Don’t get too close to your vendors
Close relationships between your organization and its vendors or partners probably are thought of as a good thing. But here are a couple of pitfalls you should know about:
- The closer and safer your partners, the more likely they are to raise annoying issues and generate conflict.
- Each partner learns what you know. If one partner or vendor resorts to opportunism, the relationship will become unstable and vulnerable.
— Adapted from “The Dark Side of Close Relationships,” Erin Anderson, Sandy D. Jap, MIT Sloan Management Review.
- Re-evaluate older relationships. Rotate your people through the front lines every two years so that you’ll have a fresh set of eyes.
- Monitor the marketplace regularly for fair pricing.
- Develop backups. A key business relationship shouldn’t rest on the bond between two managers.
- Take mutual hostages. The best antidote to abuse is sharing dedicated investments such as assets, human resources, specialized strategies and capital equipment.
- Set common goals. In the beginning, these goals are key to establishing expectations and roles. Review them periodically.