Survey your procurement policies and practices

What policies and processes are working, and which are barriers to success?

Procurement policies to consider

  • Bid process
    • Are you able to award points or give preference to local and diverse vendors in the bidding process?
    • How much do you weigh diversity and locality in your scoring processes?
    • Do you have a policy that requires participation from local and diverse vendors at different thresholds in the bidding process?
    • Do you break up larger contracts to create additional opportunities for smaller local and diverse vendors?
  • Supplier development
    • Do you have subcontracting requirements so that prime contractors work with and mentor local and diverse suppliers?
    • Do you partner with business incubators or other business development groups to support the development of new local, minority-owned, or employee-owned suppliers and the expansion of existing ones?
    • Do you participate in “reverse trade fairs” —i.e., send your purchasing staff out into community-organized vendor matchmaking events?
  • Invoicing and payment systems
    • What is your current net payment period? Is this a barrier for vendors?
    • Do you have the ability to shorten net payment periods?
    • Do you communicate with accounting staff about payment for local and diverse vendors?
    • What are the requirements of your current invoicing system? Are you able to accept paper invoices, or provide technical assistance around electronic invoicing?
  • Procurement targets
    • Do purchasing goals or targets for local, environmentally preferred, and/or supplier diversity exist?
    • Is there a process for assessing progress on goals and targets?
    • Is executive leadership engaged in the process of setting and then reviewing purchasing goals?
    • Is there a cross-departmental committee or task force that reviews progress on purchasing goals?
  • Staff development and evaluation
    • Are staff sent to conferences that highlight best practices on local, environmentally preferred, and diversity purchasing in health care?
    • Is performance on purchasing goals a factor in employee evaluation? To what extent?
  • Certification
    • What supplier diversity certifications do you currently accept?
    • Are there any locally based certifications you could add?

Procurement practices to consider

  • Posting bids
    • Are all bidding opportunities made public?
    • Are bids posted online?
    • Is the webpage easy to navigate to?
    • Are bids circulated through local business support organizations, such as supplier diversity councils or small business centers?
    • How much advanced noticed do you provide suppliers to prepare for bid opportunities?
  • Reporting on progress
    • How often do you report on local and diverse spending? Who monitors these reports?
    • Are staff held accountable for achieving these goals and objectives?
    • Are there opportunities to incorporate this into the current evaluation process or incentive process?


What policies might help make the case?

Identify any existing organizational policies and plans that are aligned with the objectives of increasing local purchasing in underserved communities. This can help refine initiative goals, and to make the case for investing in the initiative.

Policy Documents to draw from
  • Strategic Plan
  • Sustainability Plan
  • Diversity Plan
  • Mission and vision statements
  • Community Health Needs Assessment and Implementation Plan

Measure your supply chain baseline

Where and who are you currently purchasing from?

Identify your partners

Growing the capacity of local and diverse vendors in underserved communities doesn't have to happen alone—who else is on your team?

Map your community's assets

How can you link with existing networks and efforts to support local and diverse purchasing?

Understand your purchasing pipeline

Who contributes to purchasing decisions at your institution, and how are decisions made?

Scale and sustain impact

How do you institutionalize priorities and create organizational alignment?