Supplier diversity. Inclusive procurement. Business diversity. What does it all mean? Simply put, “It’s the introduction of small businesses and diverse businesses into a company supply chain,” says Marcus Lundy, supplier diversity manager at Regions. “We try to work with those companies that are historically left out and forgotten about and introduce those companies as a special interest group into our supply chain.”
During Lundy’s tenure with Regions, the bank has raised its spend with diverse suppliers to 10%, up from less than 3% a decade ago. But he hasn’t done it alone. Lundy relies on advocates throughout the company who are willing to speak to the business justifications for supplier diversity.
“Our approach is to have data-driven, fact-based discussions consistently throughout the procurement and contract process with leaders, bankers and others in the company.”
Regions’ efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Lundy was recently named a 2021 Top 25 Diversity Change Leader by DiversityPlus Magazine. He is also a founding member and the incoming chair of VITAL, a Birmingham-area organization of large companies working to encourage and grow supplier diversity in the area.
“I’m proud of Marcus and others throughout the organization who have committed to making supplier diversity a priority. Regions has a culture that values the importance of diversity and inclusion and we’re committed to honoring those values by doing business with companies that are owned and operated by diverse groups,” states Brett Couch, head of Corporate Real Estate and Procurement.
By supporting small and diverse businesses, Regions is helping more businesses in the community thrive while also driving more competitive pricing and innovation among suppliers.
“We now have service level owners who see and understand the business imperative of supplier diversity and the benefits of approaching their suppliers from a perspective of diversity,” says Lundy.
Watch the video to hear more from Lundy and other Regions leaders about what supplier diversity means and why it isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also a smart business move.
Learn more about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Regions.