Morai-Logistics-Blog-machine-learning-supply-chain

Experts say that machine Learning is a “revolutionary” solution that could solve four major challenges facing supply chains this year.

Supply chains are currently faced with the same innovative, yet challenging movement: technology. The disruption caused by digitization has increased the value of global markets, but has also advanced the way supply chains operate. This translates into an increase in  consumer demand and a greater need for optimized processes.

According to Boss Magazine, today’s supply chains strive to achieve the same goal, “to simplify processes while maximizing effectiveness”. However, while emerging platforms have made notable impacts, there is a technology that is gaining considerable traction.

Machine Learning is a methodology analytics leader, SAS,  describes as:

A branch of artificial intelligence based on the idea that systems can learn from data, identify patterns and make decisions with minimal human intervention.

This advanced system of data analytics has helped transform our everyday lives. For example, media service provider, Netflix, creates positive customer experience by predicting the shows viewers may be interested in based on past searches. This form of “analytical model building” could also present revolutionary ways for supply chains to optimize their processes.

This article identifies how machine learning can address four challenges facing supply chains in 2018.

1. Demand Forecasting

As mentioned above, there is considerable pressure on supply chains to provide efficiency and immediacy. Ecommerce and mobile shopping has provided customers with easy-to-use platforms where they can purchase items with the click of a button. Therefore, the expectation of expedited delivery has also increased.

Forbes contributor, Louis Columbus, states that machine learning algorithms can help address one of the top challenges facing supply chains: “predicting the future demands for production”. Machine learning enables companies to make sense of big data in order to recognize patterns and understand how to predict these future demands.

2. Cost Reduction

The advanced forecasting approach of machine learning can also help reduce costs associated with delivery. Supply Chain Dive confirms that just two years ago, 60% of online transactions were expedited with free delivery. This has raised the bar in customer satisfaction but has also put incredible pressure on retailers and supply chains from a cost perspective.

In conjunction with Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning can help improve delivery performance and reduce freight costs by considering and avoiding possible deviations.

3. Customer Service

To reiterate, the emergence of online shopping platforms has increased demand, moving organizations to place acute focus on customer service. Machine learning improves efficiency, therefore, improving the ability for companies to provide visible and reliable service. Research on supply chain pain points found that due to inaccurate forecasting, companies struggle understanding ‘market patterns and market fluctuations’.

Forbes states that on top of decreasing inventory and operation costs, machine learning also improves the response time to customers.

4. Optimize Visibility

In a featured article by Morai Logistics, we discuss the importance of transparent supply chains. Being aware of all aspects of the shipment lifecycle is important from both a supply chain and customer standpoint. Research found that,

73% of online shoppers feel more confident making purchases when they have the ability to track their delivery.

In combination with other forms of technology, machine learning can help supply chains achieve end-to-end visibility. It offers advanced insight into real-time data and formulates patterns that can help companies make informed decisions.

Supply chains must leverage technologies that help improve demand forecasting, lower costs, improve their customer service and deliver transparency. Machine learning is a revolutionary tool that supply chains should utilize to overcome unpredictable challenges.

morai-infographic-3-ways-iot-optimize-3pl-cover

The integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) can help third party logistic providers (3PLS) optimize their services to improve operations, transparency and the customer journey.

The Internet of Things (IoT) simplifies our day-to-day through the sharing of data between devices. It is a technological movement that has contributed to the digital progression of many industries.

The advancements IoT provides the transportation industry has caused disruption, leading researchers to believe that 3PL providers may become replaced. However, there are three ways that IoT technology will help 3PLs optimize supply chains for their customers.

This week we will focus our infographic on highlighting the way third-party logistics providers benefit from using IoT technology in order to bring their business, and their clients’ business to the next level.

IoT and 3PL Providers: A Glimpse at the Future of Logistics

morai-infographic-3-ways-iot-optimize-3pl-web

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? Interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider? Then don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

Morai-Logistics-Blog-uber-re-examined

The “Uberization of Trucking” has raised many questions regarding the possible impact this app-based technology could have on supply chains.

Uber has created a global brand s an affordable and easier transportation network built on a simple and easy-to-use mobile application. In 2016, this organization, which now offers ride sharing and food delivery, was valued at over $60 billion and operated in 58 countries. Their success sparked a revolutionary movement: the ‘uberization of everything’.

