Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Vendor Relationships

This is one reason why I went into consulting. When I was a IT manager, I constantly had to deal with consultants, providers, vendors, that just wanted to sell their wares. And only came around when it's time for the upgrades. I went into the services arena to become a better vendor/Consultant/Service Provider to our clients and to other vendors, to establish long term mutual agreeable relationships. I fight for my clients. They come first.

This month, has been an eye opener for vendor relationships.
Client / Vendor relationship:
You pay me to perform a service, I perform that service. I look into the best possible practices for that client. If I cannot do the job/project - then admit it.
Either find another solution or find another partner.

I have been tested this month. I have no idea what's in the coffee creamer, but It's seems like nobody gives a shite.
  • Multiple T1's going down (1 for 56 hours) 1( for 18).
  • Providers just saying "that's it", it's all your responsibility.
  • Vendors not calling back clients, when the client wants to spend money.
  • Vendors being SO generic in their approach to a situation, that it's mind boggling we actually listened.

I have had it. Serious.

We monitor 24.7, but when working with partner's where you're sometime on egg shells because of lack of communication, it's not worth my clients and our time.

At TVG we are always looking at Vendors that are NOT about them, but about the customer end concerns.

These are a series of simple questions that I follow and expect our vendors should follow:
  • Does you address the clients best interest?
  • Do you take responsibility for a your results?
**aka is it always somebody else's fault?
  • Do you follow-up?
  • Do you offer a guarantee? (yeah right AT&- !)
  • Do you ask us how your doing?
  • Do you do a quality check?
You have to give everyone a 2nd chance, but when you give them a 3rd and 4th chance,
  • It's not worth at the integrity of the client.
  • It's not worth our time to save some money.
  • It's not our time to be worried the the vendor is not capable to handle what they were hired for.

So, in the end, we are always trying to balance those questions for ourselves internally, to our clients, and to other vendors.

The pain happens when you have to pull a client out of a current vendor relationship.
Might be a little headache, but it's in the best interest of the client.
Show them the proof and why it's it a good move. If you have a good relationship with your clients and you have been looking after them and they have been profitable because of your guidance, then it is a good mood. You're not going to steer them wrong. Do your homework.

We're on the hunt....lot's of good stuff out there.

Goes back to that old phase:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. (especially if were paying for it!)

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