For IT managers, working with vendors comes with the territory. Developing a productive working relationship with a vendor can help ensure project success. But what do you do when that relationship begins to break down?

Tracking problems and addressing them promptly is one answer. To help, download our vendor escalation download, a decision tree chart created by TechRepublic columnist Brian Kennemer. Use the decision tree for a step-by-step guide to resolving conflicts and support issues with a vendor.

Follow the branches of the decision tree to reach a solution to the problem by answering a series of questions, including:

  • Is the issue covered in the vendor manual?
  • Can you use outside resources such as public databases or a vendor’s Web site to resolve the issue?
  • If the issue remains unsolved, has the problem been escalated to the vendor support manager?

The chart is annotated with valuable tips that may help you resolve a problem. For example, if you are directly dealing with a vendor and getting nowhere, the decision tree suggests that you contact the vendor’s sales representative. A salesperson wants your organization’s business and can often “push” a vendor harder than you can, Kennemer said.

For more escalation tips, download the decision tree now.

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