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Even though his department was “blown up” last year, Bill Hartwig, vice president of supplier relations and international procurement for Marriott International, expects to hit a supplier-diversity spending goal of 15 percent this year. Performance-driven benchmarks such as this are critical to the sustained success of Marriott International, No. 7 on The 2010 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for DiversityÂ® list and No. 9 in The 2010 DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Supplier Diversity. (One of four key cornerstones of the DiversityInc Top 50 competition is supplier diversity.)
Setting clear goals and measurements that are reported quarterly to a board-level committee with diverse representation is just one way that Marriott International has expanded over the past 83 years from a root-beer stand in Washington, D.C., to a hospitality giant that operates more than 3,200 hotels in 67 countries today.
“In Marriott’s world, what gets measured gets done,” said Hartwig to the attendees of DiversityInc’s diversity-management forum last week.
DiversityInc’s next learning event in Washington, D.C., will be Nov. 8â€“9 and will focus on employee engagement and more diversity-management best practices for federal agencies, including advanced tips on supplier diversity. For information, click here.
A commitment to supplier diversity is at the heart of Marriott International’s culture, and it starts at the top: “Our ability to partner with the energy and entrepreneurship of small companies has always been a key ingredient of Marriott’s success,” Hartwig said, quoting Chairman and CEO J.W. (Bill) Marriott Jr., who spoke at DiversityInc’s November 2009 event. “We’ve seen the tremendous benefits that come from working with locally owned businesses in the communities in which we already operate. The challenge is to build on those relationships and diversify into new ones that can grow with us.”
Marriott, which abandoned its supplier-diversity “silo” approach last year and replaced it with a globally integrated, culturally competent model, is continuing its tradition of moving the program forward by following a prescribed set of best practices. The reason: “Small business remains the backbone of the economy,” said Hartwig. And minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) are “often more adaptable in times of change.”
- Ensuring commitment
- Dedicating resources to lead the charge
- Engaging with world-class organizations
- Assessing policies, procedures and the supplier pool and modifying as necessary
- Identifying procurement champions
- Educating and integrating
- Continually building relationships
- Celebrating and recognizing success at all levels (supplier, hotel, regionally and within corporate departments)
“Our law department was the first to get [the importance of recognition],” said Hartwig, “and now they’re creating an environment of opportunity to compete.”
Beyond being certified, potential Marriott International suppliers must understand potential customer needs and their capacity to meet them; be adept at building relationships; learn how to navigate the organization; seek mentors; partner with other MWBEs; and have patience.
Marriott International also ranked No. 1 in The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Blacks and No. 6 in The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Executive Women.