FORT WORTH, Texas—American Airlines is providing opportunities for executives of women- and minority-owned businesses to attend e-commerce workshops. Business owners and executives who attend the seminars learn how to enhance their business practices by conducting business electronically.
To date more than 140 representatives from more than 100 companies have attended daylong classes, sponsored by American, on how to add an e-commerce component to their business plans.
In the interactive workshops, held in Dallas/Fort Worth, Tulsa, Miami, and Los Angeles, suppliers learn about the opportunities and common issues confronting women- and minority-owned enterprises in e-commerce, how to get started and how to be successful in this ever-evolving sales channel. Participants also learn the pros and cons of an electronic business-to-business exchange.
“American is taking a leadership role in working with women- and minority-owned suppliers to help them thrive,” said Vice President of Purchasing John MacLean. “Our commitment is to encourage business owners to attend the workshops and learn how they can better use technology to remain competitive.”
According to Fred Kahl, manager of the Diversified Supplier Program at American, conducting business via the Internet can be a daunting prospect for any company. By sponsoring the seminars, American hopes to help women- and minority-owned enterprises successfully implement an e-commerce strategy.
“The workshops American sponsors provide a starting point that helps executives understand the benefits and implications of this new way of doing business, ” said Kahl. Kahl was recently honored with an Applause Award from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council for his “dedication to supporting women and minority suppliers.”
Among the companies that have participated in the program is Tulsa-based CRC & Associates, an environmental services company started by Cheryl R. Cohenour, in 1988. The company has 18 employees and provides services such as engineering and construction.
“Through the American-sponsored workshop we learned that, despite our size, we can do business on the Internet,” said Lindsay Barrett, information analyst for CRC. ” As a result of the workshop, we are moving toward making changes and are currently re-evaluating our Web site. We were very impressed with the assistance received from American.”
The workshops, conducted by Diversity eCommerce, a minority- and women-owned company, are often co-sponsored in local markets by women- and minority-owned business associations and chambers of commerce, with American in the forefront. Attendees have the opportunity to view an electronic business-to-business exchange and participate in round-table discussions and group activities.