Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Good annoyed

So I had a conversation today with a supplier of ours who hasn't been what I would consider up to scratch. The supplier instigated the conversation though, the manager called me directly to express how annoyed she was that we weren't putting as much business their way as they are used to. The thing is, I like that.

She was clearly annoyed with me because she felt they hadn't been treated fairly. Now whilst that's not a situation I aimed to orchestrate (I wouldn't intentionally want to annoy any of my suppliers) it pleased me that her reaction to that was to challenge, to fight her corner and to look at ways to address the problem. One of my issues for them in reality was that when we started to reduce the business we gave them, no-one spoke up. My main contact didn't call and kick up a fuss. In fact no-one called. For over 6 months.

I therefore don't think we did treat them unfairly. With so many people keen to work with us we can be choosy. I want the best suppliers all of the time. Yet just her calling and being annoyed, good annoyed, has pushed them way back up in my estimations. Had they never called, chances are I'd have never called them back. So her annoyance has really worked for them.

Now that the manager has got involved things are going to start moving. I'm going to see them in a couple of weeks to talk about how we proceed. OK there'll still need to be some improvements to their service. But maybe I've missed things and could improve in areas too. A dialogue will be had, strong opinions will doubtless be expressed and the whole set-up will be overhauled, hopefully for the better. It's a conversation I'm more than willing to have.

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