MBEConnect Profiles Magazine

September 19, 2011

Supplier Diversity Spotlight: US Cellular


Making supplier diversity a competitive advantage.

Headquartered in Chicago, U.S. Cellular is among the largest wireless telecommunication networks in the country and ranks among the top for customer satisfaction ratings. This prestige comes not only from great customer service and product quality, but from a strong supplier diversity program that serves as a cornerstone of the company.

An increasing number of U.S. Cellular customers are women, minorities and small businesses; U.S. Cellular strives for its supply chain to reflect the communities it serves. The main goal of the supplier diversity program at U.S. Cellular is to develop mutually beneficial relationships with diverse suppliers, which are carefully selected through the competitive bidding process. From the perspective of U.S. Cellular, supplier diversity leads to bidding advantages, community support and customer loyalty.

Greg Hinton serves as the Senior Director and Chief Diversity Strategist and has been with U.S. Cellular for ten years. He sums up the supplier diversity program as a way “to develop mutually beneficial relationships with diverse suppliers.”

Get Your Company Involved with U.S. Cellular Supplier Diversity

The U.S. Cellular supplier diversity program emphasizes early involvement as a key factor in awarding diversity opportunities. Preparing proposals and an annual plan takes time, so interested suppliers are encouraged to start the process as early as possible.

Opportunities for supplier participation include: advertising, sales, information technology, legal services, manufacturing, warehouse, packaging and distribution; IT consulting and post-sales support. First tier suppliers are preferred at U.S. Cellular in order to create long-term strategic business relationships.

U.S. Cellular frequently works with the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), Women’s Business Development Council (WBENC), Small Business Administration (SBA), Association for Service Disabled Veterans (ASDV). Only suppliers certified through these recognized agencies are considered for the company’s supplier diversity program.

Participant Expectations

U.S. Cellular relies on a competitive bid process to select the highest quality suppliers for the program. “Diverse suppliers are selected only if value is demonstrated. This is achieved primarily through the competitive bid process,” says Greg Hinton.

Strong supplier diversity serves as an asset for U.S. Cellular, and though its goals are lofty, it does not mean settling for less than stellar service. U.S. Cellular views supplier diversity as a business advantage, not a compromise. “Supplier diversity leads to increased competitiveness for U.S. Cellular, as it leads to a broader vendor base and savings for the company and its customers,” states Hinton. Suppliers seeking to participate in the program must understand that U.S. Cellular does not compromise on quality or higher cost to meet its supplier diversity goals.

Supplier Application Requirements

Along with other requirements, the U.S. Cellular program requires diverse suppliers to submit an Annual Plan and quarterly reports with clearly identified goals and plans. The mandatory Annual Plan must include estimated sales to U.S. Cellular, supplier diversity performance goals, an action plan and a list of subcontracting or other teaming arrangements. This Annual Plan is included as an exhibit in contracts and reviewed upon annual renewal. Quarterly reports are also required for all participants and must include company revenue from U.S. Cellular and actual diversity participation.

These milestones and outlines help U.S. Cellular maintain regular contact with suppliers and leads to continuous improvement for both the supplier and the corporation. Through the competitive bid process and highly-structured application process, businesses can expect to build long-term, mutually beneficial relationship
with U.S. Cellular.

Get Started Now

Get involved with U.S. Cellular’s Supplier Diversity Program by following these links:

 

 






 
 

 
SupplierDiversity

Supplier Diversity at OfficeMax

      Our Mission OfficeMax promotes an inclusive culture that embraces the diversity of our associates, business partners and customers. This environment fosters innovation and creates a competitive advantage...
by cknecht
0

 
 
ActionBag

Action Bag Company

The Packaging Experts About Us Action Bag Company is a women-owned, family business. Marie Gebbie started the company back in 1980. Soon after Nancy Cwynar joined her to run the business. In 1995, Marie was ready to travel ...
by cknecht
0

 

 
MerchandisingBigPicture

Merchandising and the Big Picture at OfficeMax

     New Chief Merchandising Officer Ron Lalla discusses the important role supplier diversity plays in the company’s overall merchandising strategy, and what distinguishes the OfficeMax program from others. Off...
by cknecht
0

 
 
MBE
Excel

Excel Screen Printing & Embroidery, Inc.

Quality Products, Excellent Customer Service About Us Excel is one of the leading decorator of promotional items in the midwest. Our state of the art facilities allow us to produce every imaginable decoration order. Have an ...
by cknecht
0

 

 
Jelmar

Jelmar

All Kinds of Dirty, One Kind of Clean About Us Jelmar is the leading manufacturer of commercial, industrial and household cleaning products. Our commercial and industrial brands include CLR® PRO and Tarn-X® PRO. In additio...
by cknecht
0

 
 
McKlein

McKlein USA

Innovation Realized About Us For over 25 years, McKleinUSA has worked with world-renowned brand names and businesses to provide our customers with more than just a bag. As a unique revolutionary in the mobile computing and t...
by cknecht
0

 

 
News2

Weekly News Recap for 10/22/2012

  Let’s take a look at the latest news in the world of supplier diversity over the past week. Minority-owned businesses in Springfield, Illinois are asking the school board to consider their businesses on new projects fo...
by cknecht
0

 
 
40th_people

AT&T Graduates Second Class From Operation Hand Salute

AT&T has graduated its second class in its innovative Operation Hand Salute program. This year-long program invites Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprises (SDVOBEs) to further their business through classes ...
by cknecht
0

 
 
business crime

Preventing M/WBE Fraud In Government Contracting

Many government agencies at the federal, state and city level have supplier diversity programs in place to ensure that minority- and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) have an equal opportunity to participate in majo...
by cknecht
0

 




2 Comments


  1. [...] over the years. MBEConnect has worked directly with Mr. Hinton in the past, and included him in a feature on the U.S. Cellular supplier diversity program in the most recent issue of MBEConnect Profiles [...]


  2. [...] over the years. MBEConnect has worked directly with Mr. Hinton in the past, and included him in a feature on the U.S. Cellular supplier diversity program in the most recent issue of MBEConnect Profiles [...]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>