After adding a supplier diversity program to its procurement process, YMCA of the USA was looking to find new minority-owned suppliers when Director of Strategic Sourcing Val Castaneda learned about connXus.com. Castaneda was intrigued by the new online service, which matches corporate buyers with diverse suppliers and lets buyers conduct searches for performance-rated suppliers or post contract opportunities for suppliers to submit bids.
Val Casteneda, director of strategic sourcing for YMCA of the USA, likes how easy it is to use connXus.com
YMCA of the USA is the national resource for the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Always on the lookout for new sources of suppliers, Castaneda joined as a buyer member and posted several opportunities.
“It’s very easy to post an opportunity on connXus,” says Castaneda. “I can just cut and paste and I don’t have to re-type anything. And if I have any questions, such as selecting the right categories in order to get our opportunity to all the best potential suppliers, I can just call and get a real human being to help me.”
One of the YMCA’s opportunities was for a survey analysis. Tammy Gray of The Blackstone Group in Chicago heard about the opportunity from a consultant who does work for the custom marketing research and consulting group.
For Tammy Gray, Vice President / Account Manager for The Blackstone Group, one opportunity through connXus.com opened the door to do business with a national organization.
“It sounded like a good fit for us, plus it was right here in Chicago,” says Gray. “So I joined connXus. It’s free, so it was no risk at all. We were able to connect with the YMCA contact for more details and submitted our proposal. After a bit of negotiation, we were selected by the company.”
“Our research group was extremely happy with The Blackstone Group’s performance, saying they went ‘above and beyond,’” says Castaneda. “For anyone looking for business sources, connXus is a great resource. Here was this terrific company, right in our own backyard, and if it weren’t for connXus, we may not have found them.”
“Our biggest new business development challenges are finding companies that are ready and willing to try a new supplier and convincing them that we offer better or different services than the supplier they already have,” says Gray. “For us, this one small project opened the door for us with a national organization. It provided us with the opportunity to do a great job and provide additional value, and now we have received a Request for Proposal for a much, much larger study.”
“connXus is terrific,” adds Gray. “Whenever there’s an opportunity in our category, I get an email from the site. Their messages are so clean and easy. I can tell from the headline if it’s for me or not, so I don’t waste any time on opportunities that aren’t a good match for our company. I highly recommend it!”