Melanie Rhodes is the founder of Diversity Spend Solutions. Her expertise in developing and implementing technological solutions to business problems comes from nearly 20 years in leadership roles with Oracle Corporation, Deloitte Consulting Group, and finally Toyota.
In 2006, she was introduced to Supplier Diversity while employed with Toyota and could immediately appreciate the impact of Supplier Diversity on communities that shared a similar background as her.
Fortunately, Melanie saw first-hand both the technology needs and resource constraints of the Supplier Diversity team and found herself enlivened by the opportunity to help the team improve their operational efficiencies by way of better business processes and technological solutions.
Her mission was to free-up as many resources to focus on the important business of Diversity to subsequently have a positive impact and opportunity on disadvantaged communities.
Seeing an opportunity to do this same type of work for other organizations, Melanie started her consulting company in 2009. After gaining a few clients, Melanie realized the importance of empowering those clients to manage their own Diversity solutions.
She began the process of automating her business solutions through a software as a service model. She joint developed her initial module after working with the Toyota Supplier Diversity Manager that indicated that he “wanted to push a button” to understand his Supplier Diversity achievement. Toyota has a world-class supplier diversity program, so the requirements were extensive. The solution subsequently saves Toyota over 756 annual labor hours.
Since building that one module, Diversity Spend Solutions now offers a comprehensive suite that has been developed with organizations that have either advanced or world-class supplier diversity programs.