Connecting Local Businesses to Supply Chain Integrators

October 6, 2016

“You are talking to the wrong guy” was the message when CASE would contact anchor procurement offices in certain categories. These categories were the outsourced functions of an organization’s supply chain to distributors such as food and facilities management companies, security firms, tier 1 service providers and others. We didn’t fully understand the opportunity until CASE conducted a spend analysis revealing high volumes of transactions executed by what we call supply chain integrators or SCIs.

How does CASE tap into this huge segment? We saw the opportunity and devised our ‘SCI Engagement’ strategy with the goal of bringing these intermediaries to the discussion and offering a solution which will work for them and through them ultimately for the Anchors. Earlier this year, CASE held an event inviting Anchors and 10 SCIs to kick off our SCI Engagement program.

Recently, the CASE team worked with Iron Mountain, a leading provider of information storage and management solutions, to overcome an obstacle they faced in the RFP process with an anchor.

“We had the technical knowledge to execute this contract, but we lacked a critical element for winning it: leveraging certified local, women and minority-owned businesses,” said Steven James, Vice President and General Manager, Iron Mountain. “Many Anchors place great value on diversity inclusion, specifically including diverse suppliers. After attending two CASE meetings, I knew reaching out to CASE for help was a perfect opportunity to experience the benefits it provides.”

Anchor Relationship Manager Kathryn Yaros provided Iron Mountain with business partner recommendations that would meet the local MBE/WBE criteria. On that list was Anchor Staffing, Inc., a firm that specializes in innovative workforce solutions. Led by CEO Joyce Johnson, Anchor Staffing is a local MBE/WBE-certified CASE participant.

Iron Mountain selected Anchor Staffing to partner for the RFP. The outcome of this strategic partnership resulted in the team securing the contract with the CASE anchor – The University of Chicago – resulting in 20-30 quality contingent jobs in local Chicago neighborhoods.

“Winning The University of Chicago contract was an entry point for us,” said Steven. “Without CASE’s recommendations, it would have been difficult for Iron Mountain to secure otherwise.”

According to Joyce, Anchor Staffing’s goal is to place talent near the communities in which they live, furthering the economic strength of Chicago neighborhoods.

“When I visit clients served by Iron Mountain and see Anchor Staffing’s placements working as full-time employees, I feel pride and a deep sense of accomplishment – and I know for now, my work is done,” added Joyce.

Although the majority of Anchor Staffing’s business operates in Chicago and Illinois, Joyce explains that they have expanded into Ohio and Miami.

“I want to go national, but I don’t want to endure the financial commitment to open a specific office outside of Chicago,” added Joyce. “However, this contract gives us the right exposure and positions Anchor Staffing to serve Iron Mountain nationally.”

Kathryn shared that this particular CASE story is a win on so many fronts. “Anchor Staffing provided the missing piece of Iron Mountain’s proposal in the RFP process.  Anchor Staffing’s partnership with Iron Mountain is opening new doors for the company to explore new markets. Keeping the work local, creating synergy among CASE businesses and anchors – these are the ultimate wins and no better proof point that CASE is making a difference.”