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PITTSBURGH – UPMC and Atlanta-based IBEX IT Business Experts have teamed up to create technology that aims to increase the use of diverse suppliers by UPMC and other health care companies that adopt this solution. IBEX is an African-American, woman-owned IT solutions and delivery firm. 

“At UPMC, we’re committed to growing and supporting our diverse base of suppliers, but we could not find an affordable, easy-to-use tool that would support that goal,” said Toni Silva, senior director, supplier relations, and a driving force behind UPMC’s supplier diversity program. “So, two years ago, we turned to IBEX to help us create a solution that enables us to register, track, analyze and communicate with diverse suppliers, not just report on spending.”  

The result of this collaboration is a user-friendly, web-based system built specifically for supplier diversity managers. The new tool not only registers and tracks diverse suppliers and spending with such vendors, but also makes it simple to search for suppliers by key characteristics (such as location, type of ownership, or products and services offered) and to automate such tasks as updating needed certifications.

“Because our supply chain managers can easily see which diverse businesses fit their needs, these companies can be included from the very beginning of the buying process. And that means they are more likely to expand their opportunities with UPMC,” said Silva. UPMC’s Supplier Diversity Web Portal is being launched in the health care market later this year by IBEX as “Certifiably Diverse.”

Founded in 2012 and now on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies, IBEX was able to quickly build on work already done by Silva and her team. “Thanks to the mentorship and partnership of UPMC, we have built a best-in-class system that will meet the needs of both new and mature supplier diversity programs alike. Being a University of Pittsburgh graduate makes this even more special,” said Tracey Grace, president and chief executive officer of IBEX. “UPMC turned to us for our expertise in software development, but as an African-American, woman-owned business, we share UPMC’s dedication to diversity and were particularly excited to work on this project.” 

UPMC’s supplier diversity program is designed to provide diverse businesses equal access to procurement opportunities. The program ensures that certified diverse businesses are provided the maximum opportunity to participate as partners and suppliers of goods and services to UPMC. With the new Supplier Diversity Web Portal, Silva noted, she and her team can more effectively refer diverse suppliers to those purchasing goods and services across UPMC, which achieved $225 million in spending last year with more than 400 diverse suppliers.