Home' The Source : Third Quarter 2010 Contents commitment to diversity at all levels of the organiza-
tion, Kehrberg says. "Through understanding and
communicating this commitment, we will measure
our successes with ongoing tracking," Woods says.
Using Technology to Build Diversity
At HCA's Central Atlantic Supply Chain Operations,
executives are making great strides in reaching out
to MWBEs through technology. "We have been out
in our community for years, building relationships
with women and minority suppliers," says Ron
Powell, CEO of HCA Central Atlantic Supply Chain
Operations. "And repeatedly, what I hear is, 'How do
I do business with HCA?' A lot of minority organiza-
tions educate their members about how to go after
government contracts, but they have no clue how to
start going after business with large corporations."
To help bridge that gap, last February the group
launched HCASupply.com, a dedicated Web site
focused on making contacts and building relation-
ships with diverse suppliers. "There's this widespread
notion [among small and disadvantaged businesses]
that large organizations don't really want to do busi-
ness with them," Powell says. "We have spent a lot of
time trying to combat that idea and teach them how
to do business with us. The Web site is a new way to
educate them about what we do, what we're looking
for, and to get them registered with us. It allows us
to formalize a relationship with them and make sure
they're in our database."
The site is unique because it o ers a list of every
facility that operates within the Central Atlantic
division, and lists each facility's current purchas-
ing needs. By breaking the needs down by facility,
MWBEs have a greater opportunity to do business
with facilities in their local and regional communi-
ties, Carpenter says.
Thus far, the site has been "a tremendous success,"
adds Powell. After its launch, HCA's contracts sta
were "inundated" with registrations, and they have
continued to come in steadily for the past several
While registration through the site doesn't guaran-
tee a vendor any contracts, the e ort of creating and
launching a Web site focused on supplier diversity has
already accomplished much goodwill in the Richmond
area. "From a community standpoint, it shows, 'Hey,
we care about you. We're trying to tell you about our
company and how to work with us,' " Powell says.
"We've received a lot of kudos in the minority com-
munity for doing that. Now the key is to follow that
up with action, which we plan to do."
Experiencing the Benefits
HealthTrust and its members, like CHI and HCA,
which are focusing on strengthening their diversity
programs, aren't just providing business opportuni-
ties to small and disadvantaged vendors. The facili-
ties are also enjoying benefits of their own, including
cost savings, through these relationships.
"There's a misconception that you have to pay
more for minority participation," Powell says. "But
it has been proven over and over again in our orga-
nization that it's not true: You can get great service
and great savings from minority vendors.
"A lot of these companies are small and operate on
lower margins than larger vendors, so they can a ord
to o er cost savings for ongoing contracts."
In addition to cost e ectiveness, MWBEs can also
provide creativity and flexibility that isn't always
available from larger vendors. Because they are usu-
ally smaller companies, they can operate more nim-
bly to solve problems and serve customers without
going through layers of management approval.
Organizations that are dedicated to working with
MWBEs also benefit by generating goodwill in their
local communities. In times of need, business owners
and consumers who have observed that level of com-
mitment will be more likely to turn to a health-care
facility that seems to value them, their neighbors
and their communities as a whole.
"Health-care providers who demonstrate their
commitment to their communities [through supplier
diversity e orts] will have that commitment paid
back to them many times over by business coming
through the doors," Powell says.
To learn more about the HealthTrust Supplier Diversity
program go to: http://diversity.healthtrustpg.com. S
⟀ Social Stewardship:
HEALTHTRUST'S SUPPLIER DIVERSITY PROGRAM
"There's a misconception that
you have to pay more for minority
participation. But it has been
proven over and over again in our
organization that it's not true. A lot of
these companies are small and operate
on lower margins than larger vendors,
so they can a ord to o er cost savings
for ongoing contracts."
Ron Powell, CEO of HCA Central Atlantic Supply Chain Operations
54 Third Quarter 2010 | The Source
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