Johnson Controls adds minority and women vendors
The company’s commitment is more than “the right thing to do.”
“It improves the quality and marketability of our products and services by ensuring that we’re responding to the diverse needs of customers,” says Reginald Layton, director of supplier diversity. “We can be more successful with a supplier group that reflects the communities where we’re located as well as the customers of our customers.”
Expanding Around the World
A program that became more focused in the 1990s in support of the company’s automotive customers grew steadily and reached $1 billion in annual purchases from diverse suppliers in 2002. That moved Johnson Controls into an elite group of a dozen members of the Billion Dollar Roundtable—U.S. companies with at least $1 billion in annual purchases from diverse suppliers.
The Roundtable membership continues today. In 2007, Johnson Controls spent $1.5 billion with women- and minority-owned suppliers. The 2008 goal is $1.75 billion, and actual spending is expected to be close to $2 billion in a program that is now embedded across the entire business.
While the supplier diversity initiative is firmly established in North America, Johnson Controls has designs on global goals as well. A meeting in London earlier this year reflected a desire to identify and use diverse suppliers in Europe.
There, an initial target is a substantial one—identifying business opportunities for Johnson Controls and for historically underused suppliers for the 2012 Olympic Games.
There, as in other areas of the globe, growing a diverse supplier base is sure to help Johnson Controls better meet customers’ diverse needs.