The Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council, host council of the 2013 NMSDC Annual Conference in San Antonio, answered some questions from MBN USA about the future of their council.
Moving forward, what are some new goals, objectives and/or initiatives for the council?
Our No. 1 one goal for 2014 is to enhance programs to develop certified MBEs and to promote excellence in global minority business development.
What is the importance of minority supplier development in your coverage area and the role you play in helping shape its success?
At Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council, we consider minority development an imperative to the success of our MBEs and the success of our council. SMSDC takes to heart the four pillars established by NMSDC: certify, develop, connect and advocate. We understand that as an affiliate of NMSDC, we provide the gold standard certification to minority business interested in providing goods or services to corporate American and other buying entities; however, the development quotient of the equation was not as robust as we would hope to provide. With that being said, we took a deep dive into all programs for MBEs and supplier diversity professionals, strategized with leaders and champions in diversity development and came away with a winner — The Plus Program! With the assistance of a progressive leader in the practice, Reginald Layton of JCI, SMSDC was able to launch this innova- tive and effective platform of programs to assist our constituents.
The Plus Program includes the following:
Capacity Plus is a process for certified minority business enterprises that seek to enhance their sales and marketing processes and build their capacity to work with Fortune 500 corporations. This two-year process provides practical insights that will help MBEs address business challenges.
Benchmarking Plus is a process for corporations that seek to accelerate their supplier diversity initiatives based on real world experimentation. This two- year process takes a corporation from where it is today to where it needs to be in the future in order to engage minority businesses in a sustainable manner.
Connections Plus is a process in which affiliate councils share best practices and best in class services with their colleagues around the network.
Do you know what last year’s MBE spend from your corporate partners was last year?
The total MBE gross annual sales for 2012-2013 was more than $11 billion.
How will hosting this conference impact MBEs, San Antonio and surrounding areas? From your position, what does it mean to have your council host this year’s conference?
It is an honor to host the conference and to provide our MBEs a venue to connect with Fortune 500 companies.