In 1998, Target launched their Supplier Diversity Initiative with the goal of creating competition and driving innovation within their supply chain. Initially, the retail giant focused on women-owned and minority-owned small businesses, but over the last two decades the program has evolved to include a wider range of companies.
Becoming a Supplier
Let’s say you sell outdoor lighting and furnishings, and you want to sell your products on Target.com, well before you can you need to first understand Target’s mission. They want highly-qualified diverse-owned businesses who can deliver strategic business solutions. Your company must be able to deliver value to their bottom line while simultaneously bringing diversity to their supply chain.
The first question in the registration process is: “What can your company add that currently isn’t offered within the Target Corporation?” Take your time to research the company in detail and determine how your company and your products add value for Target.
Once you have your credentials together and you’ve determined how to communicate your value, begin the process by filling out their online application.
Target does not accept just any business. There are strict criteria all suppliers must meet in order to be considered:
- Meet at least of one of the following Diverse Business Classifications: Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE), Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and/or Transgender Owned Business Enterprise (LGBTE), Veteran-Owned Enterprise (VBE) or Small Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (SDBE)
- Get certification from one of the following organizations: National or Regional Minority Supplier Development Councils (NMSDC), Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), Veterans/Disabled Veterans (VOB), National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) or self-certification during the registration process
- Have a history of proven successful projects. These records must cover at least three years of operation.
- Provide proof of financial stability. This may include audited financials and/or a recent Dun & Bradstreet Supplier Evaluation Report.
- Demonstrate Electronic Data Exchange (EDI) capabilities.
- Have the ability to participate in sourcing bids and activities electronically.
- Uphold Target’s Ethical Business Conduct vendor requirements.
- Have a valid EIN and DUNS Number.
Your company must provide proof of current insurance coverage with an established provider. Your coverage limit is required to exceed your liabilities, so your limit amount is directly proportionate to the number and value of products you plan to supply.
As mentioned above, Target demands that your company has EDI capabilities in order to securely and reliably track shipments, maintain product availability and remain flexible during times of changing demand. Your system must be scalable in order to grow quickly when necessary.