The change of seasons brings a good time for vendor reviews. Are your vendors performing to your expectations, or are they just a necessary evil? In the past I witnessed customers and vendors behaving like mortal enemies, rather than business partners. “Stick it to them before they give it to you” seemed to be the motto. Time after time customers would return to the same vendors for more punishment, and I could only attribute this bizarre loyalty to the fear that things could be worse elsewhere. (Ah, those age old “what if” questions).
Recently, I have noticed a slight resurgence of this attitude, given the thinning state of manufacturers in this country. These days your vendor should be your partner, not your enemy. Their performance should complement every aspect of your business. Pay close attention to your current vendors and review any that don’t seem to be up to par. If you do find that your vendor is failing to meet your expectations, the first question you should ask is, “Are we doing our part by giving the vendor clear and concise instructions?”
Our vendors should never be our scapegoats when we fail to adhere to client orders. All too often, shifting the blame onto someone else seems like the easy solution and situations like this often break down the lines of communication between customer and vendor over time. As your business progresses, new ideals must be communicated with your vendors, so that if they choose to they may grow and prosper with you.
Vendors should be reviewed on a quarterly basis, but before you decide to terminate a relationship with them, make sure that you are doing your part to make the partnership successful.