verbal croquis

doin’ the two-step with vendors

Posted in opinions,the day job by verbalcroquis on November 5, 2005

When I was at my last job, I was always wheeling and dealing with vendors, asking about minimums, and getting charged an arm and a leg for only buying a roll here and there. Now, in my current position, vendors call me, asking for my business. It’s kinda heady, calling someone up and saying “How soon can I get 17,000 square feet of cognac goatsuede?? And even now, certain vendors don’t treat me very well because I don’t buy a lot from them.

There’s a problem here. The garment industry is fragile, at best, and your best buyers could suddenly become bankrupt and your wheedling-for-3-rolls guys could suddenly be asking for 300 rolls. There is a small group of vendors who are genuinely nice and hard-working guys and that’s who I try to give my boss’s money to. Such a simple idea and yet so many just don’t get it.

Another point I’d like to add is the fact that vendors are usually only accomodating to the people at the top.  Bad move.  The people at the top, like my creative director, don’t have time to figure where to buy this and that.  They depend on people like me to research who sells what, how professional they are, how timely they ship you your goods.  When people like me tell my creative director, “This company ships late every time.  Their follow-through is non-existant.  We just don’t have the time to buy from them if we want to finish our Fall 06 samples in time,” they listen.

You just can’t afford to be an asshole. Ever. Anywhere. It will come bite you in the butt later on. Watch for it.


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