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Supplier Connection has been recognized with the 2012 Distinction Award for Best Collaboration by the Supply Chain Distinction Awards North America – an organization that celebrates excellence across the most important disciplines in supply chain management. Specifically, the award recognized IBM and Supplier Connection for improving business performance based upon a mutually beneficial collaborative effort between many buying corporations and U.S.-based small business suppliers.

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The Connection to Corporate Citizenship
Supplier Connection is a Supply Chain and Corporate Social Responsibility initiative spearheaded by IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs (CCCA), with the leadership of the IBM Global Procurement and CIO Transformation teams to evolve processes at IBM and across member companies. Supplier Connection removes barriers that small businesses face in trying to enter large-company supply chains, creating a “common supplier application” and social business ecosystem. It also gives large companies exposure to a more diverse array of suppliers so they can find the best, most innovative and appropriate suppliers to meet their needs. The program involves the coordinated efforts of many large corporations and small businesses to help drive job growth in the United States.

Global supply chains are under many pressures today, and mitigating the impact of continued market volatility and ensuring business continuity are crucial components of modern supply chain management. Collaboration has emerged as a critical process for supply chain executives, with many factors that determine success: Clear communication, building trust, dividing responsibilities, sharing both risk and reward, and seeking mutually beneficial solutions to common challenges.

“The domain expertise of IBM in Supply Chain and our ability to deliver IT solutions was unique in creating the Supplier Connection ecosystem and in creating a cross-industry movement supporting local sourcing from small businesses…which was key in IBM winning this Award.” – Katy Brownley, Supplier Connection Program Manager

Supplier Connection showcases the collaboration of a growing number of large corporations and buying organizations that are committed to a shared vision of connecting small businesses with economic opportunities for growth. This supply-chain ecosystem and movement for small business job growth has been gaining momentum, and has been profiled by the Clinton Global Initiative, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Harvard Magazine and Forbes.

Thanks to member corporations AMD, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, AT&T, Bank of America, Caterpillar, CitiGroup, Dell, Dupont, Facebook, IBM, John Deere, JP Morgan Chase, Kellogg’s, Merck, Office Depot, Pfizer, UPS, Wells Fargo and Zero Chaos, and the thousands of small businesses registered in Supplier Connection.

IBM Senior Technical Staff Member Chester Karwatowski is the CTO and Business Architect for Supplier Connection, an IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs initiative to spur job growth in the U.S. Mr. Karwatowski’s current assignment puts him at the forefront of driving the creation of a cross-industry disruptive innovation leveraging
IBM’s latest technologies including cloud, data analytics and social business technologies for social good.

Related Resources:

SBA Administrator Karen Mills: Making it Easier for Small Businesses to Make it in America

Rosabeth Moss Kanter: The Business Ecosystem

Supplier Connection: A Supply-Chain Ecosystem for Small Business Job Growth

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