Since 1968, Diversity Information Resources (DIR) has been at the forefront in providing information resources that support and enhance supplier diversity. Diverse-owned supplier? Registration on DIR's portal is free. Represent a major corporation? Learn how DIR's supplier data management solutions, educational seminars and publications can enhance your corporation's supplier diversity program. Learn more at

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Share your latest Marketing and Information material . . .

This is a "how-to" post for diverse suppliers registered with DIR Corporate Clients

DIR answers suppliers’ LinkedIn connection requests with an invitation to join a LinkedIn group called “Suppliers Registered with DIR”. This group serves two functions. When we are looking for opinions or feedback, we go to this group first. In marketing jargon, we call it a “hotlist,” a vehicle for DIR to more easily reach a group of suppliers (most are certified as being diverse) knowledgeable about our products/services. It’s also a networking/sharing “bulletin” board used by diverse suppliers to exchange information with each other about successes, trials, and experiences reaching out to SD and Procurement professionals. DIR moderates all contributions to this group for privacy reasons. 

Suppliers occasionally email back with an informational PDF attached. I check the supplier’s profile in the DIR portal to see if the information is attached there, too. It rarely is, so I thought I’d blog about how to do just that: attach informational material (annual reports, fliers, flow charts, mission statements, etc.) to a supplier profile. Although DIR can upload certifications to a supplier’s profile, we cannot upload informational attachments (or change anything about your business listing) for privacy reasons

If you are a registered supplier on DIR’s portal and have materials to share … please do! Perhaps you registered on DIR’s site, or via one of our corporate clients. Documents need to be under 1MB (there are a few exceptions, but try to keep it under 1 MB) and have the file suffix: .doc, .xls, .vsd (Visio), .ppt, .pdf, .gif, and .jpg. These file types are noted on the upload page, but if you’re like me, you tend to glaze over the small print!

My suggestion is to save documents as .jpgs or .pdfs because both formats are easy to condense to a smaller file size (72 dpi is fine for .jpgs online, and .pdfs can be saved as “smallest size possible” with the ‘save as’ command).

READY? (Note! Save your file with a meaningful name like <MyCompany.2013Capabilities.jpg>, not <doc.feb.13.jpg>. This is important because, if someone saves/downloads your info to their hard drive, they can more easily find it using your company name in the search.)
SET. (Do you remember where you saved these files?)

1. Log-on to your profile (via (illustrated) or a client’s site).

2. Mouse over the “My Account” tab and drop down to “Update Organizational Profile” (Note! Not “Update My Profile” right above it). 

3. Click on the hyperlinked/underlined word: Attachments

4. Click the “Choose File” button and proceed on to your own hard drive to find the document you wish to upload. 

5. Once you’ve chosen your file (you do one at a time), click the “Upload” button. You’ll be directed to a page where you can fill in more details about your document. Be brief, but targeted, and give your file (again, an informative) a name (i.e. MyCompany.MissionStatement2013). 

6. Success! You’re now done and have provided up-to-date, additional information for a sourcing company to reference.

7. Congratulations … you can view them or upload more at this point.

Friday, November 8, 2013

"Flashback Friday" Celebrating 45 Years of Supplier Diversity Action

Wrapping up DIR's 45th Anniversary year, we'll celebrate by featuring archival photos of DIR in action. Enjoy these 3 today that feature:
DIR founders, Pete and Rose Meyerhoff
DIR's first office in North Minneapolis, MN
DIR's first directory printing

For more on DIR's history, visit "About DIR" on the web site.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

"Why Be Certified?" ... WBENC with PBS show "To the Contrary"

"Why be certified?" At DIR, we're asked this question almost daily ... and we tend to answer it briefly by noting that certification helps bring a diverse-owned business to the negotiating table especially when federal, state, and county contracts are involved. Certifying orgs also help to open up marketing and sales opportunities . . . they are great advocates and liaisons. This 7 minute answer goes more in-depth! Worth a watch for corporations, diverse-owned businesses and "prime" contractors.

Monday, September 23, 2013

FAQ: Why I don't see any "Opportunity Listings" for [DIR Corporate Client] when I know there are open requisitions?

Good point! Each of DIR’s corporation/nonprofit clients uses the portal of supplier information differently. Some use it primarily for searching/sourcing vs. ‘matchmaking’ or ‘RFP’ postings. Others integrate the entire portal and its reporting capabilities into their procurement system. The best people to ask about requisitions and postings are [employees of the Corporation]. 

Typically a real-person contact* for Supplier Diversity will be either listed on their sites, or in a regional directory (sometimes) available from regional divisions of supplier advocate groups including WBENC or NAWBO, NMSDC, GLCC, etc.. Otherwise, an email or phone call may yield results, too! (Old school, I know, but supplier diversity liaisons typically are open to email and phone conversations.) 

*DIR does offer a database of Supplier Diversity liaisons and Procurement Professionals, too: "Purchasing People in Major Corporations"

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cintas offers 5 tips for Diverse Supplier Success

From the Wall Street Journal today . . . "To better position minority and women business enterprises (MWBEs) to capitalize on this growth, Cintas Corporation today shared its top five strategies for supplier diversity success." In a nutshell: Discover, Develop, Network, Find a Mentor, and Identify Uniqueness (Differentiate Yourself). Sounds like attending the upcoming DIR "Best Practices" seminar to "Learn. Share. Network." would be a good idea! For more info on the seminar, visit DIR's Web site:

Friday, July 19, 2013

Validate, Communicate, Initiate: Why Registering with DIR as a Verfied, Diverse Supplier is Good Business

DIR redesigned some helpful, at-a-glance fliers recently. In doing so, we wrote, re-wrote and pared down a lot of information. We decided to turn the ‘too long to read on a postcard” copy into a blog post as it gives an informative, detailed recap of what DIR offers to diverse suppliers. We have a lot to say about Supplier Diversity because we’ve been in this industry since 1968 and to this date, supplier diversity is all we do. We know “45 is the new 30,” so we feel as energized as ever about “Driving Supplier Diversity Success”!

