Merck is committed to diversity both in our workforce and among our suppliers.
We cast a wide net in our search for talent, seeking qualified suppliers, large and small, from all segments of the business community.
These include minority-, women-, veteran-, service disabled-, HUBZone small-, people with a disability- and gay and lesbian-owned (LGBT) business enterprises. We believe that working with qualified suppliers from diverse segments of the business community supports our business objectives and economic development in all the communities we serve.
Merck has had a Supplier Diversity program in the United States for many years, which is managed by our Global Procurement Group. The program has four major areas of focus: strategic external outreach and globalization, supplier development and mentoring, customer-focus, and internal awareness. Minority-, women-, LGBT-, and veteran-owned business entities must be at least 51 percent owned, operated and controlled by minorities (Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American), women, veterans, or LGBT individuals who are U.S. citizens, and the business must be headquartered in the United States or Puerto Rico.
Merck hosts Supplier Diversity Forums to increase qualified, diverse suppliers’ understanding of Merck’s business needs, to introduce these suppliers to the Merck business professionals who are involved in supplier selection, and to increase Merck’s knowledge about current and potential diverse suppliers. Merck’s most recent forums were focused in the media industry—global channel marketing companies, as well as market research firms and agencies. More than 50 diverse businesses presented their capabilities and value propositions to over 100 internal Merck stakeholders. We also recently held a capability development workshop at the Whitehouse Station, New Jersey facility at which 20 top small and diverse firms, some mentored by Merck, received tools for managing their own human resource talent. These development workshops are a collaborative effort by Merck procurement executives, sourcing managers, and the Supplier Diversity team.
In addition, our Supplier Diversity program offers coaching and feedback on performance, as well as a Supplier Diversity Mentor/Champion Program, to help develop qualified, diverse suppliers. Through the program, we conduct supplier assessments and create joint development plans with qualified, diverse suppliers that focus on increasing supplier growth, competitiveness and sustainability. Merck senior executives champion each mentored supplier and create targeted growth and development plans that include Merck-sponsored training and guidance.
We also participate in more than 30 external supplier conferences and networking events focused on minority-, women-, veteran-, and LGBT-owned businesses, and are active in external organizations, including the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Meanwhile, we have expanded our Supplier Diversity program to the United Kingdom and Canada, where the company is a charter member of the Minority Supplier Development U.K. and a national member of the Canadian Aboriginal Minority Supplier Council, respectively. Plans for further expansion to other countries are under way.
Every Merck employee and contingent worker is responsible for understanding and appropriately applying the global purchasing policy, which includes supplier diversity objectives.
Merck has more than tripled its purchases from minority-, women-, and veteran-owned suppliers in the United States and Puerto Rico over the past five years. In 2005, Merck spent 5 percent of our total U.S. and Puerto Rico procurement dollars with minority-, women-, and veteran-owned firms. We achieved 16 percent in 2011 and have plans for continued growth.
We intend to continue to grow the Supplier Diversity program by expanding relationships with existing suppliers and introducing new suppliers whose products, services and strategies support our business objectives.
Our goal is to achieve world-class status by 2015 and maintain performance of greater than or equal to 15 percent in diverse spending year after year.