As the newly elected chairman of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) and first contributing author of Procurement News, I’d like to take this opportunity to outline my vision for the Council and share a bit about Ford’s commitment to supplier diversity.
Before I get started, I’d like to acknowledge the contributions of outgoing chairman, Steve Keifer and give thanks to the extended General Motors team. Their time and contributions to the MMSDC have been commendable. I’d also like to thank Michelle Sourie Robinson, the MMSDC staff, and the Board of Directors for the role they continue to play in certifying and providing minority businesses with development opportunities.
As a founding member of the MMSDC, Ford Motor Company understands that diversity makes us a better and stronger company, by bringing in fresh ideas, perspectives, and experiences. Ford’s journey to ensure a diverse supply chain network began in 1978 and is built on a strong foundation of commitment, perseverance, and integrity. Our aim to source at least 10 percent of Ford’s $55 billion U.S. purchasing budget, with diverse production and non-production suppliers annually, is something we are extremely proud of. As chairman, I plan to work with the MMSDC to serve both corporate members and minority business enterprises while using Ford’s strong history in this area as a benchmark.
MMSDC is a leader in advancing business opportunities for its certified Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Native American business enterprises and connecting them to member corporations. In 2016, I plan to continue aligning our organization with the National Minority Supplier Development Council and work to support the four strategic priorities:
- Certify minority businesses and promote the value of certification, focusing on targeting MBEs of scale that can best serve our corporate members
- Develop stakeholders and build capacity and capability, targeting innovationand technology to provide MBEs with sustainable competitive advantage
- Connect certified minority businesses with corporate members, developing innovative methods to connect MBEs and corporate members. Our efforts will include broadening the reach of MMSDC beyond Southeast Michigan.
- Advocate for minority businesses and promote the value proposition of minority supplier development, continuing to expand MBEs and corporate membership beyond automotive. In addition, we will plan for a Conference in Detroit in 2017.
Each of these priorities will guide the MMSDC over the coming months, but in order to truly succeed, we must focus on our relationships – with each other and the community. Relationships are a key driver of our success, and I look forward to working together to deliver sustained, quantifiable results. Thank you very much for the honor of leading this fantastic organization – let’s work together to demonstrate the tremendous value that MBEs provide to the community on both a corporate and business-to-business level.