Morai Logistics recognizes the impact of globalization, ecommerce markets and more recently the significant contributions of millennials in the workplace. Simply put, the uberization of everything means that technology has changed how we move people and product. There seems to be a consistent connection between innovation and technology and changes in consumer and market demands. Ecommerce has removed global boundaries and the constant emergence of digital applications, like Uber, has generated immediate accessibility to anything we want. This places a considerable amount of pressure on supply chains and logistics to develop and incorporate innovative solutions to efficiently meet these demands.

The Uberization of Everything

Uber has become a popular mode of transportation across North America. Simply put, a customer is able to connect with drivers across the city using a smartphone application. The personalized profiles built into to the app enable, both driver and passenger, to have complete visibility of the entire interaction from start to finish. However, the ‘uberization of everything’ isn’t Uber integrating into other businesses, it’s a digital movement from manual processes to on-demand technology.

Skeptics have argued that while Uber technology may work as a secondary taxi option, integrating this type of tech isn’t for all industries. However, in an article entitled ‘The Five Rules of Uber-ization’, executive director of Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship, Howard Tullman argues differently.

There are a number of other industries that have completely different conditions and attributes from the cab business, but where the circumstances and the underlying motivators that drive rapid adoption and growth will also support an UBER-like solution.

Tullman proceeds to identify five primary rules that describe a business or industry that would benefit from adopting Uber-like solutions. Out of the five, two rules in particular applied to supply chains and logistics in the transportation industry.

  • There is no single supplier of any size presently able to meet the new demands.
  • When you need the service, you need it now and there are very few alternatives.

The ‘Uberization of Trucking’ has gained considerable attention over the last few years. However, based on the above rules, will this movement change the game in supply chain and logistics?

The ‘Uberization of Trucking’

Uberization is a response to the increased need for speed, visibility and efficiency throughout the shipment lifecycle. According to the American Trucking Associations, by 2026 freight volumes will increase by 29%. A move from manual to digital is a logical step to take if the industry wants to keep in-line with innovative processes. In fact, research found that freight-forwarders who conducted manual quotes took almost 60 hours, a representation that efficiency is critical.

The ‘Uberization of Trucking’ introduces app-based technologies to freight and forwarding processes. These applications would hopefully help owner-operators of trucks “search for loads based on destination, equipment requirements, and delivery dates”. Freight-on-demand is definitely a step forward, however, the question around how this will impact third party logistics providers (3PL) remains.

The introduction of automated trucking services, such as Uber Freight, has posed a disruption in the market. However, with an increase in consumer demands, 3PL’s to continue to optimize their solutions to meet growing demands. There are many benefits associated with outsourcing 3PLs that fall short when relying solely on a singular application. Morai Logistics outlined the top four benefits, which include:

  • Versatility using Omni-channel services.
  • Competitive volume rates.
  • Leveraging Large Networks
  • Optimizing Information Technology

The possibility of integrating Uber-like solutions into the supply chain and logistics is on the horizon. Although emerging platforms continue to shape consumer demands, the business value gained from hiring 3PL providers remains strong.

Morai-Logistics-Blog-relay-for-life

Morai Logistics raises $22,420 in support of cancer research and development by marching with members of the community at the 2018 Relay for Life.

Cancer remains one of the leading causes of death in North America. Last year alone, there were 206, 200 new cancer diagnoses in Canada. Furthermore, by the end of 2018 the number of estimated new cases in the United States will be 1,735,350‘. These figures reflect the urgent need for communities, industries and governments to support cancer research and development.

On Friday, June 8th, 2018, Morai Logistics participated in Relay for Life, an annual fundraising event founded by the Canadian Cancer Society. Alongside thousands of members of the community, our team marched together to help ‘fight back against cancer’. These initiatives are a constant pillar of strength to many. However, the urgency to implement processes that effectively facilitate the preventative treatment of cancer remains.

Relay for Life 2

Arthur-Gay: Valued Morai Logistics Team Member. Cancer Survivor.

Forbes identifies patient personalization as a step toward providing optimal customer experience to patients in need of immediate and tailored medical treatment. This phenomena is growing in popularity on both the patient/customer and facility side. By 2022, it’s expected that the personal medicine market will reach USD 2.45 trillion. This will place an increase in pressure on the healthcare supply chain management industry.

This article investigates the importance of personalized medication in improving cancer treatment. It also touches on the role supply chains have in meeting the demands of this growing market.

