This is the sixth entry in this series on all the various complexities of managing vendor escalations. This one, however, is a super easy one. So fortunately- and rarely will you hear such a phrase from me- I can keep this one short.
Simply: You have to keep comprehensive documentation on your entire process of escalating to a vendor. From the very first call, to the resolution, you need to ensure you have a log of date, time, who you spoke to, what was said, what was promised, and planned next steps.
And the reason is, simply: This is a critical source material you will need if you have to push the situation to a higher level in the organization, compile your thoughts about the situation to leadership, and… in really bad situations… defend yourself when things have gone on too long or have otherwise spiraled out of control.
Now for most vendor escalations this is relatively easy because most companies have ticketing systems and you’ll receive email and the like. Many companies will also even compile their own notes from your call for them and send them to you. (Just make sure they are accurate.)
If, however, you’re in a situation where you do not have that functionality, be certain to maintain a running document of the situation. A simple Word or even Notepad document will do just fine.
One small nuance I can recommend is keeping all related correspondence on any event centralized into one location, or at least keeping all escalations from all vendors in one location. It makes it much easier if you don’t have to dig through millions of emails, and generally (hopefully) you’ll only have one of these going on at a time, so they tend to fall into nice little blocks.
That’s really it! So next we’ll talk about the importance of Gradual Escalation.
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