[Update] Not all of the issues were with the supplier. I started investigating and found out that we deserved some of the lumps. Me in particular for not paying more attention to the situation as it evolved. I made the assumption that someone else was covering it, and I didn’t need to. As I’ve discovered, this was a mistake on my part.
The story is more annoying than I allude to here. We have some things to fix in working with suppliers, and helping them to manage their processes shipping to our customers, as well as our own processes.
Yeah, its pretty humbling to discover that a core assumption you made was simply not the case.
As I note, the buck stops with me. And now I know the various trajectories, I can make changes to prevent a recurrence.
Attention to detail folks … attention to detail. Its not hard. Requires concentration. Really.
We take ownership and the blame. Doesn’t mean we are at fault.
But dammit, the buck stops here.
So if we see that we have to keep stopping bucks moving (e.g. others are messing up), we’re gonna have to do something about that.
We’ve lost customers in the past through issues that we had no control over (including suppliers who shipped us broken gear, and refuses to test gear so that delayed us shipping working stuff to our customer). We’ve annoyed customers when our shippers messed up royally. I mean really … royally. Major snafu. Things that you hear punchlines after.
But the buck stops with us. Doesn’t matter if we messed up (we do our best not to … its that attention to detail thing), or if they messed up on our behalf. We own it.
Doesn’t mean I have to like it. But we own it.
(and, yes, every single company has these issues)