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By Natalie Bodus | June 29, 2021

Expert: “Greater Inclusion and Diversity Can Change Everything, Including Both Supplier and Supply Chain Resilience”

In this exclusive video chat, Tami Froese explains how Zebra’s inclusive procurement practices have improved outcomes for the company, its customers and global communities – and how they can be replicated by others for the benefit of all.

What does it mean to build a truly inclusive and diverse supply chain? According to Zebra’s Vice President of Global Procurement, Tami Froese, it means giving small and disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) a chance to grow – and growing alongside them. No matter the origins of a company, every business deserves the opportunity to thrive and be represented. Plus, embracing the unique backgrounds, practices, resources and expertise of diverse businesses provides real stability across supply chains.

“A Diverse Supply Chain is a Network of Dreamers, Doers, and Discoverers.”

Market volatility has been a concern for decades, and it does not always take a large-scale event such as a pandemic to shock the supply chain to a standstill – or at least a months-long delay. Everyday stressors can build, and the more diverse the network, the stronger it can become. That’s why manufacturers, distributors, retailers and others have been talking about supply chain diversification for as long I can remember. If a factory goes offline or a single ship is stuck in the middle of a transport channel for days on end, companies must be able to shift gears to minimize the impact on customers and end users.  

Yet, eagerly seeking partnerships with women, minority, LGBTQ+ and veteran-owned businesses in addition to small businesses is about far more than merely expanding your sourcing pool to ensure you can always secure the goods needed to execute your business and meet customer expectations.  

Prioritizing inclusion and diversity in the supply chain is the best way to create a network of passion, pride and resilience. Many underrepresented and underutilized entities are leading with a customer-center approach to production and fulfillment that is making a positive impact on communities across the globe. These small and disadvantaged businesses have skills, talents and ideas that can shape our supply chains to be better than ever before – and they are eager to step up and help others. Supply chains that harness this passion and champion the underdogs are better positioned to succeed, even in the most trying times.  

That is why I asked Tami to join me for our latest vlog episode. She is a staunch advocate for supplier diversification and can attest to the resilience gained – by both suppliers and entire supply chains – when an authentic effort is made to be inclusive. Listen to our 12-minute conversation now to learn more about: 

  • how the need for authentic diversification and inclusion in supply chains has grown in recent months and the key drivers for greater equality in sourcing actions.
  • how Zebra’s long-term commitment to inclusion and diversity has impacted our own supply chain structure and overall corporate functions.
  • the specific actions Zebra’s cross-functional team is taking to grow the company’s supplier diversity program.
  • the changes all companies can make to create more inclusive, agile, and resilient supply chains. 
  • how companies can work more collaboratively to ensure greater opportunities – and equal opportunities – exist for suppliers of all sizes and backgrounds in both local and global supply chains.  
Corporate Social Responsibility, Leadership, Inside Zebra Nation, Podcast,
Natalie Bodus
Natalie Bodus

Natalie Bodus is currently the Senior Director of Inclusion and Diversity and Employer Brand for Zebra. In this role, she leads a team focused on ensuring that all employees are seen, heard, valued, and respected based on Zebra's Inclusion and DIversity principles. 

Natalie and her team are also driving the employer value proposition through purposeful efforts intended to elevate Zebra as an employer of choice. This includes the recruitment of external talent as well as the retention and re-recruitment of Zebra's existing employee base. As a result of these efforts, Natalie was named to the Crain’s Chicago 2021 list of Notable Executives in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Prior to assuming ths role in September 2020, Natalie served as the Human Resources (HR) Director for Zebra’s EMEA region. She was responsible for leading the HR function to ensure the right talent strategies are implemented to best support Zebra’s unique business objectives in the region.

She has more than 10 years of experience in HR and has served in various HR roles for Zebra’s global Finance, IT and Legal organizations, partnering directly with each executive leader and their teams to advance their talent initiatives.

Prior to joining Zebra, Natalie held HR roles across a number of industries supporting commercial teams, global functions and operational business units. Throughout her career, she has dedicated time to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA), specifically assisting in their college relations and mentorship programs. More recently, Natalie has channeled her passion for driving change and making an impact into her role as Co-Chairperson for Zebra’s Women’s Inclusion Network.

Natalie hold a Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a focus in Human Resources and an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.

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