Rethink Your Relationship with Your Vendors

By Ken Kanara


We’ve come a long way from the days of horrific working conditions of the industrial age. Yet many companies are still as tough on their vendors as managers were on their employees a century ago. In the gig economy the line between a freelance employee and a traditional vendor has become blurred. Smart companies are therefore increasingly treating their gig workers like employees to get more of them.


The problem with current company-vendor relations starts at the beginning of the relationship. Companies go through long, expensive vetting processes for vendors, often spending months and significant resources to ensure they select the best bidder. Then, instead of welcoming them with open arms, they negotiate hard on pricing, delay payments, and generally squeeze them in any possible way to get the best possible terms. Despite all the effort that went into the selection process, companies often view vendors as “easily replaceable” and keep an arm’s length relationship.


Read the full article in Harvard Business Review.



Ken Kanara is the President and Managing Director of ECA Partners. He focuses his time on private equity clients and their respective portfolio companies.
Ken Kanara
President and Managing Director

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