There are two vendors working for the same client in different departments

One of them, let us call them 'A', looks into the global IT operations, improvements and projects. The other one, 'B', provides warehousing and distribution services. 'B' uses IT services provided by a third vendor, 'C'.

There was an issue in the IT solutions used by 'B' and this eventually was reported when it's consequence reached 'A'.

Now, should the client, who is a customer to both 'A' and 'B', let people at 'A' communicate directly with people at 'C'? What if there is a cost raised by 'C' as a result of this communication?

I know this isn't an every day concern to many, but from an audit standpoint, if I am a vendor and so is my friend, I could charge my client a lot more by introducing issues that are of little importance.

My question is what should be the ideal approach in this case?


  • 1
    Hey Arjun, welcome to The Workplace! For future questions, you might leave them open (without an accepted answer) for a bit longer to see if you get a number of perspectives on how to proceed.
    – Jay
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 12:28

1 Answer 1


I would suggest that B should communicate with C.

This is because:

  • This problem is between B&C and not A&C.
  • B probably knows C the best.
  • B Also probably knows the it system provided by C best.
  • This might cost A a lot to investigate etc. This cost should lie with B not A.

Keep in mind that we have few details and that sometimes those details are important. But in this case I'd be fairly certain that the communication should come from B and not A.

  • Thanks! The ownership shall lie with 'B' then and 'A' will cease investigation and charge the client only for what has been done so far. I was examining the possibility of someone from the client moderating this between 'A' and 'C' but there is really no need for that I guess. Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 9:43
  • I would also add that this is B's problem. If they do need to talk to A, or they need C to talk to A, to rectify the problem, then that is on them to initiate, and shouldn't be at any extra cost.
    – Smock
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 10:36
  • As you say, given how little we know, this is the appropriate usual chain of command. A caution to the OP is this is also exactly what virtually every organization fights internally, i.e. silos. @ArjunAjith, if it is more effective to allow A to work directly with C, that may override usual protocol.
    – SemiGeek
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 12:56
  • @JohnSpiegel certainly more effective. Because I am A :-) Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 6:45

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