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Q&A: How Supplier Diversity program led to wins for WWT

WWT formally launched the Supplier Diversity Program in 2011 and it has been changing and improving WWT business practices ever since.

October 28, 2019

Posted by San Francisco Business Times on July 12, 2019:

WWT formally launched our Supplier Diversity Program in Jan. 2011, when we dedicated a full-time resource to lead the position. It had been the goal of Dave StewardAnn Marr, Bob Wells and Dicran Arnold to establish a formal program. However it became more of a priority shortly after WWT lost its small business status with the Small Business Association along with heightened expectations from some our key customers.

“Simply put, a diversity strategy which includes supplier diversity is a business imperative. Supplier diversity is a critical component to any business’s long-term growth and sustainability strategy. Without it, a business limits its growth potential and competitiveness. It is personal to me because WWT has experienced the benefits first-hand. The access and opportunity the Minority Supplier Development Councils, including the WRMSDC, and our customers’ supplier diversity programs have provided, has been a tremendous contributor to our growth. We had to earn the business through the value we deliver. However, without the access and advocacy, opportunities would be limited. We are firmly committed to serving and helping diverse businesses grow and will continue to do so,” said Dave Steward.

Q: What aspects of your business are covered by supplier diversity?

WWT’s procurement process is decentralized. However, our Supplier Diversity team meets with every buying entity to talk about our Supplier Diversity Program and how WWT can benefit from working with more nimble partners that can enhance our bottom line.

Q: What are some of the big “wins” of the program? For example, did you identify a superstar partner who may not have been on your radar before?

One of WWT’s biggest success story is the new Global Headquarters (GHQ) project which consisted of 3 separate new construction builds– the 208,000-sq.ft. 6-story + lower level office building, a 5-story 768-car parking garage, and a connection patio lid built by TW Constructors. It is the largest project to be awarded by a minority-owned company to a minority-owned company in the St. Louis market. TW Constructors received the 2018 Building St. Louis Award for the new construction of WWT’s Global Headquarters building.

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