Supplier Diversity

Merck Mentorship Program Cultivates Successful Supplier Partnerships

Jacquie Cleary, CEO, Atlas Data Systems

In 2001, Atlas Data Systems, a woman-owned small business, became a supplier to Merck and began what has grown into a trusted partnership. Shortly after becoming a supplier, Merck invited Atlas to join its Supplier Diversity Mentoring Program and the timing couldn't have been better. Atlas had 60% of its Merck business at risk, due to multiple global IT initiatives occurring within Merck. At that time, Atlas was not yet positioned to be a global infrastructure company and was unable to provide the needed solutions for these initiatives.

Through the Merck Supplier Diversity Mentoring program, Atlas worked with an executive IT sponsor and Procurement to gain valuable insights into Merck's strategies and future needs. In response, Atlas had begun forming a new division, Atlas Elite, and was in the process of solidifying the capabilities and services to be provided. With knowledge gained through the program, Atlas fine-tuned its plan and became a key supplier within Merck's Information Technology division.

The program not only helped Atlas significantly increase its business at Merck, it changed the face of Atlas. Atlas was able to increase its value and provide end-to-end solutions to Merck's IT Organization The Atlas Elite division has grown to provide full project services and now represents over 50% of Atlas' business both within and outside of Merck.

"Merck's mentorship program has proven to be a real win-win for both Atlas and Merck," says Jacquie Cleary, CEO and Co-Founder of Atlas Data Systems. "From its beginning, Atlas has always remained flexible, looking for new ways to support Fortune 1000 clients. Our goal is to provide innovative business solutions, freeing up our clients to focus on their core competencies. The Mentor program has provided the operational framework and contact base Atlas needed to better understand and meet Merck's IT requirements. This deepened understanding has also resulted in better value for Merck, as Atlas' IT solution deliveries are closely aligned with Merck's needs."

Atlas is a Woman Owned Business (WBE) certified by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), through one of its Regional Partner Organizations, the Women President's Educational Organization (WPEO). Atlas CEO, Jacquie Cleary, and her team take pride in being part of the WBENC/WPEO community. They volunteer their time to sit on the certification committee to give back to WPEO and fellow WBEs, and are continuously looking for additional ways to get more involved. Their dedicated efforts have helped other women-owned businesses achieve their own WBE certification.

"I have worked with Atlas Data Systems for many years. Their unwavering commitment to customer service makes them stand out beyond all the rest," states Darrien Pinkman, Director, IT Procurement at Merck. "While technically competent, Atlas has a strong leadership team that is committed to providing its customers with the highest level of customer interaction and satisfaction."

The mentorship program is part of Merck's efforts to develop a world class supplier diversity process. Since its inception, the scope of Merck's supplier diversity program has grown to include not only women- and minority-owned businesses, but also companies owned by military veterans, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, and people with disabilities.

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Our Supplier Diversity Program is Going Global

We are proud to be recognized as a leader in the area of supplier diversity and look continuously for ways to expand and improve our program. In 2008, we began to expand our program globally. Our approach may be different, depending on local laws and regulations, but we look forward to continuing to build a supplier base that reflects our diverse customers.

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