Friday, September 7, 2012

Promoting Innovation through Supplier Diversity

NGLCCNY is proud to highlight Bronze Corporate Partner Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NPC). Almost ten years ago, NPC set out to enhance its supplier diversity effort into much more than the minimum required for government compliance. Today the robust process utilizes businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans and people with disabilities, as well as small businesses and LGBT-owned businesses.
“Supplier Diversity and Diversity & Inclusion matter as we provide new medications to save lives and expand our position as a market leader,” said Sheri Shafir, Associate Director for Supplier Diversity at NPC. “A strong connection with diverse customers and diverse ways of thinking drive creativity, innovation and ultimately performance.”

NPC is among the first corporate partners to join the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce at both the local (New York) and national (D.C.) levels and launched its initiative for LGBT business inclusion in 2008. Since then, NPC has assigned contracts to certified LGBT Business Enterprises. NPC is an active member of the NGLCC Procurement Council, which reaches out to other organizations to discuss the benefits of supplier diversity and encourage their participation.

NPC has high standards for suppliers, and NGLCC certification gives LGBT Business Enterprises the edge they need to be competitive. NPC looks for cost effectiveness, innovation, and – as needed – agility and expertise in navigating and fully complying with all regulatory requirements. The company constantly adds to its pool of suppliers,whether to meet the specific needs of the pharmaceutical industry or to purchase marketing, professional services, IT, facilities, engineering and construction related products and services. “The first step for a potential supplier is to register at the NPC website,” said Ms. Shafir. “The key is to build and maintain relationships, regardless of whether NPC needs your company’s services right away. Supplier diversity professionals across companies talk to each other and sometimes we refer our supplier contacts to our colleagues. These references are founded on strong relationships.”

NGLCCNY members can register their certified LGBT Business Enterprises at Business owners can meet Sheri and other NPC representatives at upcoming NGLCCNY events. Information on becoming certified is available online at, or from David Ricciardi, NGLCCNY Supplier Diversity Chair at

Written by Robert F. Finkelstein, Esq., NGLCCNY Legal Correspondent, Media Communications Committee. Rob is an attorney practicing commercial litigation, construction law, general corporate, and employment law with Osborn.

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