Purchasing & Contracts Subcommittee
Progress Report – February 16, 2007
Chair: Ester Burns
Subcommittee: Jim Bachmeier, Frank Foster, Michele Golightly, Pat Haynes, Simone Jonaitis,
Martha Moore, Sherry Moyer, Pat Smith, Tim Thimmesch, Dante Villarreal
To lay a foundation for the work the Purchasing & Contracts Subcommittee will endeavor, initial meetings were focused on defining what a supplier diversity program is, summarizing the business case for maintaining a program, providing historical information about GVSU’s program, and outlining the strategies utilized in the University’s program. A summary of this detail is enclosed for reference. 
The Supplier Diversity Program at GVSU was established to support and strengthen the University’s Purchasing Policy of prohibiting discrimination against any vendor. Toward that end, the goal of the University’s program is to increase opportunities for minority and women business enterprises to compete for University contracts as suppliers, contractors, and subcontractors. This goal has always been achieved by employing inclusive and ethical-standards practices without enumeration, quotas or set-a-sides. Therefore, no dramatic changes are required in the Supplier Diversity Program for compliance with Proposal 2.
The Purchasing & Contracts Subcommittee will focus on developing strategic purchasing and contracting initiatives for the future that will:
  • Enhance current best practices
  • Promote synergy amongst our campus and regional communities
  • Support a sustainable future 
Purchasing & Contracts Subcommittee
What is Supplier Diversity?
Supplier diversity is simply a diverse representation of suppliers, that reflects the customer base, in order to achieve specific business goals and objectives. Supplier diversity programs aim to provide inclusive opportunities for socially and economically disadvantaged businesses to share in the commercial and industrial mainstream of both private and public corporations. Two elements are critical to GVSU’s supplier diversity program:
  • Minority/Women/Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (M/W/DBE) suppliers must demonstrate that they can provide quality goods and services that are cost-effective and cost-competitive (as expected from all our vendors). 
  • We maintain simple business practices and processes that create win-win situations for both the GVSU and M/W/DBE communities. 
What/Who is a Minority Owned Business?
Consistent with those disadvantaged groups included in our reporting, the GVSU supplier diversity program hereafter defines a DBE as a disabled-person business enterprise. An M/W/DBE is legally defined as a privately or publicly owned business organization whose ownership is at least 51% owned, controlled and actively managed by one or more minority/women/disabled persons. Federal guidelines define minority/women/disabled persons as members of any one of the following groups:
  • African Americans – Africa, Jamaica, Trinidad descent
  • Native Americans – American Indians, Aleuts, Eskimos, Native Hawaiians, Malaya descent
  • Hispanic Americans – Mexico, Spain, Puerto Rico, Cuba, or others of Latin descent
  • Asian Indian Americans – India, Pakistan, Bangladesh descent
  • Asian Pacific Americans – Japan, China, Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Laos, Cambodia, Taiwan descent
  • Women – Females who are not representative of the aforementioned groups
  • Disabled – Persons who are not representative of the aforementioned groups, and are physically or mentally impaired as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
 GVSU Supplier Diversity Program History
The Formative Years
The supplier diversity program was founded in the late 1980’s under the premise, that we have an obligation to assure our vendor base reflects the diversity of our campus constituency and the very taxpayers who provide our revenues. There are no preferences or guarantees to any vendor under this strategy, only a commitment to provide opportunities to bid for our goods and services contracts.
The formative years focused on identifying the M/W/DBE’s (hereafter referred to as minority vendors) we were doing business with and our total purchases from those vendors. This was a manual and labor-intensive process with no financial technology available at that time. By the 1990’s, an automated purchasing system had been implemented that facilitated the data collection. However, identifying minority vendors remains one of the greatest challenges of a successful program. The annual average of minority vendor purchases for the five-year period from 1995 to 1999 was $926,767. 
Program initiative evolved to include:
  • Supplier Diversity Program policy and procedures developed and approved by the GVSU administration
  • Minority vendor purchases reported quarterly to the Board of Trustees treasurer
  • Supplier diversity goals included in Purchasing staff performance assessments
  • Vendor resource file developed; includes registration and self-certification
  • Supplier Diversity Advocate Committee organized1998; dissolved 2002
  • Campus outreach networking programs and literature developed
  • Membership in community outreach support organizations: 
    • Michigan Minority Business Development Council (MMBDC)
    • Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
    • Regional Alliance for Diversity in Public Purchasing
The Next Generation
In our supplier diversity program’s next generation, the primary focus is campus and community outreach. Additionally, our program strives to develop long-term vendor relationships. The University’s decentralized purchasing environment and the Purchasing Card program present a challenge to assure inclusive and compliant buying practices.
