Helping diverse suppliers grow
The Supplier Diversity group at Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) has recently taken its vision of supplier development to a new level. While continuing to add new diverse suppliers into the Global Procurement portfolio, Supplier Diversity’s most recent initiative targets developing MPC’s existing diverse suppliers.
“A new leadership and management curriculum entitled the Diverse Supplier Leadership Engagement and Development (LEAD) program has been developed specifically for external diverse businesses,” explains Bonnie Loch, MPC’s manager of Supplier Diversity & Corporate Support. “It’s a six-month program, held at MPC’s corporate headquarters in Findlay, Ohio. In the end, it’s designed to equip established diverse businesses with the tools to grow and adapt to better serve large clients like MPC, although it should be noted that going through the program does in no way guarantee business with us.”
Monthly classes are facilitated by the Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Council (Ohio’s regional chapter of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council). In addition, participants receive one-on-one coaching sessions. Loch notes the course helps suppliers look at their business differently and gain a well-rounded perspective. The program’s curriculum is based on the Kaufman Business Development Program and focuses on entrepreneurs who currently own companies and are looking for proven strategies and processes for healthy growth. It allows participants to develop a growth proposition that addresses topics such as strategy, financing, marketing, human resources, leadership, contracting, marketing and product development.
“Our inaugural session in 2016 was very successful,” notes Supplier Diversity Coordinator Tyson Blaylock, who helps coordinate the program. “We received a lot of positive feedback, and our goal is to be able to offer the LEAD course annually.”
“The program provides an exceptional learning opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of MPC, its core values, and its business goals,” comments participant, Lynn Child, president and CEO of CentraComm. “As a long-time supplier of IT services, we felt that we knew a substantial amount about MPC but found out that this was not the case. Having specific frontline and leadership personnel share information about MPC and wrapping those sessions around the Kaufman program has added significant insights into both our relationship with MPC and an inward look at our own company. We appreciate MPC providing such a beneficial business development program to its suppliers.”
“The results from offering this program should be tangible for MPC as well,” adds Blaylock. “Our vision is that we will see growth and see greater success from an internal business partner that utilizes a supplier that has been through the program.”
The program provides an exceptional learning opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of MPC, its core values, and its business goals.