A Unique Supplier Diversity Partnership: Progressive Industries, Johnson & Johnson, Cardinal Health and DePuy Synthes

| February 19, 2015 | 0 Comments

Words from JnJ.com



As the saying goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts—and this is evidenced by the synergistic relationship between the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, their suppliers and their customers. The model creates a continuum that supports and provides value for all parties as well as delivers innovation to patients as a critical end result.

One of those suppliers is Progressive Industries, Inc., a woman owned small business founded in 1985 in Chicago by CEO and President Valerie O’Donnell. Progressive Industries’ diverse supplier distinctions include certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) and
Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone.

Today, with 12 employees, family-run Progressive Industries supplies an extensive variety of medical as well as maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) equipment to DePuy Synthes, companies of Johnson & Johnson, whose customer base includes Cardinal Health—a global healthcare services provider.

Each of the participants in this unique, circular relationship is a supplier to another in the chain. The unusual aspect is that all three are direct suppliers to each other, relying on and contributing to each other’s growth and creating an ideal example of the value of supplier inclusion.

Progressive Industries supplies materials for manufacturing processes, along with industrial and safety MRO supplies, to customer DePuy Synthes.

Johnson & Johnson operating companies supply medical and surgical products to customers such as Cardinal Health (making Progressive also Tier 2 to Cardinal Health). Completing the circle, Cardinal Health provides medical supplies and equipment to customer Progressive Industries for distribution to its customers nationwide; customers that have supplier diversity programs are supported by a partnership with businesses with HUB Zone or WBE status, such as Progressive. The contribution and innovation of diverse suppliers is included as a critical part of our mutual mission: to improve the lives of patients.

“We are intentional about working with all classes of businesses, as this makes the healthcare industry stronger,” explained Martha Holmes, Supplier Diversity Manager and Small Business Liaison Officer at Cardinal Health. “Smaller/diverse businesses are dependent on distributors like Cardinal Health to either include product in the supply chain or make product available to them. This enables their ability to grow their businesses by distributing those products to segments of the healthcare market that are outside of our target market.”

Early Relationship Expands, Supplier Business Grows

Cardinal Health recognized Progressive Industries 26 years ago as a viable player that could support distribution to a niche market within the medical and MRO products arena that Cardinal Health does not service directly. This relationship has sustained successfully since its introduction.

Based on that established history, three years ago Progressive was invited to compete as a supplier of materials to DePuy Synthes. Small, HUB Zone, woman-owned businesses such as Progressive play an essential role in the multi-layered supply chains in healthcare. They are a critical component in contributing to economic sustainability by creating jobs and advancing opportunities for entrepreneurial small businesses.

“This partnership is the nucleus of the potentiality for future opportunity,” O’Donnell said. “Because DePuy Synthes cares not only about Progressive’s history, but also about our future, it speaks to my heart and to the bottom line of why supplier diversity programs succeed.” Partnerships with Cardinal Health and DePuy Synthes also open doors for Progressive Industries to attract additional new customers.

David Payne, Johnson & Johnson Strategic Sourcing Director for DePuy Synthes, remarked, “The Johnson & Johnson companies align themselves with partners like Cardinal Health that share in our commitment to diverse and small-business programs, and we strive to build relationships like that with
Progressive Industries to better serve our customers and communities.” The mutual support of each company’s business allows all to grow and develop sustainability in their respective markets, while enabling job creation and satisfaction of small business inclusion purchasing goals along the way.

“We regularly call on some of the largest hospital systems in the country, and we are seeing the topic of supplier diversity and minority vendors come up more often. This is especially true for systems associated with a state or university entity or as an area of corporate focus for private commercial customers,” said John Iannetta, Group Director, Customer Contracting, Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems. “By having a similar focus on supplier diversity in our family of companies, we have common ground to exchange ideas and best practices in this area that our customers highly value.”

“Supplier diversity and small business inclusion is a priority, and it is something that all of us value as customers,”explained Veronica Manuel-Gilbert, Director of Supplier Diversity for Johnson & Johnson. “Growth for any of us contributes to growth for all of us.”

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