Diversity and the Supply Chain

Julie Shenkman
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Before we go into why diversity matters in logistics and supply chain management, let's get one thing clear: There is no black, or female, or Asian, or Hispanic, or white way to move materials from point A to point B. Roads, rails, trucks, trains, boats, ships and airplanes may vary in speed, capacity, condition and quality, but they function the same way the world over. What does differ from place to place, and even within places, is how customers and suppliers interact and respond in doing business. Companies and distributors who recruit employees and use the services of firms from a wide variety of backgrounds gain the advantage of having a workforce and a supplier network that understands the local language wherever they do business. Even where that language is English, people of varied backgrounds conduct their affairs in a variety of ways. Not only does what works in Venice, Italy, may not work in Venice Beach, Calif., what works in Venice Beach may not work in East Los Angeles. Firms with roots in those communities understand the local territory better and are often more responsive to local clients' needs and desires. Having a broad spectrum of people across lines of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and geography in your workforce and on your supplier list also benefits your operations by both bringing different perspectives to the table at decision-making time and broadening the pool of talent from which you can draw the leaders of tomorrow. Having a diverse management team also bolsters employee morale, aids in mentoring talent, and makes getting employee buy-in to the success of the enterprise easier. And it improves the company's overall performance as well. Just ask UPS. By actively recruiting minorities, women and applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds, investing in their future through generous education assistance, and following a policy of promoting from within, the world's largest package delivery company has built a loyal and enthusiastic workforce with a history of both harmonious labor relations and consistent profits. By Sandy Smith Sandy Smith is a veteran freelance writer, editor and public relations professional who lives in Philadelphia. Besides blogging for LogisticsJobSite.com, he has written for numerous publications and websites, would be happy to do your resume, and is himself actively seeking career opportunities on Nexxt. Check out his LinkedIn profile and read his other posts on LogisticsJobSiteBlog.com.

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  • Melissa Kennedy
    Melissa Kennedy
    Thanks for the comments. Thanks, Sandy for sharing this. Diversity is a huge part of the supply chain and it's important for those in logistics to understand this.
  • Eloise
    At last, soemone comes up with the "right" answer!
  • Lynn
    Thanks for sharing.
  • Hollie
    This has made my day. I wish all postings were this good.

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