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Archive for the ‘vendor relations’ Category

vendor oddities – resolution!

Posted by Steve Buchholz on February 20, 2009

Day three of the vendor saga began with me waking with a decision made. (You cna read Day 1 and Day 2 for all the background.) I called the vendor when they opened and told our rep that if the issue wasn’t resolved the way I needed it to be, I would be forced to end our business relationship.

It killed me to do that. I like this company. They’ve done good work for Western Dakota Tech. But I felt in my gut that I needed to have complete trust in them. I wanted to know I could tell them our secrets so they could help us succeed. I expected the same in return. When I saw that wasn’t the case, I knew we needed to find someone with whom we could forge that kind of relationship.

A few hours later, I received an email from the company owner. It included a link to the platform they would use to build our social network and a call for a cease-fire.

I’m very happy. I told the owner that, and I mean it. We’ll need to do some more salvage work, but things will be better.



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vendor oddities part deuce

Posted by Steve Buchholz on February 19, 2009

The saga continued today.

I wrote yesterday about a strange encounter with a vendor. We had a face-to-face meeting today to continue the discussion about why they wouldn’t tell me the name of an item they were trying to sell me. The item in question: an open source social networking platform the company was going to customize for us.

It didn’t go as I hoped.

The vendor’s reps continued to refuse to give me the information I need to make a good decision about this purchase. The reason didn’t change from yesterday-they are concerned I will take the information and peddle it to someone else. I assured them I wouldn’t and even offered to sign a nondisclosure statement. They didn’t budge.

I told them this was a deal-breaker. I need to independently research the product, and I need to be able to answer questions my colleagues and superiors might ask. As I told the vendor, I cannot say, “I don’t know,” if someone asks me what I’m buying.

The meeting ended with the vendor’s reps telling me they would see what they could do.

For me, this is a trust issue. I’ve trusted this company to help us grow enrollments and improve our marketing, and we’ve paid them quite a bit of money during the past couple years. I’m not sure how this conflict will impact our relationship, but whatever the effect, it won’t be postive.

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vendor oddities

Posted by Steve Buchholz on February 18, 2009

Had a weird incident with a vendor today. They had prepared aweird incident had me asking huh? proposal to build a custom social network for my college. I liked the proposal and the cost, but it was short on some critical details, including the name of the open source platform the vendor would use to build the network.

I wanted to complete some independent research, so I asked for the name of the platform.

The vendor wouldn’t tell me. Citing concerns about me taking the info and cutting them out of the deal, they refused my request.

I thought that was odd. How do I write a substantial check without knowing what I’m getting? How do I justify the expense to taxpayers who support the college and students who pay tuition if I can’t tell them what they’re buying?

Am I way off here? We have done quite a bit of work with this vendor, and I’ve enjoyed our relationship. Today’s incident has me rethinking all that. Am I being fair?

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