This mapping process will help uncover and identify resources in order to avoid duplicative efforts. Convene relevant staff members within your own organization, including community engagement staff, and the partners identified in the the “Identify your partners” worksheet to answer the following questions.
The local business community
- Identify vendors from underserved communities that are already present in your area. Either by yourself or working through a community partner, conduct focus groups or interviews with these local and diverse vendors to assess how they perceive working with your institution:
- What do vendors like and dislike? What do vendors think your institution does well? What could improve?
- What are the barriers to doing business with your institution?
- Are vendors equipped to provide invoices that are compatible with your internal invoicing system?
- Are vendors paid in a timely enough manner?
- Are vendors satisfied with the existing technical assistance support in your community? If not, where do they believe further investment is necessary?
- Are vendors aware of upcoming contracting opportunities?
- Is your current system for submitting bids easy to navigate?
- Are smaller vendors aware of any tier two or subcontracting goals?
- Do vendors know who to engage at the institution around contracting opportunities?
- What are other gaps?
Mapping the local business ecosystem
- What organizations do local and diverse businesses interact with to help them build capacity or receive technical assistance? What programs do they offer? Meet with key stakeholders from your identified partners to see what services they already offer in these areas, and what gaps still exist. Refer to the “Identify your partners” worksheet.
- How are other local anchor institutions supporting local and diverse sourcing? Are there any other anchor institutions—health systems, universities, community colleges, public school systems, city and county governments—with similar supply chain needs?
- On your own, or through a partner, such as your region’s local community foundation or United Way, convene other area purchasing professionals to talk about shared goals and areas in which collaboration could achieve success, and identify initiatives that no one institution could do alone.