Posted on August 29, 2017
In 2016, Zippy started working towards a new and exciting target in line with our Company values of Community and Continuous Improvement – to contribute towards the growth and development of Indigenous business. In October we took the steps to become a Supply Nation member as it was becoming increasingly apparent that supplier diversity was a key area of the business that needed improvement.
For those not familiar with Supply Nation, it is a not-for-profit organisation that is focused on increasing the opportunities for Indigenous businesses to supply their goods and services to larger organisations. The initiative is heavily supported and promoted by the Australian Government, who have now also implemented strict policies as part of their tendering processes that give Indigenous businesses and businesses that actively support Indigenous business a better chance of being awarded contracts. In fact, over the last 18 months, we have seen a considerable increase in the number of contracts awarded to Indigenous business. The promotion and push towards supplier diversity is certainly making a positive contribution to Indigenous business and Indigenous communities as a whole.
“Research shows that Indigenous businesses not only deliver innovative products and services but also employ Indigenous people, reconnect their employees to culture, instil pride and aspiration in Indigenous communities, invest back into communities and help heal the trauma of the stolen generations.”Supply Nation, 2017
Zippy is committed to contributing to the growth of Indigenous business in South Australia and the Northern Territory, hence our decision to become members and make an active effort to make a difference. Since the commencement of our membership, we have had the opportunity to network and work together with a number of certified members and we continue to maintain these professional relationships even after our requirements with those suppliers have been met.
Part of the requirement of our membership is to work towards Indigenous procurement targets as well as implement supplier diversity KPIs for key personnel within our organisation. This will continue to be a work in progress for Zippy for a while yet, but by reviewing our procurement processes, as well as speaking with the owners of Indigenous businesses, we’ve identified a number of key areas where we can widen our supplier database to include more Indigenous business. So far, we have changed our stationary, graphic design and printing suppliers to certified Supply Nation members (at least 51% Indigenous owned business) and in the coming months we are looking to also implement new suppliers for recruitment services, catering and specialised cleaning services.
Central to the growth and development of Indigenous business by our Company is our Indigenous Procurement Policy, which we implemented earlier this year. The purpose of the policy to ensure that Zippy will set targets and criteria to purchase goods and services via Indigenous businesses with at least a minimum of 50% indigenous ownership. It shows our commitment to stimulate and grow our Indigenous spends with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses, to enable them with opportunities to participate in the greater economy. It is now a Company requirement that all staff of Zippy Cleaning & Maintenance Services Pty Ltd that are involved in purchasing goods or services ensure that indigenous businesses are able to quote.
Throughout the process of joining Supply Nation and reviewing our own supply chain, we have learned a great deal about our business as well as the importance of supplier diversity. We continue to improve our supplier diversity ratios and welcome any indigenous businesses to contact us if they believe they have services to offer that will be of benefit to Zippy.