Much of the never-ceasing US political talk this week has centered around President Trump’s signing of an executive order to benefit historically black colleges and universities.

According to the Portland Press Herald‘s sources, this executive order is “expected to strengthen the office that pushes the federal government to do business with the colleges by moving it to the White House and providing it specific goals.”  The Press Herald goes on to say that the “potential is huge…Federal agencies have thousands of contracts with colleges, universities and think tanks worth billions of dollars.”

Business Insider reports that “Trump, a Republican, has pledged to improve the lives of black Americans” and that the executive order will make historically black colleges and universities “‘a priority again.”  According to BI’s White House source, the executive order will allow historically black colleges and universities  “to serve as a strategic partner to the president’s urban agenda of creating jobs and making inner cities safe again.”

Note that there was no talk of cost savings as related to the procurement aspect of this executive order.  That’s because there are sometimes more strategic things than cost savings at stake with procurement decisions.  To argue otherwise would expose amateurish procurement thinking.

Whether it’s to enhance a brand, gain “political points,” or simply follow one’s instinct about simply doing the right thing, supplier diversity best practices offer ways for procurement to add value beyond cost savings and strategically contribute to the strength of an organization.

President Trump isn’t always a great role model. But, in this case, he has set a good example for how procurement strategies can have non-financial value.

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is the Founder, President & Chief Procurement Officer of the Next Level Purchasing Association. Charles is also the Co-Author of "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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