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Highmark Health, a healthcare company, wanted to leverage Pontoon’s supplier network for quick and efficient optimisation of their supply base. Before Pontoon implemented an MSP program, Highmark had been managing their contingent workforce in-house. As part of the MSP implementation, Highmark wanted to leverage Pontoon’s vast supplier network of strategic partners for a quick supply chain optimisation. Initially, to avoid business disruption, Pontoon’s experts migrated all of the Highmark’s existing vendors to the program. It quickly turned out the supply base lacked a strong diversity component.
Our stakeholders at Highmark asked Pontoon to increase their vendor diversity mix to support fulfilling their partners’ requirements.
Pontoon worked with the Highmark’s procurement team to agree on the approach for right-sizing the supply base. The ultimate goal was to assemble a roster of high-performing suppliers while increasing its diversity. Highmark was especially interested in adding Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDB), which are companies owned by socially or economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs. Pontoon conducted a formal RFP, inviting 70 partners that included Highmark’s legacy suppliers, Pontoon’s diverse and non-diverse partner referrals, as well as local diversity firms recommended by our stakeholders.
Pontoon designed a roster of 38 suppliers, comprised of 14 non-SDB and 24 SDB companies. Our procurement supplier experts suggested grouping suppliers by labour category, tiered as detailed below. This new strategy ultimately increased the SDB spend by 25,5% in 2020. Highmark’s overall diversity spend now totals 47%, which amounts to 27% increase year-on-year.
“Pontoon does a great job strategically aligning its supplier partners for success. Since joining the program as an SDB, we have already seen the positive impact of their diversity initiatives. We are excited about the future and look forward to growing with the program.” – Mike Tomaso, COO, Airetel Staffing, Inc.