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Contributor II

Is it an Unfair advantage?

Seems unfair, but a vendor that’s on the skits with an organization that I worked for was given a pass by me. I basically chose to stay with this vendor because of his status as a military veteran. Not that his product wasn’t good, however, our organization wasn’t satisfied with the service levels provided. I gave him a pep talk, followed by his handshake and promise that he’d do better. I’ll follow up in about a month to see how this goes.

 

If the issue was placing my organization at more risks, then I would not have entertain any further chances as I am partial to immediate mitigation in most circumstances. Just wanted to put that out there for the more scrutinizing community members who’d seek out that one crevice of opportunity to criticize.

Lamont Robertson
M.S., M.A., CISSP, CISM, CISA, Security+, MCSE
6 Replies
Advocate I

Re: Is it an Unfair advantage?

Lamont,

 


@Lamont29 wrote:

Seems unfair, but a vendor that’s on the skits with an organization that I worked for was given a pass by me. I basically chose to stay with this vendor because of his status as a military veteran. 

I think what you did was admirable with anyone you do business with.  A problem in the delivery of goods or services may have been a misunderstanding (about the original performance requirements, or about the authority of the provider to decrease performance to a point just good enough).

 

I found that with smaller businesses that are attempting to grow their customer base that they tend to overextend themselves.  For example, making a commitment to one customer that conflicts with their commitment to another customer.  That tends to result in the provider decreasing performance on one or both until the customer(s) calls the provider out on it.

 

Straight up terminating the contract because of a decrease in performance is kind of ruthless.  Communicating deficiencies and giving the provider a chance to correct them is more companionate.  Either way, it’s your call.  In my opinion, it doesn’t have to have anything to do with the risk analysis.  The fact is that you spent money on a product or service that was lesser quality than expected.

 

If you only communicated with the provider to correct a performance issue because they were a veteran, I can only say, “If that is what works for you.”  I would hope that you over-extend that curtesy (an apparently the mentorship you provided) to any small business, and extend that curtesy at least a handful of times to any provider.

 

I don’t think it was an unfair advantage.

 

Sincerely,

 

Eric B.

Newcomer II

Re: Is it an Unfair advantage?

@Lamont29 you took a very balanced and mature approach in dealing with your vendor.

What was the direction from your sourcing department?

Did you have anyone from legal involved to document the remedial feedback?

While dealing with vendors I like to "shift left" and manage the vendor early to avoid issues.

But vendor management process depends on the size of the organization too.

 

Contributor II

Re: Is it an Unfair advantage?


@jinxpuppy wrote:

@Lamont29 you took a very balanced and mature approach in dealing with your vendor.

What was the direction from your sourcing department?

Did you have anyone from legal involved to document the remedial feedback?

While dealing with vendors I like to "shift left" and manage the vendor early to avoid issues.

But vendor management process depends on the size of the organization too.

 


Those points are well-informed. Based on the risks of legal repercussions, I'd refrain from answering your key questions - sorry! But it is working out, and I hope to see this improvement continue going forward.

 

Thanks

 

LR

Lamont Robertson
M.S., M.A., CISSP, CISM, CISA, Security+, MCSE
Newcomer II

Re: Is it an Unfair advantage?

Totally understand Lamont.
Advocate I

Re: Is it an Unfair advantage?


@Lamont29 wrote:

 I basically chose to stay with this vendor because of his status as a military veteran.


I would be very careful phrasing it that way. It can be viewed as stereotyping very easily. I like how you gave the vendor a chance to correct his performance through communication of the problem and then the expectations for better performance. You should do that with everybody, not just those that have served in the military. Having just been through a multi-week procurement process I know if I made that statement above in an official capacity during the procurement presentations, any vendor who made a bid against the contract would have had an avenue for protest, even if they were a veteran. You see the problem with stereotyping is that even members of that stereotype can still find things that are individual enough that can separate them from that group.

If you would have said "because he was an enlisted rifleman", then the other service's officers or people who weren't riflemen would have had a problem with your statement. If you said "because he was a Lt. Col" then any veteran who wasn't an LT could have a grievance against it. I wouldn't have framed it that way and to answer your question, Yes, if that is the sole reason you gave him a chance to improve, then that is an unfair advantage. I would say the same thing if you inserted any other group in there.

 

 

Contributor II

Re: Is it an Unfair advantage?

The question was rhetorical. I know that it wasn't an unfair advantage.
If it was, I would not have posted this on this site for all to see. It
was just a vendor who was not performing up to the agreed upon service
levels. I had an option for sanctions or canceling the contract, but in
any event, the decision to take any action at all is purely subjective
when you read the post in its entirety.

~ Lamont
Lamont Robertson
M.S., M.A., CISSP, CISM, CISA, Security+, MCSE