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Final Report

Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) undertook a diagnostic study of Aboriginal procurement in 2011. This interest follows EHRC’s successful project on Aboriginal recruitment, advancement and retention.

The Diagnostic of Aboriginal Procurement Strategies project was funded by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada in 2011. This project was designed to look at procurement strategies within the electricity and renewables industry for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal businesses. The project identified several specific challenges in Aboriginal procurement and provided solutions to help overcome these barriers. These challenges and solutions, as well as other project elements, can be found in the project report.

Project Report

The report identifies ways that businesses operating in the electricity and renewables sector can increase their procurement of goods and services from Aboriginal businesses. A considerable part of the report is devoted to a description of the strategic and operational dimensions of the procurement process. This report also includes case studies that illustrate the ways companies in the sector are developing supplier relationships with Aboriginal businesses. The case studies also serve as an industry diagnostic illustrating the range of business and procurement opportunities that will be available to Aboriginal businesses. Industry interviews and secondary research contribute to our understanding of the full range of procurement opportunities in the sector.

This report also provides recommendations pulled from research to help companies build upon current practices and to encourage consideration of Aboriginal businesses as viable suppliers. It examines the benefits of having an Aboriginal procurement strategy and provides the template for companies looking to develop an Aboriginal procurement strategy of their own.

Download the Report

Diagnostic of Aboriginal Procurement Strategies report cover

Operational & Tactical Mechanisms

Companies that have their own procurement division or department need to build the right mechanisms that are inviting to Aboriginal business. Consider the following practices and tactics which are already in use within the sector:

  • Companies may “unbundle” large contracts so that Aboriginal suppliers can bid;
  • Companies may encourage non-Aboriginal suppliers to partner with Aboriginal suppliers to bid;
  • Companies may adjust criteria in bids specifically to accommodate Aboriginal suppliers;
  • Companies may establish a “set-aside” style program which invites bids from only those businesses that have self identified or qualified as Aboriginal businesses;
  • Companies may have established targets for Aboriginal procurement.

Aboriginal Business Assistance Program.

Electricity companies can help Aboriginal businesses overcome organizational barriers to success.

For more information on how Aboriginal businesses can grow, check out EHRC’s Aboriginal Business Assistance Program.

Capacity Building

Many companies will base their decision on whether to purchase from an Aboriginal supplier entirely on the fiscal value of that relationship. They select all suppliers very carefully and take on new suppliers only after considerable due diligence. Aboriginal businesses will also carefully assess which companies they want to do business with to determine which one will be the best match for them. But on a business level, the relationship between Aboriginal suppliers and companies needs to be based on trust. Companies need to establish supplier capacity programs and Aboriginal suppliers need to ensure that, if they are awarded contracts, they can meet the contract’s quality and fulfillment requirements.