Personalizing Cancer Treatment

The Canadian Cancer Society defines personalized medicine as the ‘use of information about a person to prevent, diagnose and treat disease’. The ability for medical professionals to determine appropriate and preventative treatment for each individual patient is a product of extensive R&D. It also helps to answer the following six benefits:

  • How likely will an individual develop cancer?
  • Who will benefit from ‘earlier screening’?
  • Which treatment would be effective, while causing less side effects?
  • What appropriate plans should be implemented to manage treatment?
  • How do research develop new treatments?
  • How do we educate patients on making the right ‘treatment decisions’?

This advanced method of understanding and identifying appropriate treatment protocol has shown a considerable advantage in preventing specific cancers. Therefore, it’s important to recognize the impact this growing market will have on healthcare supply chain management.

Challenges in Healthcare Supply Chain Management

Research predicts that the healthcare supply chain management market will reach USD 2.56 billion by 2025. As this treatment approach moves from ‘reaction to prevention’, this will enable medical professionals to offer effective treatment options’. However, research has identified the popularity of personalized medicine will place considerable pressure on manufacturers in supply chains.

Due to the complexities of this individualized approach, challenges in the supply chain manifest in an inability to match ‘scale, speed, reliability and traceability’. Supply Chain Diver indicates that this direct-to-customer approach will require:

  • Increased delivery demand
  • Specific packaging
  • ‘Increased temperature monitoring’
  • Custom clearance in transport
  • Delay monitoring by GPS-based alerts

In addition, the transportation of medication is ‘time and temperature’ sensitive, which places a critical importance on ensuring ‘cold chain is virtually error-free’. When multiple medications are shipped together but require different temperatures, certain challenges may arise. The facilitation of personalized medication creates an intricate shipment lifecycle going from manufacturer to production facility to the patient. However, research also explains that the same third party logistics providers (3PL) run throughout the entire service. For logistics companies, this means recognizing their vital role in facilitating the personalized medication market.

Community of Change

Morai Logistics is passionately dedicated to supporting cancer research and development. As a North American leader in supply chain and logistics, we understand the important role 3PLs play as a partner and advocate for the safe and efficient transport of personalized medication. Our participation in community events, such as Relay for Life, is one of the many ways our company stands with those affected by cancer.  Together, our energetic and passionate team raised $22,420 this year in honour of an incredible cause!

Relay for Life

The Morai Logistics Team at Relay for Life

morai-blog-ebook-supply-chain-c-suite

Discussion on effective leadership (i.e. c-suite, or c-level positions such as CFO, CTO, CMO, etc.) trends in 2018 stimulates further investigation into what it takes to become an effective supply chain and logistics C-Suite executive.

Previously, Morai Logistics identified four key leadership trends shaping economies across North America. The importance of empowering women in leadership positions, fostering ambition, exhibiting core values and embracing upcoming generations, were correlated with effective business leadership. However, these trends also place a significant emphasis on the responsibilities of C-suite Executives, especially those in supply chains and logistics.

The term “C-Suite” describes leaders who hold senior executive positions within a business or organization. According to Investopedia, these positions may include ‘chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO), chief operating officer (COO), and chief information officer (CIO)’. Alternatively referred to as C-Level, the qualifications of an effective leader outlined above remain consistent with those who hold these positions. However, this year there is an increased emphasis on a commitment to corporate culture, people management, strategic thinking and active leadership.

This eBook uncovers current C-Suite trends, current challenges facing C-Level execs, and the core attributes required to be an effective executive leader.

What Does it Take to Reach the C-Suite in Logistics?

morai-logistics-ebook-supply-chain-c-suite-image

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? Interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider? Then don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

Morai-Logistics-Blog-transforming-transportation-cloud-based-technology

Experts say the transportation industry can leverage cloud-based technology to optimize their supply chains with efficient and cost-effective solutions.

A growing number of industries are embracing cloud-based technologies for its proven ability to improve efficiency and help build connections. The 2018 Global Cloud Supply Chain Management Market Analysis reported that the value of the global Cloud SCM ‘accounted for USD 3.32 billion’ in 2017. They predict this number will increase ‘at a CAGR of 20.2%’ between 2018 and 2025. Research presented by Global Market Insights , shows that we can expect the ‘smart transportation market’ to reach USD 130 billion by 2024.

These figures show the economic growth of this market and highlights the benefits cloud adoption provide industries who integrate such technologies into their models.

The transportation industry faces many challenges as consumer demands for flexibility continues to increase. Booming ecommerce markets require supply chains to offer personalized customer experiences and faster delivery times. This places incredible pressure on transport supply chains, urging them to implement efficient and effective processes. This article details the various functions of this the Cloud, and identifies the significant role it will play in transforming the industry.

