Nissan, Rickman Enterprise find win-win in supplier diversity strategy

Formula for success

Amid the country’s COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest, sometimes it’s easy to overlook a proven strategy for creating minority-business inclusion in a corporation’s supply chain. But Marcella McCullough, senior manager of supplier diversity and purchasing strategy at Nissan Americas, and veteran and minority business owner Roderick Rickman, chairman and CEO of Rickman Enterprise Group LLC, have an identified commodity business plan, access to opportunity and intentional engagement.


Rickman and McCullough met during a National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc. conference where minority suppliers had the opportunity to meet with supplier diversity professionals and supply-chain personnel in various of industries. Rickman attended the conference to interact with representatives from specific companies to which he felt his business could deliver value and innovative solutions.


Nissan Americas supports numerous diverse advocacy organizations, including the NMSDC. Nissan’s participation at the NMSDC’s annual conference allows its supplier diversity team the opportunity to visit the entrepreneur booth exhibits and have one-on-one conversations with minority business owners.


During a conversation with Rickman at his booth, McCullough learned about Rickman Enterprise’s core capabilities and how the business could support Nissan. She was especially interested in Rickman Enterprise’s proven experience in the automotive industry.


Before the event, McCullough invited Rickman to participate in Nissan’s Supplier Diversity Forum and present his company’s core capabilities. Before the event, McCullough began the onboarding process with Rickman Enterprise, which included getting a better understanding of the company’s automotive industry experience. This process helped Rickman prepare a focused presentation spotlighting Rickman Enterprise’s value to Nissan. During the forum, Rickman was introduced to key Nissan supply-chain purchasing specialists who identified an opportunity to leverage Rickman Enterprise’s waste management expertise in Nissan’s automotive manufacturing facilities.


“While we were initially interested in facility management,” Rickman said, “there was an upcoming opportunity in the waste management area. I actually started my career in waste management, and it’s still a large part of what Rickman Enterprise does for its clients. We know the regulations, the compliance requirements and inventory solutions. We know how to track waste and then dispose of it using an environmentally safe methodology.”


Nissan included Rickman Enterprise in a 2019 request for waste management proposals. Its competitive proposal response won Rickman Enterprise the business. Rickman Enterprise has since provided Nissan waste management that includes on-site inventory profiling, development of the shipping manifest of materials according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines and U.S. Department of Transportation disposal service requirements. Rickman Enterprise’s work ensures compliance and proper handling of waste.


Win-win solution

Rickman is honored to work with the Nissan team and hopes to expand his company’s services into the automaker’s facility management operations at several assembly plants.


Part of Rickman Enterprise’s formula for success extends beyond its excellent service. Rickman is also a staunch champion for delivering impact to the communities in which his company operates. He is a military service veteran and is active with minority and veteran groups focused on growing diverse entrepreneurs and businesses.


Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, Rickman Enterprise has a history of channeling its resources into uplifting the community. From training, job creation and hiring of minority candidates from the community to leading and volunteering with causes impacting the minority community, Rickman has been an active advocate for more than 30 years. He and Rickman Enterprise regularly contribute, speak up and engage in matters aimed at improving the community beyond job creation.


As Rickman Enterprise has proven, community impact is a clear byproduct of using minority-owned businesses. It is a winning solution for those companies seeking tax relief for moving their operations to a particular state or city. It helps generate positive public relations within the community where the company’s employees work, live and play.


Rickman said building a successful business “begins with a solid business that has demonstrable value for clients. The second key is having access to decision-makers to discuss your value and innovative solutions. And the third element is identifying opportunities to bid and deliver on your value. Nissan provides us access and opportunity. We applaud Nissan’s efforts and its commitment to building relationships with minority-owned businesses like ours.”




Nissan Americas Marcella McCollough Rickman Enterprise Group Rod Rickman supplier diversity

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