The clearer and more open the communication between institution and vendor, the better the project is likely to be. Utilize the direct contact provided by the vendor. Call with any questions that arise and encourage the vendor to so the same.
Encourage regular communication with and from the vendor. Closely monitor local quality-control responsibilities so that any problems can be identified and reported as soon as possible. If significant problems are discovered during quality control, increase the amount of local inspection/review and notify the vendor immediately. Recovery from problems is generally much easier and can be addressed more economically the earlier they are noticed.
Be fair to the vendor. The vendor is contracted to maintain a specified production schedule. Stay on schedule and deliver materials to the vendor as articulated in the contract. If unavoidable delays arise or changes in shipment contents occur, the vendor should be informed as soon as possible. A vendor’s schedule is built around multiple contracts and production capabilities. Be prepared to shift the entire project schedule to accommodate the vendor’s production schedule if we are at fault. We may also need to renegotiate terms or be very flexible with the vendor if delays or production variations affect the vendor’s schedule.
The above information is from Northeast Document Conservation Center Outsourcing and Vendor Relations.