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Supplier diversity FAQs

How do I do business with Aetna?
In order to be considered for business with Aetna, you must register online.  The registration process is free and requires some general vendor information (your product/service, contact information and tax ID information).

If your company is a small business, a minority-owned, women-owned, LGBT-owned, veteran-owned or disability-owned supplier, and holds valid certifications/registrations, you may qualify for our Supplier Diversity Program.

Register online as a supplier 

How do I become a part of the Supplier Diversity Program?
Follow these two steps:

1. Ensure your company is certified/registered as a minority-owned, woman-owned, LGBT-owned, veteran-owned, disability-owned and/or small business supplier.

You can be registered through any of the following approved third-party organizations. All other registrations/certifications will be reviewed and evaluated by the Supplier Diversity Team.

  • National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
  • Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
  • National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
  • Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • Approved State, City, Local Government Municipalities

2. Register online.

Register online as a supplier

How do I submit copies of my certification?
Electronic copies of your third-party certification can be attached your online registration.

Does registering with the Supplier Diversity Program ensure that Aetna will do business with me?
No, Supplier registration does not guarantee business.  The Supplier Diversity Program serves as a liaison between diverse suppliers and Aetna purchasers. After a company has registered with our program, Aetna purchasers can review the supplier’s information and determine any opportunities.

What are the benefits of joining the Aetna Supplier Diversity Program?

They include opportunities to:

  • Diversify the marketplace
  • Strategically plan and offer competitively priced products and services
  • Increase the quality of the products we offer to customers
  • Achieve profitable growth and become an industry leader

I’m not a small business, minority-certified, women-certified, LGBT-certified, veteran-certified or disability-certified supplier. Can I still be a part of the Aetna Supplier Diversity Program?
Yes. Our second-tier subcontracting program provides opportunities for all of our suppliers. We ask majority (prime) suppliers to outline their spending goals with small business, minority-owned, women-owned,  LGBT-owned, veteran-owned and disability-owned suppliers, as well as their plans to achieve these targets. The Subcontracting Program involves direct second-tier and indirect second-tier purchases with diverse suppliers. 

Read more about the second-tier subcontracting program

Do you have a Supplier Diversity policy?
Yes. Aetna Procurement provides purchasers with the resources to find minority-owned, women-owned, LGBT-owned, veteran-owned, disability-owned and small business suppliers. Employees have access to the following resources for the purpose of identifying/validating diverse suppliers:

  • Employees can engage Supplier Diversity to find minority-owned, women-owned, LGBT-owned, veteran-owned, and disability-owned and/or small business suppliers that fit their various needs.
  • Procurement Sourcing Agents have access to the CVM solutions database for identification and validation of diverse suppliers.

What do Aetna purchasers consider when determining which suppliers they wish to use?
In general, because of the size and scope of our business, Aetna purchasers look for diverse suppliers with the following credentials:

  • Experience in the health care industry
  • National presence
  • Third-party certification as a minority-owned, woman-owned, LGBT-owned, veteran-owned, and disability-owned business
  • Small business classification through the Small Business Administration

What are five ways to create business opportunities with Fortune 500 companies?
1. Be patient. It can be a long process.

2. Be prepared. Fortune 500 companies have high expectations. Suppliers (diverse or otherwise) typically do not get second chances.

3. Be targeted in your approach. Do your research and learn about the company you are pursuing.

4. Be focused on your strengths. Getting business outside of your core competencies does not guarantee your business will grow with a Fortune 500 company. In fact, failure could jeopardize future relationships.

5. Be in touch — but not too in touch when pursuing business opportunities. Ask when follow-up would be appropriate.

What are five ways to leverage your certification?
Certification is a tool. As a stand-alone, it will not guarantee success or more business. However, certification combined with excellent products and services can give you an advantage and open doors. Certification provides more than a list of corporate contacts, so be prepared to take full advantage of your membership.

1. Attend all events, both large and small.

2. Network, both corporations and diverse suppliers.

3. Volunteer your time and expertise; getting involved creates additional exposure.

4. Leverage the services your certification organization offers, including: financing, educations and mentoring opportunities.

5. Promote the value of the organization to other companies and diverse suppliers.

Is Supplier Diversity responsible for making purchasing decisions?

No, we are not responsible for diverse supplier purchasing decisions across the organization. Rather, Supplier Diversity facilitates introductions between diverse suppliers and Aetna purchasers. The more aware our purchasers are of the valuable services diverse suppliers provide, the more likely they are to use them.

How does Aetna measure its Supplier Diversity success?
Supplier Diversity success is largely based on the Supplier Diversity Scorecard. Each year we establish both a Supplier Diversity target for the overall organization as well as individual targets for each of the business areas. At the end of a quarter we distribute a report that measures where each business area is in relation to their target and where the overall organization is in relation to our corporate goal.

What should I do if I haven’t heard back from anyone?
Please allow up to four weeks for us to respond to your request. If you do not hear from someone within that time, please contact supplierdiversity@aetna.com.

Does Aetna participate in any tradeshows or national conferences with the National Minority Supplier Development Council, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council or other national organizations?
Yes, each year we attend and exhibit at the following conferences:

  • National Minority Supplier Development Council Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange
  • Women’s Business Enterprise National Council Women in Business National Conference
  • National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce International Business and Leadership Conference
  • Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council Business Opportunity Conference and Expo
  • Women Presidents' Educational Organization events locally in both New York and District of Columbia

We encourage you to visit our booth and speak with one of our representatives.

If I am a prime supplier interested in submitting a second-tier report, who should I contact?
Please send an e-mail to supplierdiversity@aetna.com

Does Aetna post bids for upcoming business?

No, we do not post upcoming bids externally. Suppliers can learn about upcoming bids of potential opportunities through Procurement Sourcing Agents specializing in their commodity.

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