Diversity, access and inclusion in Procurement

One of Procurement Services’ core principles is intentional inclusion. What does that mean? It is important to us to have a community of respect, kindness and encouragement. This principle not only applies to our stakeholders and dealings with all university personnel, it transfers over to our supply base, as well. Our commitment to supplier diversity reflects our core values, and helps to ensure that the suppliers we source and the products and services the university purchases are differentiated and innovative, and viable. Supplier diversity economically empowers our community, and increases supply chain competitiveness. That is a three-way win for everyone – our university, our suppliers and our community.

Procurement Services helps our campus purchase a wide array of products and services, from scientific and research supplies, to air and bus charters. Our motto is, “we make the University run.” And, to accomplish that, we need good suppliers. We strive to establish partnerships and create open communication between all parties. One way we achieve this is through our twice-a-year Supplier Showcase events. The Lincoln campus hosts one in the spring and again in the fall, to offer suppliers a chance to interact with faculty and staff, and learn more about the university. (NOTE: We are hoping to make our fall 2020 event virtual, more information to come.)

NU’s newly executed Executive Memorandum 21 clearly states our commitment to providing equal access and opportunity to all, ensuring historically underutilized businesses, certified Minority-, Women-, Veteran-, Disability- and LGBT-owned businesses know how to engage and do business with the University. We continue this commitment by fostering relationships with these organizations that provide access to our business opportunities, and encourage procurement of goods and services from certified diverse businesses.

In addition, a Supplier Diversity and Inclusion website is in development, which will serve to educate and introduce suppliers to NU, while we validate our current supply base. We want to ensure our diversity and inclusion values are incorporated within all procurement processes and initiatives, educate our campuses and focus resources to maintain and administer our program.

Interested suppliers should start by registering their business(s) in eBid, or simply ensuring their existing eBid profile is up-to-date. Next, they can schedule a one-on-one session with the University either through the Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council (MPMSDC, reached at http://www.mpmsdc.org/), or directly with Procurement. Remember, Procurement Services wants to help, please reach out for guidance.