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Dispute Resolution between Libraries and Vendors by Marla Chesler


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2008 Hawaii Library Association Conference at the Grand Wailea, Maui

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Dispute Resolution between Libraries and Vendors by Marla Chesler

  1. 1. Dispute Resolution between Libraries and Vendors The Hawaii Library Association Conference October 24, 2008 Wailea, Maui
  2. 2. Background
  3. 3. What We Will Cover <ul><li>How to clarify expectations </li></ul><ul><li>How to communicate concerns about an issue to a vendor </li></ul><ul><li>How to document the problems and responses received from the vendor </li></ul><ul><li>When it may be time to seek mediation on an issue </li></ul><ul><li>When it is time to escalate the problem to a higher level </li></ul>
  4. 4. Common Cause of Conflict <ul><li>Poor communication </li></ul><ul><li>Unmet expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of resources </li></ul>
  5. 5. Don’t Forget… <ul><li>It’s not personal! It’s work. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Clarify the Issues <ul><li>Make sure the expectations are clearly defined </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scope of Work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Service Level Agreement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specifications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Turnaround Time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Target Dates and Deliverable Dates </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Write a summary of the issues </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure both parties agree that the issues are accurately represented </li></ul>
  7. 7. Notify <ul><li>Let your vendor representative know your concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule a meeting or call to discuss the problems and set up resolutions – CLARIFY the issues </li></ul><ul><li>Work with the vendor to create a plan to solve the problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Include timeline for specific tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Schedule follow-up calls or meetings </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Document <ul><li>Start tracking communications between you and the vendor; phone logs, emails, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure you promptly respond to any questions or requests for information </li></ul><ul><li>Track the overall issues, solutions and follow-up </li></ul><ul><li>Phone calls may require a written summary to make sure all parties agree on what was discussed and decided </li></ul>
  9. 9. Mediate <ul><li>If your organization has some form of mediation available, you might want to take advantage of the service </li></ul><ul><li>Having a neutral third party can help keep the issues in perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Remember, sometimes you might </li></ul><ul><li>be one that has misunderstood </li></ul><ul><li>the situation </li></ul>
  10. 10. Escalate <ul><li>If you aren’t able to resolve the problem, it may be time to switch to a new vendor </li></ul><ul><li>Let the management of the organization know that you are at a point where you are looking at alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>If the situation is serious enough, it may require calling in your legal counsel </li></ul>
  11. 11. Good Relationships Based On: <ul><li>Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Open and honest communications </li></ul><ul><li>Willingness to work to solve problems </li></ul>
  12. 12. Listen! <ul><li>Make sure you understand what the other person is saying. If you’re not sure, ask them to repeat it </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat what you heard back, so make sure you heard what they said </li></ul>
  13. 13. Your Experiences and Questions
  14. 14. Thank You <ul><li>Marla Chesler </li></ul><ul><li>FEDLINK Network Librarian </li></ul><ul><li>202-707-4891 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>