Vendor relations

We recently started up with a new vendor. We chose this vendor because it seemed like they would be reliable, give us better margins, provide marketing materials, and save us time. So far their record has been less than stellar, with at least half of our orders being back-ordered indefinitely or delivered late.

Though our account manager always claims he’ll be on the phone to us to notify immediately of any problems with our orders, that has not proven the case. Not once so far has he contacted us about a problem order. We have to check with him on every order or run the risk of being caught off guard on the day each new product is supposed to release.

We don’t want to be stinkers about it, but it costs us credibility whenever we can’t provide what our customers want on the day that it’s supposed to be available. We used to meet their needs through a lot of local shopping, chasing good deals from larger competitors at the expense of time, gas, and sanity. That option is still available, but we now get even less warning that we will need to rely on our own shopping.

So what do you do with a vendor that is proving unreliable? How do you get them to measure up to their own claims? Any thoughts or experiences out there? Leave me a comment!

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2 Responses to Vendor relations

  1. Dan Stratton says:

    If the vendor isn’t performing, I would put them on notice and start searching for a replacement. You do not have time to babysit them. The time you spend following up on them is probably worth more than the savings. Tell your rep the expectations and that you will will move on if they don’t measure up to the standard you sets. Then follow through.

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