By Tony Khing
SAN FRANCISCO — PG&E this week honored the companies who graduated from their Supplier Development Program, one of the successful practices the utility uses to strengthen its diverse suppliers.
For the past five years, the Supplier Development Program has helped PG&E enhance the quality of its supplier diversity program through mentorship, opportunity identification and value chain analysis. Selected businesses are partnered with PG&E senior executives who act as coaches and advise them on how to improve and grow their businesses.
During a luncheon on Monday (July 27), five companies (Sinnott, Puebla, Campagne & Curet; Integrated Archive Systems; Blaylock Beal Van, LLC; S&S Supplies & Solutions; and Agile Sourcing Partners) were recognized for their development within the program. In addition, five enterprises were introduced as new participants: RPS Advisors; Veteran Power Inc.; Machado & Sons Construction Inc.; Craig Communications; and Anderson Burton Construction Inc.
The initiative is one of the reasons why — along with hosting business matchmaking and capacity-building events — PG&E has one of the utility industry’s top supplier diversity programs. For three straight years, the utility has spent more than $2 billion with diverse suppliers. For the last nine years, PG&E has surpassed the California Public Utilities Commission’s annual diverse spending goal of 21.5 percent.
“Our Supplier Development Program is a key component of our supplier diversity program,” said Gun Shim, PG&E vice president of Supply Chain Management. “In order for our suppliers to be successful, the best people to help them are the leaders who run the businesses they support: their mentors. Other companies are looking to us as they consider adopting similar programs. Most importantly, our diverse suppliers are telling us this is a best practice.”
Blaylock Beal Van, LLC was one of the first companies inducted into the Supplier Development Program in 2011. Blaylock provides regular insight into capital market conditions to help PG&E determine its timing to access capital markets. Blaylock has been an active participant on several debt issuance transactions by PG&E, including deals in 2014 and 2015 that helped PG&E to raise more than $1 billion in these two transactions.
“Our mentor (PG&E’s Nick Bijur) provided us detailed and structured guidance about what the utility industry is about and where companies of our size fit within the utility industry. This has allowed us to grow and set a niche for ourselves,” said Tarrell V. Gamble, Blaylock vice president of capital markets.
Anderson Burton Construction Inc. worked on the Diablo Canyon Power Plant Technical/Operational Support Center. The firm completed the project on time despite being under an accelerated schedule and a tight budget. Anderson Burton’s success resulted in their selection as one of just eight preferred general construction suppliers—and as one of five new inductees into the Supplier Development Program.
“When you work with PG&E, it gives you a lot of credibility. I think we’re going to thrive in the program and it’s going to open so many doors,” said Joni Anderson, president of Anderson Burton.
Another new participant feels the program will help make them a better supplier.
“We’ll be able to meet a lot of people in (PG&E’s) the sourcing department that we wouldn’t be able to meet on our own. It’s going to help us polish our company, our presentation and how we approach our work. It’ll make us more approachable to our customers,” said Mike Machado, chief executive officer of Machado & Sons Construction Inc.
PG&E’s Supplier Development Program has also caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
“Minority suppliers bring innovation, nimbleness and cost-effectiveness. The fact that we’re able to rely on companies with a robust supplier diversity program like PG&E really helps minority suppliers create capacity and scale,” said Alejandra Castillo, the national director of the department’s Minority Business Development Agency and keynote speaker at the luncheon.
Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.