10 Ways to Ensure Good Vendor Relationships2017-07-03T08:22:53-04:00

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  1. Pay them on time – During your contract discussions, make sure that their expectations of “on time” payment and yours are in alignment.
  2. Learn the marketplace – When dealing with a vendor, it’s important to know what the marketplace for their services or goods is like.
  3. Know their responsibilities, the SLAs, and the things that matter – One of the keys to having a good relationship with a vendor is to know what they must do — and to not expect them to do anything more. Your contract should lay that all out very clearly.
  4. Don’t trash talk them (especially in public) – If you wouldn’t say it to someone face to face, don’t say it on the Internet or behind their back.
  5. Understand that they have other customers – Demanding that the vendor treat you as their only customer is a great way to make them resent you.
  6. Learn what they need from you – Throughout the course of the work, make sure that you know exactly what you can do to let the vendor do their job and try your best to give it to them.
  7. Separate the people from the company – Many times, a vendor’s employees are handcuffed by processes, and it is easy for customers to get angry at the person for not doing what they want.
  8. Meet them halfway – A customer/vendor relationship is ideally a partnership.
  9. Make your expectations known early – The earlier you make your expectations clear to the vendor, the sooner you will find out if and how they can be met.
  10. Remember: They’re human too – A vendor’s people make mistakes, just like you do.

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