By Georgeann H. Ikuma
As one of the world’s oldest, largest and most well-known financial institutions, JPMorgan Chase & Co. places particular value in supplier partnerships, crediting the help of diverse suppliers and advisers for serving its clients, shareholders communities and employees more efficiently.
Despite a nearly three-decades-old supplier diversity program, JPMorgan Chase continues to cultivate and create new ways to enhance strategic alignment and value by helping suppliers understand how to become more successful with JPMorgan Chase, while simultaneously helping the financial firm to become a customer of choice in its supply markets.
“We’re committed to
increasing diversity within our supply chain, creating a supplier base that is
reflective of our customer base, and driving economic growth in the communities
where we do business,” said Brian Lamb, global head of diversity, equity &
inclusion, JPMorgan Chase. “When done well, supplier diversity is one of the
most efficient ways to close the racial wealth gap which is, in fact, the
essence of economic inclusion.”
A golden opportunity
In 2017, JPMorgan launched the Gold Supplier Program to provide enhanced relationship management for the company’s most strategic supply partners. Gold Suppliers represent established or emerging leaders in their respective industries with significant reach and influence across the United States and globally.
“We view Gold Suppliers as extensions of the firm and hold them to higher standards of performance and partnership. And we align Gold Suppliers to the firm’s strategic agenda, spend frequently with them and work to make JPMorgan Chase their best customer,” Lamb said. “We also focus on using the full force of the firm to create additional value in the communities we serve.”
Gold Suppliers — both large and small, public and private, diverse and majority-owned in a wide range of product and service categories — have tremendous buying power and, collectively, can reshape the business landscape and advance racial equity, he said.
“We’re amplifying our impact on diverse businesses by encouraging the Gold Supplier community to join our efforts and increase their spend with diverse businesses,” said Jim Connell, chief procurement officer, JPMorgan Chase.
“We’re taking a phased approach, starting with Gold Suppliers with established supplier diversity programs,” he said. “They’re in a position to deliver results in the short term. So far, this group has, collectively, committed to increase their spend by $6.2 billion over the next three years, placing particular emphasis on Black, Hispanic and Latino-owned firms.”
Spend commitments are expected to grow in 2022 as additional Gold Suppliers commit to increased spend targets. “First, we need to do some important groundwork,” Connell said. “We’re partnering with Gold Suppliers that have mature supplier diversity programs to mentor and support Gold Suppliers without formal programs.”
Once this important development phase is complete, all remaining Gold Suppliers — those with mature supplier diversity programs and those with recent programs — will formalize their diverse spend commitments. “We’re looking forward to seeing the Gold Supplier community commitment increase beyond $6.2 billion,” Connell said. “But more importantly, we’re excited to see how these new programs will build wealth in these communities for years to come.”
The work that JPMorgan Chase is doing with their top suppliers will generate revenues for diverse businesses that are above and beyond JPMorgan Chase’s own spend commitment of an additional $750 million with Black, Hispanic and Latino owned businesses over five years. The firm is not simply asking for an increase in spend. What sets this program apart is that JPMorgan Chase is providing direct education, mentorship and subject matter expertise to other corporations, giving rise to a greater number of sustainable supplier diversity programs.
Going for the gold
Achieving Gold Supplier status is partly within the supplier’s control and partly at JPMorgan Chase’s discretion. Gold Suppliers are typically established suppliers that have significantly differentiated themselves in terms of performance, innovation, cost, risk management and partnership with the firm. They are proactive in solution-building, actively work to align with the investment bank’s strategic agenda and operational requirements and provide expert-level engagement and account management.
Gold Suppliers also demonstrate a willingness to go beyond the traditional supplier-client relationship and partner with the firm on other environmental, social and corporate good works for the communities they serve together.
“While we’ve mobilized Gold Suppliers to develop and implement three-year plans for increasing diverse spend and growing their supplier diversity programs, this is not just a quick-strike initiative,” Lamb said. “We’re building supplier diversity programs that will become an intrinsic part of the Gold Suppliers’ sourcing and procurement operation and also create economic opportunities for diverse-owned businesses for decades to come.”
To learn more about JPMorgan Chase’s Gold Supplier program, visit jpmorganchase.com/about/suppliers/gold-suppliers.