Make Sure Your Vendors and Subcontractors Work for You

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 24, 2006

Just as you provide solutions for your client, your vendors and subcontractors should provide solutions for you. If they provide you with problems instead, you will lose your clients and customers. The following list contains factors to measure the "job merit" of subcontractors. It is a handy reality check for dealing with the people who work for you.

1. Understanding of "whole picture"
2. Knowledge of job
3. Keeping up with the state of the industry
4. Quality of work
5. Dependability
6. Ability to work with others
7. Cost effectiveness
8. Quantity of work performed
9. Initiative

Any deviation from providing solutions for you should be considered a problem for you, and perhaps will be a demerit held against you by your client. I learned this the hard way. Years ago I owned small technical communications firm. I lost a major long-term client, and only learned of the problem when the contract was not renewed.

I asked the client why, and the reply shocked me. We went through the list of factors, and everything was great, except my subcontractor was always late. I lost the client for one reason—a lack of dependability. However, this was not the subcontractor’s fault; it was mine, because I did not do a reality check with the client and the subcontractor, learn of the problem, and fix it.

Marilyn Holt, CMC
Holt Capital
Seattle, WA

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