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We use a Service vendor to help us with various system issue that arise. We are the administrators of the system and manage the overall state of it. We occasionally need to work along side with the vendor to make sure they have everything they need like access into the system, and to make sure the system is running A1 so they can run updated scripts/updates against it. We usually are quite quick in responding to their needs. We got behind recently and replied back we would look after them as soon as we would and appreciated their patience (twice). After all we pay them for their service. They didn't like the second response and went to our manager. She told us to make sure we got things moving, which we did and looked after them. There had been times when we needed to wait for them to get back to us on various things in the past, and never escalated. Should a follow up email be in place now to close the case?

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  • Vendor shouldn't be working with you direct, it should always be going through the manager. So there is a problem there.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 23:56
  • "After all we pay them for their service." No, you don't. Your company pays them. Or your manager makes the decision to pay them, not you. If something doesn't get done in time, your manager could blame them. Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 0:17
  • The vendor likely doesn't get paid unless they fully complete what they contracted to do and there may even be a time component involved. They need your "we're all done" email so they can say to your procurement folks that they're done and ready for payment. There's often a disconnect between people who do the work and those who deal with procurement. It's not always easy, but just try to respond proactively to their constraints regarding "time and done-ness" and things will go MUCH smoother.
    – teego1967
    Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 14:29

3 Answers 3

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Well, that's annoying behavior from a vendor.

But it is no big deal, not at all. You said wait, to your boss they said "can't wait." Your boss said "oil this squeaky wheel, willya?" So you did so. All's well that ends well.

No followup needed. No closeout message.

But if it happens again you've got to bring it up with your boss. She needs to go back to them and work out expectations for how they are to make requests to your team.

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Maybe it's possible there's part of the picture we haven't seen (and, to be fair, everyone will be in that position to some extent, irrespective of company size).

If the service provider has been asked - by someone else (possibly your manager) - to provide a particular service, and they are unable to do that without your input, it would be entirely correct for them to make people aware that they are unable to do what they've been asked to do without the information they've requested.

If everyone should be going through you to deal with this supplier, there's a gap that needs to be addressed. This is something for your manager to arrange, so it's good that they've become involved.

I'm seeing this more as the supplier covering their backs rather than escalation.

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  • I'm pretty much seeing the same thing. Two requests put off with no firm timeframe for resolution or anything but 'be patient'.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 12:51
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Almost 20 years doing projects in international corporations taught me one thing. If some activity requires several chained actions, it is always better to inform everyone involved about the completion of one task in order to advance to the next.

In your particular case, I would just send a "job done" e-mail, which would act as the "follow-up" e-mail you mentioned.

Benefits:

  • everyone knows that you did the job;
  • you do not remind anyone about the hiccup and the escalation.

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