Cloud-Based Technology

In the 1950’s, mainframe computing was becoming too costly and companies identified the need to localize solutions to a singular computer system. Virtual machines became popular in the 1970’s, as their ability to operate multiple systems in a singular environment helped address the issues faced by mainframe computing. Today, research and development of innovative technologies is motivated by the same need: to improve efficiency and reduce operation costs.

As a leader in cloud computing technology, Salesforce also believes there are many benefits associated with integrating this technology into business processes.  Salesforce outlines the following reasons as to why companies should move to the cloud.

  • Improves Flexibility – Helps business scale up and down.
  • Helps small businesses implement ‘recovery solutions’.
  • Reduces system maintenance by offering ‘automatic software updates’.
  • Offers affordable solutions.
  • Improves workflow productivity.
  • Creates visibility that promotes collaboration.
  • Facilitates remote opportunities for employees.
  • Provides a central location for company documentation.
  • Positions company as a lead competitor.
  • Minimizes ‘carbon footprints’.

Based on the above ten benefits, there is no denying that cloud-based technologies can help companies in many ways. The process of modernizing supply chains relies heavily on the integration of the cloud. The transportation industry has recognized the positive impact cloud adoption has on improving the bottom-line of organizations.

The Transportation Industry

In February, Morai Logistics shared an infographic defining Industry 4.0. Research indicates that two thousand companies have already begun digitizing their supply chains. The investment into emerging platforms also boosts productivity and operations, lowers costs and improves transparency.

Cloud Management and real time communication are noted as two effective methods for achieving end-to-end results. American multinational technology company, IBM has conducted considerable research to understand how the Cloud is accelerating various industries, including transportation supply chains. There is a growing demand from customers who seek ‘alternative transport solutions’. By implementing cloud-based technologies, IBM states organizations can:

…redefine customer relationships, transform operations, improve governance and transparency, and expand business agility and capability.

Known for its ‘unconstrained capacity growth’, the cloud will continue to offer supply chains with advanced solutions. Statistically, 48% of executives believe the cloud will help improve data access, which will help supply chains build ‘customer loyalty’. Cloud adoption will enable organizations to implement personalized experiences for customers through Omni-channel processes.

Technology pioneers, IBM and Salesforce, provide significant research that illustrates how the cloud can effectively optimize the supply chains of many industries. In the face of growing demands for efficiency and immediacy, innovative cloud-based solutions will play a significant role in transforming the transportation industry.

Morai-Logistics-Blog-predictive-analytics-visibility-supply-chain

Predictive analytics is a technology tool that  is improving the end-to-end customer experience of the retail, healthcare and transportation industry.

The increase in consumer demand is becoming more apparent across global markets and a variety of industries. This month, multinational retail corporation, Wal-Mart, announced their partnership with ‘actionable predictive intelligence’ platform, FourKites. According to Digital Supply Chain:

The Canadian branch of Walmart has agreed a new partnership with FourKites for the development and furthering of the company’s supply chain visibility and predictive analytics capabilities.

FourKites platform will enable Wal-Mart to optimize their consumer experiences by leveraging insight that will clearly identify the lifecycle of their shipments. In addition, the company will be able to improve their ‘staffing levels, assignments and minimize truck waiting times’.

A challenge supply chains face in changing markets is visibility. On February 15th, Morai Logistics identified how predictive analytics can help create efficient processes such as forecasting and real-time visibility. Investment in technologies that offer ‘end-to-end predictive visibility’ is a route many industries are taking to improve the customer experience.

This article looks at the application of predictive analytics in the retail, healthcare and transportation industry. Specific focus will be placed on how the appropriate translation of big data will better the end-to-end customer experience.

Retail

Large wholesale companies have been utilizing predictive analytics to improve daily operations of their large product volumes for quite some time. However, in the past cost of technical personnel and lack of appropriate process has presented challenges with providing customers with personalized service.

According to Digitalist Magazine, the following improvements are achieved when wholesalers implement predictive tools to assess Big Data.

  • Data on customer purchases can help predict future sales.
  • Narrows and tailors product focus to the client’s needs.
  • Helps ‘detect risk’ and ‘provides insight into new product categories’.
  • Provides product recommendations to address customer inquiries.

In addition to the above efficiencies, research states that predictive analytics supports the development of loyalty programs as Big Data is translated in real-time. Therefore, addressing the need for immediacy.

Healthcare

Another industry looking to predictive analytics to improve processes and leverage Big Data is the healthcare industry. Instead of focusing on the customer experience, applying this technology will hopefully enhance patient care by taking a preventative approach.

