minority-owned supplier, one question that is top-of-mind is: “what do I need to do to bid on contracts and win them?”

As Corporate Canada realizes Supplier Diversity (SD) is an integral component of leading strategic sourcing processes, more contracts are opening up for Aboriginal and Minority-owned suppliers to bid on.

But what does it take to be more effective in the bid process? How can a supplier make an initial connection into a successful business partnership?

Many CAMSC corporate members are leading the way in developing mentorship programs that coach CAMSC certified suppliers through the procurement process, and strengthen targeted aspects of their businesses.

Corporations such as GM and Cisco in the U.S. already have a history of such programs. Both have successful SD programs and both are dedicated to mentoring diverse suppliers. Expanding contracts and increasing opportunities for diverse suppliers means dedicating resources towards their selection, development and enrichment, enhancing their overall value to the market. It’s not enough to just network. Corporations want to ensure diverse suppliers have the knowledge and tools to be successful.

In Canada, RBC started a mentorship program in 2012 for certified diverse suppliers. RBC has been making strides to get diverse suppliers to the table to compete for business. The bank has paired owners of these supplier companies with sourcing managers through their Reciprocal Mentorship Program. Mentors advise on how to be successful in navigating the procurement process, from value proposition clarification to bid negotiation.

Similarly, TELUS launched a mentorship program in 2013, consisting of quarterly workshops, pairing suppliers with executives, networking opportunities and access to industry leaders. A toolkit is also provided to mentees with information on overcoming common challenges and outlines mentorship best practices.

For the past two years, RBC has teamed up with TELUS for a joint supplier mentorship day, including a panel discussion with successful suppliers who shared their learnings on how to bid and be successful in their bids with large corporations. These two corporations continue to collaborate and expand the impact of their programs across multiple certified supplier groups.

Consulting company Accenture Inc. led the way in Canada, as the first CAMSC corporate member to launch a mentorship program for diverse suppliers. Mirroring their U.S. program, Accenture in Canada matched suppliers with Accenture mentors. Suppliers attended symposiums at Accenture that covered topics such as responding to RFPs and creating strategic plans. Following the symposium, the mentees meet with their mentor at least on a monthly basis for targeted development.

Last year, TD Bank Group launched its North American Supplier Diversity Mentorship Program comprised of workshops with topics such as how to be more effective in the competitive process.  The sessions are expected to run simultaneously in Canada and the U.S. on a quarterly basis over an 18-month period.  

Throughout the development of these programs, CAMSC has been providing support through program design input and has been promoting the various programs to certified suppliers so they can reap the benefits of the coaching opportunities. These are valuable opportunities to build relationships and receive targeted feedback on how to engage large corporations.

For participating corporate members, they are proactively engaging a wide range of executives and managers from across the corporation, creating a broader group of champions committed to supplier diversity.

As these programs grow, CAMSC will be distributing notices to invite suppliers to participate. Remember that only CAMSC certified suppliers can participate. Get certified now and keep an eye out as mentorship programs become available.