Customer Support

Supply Chain

Our Approach

Suppliers play an important role in our ability to grow and operate effectively, and the money we spend through our supply chain adds to the overall prosperity of our communities and beyond. Our Supply Chain organization is responsible for the sourcing and procurement of normal goods and services, materials management, fleet management and accounts payable for all of Xcel Energy’s utility operating companies.

Local Spending

We do not set specific targets for local spending; however, much of our spending occurs naturally on the local level as we build relationships within our communities. In some circumstances, necessary materials and services cannot be obtained locally or it is not feasible to do.

Nearly 70% if spending on goods and services went to local businesses

2016 Local Supply Chain Spending

Colorado $830,106,730
Minnesota $654,186,787
North Dakota $253,136,206
South Dakota $3,885,004
Wisconsin $195,353,389
Michigan $158,390,917
Texas $281,840,855
New Mexico $24,619,864

Among many other things, the Supply Chain organization is involved in negotiating contracts for everything from day-to-day business necessities, such as office supplies and furniture, to capital items used to construct, operate and maintain our generation and transmission assets, including transmission poles and transformers. The group implements vendor, supplier and contractor management strategies and policies, handles accounts payable and puts in place company-wide sourcing and procurement strategies to achieve cost savings.

We sort our annual supply chain spending into 36 categories with more than 800 sub-categories. This data is used to determine risk, opportunity and negotiation leverage with suppliers. We employ a systematic sourcing method to get needed materials and services to the right place at the right time for the right price. The five-step sourcing process used to select suppliers includes preparation, request for information, request for proposal, contract evaluation and negotiation, and implementation. Four key business objectives—each associated with specific initiatives—drive our supply chain strategy:

We have developed guidelines for bid analysis for all categories of spend. Within these guidelines, up to 20 percent of the bid analysis weight can be allocated to social and environmental factors such as safety performance, diversity and environmental performance.

2016 Supply Chain Spending Categories

Aggregates Electrical Materials & Equipment Marketing and DSM Staff Augmentation
Battery Engineering Services Meters Steel Structures
Boiler Systems Environmental MRO Materials Transformers
Cable and Wire Fleet Other Plant Systems Transportation Services
Chemicals Gases and Lubes Gas Materials Property Services Travel Services
Circuit Breakers HR and Benefits Radiation Protection Turbine and Generator Systems
Construction IT and Telecom Revenue Cycle Vegetation Management
Consulting Services Logistics Integrator Safety Wind
Dry Fuel Storage Maintenance Services Solar Wood Poles

Monitoring Suppliers and Managing Risk

We have a Supplier Qualification program that uses services from Dunn & Bradstreet to monitor all active suppliers for Office of Foreign Assets Control, Excluded Parties List System, OSHA and EPA violations, as well as criminal proceedings and disaster events. We assess suppliers’ financial health, safety and use of diverse subcontractors before contracting with them, and suppliers who will have access to confidential data from Xcel Energy must undergo a data security review. We also periodically conduct key risk assessments, looking at categories such as commodity price risk, contract quality and governance processes.

All contractors who provide services or materials at company sites are required to complete a contractor health and safety questionnaire and submit five years of safety-related performance data. Our contractor safety department reviews this data and may reject a contractor or require a safety improvement plan. We continue to monitor safety performance once a contract is implemented.

All contracts include a clause requiring suppliers to abide by equal employment opportunity and affirmative action mandates prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity of an individual, or physical or mental disability. Additionally, all suppliers are expected to comply with our Code of Conduct.

Supplier Classifications

We classify our suppliers in four tiers based on a combination of overall supplier spend and criticality or risk to operations. Critical suppliers provide key materials and services required to support daily operations. Tier 1 suppliers, including those who are critical to our operations, are part of our Supplier Relationship Management program. The program enables us to build longer-term contracts with these strategic suppliers and implement continuous improvement initiatives to benefit both the supplier and Xcel Energy in terms of costs and operations.

Suppliers are also tiered based on their total spend. See below:

TierAnnual SpendingNo. of Suppliers% of Annual Spend
Tier 1 More than $10 million 64 60%
Tier 2 Between $4-10 million 81 15%
Tier 3 Between $1-4 million 252 14%
Tier 4 Less than $1 million 5,838 12%

We support suppliers in non-tier 1 spend classifications through collaborative initiatives and programs. For example, Xcel Energy is a founding member of the ITASCA-Project in the Twin Cities, which is dedicated to helping smaller local suppliers grow through procurement opportunities. The ITASCA-Project group is made up of chief supply chain personnel from large corporations, such as Xcel Energy, U.S. Bank, Target, United Health and General Mills, who meet monthly to discuss ideas for supporting the local economy by growing the capacity of small- and medium-sized businesses.

Supplier Diversity Program

Our corporate policies underscore our commitment to supplier diversity by recognizing that it is in our best interest to encourage a broad base of supplier relationships. Using diverse suppliers contributes to the economic growth and expansion of the communities we serve. Our policy is to offer these businesses the opportunity to compete in our procurement for products and services. We develop and strengthen business relationships with diverse suppliers by:

We are an active member of the Edison Electric Institute’s Supplier Diversity Best Practices Group, as well as the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and most local chambers of commerce in our operating territories. In 2016, we spent $401 million with diverse suppliers, directly and indirectly.

Annual Spending with Diverse Suppliers

 Dollars Spent% of Total Purchases
2016 $401 million 11.2%
2015 $395 million 10.3%
2014 $385 million 10.3%
2013 $365 million 9.3%
2012 $265 million 8.7%
2011 $248 million 8.3%
2010 $209 million 7.1%
2009 $153 million 6.9%

2016 Spending with Diverse Suppliers by State

 Dollars Spent
Colorado $60 million
Michigan $0.75 million
Minnesota $45 million
New Mexico $17 million
North Dakota $52 million
South Dakota $0.92 million
Texas $36 million
Wisconsin $4 million
Other $186 million

Additional Resources

Learn more about our supplier diversity program.

Find more information about Xcel Energy’s local economic contribution.

Supply Chain (PDF)

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