The small technical company I work at has multiple suppliers that deliver materials, parts or whole sub-systems of our product. As we are a new company the product is still developing, resulting in small changes to the specification and new findings fairly often.
One critical supplier of a sub-system (an electronic device) is becoming harder to deal with every day and has currently stopped delivering, does not respond or read e-mails and is barely available by phone. When he speaks on the phone, he just rants.
Without this sub-system we cannot deliver our product and no alternative supplier is available as the device is custom built for us. I am one of the team members that is tasked with dealing with this supplier.
What steps can I take to make sure the supplier delivers on a short term (< 1 month)?
The supplier was closely involved in the early development of our product and used to deliver normally. After using his product in a test environment, flaws surfaced. Not all specifications were respected. This started an iterative process, mainly concerned with the tweaking of the software of the device. Unfortunately the supplier seems incapable of tweaking the software. He does not use version control, resulting in a "random" version every time we get a test device.
The contract with the supplier states that our company will order an X amount of electronic devices. It also states that our company has the right to receive the source code. If the source code would be provided now, we could help the supplier and together deliver a product. However, the supplier will only provide the code after we order the agreed amount. Therefore we have started ordering subsets of the agreed amount. Unfortunately the supplier is unable to deliver the subsets due to the flaw in his software. He never mentions a target delivery date, and even if he does, he simply does not care and misses the "deadline".