Farryn Melton, chief procurement officer for Bristol-Myers Squibb, shares her insights on the benefits of her company’s diversity program and the qualities her team looks for when assessing potential suppliers. WBENC’s National Conference and Business Fair provides attendees the opportunity to meet and network with leaders like her. Here, we share her perspectives on some key topics.
What advice would you offer women-owned businesses looking to maintain, increase or demonstrate their relevance to potential clients/corporations?
In this period of rapid change due to increased regulation, technology advances and customer demands, it is innovation that will drive the continuous improvement and create a competitive advantage for most corporations. At Bristol-Myers Squibb--a global BioPharma company focused on a mission to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases--we believe that small and diverse businesses can and will continue to play a critical role for us.
Supplier diversity expands our creativity, expertise and innovation beyond internal resources. We look for suppliers with a strong bias for creativity and a winning mindset that is characterized by passion, speed and the ability to flex with market needs. Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to the long-term growth and sustainability of small/diverse businesses. Through our supplier development initiative and partnerships with organizations such as WBENC, we develop suppliers with a wide range of capabilities and expertise to support a sustainable supply chain. In short, my advice to women-owned businesses—as well as any growing business--would be:
- Commit to the growth of your company by investing in yourself as a leader and developing the skills of your team.
- Evolve and grow with the corporations and industries you desire to do business with; continuously assess your business models and strategies.
- See the value proposition of supplier diversity programs beyond contracting; inquire about development opportunities offered through many programs.
Building relationships can take time, and large corporations can be perceived as intimidating or complex for some small and diverse businesses. But you’ll find the effort is well worth the reward.
What are two things every women-owned business should know about doing business with Bristol-Myers Squibb?
Patients are at the center of everything we do at Bristol-Myers Squibb. No two patients are the same, which makes the inclusion of different perspectives key to every business decision, solution or product offering. We believe our products and solutions must reflect the diverse experiences and views of our employees, partners and patients around the world.
The next thing potential suppliers should know is that we live by four behaviors that drive our actions and commitment to deliver results for our patients. Below are the Bristol-Myers Squibb Behaviors and what they mean to us.
PASSION: We pursue excellence to help patients prevail.
INNOVATION: We embrace new ideas.
SPEED: We act with urgency and agility.
ACCOUNTABILITY: We own our outcomes and the outcomes of others.
When suppliers demonstrate an understanding of these two things, they are ready to provide more than a good or service – they believe in our mission.