by Sherri Macko

Manager, Diversified Supplier Program
American Airlines

How are your buyers engaged in your Supplier Diversity program? Commodity Managers actively participate in M/WBE events to identify potential M/WBE suppliers, and they actively engage these suppliers in bid opportunities. M/WBE suppliers are part of their Value Strategy for their specific commodity. Commodity Managers are required to attend Supplier Diversity training that is conducted bi-annually, and are recognized by their Purchasing Leadership team for meeting or exceeding M/WBE spend goals.

Briefly describe any outreach programs you use to certify potential diverse suppliers: Our Supplier Diversity Manager and a Senior Commodity Manager serve on the Certification Committee for the DFWMSDC (regional NMSDC Council), and actively participate in site visits to certify MBE suppliers.

How do you mentor diversity suppliers to support non-traditional areas of the business? We work with some of our current M/WBE suppliers to help them grow and expand their product offerings. Also, we open doors for our M/WBE suppliers to become a supplier to some of our large Prime suppliers.

How are your supplier diversity goals linked with the goals of the organization? American Airlines realizes that doing business with M/WBEs is a good business decision, and that it is the right thing to do. The Supplier Diversity Program goals align very closely with overall Corporate goals. These goals and successes are reviewed annually with the Board of Directors Diversity Committee to ensure we are aligned and making a positive impact to the company. As a business and as a good corporate citizen, we know that it’s important for our supplier base to reflect our customer base and to provide economic opportunities to women and diverse suppliers. Therefore, our Supplier Diversity Program is closely linked with our Diverse Segment Marketing teams and our Employee Resource Groups in the community.

How do you identify and verify companies that qualify as minority suppliers? We sponsor and participate in many different M/WBE events that provide opportunities to meet certified M/WBE suppliers. We are also active in the Certification Committee of our local NMSDC Council. Also, we require our M/WBE suppliers to register on our Supplier Diversity database, and provide us with their M/WBE certification. We understand the value of utilizing a certified M/WBE supplier. We often conduct training sessions to various minority organizations on “How to do business with AA,” and “Why certification is important.”