Squeezed Out, Part II

My blog post from last week, “Squeezed Out,” has aroused some bad feelings in some parts of the fleet world. In that post, I described a chat I had with a vendor who had dropped out of the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) because they felt that a competing vendor had dominated the proceedings of a particular TMC Task Force that had developed a new Recommended Practice (RP). One reader thought that I was unfairly accusing TMC of allowing some vendors to run roughshod over Task Force proceedings, and that I should have gotten “both sides of the story” before writing my post. What I actually said in that blog post was that TMC’s process seemed to have broken down in this particular case, and that it was hard to say why (in my book that’s not exactly pointing a finger of blame at anyone… but I digress). I went on to speculate in the post that the problem might have been that the vendor that had been complaining may not have been willing to volunteer as much time and effort as their competitor. I also said that if this had happened on one Task Force, it has probably happened on others, and it was a shame that TMC wasn’t addressing these issues. Well, I just got off the phone with Robert Braswell, TMC’s Technical Director, and he made the case that his organization actually does all it can to address problems such as these. For one thing, attendees always have an opportunity to fill out an anonymous meeting evaluation immediately after every Task Force session, so if they have any complaints that’s the easiest and most effective way to get a response from TMC staff. Beyond that, every RP developed by every Task Force is put up for balloting before going on the books, so any member has an opportunity to bring up objections to the content at that time. In addition, even non-members can contact TMC to comment on RPs, and TMC is happy to get the additional input. So, I stand corrected. The gentleman who felt “squeezed out” could have addressed his issues with TMC in a number of ways, but Robert Braswell told me that he is not aware of anyone lodging any formal complaint. My apologies to TMC.