Dealing with suppliersDealing with Suppliers

As you start to get customers, you’re likely to need suppliers to deliver the products and services you sell. Dealing with suppliers can sometimes not be as straightforward as you may think.

Whose terms are you going to follow?

That’s great until you get down to the thorny issue of terms and conditions. Can you impose yours or do you have to accept theirs? It’s called the “Battle of the Forms”, and it happens all the time!

These so-called battles have been the subject of much legal toing and froing in recent years, and the general rule is whoever’s terms and conditions are submitted last, wins!

Sounds clumsy but it’s true…

What happens when the service isn’t that good?

When you, the purchaser, believe your supplier has not met the standards required (support, availability and response time for IT contracts), you’ll turn to the service levels part of your contract.

They’re often loosely defined (and in the most aspirational terms to make them sound good!) deliberately to give your supplier maximum flexibility.

The solution here is to insist that service levels are clearly set out and include consequences for under performance and rewards for over performance to encourage exceptional service.

Oh dear, your order is late….

There’s nothing more frustrating than when a supplier delivers late. Especially when that has an impact on the service you provide.

Unfortunately, you can’t just terminate the contract unless you specified that being on time was ‘of the essence’. That’s means ‘critical’ in layman’s terms! It applies even if you define dates for milestones.

The solution to this is to say that being on time is ‘of the essence’ when it genuinely needs to be. To further reduce the risk of this happening, we can build ‘supplier appraisals’ into contracts to check them out before you even start working together!

In Summary

Put yourself on a firm footing in the first place to move forward with confidence.

To make sure your relationships with your suppliers are as free of conflict as they should be, call 01904 899794 to get started.