The ten signs of a deteriorating vendor relationship – Part 4

7. More effort goes into playing office politics than into delivery.

When a vendor is more interested in keeping onside with your senior management and looking good than in doing what is needed for the success of a project. This is typically accompanied by 1, 2 and 5 from my previous posts. They deliver on time (to look good) and then blame you when it isn’t right.

Tread carefully this often happens when the vendor has a personal relationship with your senior management. Find a strategy that will allow your managers to deal with the issue without looking like they were foolish to engage the vendor. This will help in the long run if you end up in the position of needing to dump the vendor completely.

8. The cost of managing the vendor increases over time.

In a healthy vendor relationship the cost of managing them should decrease over time as trust and working practices are established. When a relationship is turning sour the reverse happens, you spend more and more time managing the relationship and pushing the vendor to undertake even the most basic of tasks.

This is where your senior management come in to play. Use them particularly if they have a relationship with the vendor. Again be careful in your approach. Try presenting the problem in such a way that management will feel as though they are saving the project by acting in the manner you want them to. Let them have the credit and allow them to bask in the glory. Their ego’s won’t normally let them turn down such an opportunity.

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