How We Manage

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Our supplier diversity program provides maximum exposure to subcontracting and development opportunities for many kinds of small businesses.

Spending with diverse suppliers is tracked and reported quarterly to the Vice President of Global Supply Chain Operations, but it is not published publicly for proprietary reasons. Small business participation on government contracts is subject to customer reviews and formal audits. Since 2008, our spending with small businesses has increased, although it fell slightly in 2012 due to consolidation of the total procurement base.

Sourcing managers and supply chain professionals receive and process on average 600 supplier inquiries a month. Across all business areas, 40 small business officers help to identify, develop and nurture an array of diverse suppliers. These representatives also actively participate in their communities by serving on more than 25 local boards and councils across the country.

We set an annual small business spending goal on U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) work as a percentage of total spending which requires approval by the DoD. For other programs, small business supplier spending targets are set on an individual program basis by our customers.

Business Case

Our diverse supplier base adds a competitive advantage in delivering mission-critical applications of advanced technology. Our supplier diversity program is anchored by our desire to advance product performance and economic development in the communities where we operate.

Identifying opportunities to work with qualified small businesses requires significant effort given the sensitive nature of much of our work. There are heightened certification requirements for quality and other management systems (such as AS9100 (rev C), AS 9120, ISO 9001) for work performed on government contracts. Additionally, changes to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s classification of Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) locations impacts the demographics of our supplier base and how we evaluate meeting our HUBZone commitment.


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