July 2015   
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Don't Cry Wolf!
  
Are you managing your vendors in order to get the most out of them? Have you established core, approved vendors to assist in a smooth order process, installation and ongoing customer service to ensure the very best flow of your day to day operations? How do you handle low, medium and high priority issues with your vendor?
Managing vendors is a lot like dining at a restaurant

Managing vendors is a lot like dining at a restaurant. You do the best you can in getting a good recommendation as to how good the restaurant is, what kind of food they offer and how good the service is. When you're there, you pick your food off the menu and hope for the best.

 

A short time ago, a sales rep shared a story with me that unfortunately happens from time to time. A company hires a person that really has no 

business interacting with critical, long time vendors. The customer ordered a large Ethernet Internet circuit in order to replace their existing smaller Internet circuit. The lead time for installation was 60 to 120 days - usually the latter. All went well and the circuit was installed on the 62nd day. However the AT&T tech who installed the local loop asked the customer where the router was leading the customer to believe he could turn the circuit on that day. This was not the case and that newly delivered circuit now had to be tested and accepted and then a date had to be scheduled and agreed upon to make the circuit live. The customer, not fully understanding the process, became upset but was reassured and then understood the process. 

 

Next, he was told the router would be delivered in two days. Well, because of human error it was delivered in three days. Keep in mind, the company was up 

and running, no financial losses were occurring and no people were affected. The vendor had simply communicated the wrong date. That Friday afternoon of Father's day weekend, the sales rep received an email from the customer wanting 

to know his options to cancel the order. 

 

In telecommunications, this would be a "low priority" issue. However, the customer ratcheted up a low priority issue making it a high priority late on a Friday afternoon of Father's day weekend. The sales rep, fearing for his livelihood, in perhaps losing commission or not meeting his monthly quota escalated the issue internally with many departments involving many people with what really was not a critical issue.

 

Back to the restaurant; your meal comes back perfect except for the parsley garnish is off, it just doesn't look fresh so you call the waiter over,  you get the manager and you have the meal sent back. The chef takes a look and what does he think? So  now you aggravated the waiter, the manager and the chef over a limp looking parsley twig. They've now labeled you as someone who has unrealistically high expectations that no restaurant could ever achieve. Is this the best way to get great service and a great meal?
The Point is That Vendors Are Human
To quote the late John F. Kennedy, "There are three things which are real; God, Human Folly and Laughter. The first two are beyond our comprehension so we must do what we can with the third."

 

I'm not advocating laughing when a vendor mess up but make a note of it,

prioritize it and if over a significant time period they handle medium and high priority issues poorly then fire them. But show some compassion and understanding when low level contacts show imperfection from time to time.

 

I promise you'll get better overall service and less mess ups because at Mygrotel the people that touch your orders genuinely want to impress you with the very best service they can deliver. 

Call Mygrotel today and we'll make sure your company is with the right vendors and help you manage them to get the very best from them. 

Sincerely,

 

Tom Buckle 

President, Mygrotel, Inc
phone: 800.521.6343
tom.buckle@mygrotel.com mygrotel.c
View my profile on LinkedIn

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