Vendors aren’t always taught exactly what they need to do in order to be successful in their role. That’s why you can’t always assume that a vendor will do their job.
When you assume…you get in trouble.
This is especially true with vendors and deadlines. Without communicating clear guidelines and expectations, you may end up having to do their job.
4 thoughts on “Quick Tip on Managing Vendors”
We were just starting our new company after the last company we were contractors with went out of business. We were in a rush to get things done so our consumers would not feel the difference in benefits. Long story short, we didn’t have a signed agreement with a vendor and had to settle out of court with them for a good chunk of money. Don’t rush just to get things done!
After 3 years of work on a book, I found a printer. We have talked and emailed since March. I sent them a copy of my previous book so they could see the size, quality, and shape. I signed a contract, sent a check, and sent the book.
After they received my book design, all camera ready, just like we had been discussing for months, they said they bid it wrong and cannot do the binding in-house.
They said I messed up by saying it was “9×12” instead of “12×9”. They KNEW it was horizontal. They are the professional book printers and never corrected me when I always called it “9×12”. There is no stated industry standard about the order of numbers when giving dimensions.
They have to subcontract out the binding, and made me wait 2 weeks for the bid. When it came, it was $14,000 for the binding as opposed to $7000. I pitched a (polite) fit, and they reconsidered, reduced the prices of the other parts, and now the job will only cost me $1200 more than the original bid.
Am I supposed to be happy with this?? Does a contract only protect the vendor and not the customer??
When I do another book, I will NOT go to these people. I will tell The Book Designer (great self-publishing consultant) to NEVER recommend them again. I might even say bad things about them on my blog AFTER the book is in my hands. (Only true bad things, not the emotion-inflamed thoughts I have been expressing privately!)
And, of course, I will ALWAYS say the horizontal measurement before the vertical and follow it up with the correct descriptive word. Still no guarantee.
Wow, just typing this all out makes my heart race.
Are you sorry you asked for war stories, Chris?
Interesting. I am not in my own business yet, but I guess what you are saying is have some KRA’s for your vendors. Have to put something about this in my “when I get that company started…” File.
Whoa. I just listened to this. 3 thoughts:
1. It is REALLY GREEN where you are!
2. Both hands on the wheel, both eyes on the road, ok?
3. I think you told us to not assume that the vendors have a clue. When they tell you a time to expect delivery, do not believe them. Ask more questions, because chances are they don’t know their butts from fried baloney.
(If I sounded cynical about vendors in #3, it might be because I am.)