Health Facilities Management magazine states that tools are needed to help asses ‘which patients will require more intense interventions than others’. Integrating predictive analytics into the supply chain will also reduce costs by providing efficient assessments on necessary materials and products. The article quotes vice president of inventory management solutions for Cardinal Health, who states:

Rather than analytics being retrospective, we are trying to infer what will happen in the future. There is no denying the health care industry is looking to streamline their processes and supply chains to better service patients and the community.

Transportation

When it comes to transportation supply chains, transparency is key to creating an optimal end-to-end user experience. Even 73% of online shoppers feel more confident making purchases when they have the ability to track their delivery. Given the demands of online markets, companies are seeing the need for leveraging Big Data.

Referred to as ‘real-time freight visibility’, both shippers and suppliers should be aware of all particulars relating to the shipment lifecycle. Research addressing the importance of freight visibility identify four reasons and how predictive analytics can help.

  1. Helps 3PLs retain business and avoid late shipments by monitoring deliveries.
  2. Improves the visibility of ‘shipment status and location’.
  3. Avoid costs associated with ‘late and off-schedule shipments’.
  4. Create business opportunities by meeting visibility requirements.

Investment in technologies has been a reoccurring theme in changing markets, as the issue of visibility continues to be address. Many industries, such as retail and healthcare, are recognizing the positive outcomes that occur from integrating such technologies into their supply chains. 3PLs will also be able to translate Big Data into meaningful information, and use predictive analytics to meet the demands of immediacy and improve visibility.

Morai-Logistics-Blog-arming-warehouses-with-robotics-automation

The Canadian supply chain and logistics industry foresees a promising future integrating robotics and automation into their processes.

In 2015, the value of Canadian robotics reached $201 million in orders, with an annual growth rate of 32% between 2010 and 2015. With consumer demands for speed and efficiency increasing, the supply chain and logistics industry is seeking accelerated processes from robotics.

In the eBook, Supply Chain & Logistics: A Transforming Workforce, robotics was identified as a top technology companies should adopt to remain competitive. Companies must focus on providing consumers with individualized experiences and personalizing their product journey to provide hyper-flexibility. Statistics showed that by 2025, USD$67 Billion will be invested into robotics and automation. A value that represents the industries confidence in the benefits of this technology.

This article looks at how the robotics industry is transforming Canadian markets and how the supply chain industry can leverage this technology.

Canadian Robotics Industry

Published by Canada’s Robotics Industry, Invest in Canada discusses the global robotics market and how the country is integrating this technology into leading industries. Their research indicates that the top three industries adopting robotics include:

  • Industrial Robotics
  • Personal and Service Robots
  • Factory Automation

The processes involved within each of the above listed industries require efficient supply chains to remain productive and effective. For instance, the manufacturing industry currently integrates robotics and automation into their warehouses. Automated handling systems contribute to reductions in operation costs and also help alleviate workers from engaging in dangerous tasks.

Canada ranks 13th globally based on “robot density”, which describes “the number of multipurpose industrial robots per 10,000 persons employed”. The value of this industry is increasing by the year, with market predictions soaring to $41 billion by 2020. However, direct investment into the industry isn’t the only way Canada is investing into the future of robotics.

Research shows that over 20 post-secondary institutions offer “advanced robotics courses and technical certifications”. The Globe and Mail has also identified the need for students to learn active listening, critical thinking and social perceptiveness. These human skills will help students excel in a future workforce of technological advancements that will surely include robotics.

Robotics and automation yield proven results that benefit many industries. However, experts believe that this technology could provide significant benefits to supply chains.

Robotics and Supply Chains in Action

The Canadian supply chain and logistics industry has been a late bloomer with the adoption of robotics and automation into their processes. The expansion of global markets is providing consumers with an instantaneous method to click and purchase. Therefore, the need for efficiency and speed is a top priority, urging the supply chain and logistics industry to get on board.

Supply Chain Digital identifies two primary benefits that robotics and automation will have on supply chains: zero-defect logistics and new levels of productivity. As stated in their article “Automation and robotics: The supply chain of the future”, it seems a target area of improvement is efficient handling. Mark Parsons states:

The new generation of collaborative robots and automated solutions with significantly improved performance and enhanced sensing capabilities, offers a genuine alternative to manual handling.