Registering your company as a verified diverse supplier is good business (SupplierGATEWAY is DIR's tech partner, and their software powers the registration portal). Supplier diversity is about expanding opportunities, not just ‘fair’ business and equal opportunity. It’s about economic development and access to competitive pricing and entrepreneurial ideas throughout the supply chain.

DIR's Supplier Diversity Information Resource Guide is an encyclopedia of information on the Supplier Diversity industry. It's a great reference publication for suppliers and procurement professionals.

Supplier diversity provides flexibility to DIR's corporate clients by offering sourcing solutions that are competitive, creative and responsive to changing markets. Corporations recognize that a diverse supplier base is vital to reaching strategic business objectives while assuring company profitability. Just ask a DIR Board Member!

Third party certification is extremely important; it’s often used as a first “sort”. Are you certified? Look into it—DIR’s website offerslinks to help. DIR’s unique certification validation gives buyers confidence when sourcing and provides search/sourcing capabilities at their fingertips.

Benefits of registration include:

  • priority consideration from thousands of procurement professionals (because your information is verfied by DIR)
  • the ability to provide real-time updates and current references to your profile
  • online storage of marketing material
  • access to online postings and matchmaking sessions

Are your sales & marketing materials getting into the right hands? DIR’s “Purchasing People in Major Corporations” database (available online & in print) gives you direct access to supplier diversity professionals who are liaisons to procurement teams. Create targeted, meaningful campaigns and deliver them to the right hands (and email boxes) in major corporations, government departments, educational institutions and large nonprofits. Walk the talk and source from diverse suppliers yourself. You can with DIR’s National Minority and Women-Owned Business Directory.

DIR’s online calendar of events keeps diverse suppliers in the loop to initiate conversations at numerous corporate matchmaking events and regional business fairs sponsored by corporations who are seeking a broader supplier base.

Visit and learn even more about how your diverse-owned organization benefits from registration. It’s always free to register. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Diversity Trade Show Connections: follow-up with your fingers after being on your feet!

Attending an industry trade show can be a networking extravaganza or a great excuse to buy new, comfortable shoes. Either way you look at it, how your follow-up on the information you gather there is really what matters.

Recently, DIR attended the 14th annual SADBOC "Small and Disadvantaged Business Opportunity Council" Procurement Fair in Brooklyn Center, MN. (Trivia! Former MN Governor was the Mayor of Brooklyn Park, MN not Brooklyn Center, MN.) SADBOC was sponsored by the Federal Executive Board’s Small and Disadvantaged Business Opportunity Council, in cooperation with MN-PTAC (Minnesota Procurement Technical Assistance Center) and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Some thoughts on following-up are below.

After making notes on business cards (please don't have a business card that is either too dark to write on, too full of pictures and/or words to write on, or too glossy to write on) at the show, organizing cards for follow-up is a good 'first step' back in the office.

  • Who needs a personal email?
  • Who needs a follow-up phone call?
  • Who wanted information 'snail mailed' to them?
Don't have much to say other than your company introduction? Try asking some professional questions.
  • Any opinion on professional organizations that would be useful for me to check into?
  • Any thoughts on another trade show to attend?
  • If your organization can't use our services right now, do you have a recommendation of a peer who could?
Keep your notes and messages short, but relevant. Make your subject line exact. "SADBOC 2013 follow-up from DIR" is what we used.

DIR also looks at the brochures we gather as general information to share with the world (i.e. this Blog). Below, we note like-minded organizations with a brief recap. Do your audience a favor and provide up-to-date links as well as acronym definitions. 

While at SADBOC, DIR met new and reintroduced ourselves to established like-minded organizations. For diverse suppliers, these organizations act as advocates. Get involved!

DIR's follow-up with these groups is straightforward and supportive:

  • Do you have DIR resources in your offices? If not, may I drop them off for you to share with your constituents?
  • How can we continue to help each other keep suppliers and corporations aware of resources?

Sure, in some ways we, as advocacy organizations, compete for the same information, but more often than not, our resources are complimentary. We all serve diverse businesses and we all want to see greater economic success evolve.

Enjoy re- and new introductions at trade shows, but don't forget to continue the efforts while you're "off your feet" back in the office. If you have a favorite 'follow-up,' please share it in the comments section. Thanks! 

P.S. To see DIR's photos of SADBOC 2013, check out our Facebook photo album

Monday, March 11, 2013

Leverage Your Heritage at ISM's Annual Hispanic/Latino Supply Management...

3.1 Million Hispanic Owned Businesses, 400 Billion contributed to US economy, 7 out of 10 Hispanic Owned Businesses are run by women ... these and other facts featured in this ISM video supporting and promoting the Annual Hispanic/Latino Supply Management Summit on April 30, 2013.

The Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD)

Great to see DIR Board Member Frantz Tiffeau Jr, Senior Manager of Supply Chain Diversity at Office Depot, featured in this helpful short video about the CPSD Curriculum. Exam for the CPSD Certification is given at NMSDC (Nat'l Minority Supplier Diversity Council's Conference). If you're a Supplier Diversity or Procurement Professional, it's worth checking out.