Thomas Kase Responds to NMSDC’s Joset Wright-Lacy’s Rebuttal

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This is Thomas Kase’s response to Joset Wright-Lacy’s statement from Monday, itself a response to Thomas’s posts on the National Minority Supplier Development Council and supplier diversity.

Many thanks for the reply – it is great to start to a dialogue and I appreciate getting your points of view. But I think that many of your comments are unfortunately based on a misreading of my articles, so let me set the record straight on some of them.

In your first point (in your 3rd paragraph), you suggest that I wrote that only black-owned businesses have been the focus of the NMSDC. What I actually wrote was “—historically with a focus on black-owned businesses in particular, but all minorities are included and active in the organization” – emphasis added for clarification.

I think this spells out the inclusive mission of the NMSDC, while to some degree acknowledging the general perception that there is also a certain bias. To be honest, I intentionally used the above wording to offer a balanced perspective in my reporting since, over the years, I have heard criticism around the focus of the NMSDC from particularly Asian- and Hispanic-owned firms that are members. But let’s set that aside for now.

In your second point (from the 4th paragraph), you say: “Second, our members are corporations – either local to a specific NMSDC affiliate or national, based on its coverage area. The term “diverse” does not apply to those corporate entities.”

In my article, I specifically pointed out the non-diverse nature of the corporate membership in my piece: “The certified firms are then engaged in matchmaking with the large Global 2000 firms that are corporate members and sponsors of NMSDC.” Sure, the NMSDC does have corporate members outside the Global 2000, but I think the level of generalization used in the article is acceptable in a non-academic context.

Your 3rd point was about the upcoming database. I had written: “New NMSDC national database – A longstanding flawed offering by the organization is about to get better. There will finally be a national database of NMSDC-certified suppliers. Long overdue!” Maybe I should have said a “new and properly functioning database,” but since the solution isn’t out yet, it remains to be seen if it will work better. I do admit to simplifying this, my apologies.

Regarding the current database, this has long been a sore point among your corporate members. To be blunt, the soon-to-be-replaced version is not particularly useful to modern procurement organizations wishing to fully leverage MBEs in their procurement processes. The data service solutions offered by AECsoft, CVM, and Supplier Gateway wouldn't have sold as well over the years if the current solution had been better. That said, I hope to soon be able to report that the negatives are eliminated in the new offering!

To your point about the planned consolidations and the head count reductions – well, only the future will tell of course, but I think it would come as a surprise to our readership to hear that Accenture has proposed a reorganization that does not involve the elimination of various positions… We will have to wait and see how this plays out.

Many thanks again– and I hope we can continue the dialogue.

Voices (2)

  1. Thomas Kase:

    You are preaching to the choir here – I worked hard with the NMSDC to correct their misreads prior to posting their rebuttal. That would have let me avoid having to post this fact correction post.

    Accenture is most definitely a reputable firm, I made no comments to the contrary, it is just that their reorganization engagements are prone to involve “right-sizing” an organization, something I think you can agree with.

    To the real point at hand – how to better support MBEs – absolutely, that’s far more interesting to write about than picking nits as you put it. Although it’s important to get those critters taken care of too. I didn’t want to mix fresh content into a post around setting the facts straight – that doesn’t read well. I do have material sitting that will address what we would all rather focus on – how to strengthen the mission at the MBE level.

    Stay tuned – and thanks for your comment!

  2. GA:

    This was a good conversation up until this post. This post was just nitpicky without addressing any important points. The goal of the NMSDC is to help MBEs. It would be better to have the discussion focus on how this would be impacted with the recent changes rather than berating a software tool that plays a very small role in the entire equation. Also, Accenture is a reputable consulting firm that provides advice within their clients goals and parameters. Your comment takes an unnecessarily broad stroke to question the quality and content of their advice with presumably no hard data to support your claim. Hopefully, we can bring the discussion back to what matters – are NMSDC’s actions helping their corporate and minority members?

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