Tuesday, August 9, 2011

You're Only as Good as Your Vendors

If you own a business where you have to rely on vendors to deliver certain parts of your products or services, realize those are critical relationships. Your vendors will produce your products, and whoever you elect to work with should offer high-quality service that mirrors your own. If your vendor's services don't reflect the same quality of what you offer then your own reputation and quality of products will be hurt. In the case of 3L Publishing, we work with key print vendors and now with eBooks conversion vendors. We look not only at their customer services, as poor or excellent customer service will also reflect on us, but we also look at their end product. Does the end product reflect the kind of product we want to represent our company? How is the paper quality? How is it cut? Yes, the paper cut matters. Inside pages overlapping the cover look bad. Covers being cut too wide also look bad. How does the cover quality compare to expectations? Even with eBook vendors, the question about conversion quality counts. How does the converted product actually look? Are there random dingbats? Is the resolution OK? So many questions go into the outcome. And when it comes to critical service, how does that vendor behave? We once had a vendor actually treat us with utter disdain and call our team incompetent when it was, in fact, their team that exercised the incompetence. Even if it were our incompetence, telling us so was very bad form. A proper client/vendor relationship asks for respect, courtesy and assistance -- not shame, blame and disdain. So when you go to hire your publisher know the vendor relationships matter almost as much as the publisher.

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