City streamlines procurement process to include diverse suppliers

by Archnique Kidd, Supplier Diversity Manager

archnique kiddA year ago, Mayor Stimpson established the City of Mobile’s very first Supplier Diversity Program to specifically help minority, women and disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) overcome challenges that make it more difficult to win contracts and work on City of Mobile projects. To implement this new program, he established two new roles within the City: Chief Procurement Officer and the Supplier Diversity Manager. He first selected Don Rose, formerly with the United States Coast Guard and the Bay Area Food Bank, as the Chief Procurement Officer. The Mayor then asked me to join their team as the City’s very first Supplier Diversity Manager.

For the past 14 years, I have worked for the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System overseeing minority and women owned business certification, compliance, training and outreach. Now, it’s my responsibility to oversee certification, compliance, training, and outreach for the City of Mobile. Anchored by the Federal, State and Local Disadvantaged Business Certification Program, the City’s programs are designed to identify DBEs, service-disabled veteran owned (SDV), and woman owned business (WBE) according to discrete certification standards. We work hard to mitigate the effects of past and present social-disadvantage and economic-disadvantage by increasing the opportunity of DBEs in the procurement of goods and services by the City.

My vision is to develop a program that will deliver and capture value through supplier diversity. We are growing the capacity and improving accessibility for Mobile’s business community, especially for socially and economically DBEs to support the work of City government. Since its inception, the Supplier Diversity Office has launched its first online vendor portal, hosted its first Vendor Town hall and will be holding its Second Annual Industry Day on September 29th.

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For the first time in the history of the City, vendors can now conduct almost all City business online. All current vendors are already registered in our portal, and all new vendors can now self-register at https://mobileselfservice.tylertech.com. At Industry Day next, we will discuss the online vendor registration and vendor self service as well as upcoming contracting opportunities for the 2017 Capital Improvement Plan. This will be an opportunity for potential contractors to meet with City staff, ask questions and learn more about future projects.

I encourage all vendors interested in our supplier diversity program to give me a call at 251-208-7967 or send me an email at Archnique.kidd@cityofmobile.org. If you are a minority, woman or disadvantaged business enterprise, I want to present you every opportunity to work with the City of Mobile.