2. Emphasizing on the Product, and Not the Solution
Tata Teleservices' CIO, Ashish Pachory has faced similar situations, with vendors taking a very product-based approach, when they ought to have been taking a more consultative approach in reaching out to clients.
"What I want from vendors is a more consultative approach. Somebody should come and look at the gaps and pain areas in the business, and then tell me about the solutions they have which would address my problem areas, rather than just talk about how good their products are -- whether or not it fits in my eco-system," adds Pachory.
3. Taking Advantage
Pachory, having worked with vendor firms in his earlier job profile, knows how vendor companies can at times behave in a very coercive manner.
One such instance when this characteristic of vendors rears its ugly head is when a client company has become overly used to the vendor's solution. As Pachory points out, vendors aptly refer to this as the 'point of no return', meaning from this point onwards, the vendor feels that he holds the upper hand in any negotiations and can demand anything of the client.
"Now, let's say I am 60 percent through with a large project, and have started depending on it to the extent that I know I can't roll back on that. Then the vendor may start taking advantage, as he thinks that since the client has crossed the point of no return, the vendor can get coercive. The vendor thinks that as they had agreed to terms that the customer had asked for, now it's the vendors turn to get the customer to agree to what the vendor is asking for. It's unfortunate but true that this is becoming quite prevalent in the market. However, not all vendors adopt this approach, and many do put high emphasis on long term relationship building" he adds.
4. Not Keeping to the Deal
Another frustrating aspect of vendors, according to Pachory, is when they don't keep to their side of the deal and instead try to justify it.
"Most of the time, there are unnecessary reasons from their own standpoint, which they are not always open about. Instead they try to blame it on the customer, claiming that the client placed the order wrong or that the client did not clearly specify something or the other to the vendor," reiterates Pachory.
One of the commonest excuses vendors give when they are unable to meet the delivery timeline or costs is that the client's 'requirements had changed.'
"Our business environment is very dynamic and that's the reality. And if there are changes, the vendor has to be adaptable to those changes. They have to follow methodologies like Agile (iterative development) for instance, and be able to respond to those change in requirements, rather than take it as an excuse for cost escalation or delays," Pachory adds.
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