Coupa launches new supply chain inclusion initiative
The Coupa Inclusion Initiative provides new resources, tools and technologies, including the introduction of a diverse supplier portal at that connects buyers with diverse and inclusive suppliers to drive economic impact.
“Businesses recognise the need for policy changes when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion goals, such as supplier diversity programs, because of the ROI, lower operating costs, higher profits, and access to increased innovation for the company,” commented Rod Robinson, vice president of supplier inclusion and sustainability at Coupa. “However, most companies’ supplier diversity efforts are failing in good faith because the information and technology they need to efficiently source and spend with diverse suppliers was not available. Now within the Coupa Business Spend Management Platform, every company can make diversity and inclusion a strategic part of the business, rather than an afterthought.”
Standalone diversity, equity and inclusion programmes have struggled to make a substantial impact on business supply chains as a result of a lack of access to the right technology and information. The Coupa Inclusion Initiative focuses on allowing companies to find, select and direct spend to hundreds of thousands of diverse and inclusive suppliers via the Coupa platform, including:
- Helping diverse suppliers strengthen and scale: Resources such as whitepapers, videos and certifications are available to help diverse suppliers gain the requirements needed to partner with larger companies.
- Guiding a successful future: An advisory board of global diversity leaders and experts have been created to help guide Coupa to become a destination for inclusive suppliers who need mentoring, exposure and connections with buyers.
- Directing corporate spend to diverse suppliers: A new, publicly available supplier portal at will allow businesses everywhere to search and find diverse and inclusive suppliers in order to meet their corporate goals.
The Coupa Inclusion Initiative helps any organisations to introduce diversity into its current processes by surfacing inclusive suppliers by region, industry and diversity classification, providing knowledge from global supplier diversity certification and advocacy organisations to establish the right inclusive supply chain as well as sharing resources and tools to understand the value of inclusive supply chains and how to champion these programmes internally.
Biden establishes Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force
The US government is to establish a new body with the express purpose of addressing imbalances and other supply chain concerns highlighted in a review of the sector, ordered by President Joe Biden shortly after his inauguration.
The Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force will “focus on areas where a mismatch between supply and demand has been evident,” the White House said. The division will be headed up by the Secretaries of Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture, and will focus on housing construction, transportation, agriculture and food, and semiconductors - a drastic shortage of which has hit some of the US economy’s biggest industries in consumer technology and vehicle manufacturing.
“The Task Force will bring the full capacity of the federal government to address near-term supply/demand mismatches. It will convene stakeholders to diagnose problems and surface solutions - large and small, public or private - that could help alleviate bottlenecks and supply constraints,” the White House said.
In late February, President Biden ordered a 100 day review of the supply chain across the key areas of medicine, raw materials and agriculture, the findings of which were released this week. While the COVID-19 health crisis had a deleterious effect on the nation’s supply chain, the published assessment of findings says the root cause runs much deeper. The review concludes that “decades of underinvestment”, alongside public policy choices that favour quarterly results and short-term solutions, have left the system “fragile”.
In response, the administration aims to address four key issues head on, strengthening its position in health and medicine, sustainable and alternative energy, critical mineral mining and processing, and computer chips.
Support domestic production of critical medicines
- A syndicate of public and private entities will jointly work towards manufacturing and onshoring of essential medical suppliers, beginning with a list of 50-100 “critical drugs” defined by the Food and Drug Administration.
- The consortium will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services, which will commit an initial $60m towards the development of a “novel platform technologies to increase domestic manufacturing capacity for API”.
- The aim is to increase domestic production and reduce the reliance upon global supply chains, particularly with regards to medications in short supply.
Secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries
- The Department of Energy will publish a ‘National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries’, beginning a 10 year plan to "develop a domestic lithium battery supply chain that combats the climate crisis by creating good-paying clean energy jobs across America”.
- The effort will leverage billions in funding “to finance key strategic areas of development and fill deficits in the domestic supply chain capacity”.
Invest in sustainable domestic and international production and processing of critical minerals
- An interdepartmental group will be established by the Department of Interior to identify sites where critical minerals can be produced and processed within US borders. It will collaborate with businesses, states, tribal nations and stockholders to “expand sustainable, responsible critical minerals production and processing in the United States”.
- The group will also identify where regulations may need to be updated to ensure new mining and processing “meets strong standards”.
Partner with industry, allies, and partners to address semiconductor shortages
- The Department of Commerce will increase its partnership with industry to support further investment in R&D and production of semiconductor chips. The White House says its aim will be to “facilitate information flow between semiconductor producers and suppliers and end-users”, improving transparency and data sharing.
- Enhanced relationships with foreign allies, including Japan and South Korea will also be strengthened with the express proposed of increasing chip output, promoting further investment in the sector and “to promote fair semiconductor chip allocations”.