The ten signs of a deteriorating vendor relationship – part 3

5. Delays are always blamed on your inability to supply what they want when they want it.

Every delay that is encountered will be blamed on poor or slow responses from your side. Even when they ask you for it at the last minute or worse yet they are asking you for something that they should have produced as part of their agreed work. For example they will deliver a design document two weeks late and then claim that the delay in sign off is due to the fact that the document is still being reviewed by you.

A formal issue tracking process will help mitigate this. However, you need to be proactive in dealing with delays regardless of who is at fault. You also need to be clear to the vendor that late delivery is one thing but blaming your team for a sign off delay due to it is completely unacceptable. Escalate with the vendor senior management if this happens.

6. There are always excuses why they can’t supply the information or samples of their work when you ask for it.

At best this points to a lack of focus on the part of the vendor at worst it may mean that the vendors resources feel they can wait until the last minute before delivering something. Either way you will end up wasting time and energy. Your mistake was not making sure the vendor understands your projects reporting requirements and quality assurance processes.

If you encounter this be wary, it could be masking a deeper issue where by the vendors resources simply don’t understand what they are required to do.

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