One way we can be a leader in supply chain and procurement practices is by ensuring we have a diverse supplier base. Increasingly, we are receiving inquiries about our supplier diversity program. We believe that having a strong, diverse pool of suppliers is as important to AEP as it is to the business owners in our communities who want to do business with us. We are strengthening this network by identifying and helping to qualify small, diverse and competitive suppliers to be part of AEP’s supplier portfolio to compete for our business. This is an area we are working to expand beyond a compliance-based program toward best practice.
To support our overall diversity efforts, AEP’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council is focused on workforce, customer and supplier diversity. Our Supply Chain and Procurement team also formed a multilevel governance council to focus on AEP’s procurement practices, including supplier diversity practices. These two councils will help AEP build a business plan to establish a program to lead us to best practice for supplier diversity. It will also help us achieve the cost savings and level of service we expect and need from our suppliers.