I just took over management of our software product releases. Now I am tasked with sending an email to a supplier of ours to try and light a fire under them for some updated documentation. But they don't really know who I am, so I basically need to introduce myself at the same time.

What is the best way to simultaneously introduce yourself and explain why you are the one sending this email, and try to light a fire in getting what we need to finish this next release?

A few details that might help:

  • This is a supplier of equipment that we sell.
  • We also create and sell software that interfaces with this equipment.
  • We can't really get any further on the software until we have their updated documentation.
  • 2
    This is a question about how to do your job. – DJClayworth Dec 8 '15 at 15:37
  • You could always ring them. – DavidB Dec 8 '15 at 15:51

As this is a matter of urgency, introducing yourself as the head of releases would add in weight(of importance) to your mail, rather than just sending them a plain mail asking them to update documentation.

Something like this, should do:

Dear XYZ,

I am _____. I have recently taken charge as the head of releases, and is a pleasure to meet you.

We have been having some problems due to the documentation, which has to be updated in order to clear the roadblock for the next release.

......... Some more text explanation .............



  • 1
    I would also include the previous in-charge person as well. Something to the effect of, "I will be taking over Z's responsibility as head of releases." That way they know who that is and can relate to you. – Dan Dec 8 '15 at 17:19

Clearly you need to introduce yourself. They need to know you are a person of authority and this is your role.

In addition to the content the to and cc is equally important. Make sure is it directed to the appropriate parties at the supplier (not just support). Find out who the sales rep is and CC them - they need to understand this is potential sales problem down the line (or already). CC your manager and any other appropriate parties on your side.

  1. Introduce yourself and your role
  2. State very specifically what information you need
  3. Tell them why you need it
  4. State when you need it
    If this is already critical path on your project then state that
    "At this point lack of this updated documentation is delaying release of the software"
    In a nice way tell them you needed it yesterday if that is the case
  5. Ask them when you can expect that information
  • For item 4, I'd also suggest telling them when you need it before asking them when you can expect it. – Laconic Droid Dec 8 '15 at 15:54
  • @LaconicDroid I infer it was needed yesterday. It is critical on getting out the software. I will try and add that to the question. – paparazzo Dec 8 '15 at 16:05
  • I don't disagree about it being "needed yesterday". I always like to put a specific date in any email of this kind, however, so there is no ambiguity and the supplier can't feign ignorance of the deadline. – Laconic Droid Dec 8 '15 at 16:43

Email is a poor tool for what you are aiming to do. I would suggest that either meeting your sales rep face to face or calling them would be a much better option. That way you can get a commitment for a specific time frame in that conversation, begin to build the relationship that you need from them, and have confirmation that they know who you are. Once that has been established, sending an email requesting confirmation on what was agreed on for content delivery and time frame catches everything you need in writing.

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