Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Having the right vendors on your "team"

As an Interior Designer, it is important to have the right vendors working with you on any given project.  My firm recently finished a rather large kitchen remodel and the experiences we had from this project really drove home that concept.  Some small mistakes are a given on any large job that requires so many moving parts, lots of precise measurements and a period of months. How those mistakes get dealt with and how frequently they happen is another matter. In my firm, I work hard to match the vendors I select for a project to the project itself as well as who I think will be compatible with the personality of my clients. This is not always easy! But I have found that if I do this well, when mistakes do happen, there will be enough goodwill within  the relationship to allow us to work through it and come to a solution. But....there are those times when even your most vetted vendor can disappoint. What I have had to learn is that business is business, no matter how much you like someone. If they can not step up and deliver what you need on a project, you have to let them go. Doing so gracefully and professionally is always a must, but the firm's name is often all an Interior Designer has and it must be protected. So, I have a few less vendors from this last project, however, I have some new ones that really came through! They will be getting more work from me in future jobs. Having a vendor who makes you look good (even during those rare times when WE make the mistake) is critical to having a successful firm with a good reputation. The road was difficult, but we came out of it a stronger and more talented team. I am excited to work with these new vendors and forging strong working relationships with them.

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