By Victor Ochieng
It’s also the first media and technology company to be formally included in the Billion Dollar Roundtable (BDR), a group consisting of companies that spend no less than $1 billion in their engagement with tier-one minority and women-owned business ventures.
In the group, Comcast NBCUniversal teamed up with 21 other U.S. corporation members of the exclusive group. BDR, which comprises of companies from diverse industries, creates and develops programs that help Black-owned businesses to attain the highly elusive tire-one status, working with direct suppliers as well as original manufactures of different equipment.
Peter Kiriacoulacos, Comcast NBCUniversal chief procurement officer, says diversity within the supply chain is core to the success of Comcast NBCUniversal and its family of companies. To demonstrate just how much this means to them, the company spent a whopping $8 billion between 2011 and 2015 with diverse suppliers. In 2015 alone, the company spent $2.6 billion. In 2014, 17% of the company’s applicable procurement spending involved engagements with diverse service and product suppliers.
Because of its demonstrable efforts to promote diversity, Comcast NBCUniversal was named among Black Enterprise’s “Top 35 Companies for Supplier Diversity” and “40 Best Companies for Diversity.” The company’s supplier diversity program is geared towards promoting and increasing the engagement of diverse businesses within its supply chain.
“Comcast NBCUniversal’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is second to none; however, it always helps to be able to exchange information and ideas with others who share in that commitment. We push each other so the collective group becomes better,” says Ajamu M. Johnson, the company’s executive director of Supplier Diversity and Strategic Procurement. “We are honored to be active members of the Billion Dollar Roundtable. Our involvement provides another opportunity to share best practices with some of the most impactful and inclusive corporations and leaders.”
The BDR was founded in 2001 with the aim of identifying, recognizing and celebrating companies that hit the $1 billion dollar mark in spending with minority and women owned suppliers. In 2005, BDR had only 12-member companies. The number would later rise to 15 in 2008 after three more companies – Procter & Gamble, Hewlett-Packard and Toyota – were inducted. BDR inducts new members bi-annually.
For the best results and to promote best practices in the supply chain, the group members discuss various issues, available opportunities and strategies. They also work to encourage other major corporations to improve their supply diversity every year.
Other members of BDR include Ford Motor, Bank of America, Fist Chrysler, Johnson & Johnson, Kroger, Verizon Communications, Avis, Walmart and AT&T among others.