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5 Tips When Handling Supplier Delivery Errors

Jan. 24, 2017

It's not the norm to receive building supplies that aren't what you ordered, but it's not uncommon—here's how to deal with it like a professional.

In many cases, a facility manager or building operator will receive a shipment of supplies that were not ordered. If you're in the business long enough, this scenario will happen to you, despite the advancement of shipping technologies using streamlined ordering systems. 

The tips below stem from the “ELEVATE Your Effectiveness Program” from AFFLINK,  offers some simple steps to take when suppliers make a mistake with your shipment:

  1. Be prepared: Gather all pertinent information about the order-order number, invoice and product numbers, and any pertinent dates. You will need this information to explain the situation clearly.
  2. Use the phone: With key information at hand, make the call. According to one study, about 205 billion e-mails are sent and received each day. While millions of these e-mails may pertain to problem resolution, the fastest way to get this type of situation cleared up is by actually calling the supplier.
  3. Be polite: Rarely does raising your voice help the situation. This only makes achieving a solution more difficult. Start with a more well-mannered approach and remember: the rep’s job is to help remedy the problem.
  4. Expect a simple explanation: Most delivery slip-ups are simple mistakes that can be corrected quickly and easily. Assume your supplier will do his or her best to correct the situation; assuming the worst will just add tension to the call.
  5. Focus on solutions: If the situation and its solution are not so simple, suggest ways to move forward; often, the supplier is more than willing to accommodate you — the customer — to get any situation rectified as quickly as possible.

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