Great Article on Evaluating Outside Supplier Relationships

Just spotted a great article, again, in Ad Age Daily: “Even the Best Client-Agency Relationships Need Evaluations” by Judy Neer. You can read it here.

When you read the article, obviously, Ms. Neer is talking about large clients and large agencies. But her ideas scale down very well to small businesses, small offices, and Small Office Communicators. Evaluating Outside Supplier Relationships is important for us also. If we are hiring outside suppliers, we can get comfortable with these relationships. A great example of this was when I was running my department at Minolta. I had my, “A Teams” of freelancers that I would bring in for projects. I had one team for video, another team for business meetings, another one for print, etc., and these teams tended to be fairly stable. But, for a couple of reasons, I actually evaluated each team for almost every production event. First, I always asked, “Is this the right collection of talent for THIS PARTICULAR project?” And occasionally, it was necessary to make slight adjustments. The other reason that I needed to evaluate each production team was availability. No matter how early in the process I was able to invite resources into the project, occasionally, the people I wanted for that project were already booked elsewhere, so I had to make adjustments. Sometimes these changes worked well (and these people became new team members), sometimes, not. And, this second point is, to me, one of the major advantages of using freelance/virtual assistant resources. As a video director (one of my Video “A Team” members) used to say, “I’m only as good as my last job.” Each of us, as Small Office Communicators, always has the choice of whom we bring onto the team for our communication projects. And that is where Evaluating Outside Supplier Relationships comes into play.

The best place I found to handle these types of evaluations is during the follow up phase of the project. You should sit down with your team, even if it is only via telephone, Skype, or Google Meetup, this is evaluation time. And it is our responsibility, as project managers, to let each team member know how well… or not… they contributed to the project. This helps set expectations for the next project, and in the rare case of someone who may not be invited back, they will see why they won’t be invited back.

By all means, read Judy Neer’s article, and scale it down to your operation. I’m sure it will help you maintain the productive operations that you need for your business.

Read: “Even the Best Client-Agency Relationships Need Evaluations”

Leave a comment and let us know how you evaluate your freelancers and virtual assistants.


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