Your business probably heavily relies on vendors to ensure that you have the supply needed to meet your customer’s demands. While you might go months or years without seeing an issue with a particular vendor, it’s practically inevitable that you’ll eventually have a problem arise that jeopardizes your business operations and your profits. While some of these disputes might be settled informally by simply discussing the matter with a vendor, other times the problem is much larger than that.
How vendor disputes arise
There are a number of issues that can lead to conflict with a vendor. Amongst them are late deliveries, overcharging for the goods delivered, a decrease in the quality of the goods provided, delivery of goods that don’t conform to the contractual agreement, and late delivery. While a vendor might try to convince you that the issue is a one-time event attributable to miscommunication, don’t let them dupe you into inaction. After all, there could be a lot of money and your reputation on the line.
What to do if you’re facing a vendor dispute
Instead of letting yourself be taken advantage of, you should be proactive in protecting your business interests. If you negotiated a contract with the vendor in question, then you can file a breach of contract claim in hopes of recovering compensation for your losses and restoring you to the position that you were in prior to the breach. If you simply relied on a form vendor agreement, then it might not be as easy to decipher how the terms were violated. However, by diligently assessing the circumstances, prior performance, and statements made by the vendor, you can probably develop a strong legal argument that supports your position.
Do what you can to protect your business interests
One of the best ways to protect yourself from a vendor dispute is to negotiate agreements on the front end that speak directly to your business’s needs. The terms should be clear and the rights of the parties unarguably defined. But, even if you run into problems with your vendors after that point, you can find the support that you need to aggressively litigate your case and protect your interests as fully as possible.