The annual average of minority vendor purchases for the five-year period from 2002 to 2006 was $4,154,570 or an average 4% of the University’s CSSM (Contract Services, Supplies, and Maintenance) expenditures for that same period. Although this represents a 348% increase in purchases over the aforementioned five-year period in the formative years, the average percent of CSSM spend is low for an institution as large as GVSU. The national average is 7-11%. Adding the University’s spend on construction projects does not significantly influence this average, as historically, minority contractors and subcontractors are underrepresented in GVSU’s construction contracts. 
GVSU is the fiscal agent for the Regional Alliance for Diversity in Public Purchasing. The Alliance is comprised of members representing government, public and non-profit institutions and business resource organizations. Their mission is to increase opportunities for minorities, women, veterans and ADA disabled business owners to sell their products and services. The Alliance website provides a portal for vendors’ centralized access to doing business with Alliance members, bid opportunities, vendor registration, and community events. The vendor database is being upgraded, and will provide vendor and product sourcing information for Alliance members and their communities. Visit www.regionalalliance-westmi.org.
GVSU has gained state-wide recognition as a champion for supplier diversity. In addition to the initiatives mentioned in the formative years, the second generation includes:
  • Supplier diversity program incorporated into the GVSU Purchasing Policy
  • Supplier diversity included in the 2005 Campus Sustainability Report
  • Second tier minority vendor purchases (subcontractors) reported
  • Serve on MMBDC Executive Advisory Committee
  • Serve on two MMBDC Project One modules (matchmakers)
  • Facilitate campus buyer/supplier networking meetings
  • Host and participate in local and regional community buyer/supplier networking events
  • Local and regional community public speaking engagements
  • Supplier diversity program information included on Purchasing Services website; visit www.gvsu.edu/purchasing
  • Awards received
    • Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce-Minority Business Committee Corporation of the Year Award, first nonprofit organization recipient
    • MMBDC Corporate One Award, five-year recipient
    • MMBDC Regional Service Award, two-year recipient
    • MMBDC Corporation of the Year Award-Education Sector, three-year nominee
Where Do We Go From Here?
The Diversity Assessment Committee
DAC-Purchasing & Contracts Subcommittee
Framework for Report and Recommendations
Enhance current best practices  
(Pat Haynes, Sherry Moyer, Martha Moore)
  • What are current best practices used to achieve results? Are these results the best for the university?
    • Prior to Proposal 2
      • Purchasing Policy & Procedures
      • Supplier Diversity Procurement Program
      • Literature and Forms
      • Website and other Communications
      • Campus and Student Communities (Facilities Planning, Athletics, Auxiliaries)
      • Facilities Planning (construction and renovations)
    • After Proposal 2
      • Campus Community
      • Student Community
      • Facilities Planning (construction and renovations)
      • Auxiliary – Bookstore, The Meadows, WGVU, Athletics
    • New processes to consider for recommendation
      • Purchasing
      • Campus Community
      • Facilities Planning
  • How can we improve communications of current best practices and any changes
  • Benchmark compliance
Promote synergy amongst our campus and regional communities
(Dante Villarreal, Simone Jonaitis, Michele Golightly, Frank Foster)
  • What are desired results for relationships with the university and regional communities?
  • What barriers have been or might be experienced in achieving these desired results
  • What are the benefits of an effective supplier diversity program?
  • How can we promote our agency affiliations to the campus community?
  • Recommendations for creating champions to foster campus-wide initiatives?
  • Recommendations for collaborating and stimulating new ideas that result in greater productivity and promote win-win potential
  • Develop marketing messages and ad campaign
  • Benchmark compliance 
Support a sustainable future 
(Jim Bachmeier, Tim Thimmesch, Pat Smith)
  • What are desired results for the university over the next 3 to 5 years?
  • What barriers have been or might be experienced in achieving these desired results?
  • Recommendations for improving/changing perceptions to achieve these desired results
  • How do we influence employee behavior and campus culture to support our initiatives?
  • Develop performance indicators to measure progress and success
  • Recommendations for reinforcing responsibility and accountability
  • Recommendations for establishing an advocacy committee
  • Benchmark compliance
  Last Modified Date: March 9, 2007
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