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How to manage a dispute with a supplier

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2020 | Firm News

When you work with suppliers for your business, it can sometimes seem like the problems are virtually endless. Suppliers send sample orders that don’t fulfill your requirements or needs, production runs get delayed for unavoidable reasons, prices suddenly skyrocket because of increased demands for raw materials and other troubles abound.

Most of these problems are everyday issues that you simply have to manage. They probably won’t (and shouldn’t) lead to litigation.

What kinds of problems with a supplier leads to contract disputes?

  • There are several common reasons that a business may seek help over a breach of contract. They include:
  • Late deliveries that impact your sales or customer relationships
  • Deliveries that include subpar items or deliveries that are only partially filled
  • Changes in price that aren’t accounted for in your agreement
  • Substitution of inferior materials for the better materials you ordered
  • Overcharging, fraud and similar issues

What can you do to resolve the issue with your supplier?

Naturally, the first thing you want to do is reach out to your supplier to try to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. If there was an honest mistake, simply addressing the problem may be enough to provoke quick action on their part.

If that fails to produce results, however, you want to read your contract carefully. You may be able to terminate the agreement you have with the supplier, withhold payment or use another remedy that’s provided in its terms.

Unfortunately, your supplier may not agree that there is actually a problem. Plus, you may have already outlaid a large sum of money for poor-quality items and hope to recover those funds. Unless your supplier is very accommodating, you may have a serious battle on your hands.

Breach of contract issues with a supplier can be very complicated. Don’t try to handle the dispute on your own if your attempts to resolve the problem easily aren’t successful. An experienced attorney can help you assert your rights.