What is Supplier Diversity?

Supplier diversity is the intentional inclusion of historically underutilized businesses in an organization's supply chain to achieve innovation; cost reduction; and revenue growth objectives. This may include minority-, women-, LGBTQ+-, veteran-, disabled-owned businesses and others.

Why is Supplier Diversity important?

For many years, supplier diversity was thought of as a social program for doing the right thing. However, now community stakeholders want to know more about the non-profit organizations they support and consumers want to know more about the corporate brands that they buy. Both these types of organizations see diversity as an important business strategy to:

    1. Generate innovative products and services
    2. Increase competition
    3. Build economic growth in communities where they operate.

What is the WCS Supplier Diversity Program?

WCS is committed to making supplier diversity an integral part of the way we do business. We seek to identify and encourage diverse vendors to compete for business opportunities throughout WCS. Our commitment to supplier diversity includes:

    1. Building relationships with diverse suppliers in the communities where we operate.
    2. Encouraging non-diverse suppliers that are awarded contracts to extend business partnership opportunities to diverse suppliers
    3. Promoting the different types of certification to all diverse businesses.

How does the WCS Supplier Diversity Program help diverse suppliers potentially do business with WCS or other suppliers?

We promote diversity growth in the WCS pool of suppliers through the following processes:

    1. Identifying procurement opportunities.
    2. Identifying specific diverse suppliers in WCS's Supplier Diversity Database (SDD) to participate in upcoming procurement opportunities.
    3. Determining whether a match exists between the capabilities of diverse suppliers in the SDD and an identified business opportunity.
    4. Regularly conducting "How to do Business with WCS" workshops
    5. Encouraging identified suppliers to participate in WCS's procurement process

What is a certified diverse supplier?

A certified diverse supplier can clearly demonstrate that their business is at least 51% owned, operated, and managed by a diverse person or group of members by presenting a certificate issued by an independent certifying government agency, quasi-government or non-governmental-organization (NGO). Independent government certifications typically certify entities as Minority/Women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs). For example, New York City offers NYC Small Business Services M/WBE Certification and separately New York State provides(NYS MWBE certification). The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey certifies vendors under its quasi-government MWBE program. Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification can be obtained by Federal or State agencies for minorities or women-owned businesses, or other socially and economically disadvantaged individuals such as persons with disabilities.

In the private sector, various assist corporate brands by also certifying diverse businesses. Within this group, we acknowledge certifications from the following: National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), Women's Business Enterprise National Council(WBENC), National LGBT Chamber of Commerce(NGLCC), United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCCC), National Veteran Owned Business Association (NaVOBA), Disability:In, the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce(USPAACC ), and United States Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program. Globally, diverse certifications are issued to vendors by Minority Supplier Development China (MSD China), MSDUK, Supply Nation (Australia) and IWSCC (Cannda). WCS recognizes the diverse certifications from all referenced entities.

Why does WCS value certified diverse suppliers?

WCS obtains funding from federal, state and local agencies, which often require the use of Minority-owned/ Women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs). Diversity certificates enable us to accurately show evidence that suppliers were vetted and verified as diverse entities. In addition, our supplier diversity initiative demonstrates our commitment to improving the diversity of our supply chain and tracking our progress.

Do diverse suppliers need to be certified?

No. While certification is not required to do business with WCS, a supplier is not eligible for inclusion in our Supplier Diversity Database without certification. We encourage diverse suppliers to become certified with any of the certification organizations referenced above.

What is the WCS Supplier Diversity Database (SDD)?

WCS relies on the SDD, its free newly-developed on-line business to business tool, to identify, distinguish, and utilize certified Minority-owned/Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs); Minority-owned Business Enterprises (MBEs); Women-owned Business Enterprises (WBEs); Disabled Veteran-owned Business Enterprise (DVBE), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender-owned Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs). This feature will aid us greatly in required reports to federal, state, and city agencies. Further, this system will facilitate strategic partnerships among certified diverse vendors and existing prime vendors for capacity building and second-tier opportunities with diverse subcontractors. Our on-line system allows us to engage with diverse suppliers in a more efficient way. You can register here.

How does the WCS SDD help diverse suppliers potentially do business with each other?

Our Supplier Diversity program is designed to help diverse vendors build capacity. When a registered diverse supplier informs WCS of a potential contract opportunity for a specific product or service, WCS will facilitate the identification of other registered diverse suppliers in our SDD. However, these registered suppliers must provide WCS with consent before any other supplier can view its Company Profile. This is just one example of how SDD facilitates capacity building.

How does my business get listed in the WCS SDD?

You must first register your company's information in our database. You can register here.

Are there any fees?

No. There is no fee associated with being a registered supplier in the SDD.

What information does the WCS SDD collect?

Suppliers are not required to provide any individual's personal information when registering in the SDD. The general information that SDD requests include, but is not limited to, the following:

    1. Business contact information
    2. Third-party certification information
    3. Core business experience

Will my SDD information be publicly available?

No. Once a supplier completes its SDD registration, this information becomes the supplier's SDD Company Profile. A registered supplier's SDD Company Profile will be accessible to WCS personnel, and upon the supplier's consent in each case, to other SDD-registered suppliers interested in partnering on a contract opportunity. No SDD Company Profiles will be made publicly available, and will only be shared as described in these FAQs.

How long does my information remain in the SDD?

A registered supplier's Company Profile remains in the SDD until the SDD-registered supplier decides to terminate its participation in the SDD (either upon the supplier's request to be removed from the SDD or a supplier's failure to upload evidence of any required third party certification by a set due date). Upon such termination of participation, the supplier's Company Profile will be removed from the SDD.

Do any other terms and conditions apply to the SDD?

WCS's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to all users of the SDD

Are there any disclaimers I should be aware of?

WCS does not endorse any supplier registered in the SDD, nor has WCS taken any steps to verify any information submitted by a supplier in the SDD registration phase. WCS's identification of a registered diverse supplier for a requesting supplier is not a substitute for the requesting supplier's own due diligence process. Further, a supplier's registration in the SDD does not guarantee a contract between the supplier and WCS or another supplier, or the payment of any amount to the supplier by WCS or another supplier.

What do I do if I have additional questions?

If you have any additional inquiries that were not listed here, you can reach out to supplierdiversity@wcs.org.

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