Honda Supplier Diversity Event Focuses on the Business Case for Diversity

Honda North America’s Procurement Diversity group hosted its third annual Honda Partnership Network (HPN) event last week at the Columbus Convention Center in Ohio and the event attracted Tier 1 suppliers and diverse companies from across North America seeking to build connections that will lead to future business relationships.

The theme of this year’s event was, “The Business Case for Diversity.” The HPN served as a matchmaking opportunity between Tier 1 suppliers and diverse companies who are positioned to provide them goods and services. Roughly 375 companies were invited to attend.

Appointments were arranged ahead of time by Honda diversity procurement and timed to ensure maximum exposure for the diverse companies looking to meet with the Tier 1 suppliers.

“Matching us up before we get here was really helpful,” said Charlie McGregor, president of TSP Solutions, an industrial MRO fluids supplier out of Lawrenceville, Kent. who attended the event for the first time this year. “We’ve been able to make some great connections.”

Honda’s current spend with diverse suppliers has grown from $2.5 billion several years ago to more than $3 billion last year.

The event featured remarks from several Honda executives as well as outside speakers.

“Looking at our Tier II diverse spend the past three years, we’ve made steady progress each year, from $285 million in 2014, to almost $900 million last year,” said Rick Schostek, Honda North America (HNA), Executive Vice President. “So, we are tracking quickly toward a billion in Tier II diversity spend. And for those of you who have yet to get on board, the train is picking up speed.”

Keynote speaker Andrea Hoffman, CEO and founder at Culture Shift Labs, a management consultancy, spoke about activating growth and innovation through inclusion.

Carl Vaughn, project manager of Suppler Diversity for DENSO North America, a Tier 1 Honda supplier also shared details on his company’s diversity sourcing program.

“We are very pleased with this year’s event,” said Michael Bracey, unit manager of Honda North America Procurement Diversity. “Focusing on the indirect purchasing opportunities and the business case for diversity was a useful one for our attendees. It never ceases to amaze me, the connections that are made at this event.”

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