DTE continues to earn recognition for its efforts to partner with diverse suppliers to grow Michigan’s economy.

Yesterday, DTE received the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) 2018 Business Diversity Innovation Award – one of the highest supplier diversity honors in the energy business.

In announcing the award, EEI noted that DTE’s innovative approach to supplier diversity outreach has boosted the local economy and increased business development.

Last year alone, DTE spent $467 million with diverse suppliers, which is more than 20 percent of our company’s overall external spend.

“Our focus on supplier diversity is about inclusion and creating meaningful business partnerships,” said Chief Procurement Officer Tony Tomczak. “Our approach to supplier mentoring and outreach is bringing jobs back to our neighborhoods, lifting up local families and building stronger communities. We see this as core to our company’s mission. It’s an honor to be recognized by the EEI for these efforts, and we remain deeply committed to this transformative work.”

Criteria for judging winners includes an assessment of how we are using innovation to strengthen our supplier diversity program and how those innovations positively impact diverse suppliers.

The Diverse Supplier Showcases, held in Detroit and Grand Rapids, are great examples. Small and medium Michigan-based diverse businesses are selected based on their ability to provide immediate, cost-competitive products and services. Business owners are mentored, and then given chance to bid on a project. They meet with Tomczak, Supply Chain Director Jaspreet Singh, and DTE corporate buyers to “pitch” their company and its capabilities. Feedback, and final sourcing decisions, are given the same day.

The 2017 Diverse Supplier Showcase resulted in new contracts for three Michigan-based businesses. Immediate successes from the 2016 diverse showcase include new purchase orders for the following companies:

  • Soe Development dba Battery Giant, a Detroit-based minority supplier, for a project at Warren Service Center;
  • IF Metalworks, an in-state, women-owned business, to provide meter brackets; and,
  • Industrial Fence and Landscaping, a women-owned supplier located in Detroit, for a fencing project at Caniff Service Center.

“Even those businesses that didn’t win contracts received information that will help them grow,” Tomczak said. “This innovative approach has expanded our supplier diversity program. Our company, and our local business community, are stronger because of it.”

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