If you notice a number of the following then it is time to reassess you vendor relationship and either take swift action to head off a further decline and rescue the situation or take the decision to cut your losses. The Top 10 signs (in no particular order) its time to give your vendor its marching orders:
- A Time & Materials project is used as revenue generator.
- Their tasks become your tasks.
- No care or attention is paid to the billing process.
- Resources constantly change.
- Delays are always blamed on your inability to supply what they want when they want it.
- There are always excuses why they can’t supply the information or samples of their work when you ask for it.
- More effort goes into playing office politics than into delivery.
- The cost of managing the vendor increases over time.
- You can’t ask the vendor a question without them responding with a legal argument.
- It costs more to develop offshore than in house.
The solution to preventing some of the above is to ensure that appropriate penalties are added to a contract or agreement so as to punish poor performance and discourage bad practices. However, this also needs to be balanced with incentives that reward performance that leads to early delivery and meets quality standards. Get the balance right in your agreement and you have a powerful tool that can be used to help steer a path through most of the issues above.
Over the coming weeks I’ll go into more detail of each of these and look at the indicators you should watch out for.