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Kaleida's Hierarchy of Supplier Diversity Needs

Kaleida’s Hierarchy of Supplier Diversity Needs is a guide for CPOs and Heads of Procurement focused on delivering Social Value against their organisation’s ESG strategic objectives, and serves to inform leaders on how to prioritise their approach to Nirvana - Inclusive Procurement.

When Abraham Maslow first introduced the concept of a hierarchy of needs in his 1943 paper he did so because he believed that unmet needs occupy the mind, preventing the pursuit of needs higher in the pyramid.


Thus, according to the theory, if a person is endeavouring to address their basic physiological and safety needs, they will not be able to seek higher needs for love, esteem, and self-actualisation.


Over the last 4 years we have spoken to hundreds of CPOs, Heads of Procurement, and Procurement leaders most of whom hope that one day Supplier Diversity is replaced with a BAU inclusive approach to the buying process: Where their normal day to day operations provide equity through an Inclusive buying process, leading to equality for all diverse communities.


We are thrilled to release the first of its kind, Kaleida’s Hierarchy of Supplier Diversity needs; a guide to aid Buyers build and prioritise their social value efforts.


Complementing our Supplier Diversity Blueprint, released this spring 2024, I invite questions, enquiries, and conversation on how to build or mature your Inclusive Procurement programmes.



Social Value continues to gather strength as a strategic tool to help big businesses win large commercial projects.


Over the last 12 months we have seen an influx of enquiries from CPOs and Heads of Procurement tasked with building and delivering inclusive procurement programmes to help their firm compete for new business.


Gone are the days of Supplier Diversity programmes being merely a ‘nice to have’, ethical mention on the footnotes or corporate websites.


Today Sustainability and Social value responses can attribute to up to 30% of a corporate Tender response.


Failure to demonstrate a strategic, inclusive procurement programme can literally cost big business millions in lost revenues as Buyers seek to make Tier 2 suppliers accountable for levelling the playing field.


Hierarchy of Supplier Diversity Needs:


  • Tenders over £100k, and Opportunities Under £100k

For Supplier Diversity to be successful requires creating access to opportunities applicable to the size and scale of Diverse Suppliers. Diverse Suppliers typically occupy the 'Tail Spend' of corporate spend and for the majority of the time they will be SMEs.


  • Social Value Corporate Policy

Supplier Diversity works best where executive sponsors supports the outcomes of Social Value endeavours. When written into a Corporate's policy it allows businesses to promote inclusive procurement from the top down.


  • Adoption > Hearts & Minds

Supplier Diversity is not only the ethical thing to do, it makes great business sense too and impacts a firm's bottom line. But we know that 'people buy from people' so ensuring such programmes are implemented and adopted by Buyers and Sourcing managers empowers positive outcomes for marginalised communities. But user adoption is harder to achieve where there is no corporate policy to enforce it, and where there are no commercial opportunities made available for Diverse Suppliers to bid for, and compete.


  • Access to Diverse Suppliers

Now that we've opportunities, and support, and employees are onboard, Buyer's need to be able to access, assess, and engage with diverse suppliers. This is often achieved through partnerships with individual Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) or platforms like Kaleida.


Kaleida is a fully-inclusive B2B marketplace for tenders helping Buyers find, identify, assess, and invite diverse suppliers to tender; irrespective of their diverse identity.


  • Results of Baseline Exercise

One could argue that the conducting a baseline exercise could be lower down the priorities of our hierarchy of needs, but we felt it apt to position it 5th because encourages businesses to 'start' their programme, develop it and grow, as opposed to incurring additional expense that could influence Buyers to hold off launching their programme, procure budget, lose time, and diminish impact.


  • Measures of Success

There are various ways to measure the success of a Supplier Diversity programme.

Being able to eventually measure the success of an inclusive procurement programme allows those responsible for corporate policy to report on successes, growth, reach, and impact at the Board level.


  • 3-5 Years Commitment

A measured, accessible diverse supply chain takes time. It is not possible to achieve Nirvana in 12 months. But with corporate policy written, and acted upon, even a change in leadership should not impact the ambitions of a Supplier Diversity programme.

Many large corporate organisations like P&G, and Unilever went public with their plans to double their spend with Diverse Suppliers within 5 years.

With the policy adopted, the partnerships established with enablers like Kaleida and NGO groups, and commercial opportunities being made available, this 5 year commitment is the penultimate step in our Hierarchy of Supplier Diversity Needs for corporate buyers to reach nirvana.


  • BAU - Inclusive Procurement

Nirvana is a place of perfect peace and happiness, like heaven. In Buddhism, nirvana is the highest state that someone can attain, a state of enlightenment.


With all 7 pieces of the Hierarchy in place, and the buying process is organically inclusive, we see Inclusive Procurement as the ultimate achievement a firm can accomplish.


To discuss your Supplier Diversity programme, or to learn more about how Kaleida can help your firm find, identify, assess, and then invite Diverse Suppliers to tender; irrespective of their diverse identity inside 10 seconds, click the button below schedule your discovery call now.



Get your copy of the Supplier Diversity: The Blueprint. 


About Us

"Finding Diverse Suppliers is time-consuming as the process today involves researching against multiple databases."


Founded in 2019, Kaleida International is a B2B marketplace for Tenders connecting Buyers to Suppliers, and Diverse Suppliers. With a focus on helping the Chief Procurement Office achieve its ESG goals, and alerting companies to new revenue opportunities, Kaleida's fully-inclusive platform helps Buyers find, identify and assess Diverse Suppliers they can invite to Tender.


In 2024 Kaleida will publish £600b in both Public and Private sector tenders for suppliers, and Diverse suppliers to apply to. By increasing access to commercial opportunity, we believe we can drive equality through providing access to economic parity.

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