Field service companies need to maintain a quality vendor network to complete property preservation work effectively and to show theirs and their clients’ commitment to strengthening communities across the country.
Beyond that, field service companies need to be committed to building a diverse vendor network that reflects those communities they have been hired to protect.
To demonstrate that commitment, Safeguard Properties has partnered with one of its clients and a national small business development organization to provide training for minority- and women-owned vendors.
In 2011, Safeguard conducted a study of its vendor network. It identified that 33 percent of the company’s vendor network consisted of minority-, women-, disabled- and veteran-owned small businesses. That equated to a $153 million spent on diverse vendors in 2010.
The survey also showed that the majority of Safeguard’s vendors who were identified as diverse were not certified as such by a nationally recognized organization, thus missing out on potential growth opportunities. Safeguard began a collaboration with one of its clients, Citi, and the Foundation for Small Business Development to provide training to its diverse vendors on how to become certified and grow their small businesses.
The Partnership for Small Business Development, recently launched in Washington, D.C., will provide 400 of Safeguard’s minority- and women-owned vendors with two-day training sessions in Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas and New York City throughout 2012. This training is available to Safeguard’s vendors based on tenure and work performance.
The Partnership will train the vendors on becoming certified through the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). Once they are certified, Safeguard’s minority- and women-owned vendors will qualify for set-aside contracts from large companies and government entities. The training is designed to help them prepare and expand their small businesses for these new contracting opportunities.
Providing training and opportunities for diverse vendors to grow their small businesses is a good way for field service companies to show their commitment to clients, communities across the country, and their own vendor networks.