The construction sector continues to step up its diversity initiatives, and for good reason: industry data shows that having diverse teams leads to more innovation, stronger ideas, and better business decisions.
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) cites research from Deloitte, which shows that "diverse companies had 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee over a three-year period than non-diverse companies."
The AGC also points to a study by the Hackett Group, showing that firms that focus on supplier diversity see 133% greater returns on the cost of procurement operations.
There are initiatives like the disadvantaged business enterprises (commonly known as “DBE”) programs and their subcategories, such as Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), or Small Business Enterprise (SBE), that help promote diversity. There are also non-DBE categories, such as local programs.
DBE programs aim to level the playing field in construction by helping ensure that all suppliers and subcontractors get equal access and opportunities to projects.
Owners are progressively setting participation requirements for business enterprises. These days, it's common for contracts to require that a certain percentage of project costs be awarded to disadvantaged or minority businesses.
What's more, an increasing share of annual construction spend has DBE participation requirements, particularly for public projects. And we can expect this to continue, thanks to the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which would dedicate billions of dollars to diverse suppliers.
The good news is that construction firms aren't just participating in these programs—many are going above and beyond typical DBE requirements.
To that end, we're thrilled to introduce a new Certification Tracking capability in BuildingConnected, which allows subcontractors to add their business enterprise certifications to their profile so that GCs can reliably search for, identify, and track diverse partners.
Here are some of the capabilities you can access with the new Certification Tracking in BuildingConnected:
Easily find diverse trade partners during the bidding process. Since subcontractors can now add their business enterprise certifications to their profiles, GCs can quickly search and identify subs who meet their diversity requirements. This saves you time and allows you to connect with the right subcontractors faster.
Indicate which certificates are required or relevant during project setup. During the project setup, GCs can specify which certificates they are looking for. When searching for bidders, there is a blue badge next to the sub that matches the relevant certificate. Those that have the gray badge do not have the exact match of the certificate or agency you’re looking for. This helps GCs save time upfront and gives better transparency when finding subs.
Better reporting on the outreach. Manage and track your outreach efforts, bids, and more to see if you're meeting your objectives. When ready, you can generate reports to share with the client, such as the Bidder Status or Good Faith reports. Alternatively, you can create your own PowerBI reports and dashboards by using the BuildingConnected API.
After using the new Certification Tracking functionality, Angela Battle, Director of Subcontractor Diversity and Development, from Sellen Construction said it has “saves our team from having to call and verify all the certification information. It makes finding diverse subs easier.”
Here’s a quick look at how Certification Tracking works.:
All in all, BuildingConnected’s new Certification Tracking makes it easy to find and work with diverse subcontractors and suppliers, helping you improve your DEI initiatives.
The feature also couldn't have come at a better time, given that diversity has become a larger focus for owners and GCs alike.
The industry's top general contractors are also stepping up their diversity efforts. Turner, ENR #1, states that they have a goal of "20% diverse business utilization, regardless of contractual obligations".
Meanwhile, Swinerton, ENR #21, is implementing similar efforts and goals. According to the firm, "Our 11 regional Community Relations Representatives help us maintain our corporate commitment of 20% diverse subcontractors and supplier participation annually."
If you intend to increase diversity within your subcontractors and suppliers, now is the time to take action on your DEI goals and objectives. BuildingConnected's Certification Tracking can help you do just that by streamlining how you identify and manage subcontractors with relevant certifications.
Check out the feature today!