According to Supply Chain Management Review, robotics contributes significantly to order fulfillment, providing the following rewards:

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved efficiency
  • Exceptional Customer Service
  • Scale modification based on demand

The implementation of robotics, in conjunction with a cohesive working relationship with workers, moves productivity along faster and more efficiently. Although there has been speculation that robots may replace workers, the implementation of artificial intelligence and technology is working to remove that myth. The implementation of a new generation of robots, known as collaborative robots (co-bots), enable them to work side-by-side with workers. The level of intelligence and flexibility in co-bots, complement workers rather than compete with them.

If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? Interested in our 3rd party logistics services? If so, don’t hesitate to check out our services . We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

morai-blog-ebook-top-4-block-chain-supply-chain

Blockchain has taken the supply chain and logistics industry by storm, earning a reputation as one of the top trends to look for in 2018.

A large following of companies within the supply chain and logistics industry have been making significant investments into technology to improve efficiencies. Research has reported that tech leader, IBM, has already invested $200 Billion in block-chain IOT.

This emerging buzzword is frequently linked to crypto currency, bitcoin, which earned a new record high of “237.62 billion U.S. dollars in Q4 2017”. Although there is debate regarding the longevity of this booming market, research suggests that blockchain will improve the future of supply chains.

How is Blockchain Driving Supply Chain and Logistics?

morai-infographic-4-reasons-blockchain-driving-supply-chain

If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? Interested in our 3rd party logistics services? If so, don’t hesitate to check out our services . We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

Morai-Logistics-Blog-diverse-supply-chain-business-growth

In a globalized world of changing markets, Morai Logistics represents a business model that views supplier diversity in the workplace as a top priority.

There is a growing urgency for Canadian businesses to incorporate supplier diversity programs into their own models. Not only do these initiatives build a social, economic and sustainable brand, they also help companies thrive in changing markets. The Conference Board of Canada describes these programs as the added value small and medium-sized businesses owned by women and minorities give to organizations and the economy.

Over the last month, media has placed the spotlight on the advancements women are making in various industries, including technology and supply chain.

London web developer named rising star of women in tech

Walmart’s sourcing from women-owned suppliers drives business

The above headlines identify the importance women play in accelerating the industry, and their positive impact on business growth. This article outlines the benefits of supplier diversity programs and why Canadian businesses should work diligently toward adopting them into their models.

Supplier Diversity in Canadian Business

According to the Conference Board of Canada, supplier diversity programs are currently implemented into 39% of organizations throughout the country. In comparison to small enterprises, large organizations and companies within the private sector are more likely to implement these initiatives.

In a featured article for EBN online, Kelli Saunders spoke about supplier diversity, and the liberal government’s proposed investment into diverse suppliers. There is a push for the Canadian and U.S governments to increase procurement support for diverse suppliers including businesses owned by women and minority groups.

Procurement Leads to Change

Although procurement programs are currently available, there are reasons why women-owned businesses have yet to leverage procurement opportunities. These include:

  • Lack of awareness
  • Cost and administration
  • Lack of confidence in contract opportunities

However, the Governments proactive support in procurement of supplier diversity is a huge step forward. According to Conference Board of Canada, it’s important that large municipalities recognize and address the benefits of supplier diversity

Benefits of Supplier Diversity Programs

The benefits of implementing supplier diversity programs include building strong supply chains, increasing competitiveness and establishing corporate social responsibility.

1. Corporate Social Responsibility

One of the most beneficial outcomes of implementing a supplier diversity program is establishing corporate social responsibility (CSR). Global Affairs Canada defines CSR as “the voluntary activities undertaken by a company to operate in an economic, social and environmentally sustainable manner.”

Large scale companies, such as TD Bank Group, have implemented supplier diversity programs as a CSR effort. Diversifying business portfolios help companies leverage ‘shared value and social licence’ in global markets.

2. Competitive Advantage

A key competitive advantage for any business is having a socially diverse and inclusive business model. Working in conjunction with CSR, Forbes also proposes that promoting diversity differentiates a company’s brand while increasing consumer engagement. In comparison to brand names, Customers are increasingly attracted to companies that give back to their communities and the environment. As a business diversifies, their relationship with stakeholders and markets diversify, developing price and service level competition as well.

3. Economic Growth

Investment into social diversity programs also has a tremendous impact on the growth of the economy. In fact, the Conference Board of Canada states that ‘nearly 1 million Canadian women business owners’ contribute to ‘more than $117 billion annually to the Canadian economy’. In addition, engaging in business with diverse suppliers means opening up to new markets which translates into economic development.

Moving forward, the investment into social diversity programs is an integral component to the business model of any company. The procurement of funding into women and minority-owned businesses would create positive change and contribute to social and economic success.