Giving Compass' Take:

• This story from B the Change looks at how ConnXus and CEO Rod Robinson have created a supply chain management tool that will benefit companies and increase their positive social impact.

• Do businesses like Robinson's have an obligation to solve social problems, or should they only fill such a niche in the market when it is profitable?

• To learn about one organization who is fixing the supply chain to get food to hungry people, click here.

ConnXus founder and CEO Rod Robinson wasn’t thinking about social impact when he conceived of his supplier management software business a decade ago; he just had a work problem that he thought someone should solve. But the fast-growing business he created might offer just what the corporate world needs to level-up its positive impact on society.

As a chief procurement officer, Robinson struggled to do more business with supplier companies owned by women, people of color, LBGTQ+ people, and veterans, even though contracts often mandated that he do so, and as a black man he wanted to support businesses owned by disadvantaged groups. While suppliers can obtain third-party certifications for their diversity status, fragmented resources made it hard for purchasing officers to find them.

“I wondered, ‘With all of the technology at our disposal, why isn’t someone leveraging these tools to provide visibility down and across supply chains?’” Robinson recalls. “I wanted to solve that problem and help companies quickly identify and measure diversity within their supply chains.”

He had an idea for a service that would play matchmaker between small and medium diverse suppliers and large companies’ procurement divisions. At first, he tried to get another company to create it, but with no luck. So he eventually began prototyping a solution himself.

Robinson debuted his supplier management platform, ConnXus, in 2010. With customized data analysis and access to a database of nearly 2 million vetted supplier certifications, large companies can begin to build more inclusive, transparent and compliant supply chains made up of small businesses that match their values, he says.

Read the full article about supply chain diversity by Conscious Company at B the Change