A Message from the President

Since 1973, the pinoneers of supplier diversity faced numerous challenges. Through it all, the collaboration between public and private sectors nurtured its success–then and now–making a significant impact on the local, regional and national economies.

“It’s hard to imagine the supply chain world before supplier diversity initiatives came into being more than 40 years ago. The forerunner of supplier diversity was MBE/WBE outreach programs, with specific goals to achieve the inclusion of minority- and women-owned businesses in the corporate world’s contracting. Considered socioeconomic programs by those who perceived the movement as an outgrowth of the 1960’s civill rights era, these programs were consistently challenged in the coutroom. Inclusion of all business entities- with the opportunity to compete for contracts- was and remains key to keeping supplier diversity programs legally viable.

Today, within the network of the National Minority Supplier Development Council- composed of 35 regional councils nationwide, of which SCMSDC is among the largest- more than 3,500 Fortune 500 majority companies embrace supplier diversity as a business strategy and believe ‘It’s the right thing to do.’ Conversely, there are more than 16,000 minority businesses that make up a vast and growing pool of talent which corporations can utilize to match their procurement needs. All councils operate under four pillars: MBE certification, supplier development, connection among and between corporations as well as MBE’s and advocacy for MBE’s.

Those in our industry would agree the output of supplier diversity has always been economic development, and that the primary reason and the effectiveness of SCMSDC and other regional councils’ existence are measured by the value of majority corporations’ purchases from minority businesses.

As to the economic impact of supplier diversity, in its first year SCMSDC reported minority business spending by majority corporations, that amount came to $35 million. By 1983 that number had risen to approximately $450 million. Today, within the NMSDC network, that amount is in the billions of dollars.

Supplier diversity is no longer simply a numbers game. A who’s who in corporate America, including major industries ranging from automotive, utilities, telecommunications and aerospace, have come to realize supplier diversity as integral to the future success of their companies.

The stories (herein) aim to inform the public about supplier diversity and the role our organization plays in advancing its efforts across the global economic landscape. In ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’, pioneers of this movement are featured and recall the challenges they faced. In ‘Make Way for MBE’s’, the importance of becoming MBE certified- as attested to by successful MBE’s- is presented. In ‘Supply in Demand’ the topic centers on increased business opportunities for minorities and smart incentives for corporate America.

As to the future of supplier diversity, it has gone beyond the U.S. and is being embraced by governments and nongovernment organizations in Australia, Canada, China, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Meanwhile in the U.S., minority businesses are becoming recognized as the economic lifeblood of corporate America.”

Virginia Gomez

President, SCMSDC

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