Like any business, BCBSM purchases a variety of goods and services every year to support our business. From temporary staffing to care management, we rely on strong relationships with the companies we do business with to provide us with the best value so we can focus on providing the best health insurance value possible for our members. So, for the ninth consecutive year, BCBSM is celebrating the partnerships we have built with the minority and woman-owned suppliers in the communities in which we live, work, and play. The 2014 BCBSM Supplier Diversity Awards on February 20, 2014 is a chance to showcase some of those businesses, and to highlight the continued commitment our company has in partnering with diverse suppliers. Over the past year, we have increased our spending with minority and woman-owned businesses by 36 percent from 2012. That’s total dollars spent of $253 million with 175 minority and women-owned suppliers. 128 of these suppliers have a Michigan presence, which equates to 81% or $204 million of the total $253 million. This goes right back into Michigan’s economy, with many of these partners helping BCBSM navigate the “new normal” of healthcare. Creating that kind of growth is achieved only with a broad base of support. It takes our Board of Directors setting organizations goals that include broadening our base of diverse and women-owned suppliers. It takes the support of our president and CEO, Daniel J. Loepp, who is consistently talking about the value and perspective we as a company, and our partners, gain through achieving those goals. It takes community partners, like the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, who have been invaluable in helping suppliers build the capacity we need by finding us the right partners to get the job done. . It takes inventive thinking from our corporate procurement team to always introduce and provide opportunities for new vendors to show their capabilities. The result for BCBSM is much deeper than a feel-good story. With the Affordable Care Act changing the health care landscape dramatically, having a responsive supplier base is crucial to our success. They bring a depth of industry experience we need, while acting as an extra set of eyes and ears for our organization, helping us make sound strategic decisions in uncertain times. I am looking forward seeing our partners in person this week, so I have the opportunity to give thanks to those being honored for being a valued partner in our success.
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