The Project

When one of the world’s largest multinational technology corporations wanted to improve and overcome challenges to its diverse supplier program, X-Factor was brought on to audit and analyze the company’s onboarding process and provide recommendations to meet diverse supplier goals. Together, we worked to develop a solution to improve the onboarding process and scale their diverse supplier database.


In the summer of 2020, our client set out to address ongoing racial injustices and disparities faced by ethnic and racial minorities, particularly Black and African American communities, in the United States. To address these issues, the company put together a set of initiatives aimed at improving not just their internal workplace, but also the communities where its employees live and work. Born out of these initiatives, our client created an internal Racial Equity Initiative. And although the company already had a Supplier Diversity program in place for many years, this new initiative made it even more important to foster diverse supplier relations in a timely and effective manner.

The Challenge

A culture of diversity and inclusion was always a key focus of our client’s, and this commitment extended to the organization’s vast network of supply chain partners. The company recognized the importance of engaging with a diverse supplier ecosystem and wanted to ensure that its suppliers mirrored its diverse employee base as well as the communities they live, work, and serve. To accomplish this, our client understood that seeking input from suppliers and responding to their feedback would be integral for scaling its diverse supplier program.

In order to achieve this goal, the company sought out a consulting firm that could help them understand and address the challenges of the diverse supplier onboarding process. They found the solution they were looking for in X-Factor, a black-owned MBE (minority business enterprise) and AAB (African American Business) consulting firm. X-Factor was chosen for its expertise in auditing corporate programs and processes, as well as its vast knowledge of supplier diversity and program development strategies.

The Objective

X-Factor was brought on to provide an external audit of our client’s diverse supplier program. This included analyzing and developing recommendations to meet its diverse supplier goals. The aim was to support the client’s efforts to further scale its diverse supplier database, utilizing X-Factor’s qualitative data. X-Factor’s primary objective was to engage with our client’s broad base of suppliers to pinpoint where the program currently thrives and to identify pain points for suppliers.

Ultimately, our client’s goal was to double the number of Black and African-American-owned supplier partners by June 2023. Part of the organization’s plan for achieving this was to ensure that every Request for Proposal (RFP) provided diverse suppliers with the same access to business opportunities as any other potential supplier.

The Methodology

To achieve this mission, X-Factor rolled out a plan in which dozens of diverse suppliers were selected. All were to complete a questionnaire and those with the longer experience working with the client were to be interviewed remotely, utilizing the current diverse supplier list. The results of these interviews and surveys helped X-Factor understand the experiences of the diverse suppliers that served our client and identify areas for improvement in the onboarding process.

X-Factor conducted an extensive survey that included a range of queries, some multiple-choice and some open-ended, that focused on a wide range of supplier diversity matters. X-Factor examined a broad range of diverse micro/mid/macro supplier demographics across a wide variety of industries and company sizes; from less than 20 to 12,000+. Companies ranged from 6 years in business to 50. Interestingly, two of the most prevalent themes were related to communication and financial related issues.

The Results

As a result of X-Factor’s work and project findings, our client has implemented several initiatives to address diverse supplier pain points and improve its diverse supplier program.

The collaborative work between X-Factor and our client has helped improve the onboarding process for diverse suppliers and has set a standard for other companies looking to establish diverse supplier programs. Our client’s commitment to this program as well as its decision to hire a black-owned consulting firm in X-Factor has set a precedent and demonstrated how diverse supplier programs can be effective when they are given the proper attention. The company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion has been a driving force behind its success and is a clear example of the company’s dedication to creating a fair and inclusive supplier ecosystem that represents diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.