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Recession-Proof Your Credit Union: Balancing Cost Savings and Supplier Diversity

Why socially responsible procurement practices don’t have to break your credit union’s budget. 

By Amazon Business
June 27, 2023

Cost savings are constantly on the top of mind for credit union procurement specialists. However, procurement offices can also be responsible for supplier diversity. A diverse supplier is a business that is at least 51% owned and operated by a member of an underrepresented group, such as a racial or ethnic group, a veteran or a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Supplier diversity creates opportunities for organizations to positively impact their community and create supply chain resilience while obtaining the goods and services they need. But many supply chain experts view this as a threat to cost savings. According to Geraint John, former Vice President Analyst with the Gartner supply chain practice, “60% [of supply chain executives] admit that their supply chains have not been designed for resilience, but cost-efficiency. The challenge will be to create an operating model for supply chains that combines the best of both worlds.”

How can you effectively balance these two priorities? Finding diverse suppliers doesn’t mean having to sacrifice your budget. Here are three ways the two can work in tandem:

Benefits of a Supplier Diversity Program

1. Increases the number of potential suppliers.

According to the 2021 Annual Business Survey (ABS), approximately 20% of employer businesses were minority-owned; 5.6% were veteran-owned; and around 21% were owned by women. Collectively, diverse-owned companies represent a large swath of American businesses, meaning you’ll have a broader number of suppliers to choose from. A broad pool of suppliers promotes competition, which can in turn drive down costs, leading to a more resilient supply chain.

2. Generates value.

Responsible purchasing programs can help your credit union realize greater cost savings through risk reduction, improved reputation internally and externally, and new value creation opportunities. According to a World Economic Forum report, organizations that implemented responsible purchasing achieved a 9-16% reduction in supply chain cost and a 15-31% increase in brand value. With Amazon Business Analytics, you can gain visibility into your organization’s purchases and help quantify the impact of your supplier diversity program.

3. Strategically contributes to your organization’s goals.

By delivering increased business value and aligning with the organization’s broader social responsibility goals, procurement can move beyond supplies and redefine itself to play a more strategic role across the organization.

At iTHINK Financial, our diversity reflects the communities we serve. We are committed to the goal of enhancing economic opportunities for minority and women-owned business enterprises. To that effect, we use Amazon Business for the ability to easily find and source from businesses with these diversity certifications through the Guided Buying feature.

David Lyons

Chief Administrative Officer, iThink Financial

By focusing on the benefits of a supplier diversity program, you can better align your branch’s social responsibility goals with its cost savings efforts. Balancing the two doesn’t have to be a challenge: Amazon Business combines procurement expertise with curated solutions to help organizations define, meet, and measure their social responsibility goals. Visit the Amazon Business Social Responsibility page to learn more.

About Amazon Business

Whether shopping for home or work, people value Amazon for its convenience, selection, and value. But credit unions have different needs than individual buyers. That’s why we created Amazon Business – to combine the selection, convenience, and value you expect from Amazon, with features that can help improve business operations.

With Amazon Business, you’re equipped to do more.

  • Simplify buying: Purchase from hundreds of millions of business-relevant supplies from multiple sellers, including diversity- and locally-owned businesses, all in one place. Save time searching for products, negotiating contracts, and reconciling purchases from multiple suppliers.
  • Reduce costs: Compare prices across multiple sellers in a single online store. Access discounts on products and supplies available exclusively to business customers. Between business-only pricing, Quantity Discounts you can save on over 50 million items.
  • Manage purchasing: Keep your work and personal purchases separate so you can have a clear picture of business spend. Choose how and where you want purchases to be delivered with convenient delivery options.
  • Get more with Business Prime: Get unlimited, free shipping on eligible orders. Unlock more business purchasing benefits to boost savings and manage organizational spend.