[thelist] Your opinion: managing clients who miss deadlines

erik mattheis gozz at gozz.com
Wed Sep 7 15:41:05 CDT 2011

All our delivery dates are contingent upon the client's delivery/approval
dates. I would think any other kind of arrangement would be inequitable.

On Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 3:31 PM, Matt Warden <mwarden at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 4:21 PM, Francis Marion <francis.marion at sfroy.com>
> wrote:
> > Currently I and several managers in my company are experiencing issues
> where some clients don't deliver materials on time. When the project starts,
> we make agreements about delivery dates and so on, with the understanding
> that they'll deliver the goods (copy, images, logos, information, etc) when
> they say they will. Many, however deliver them past the agreed upon times,
> or, we have to hound them for materials, which irritates both parties.
> ...
> > I'm soliciting ideas and opinions on how to deal with this kind of issue
> in a way that is respectful, flexible, but not a nuisance to us or our other
> clients, and that is similarly respectful to the client who is usually bang
> on, but has the rare stuff-happens lapse. In the future, we have the
> potential of adding some sort of clause to the contract, or at the very
> least some form of notice, but I'm not sure how to handle our long-time
> clients, or clients whose projects are already active.
> >
> If you don't have something laid out already, you are mostly SOL. You
> could try communicating to them that you have other obligations
> starting on [some reasonably far time in the future] and you just
> wanted to let them know that, given current delays. But that could set
> you up for having to stick to it or essentially admit you don't have
> to stick to it, should they not heed your warning. If the issue is
> that you are holding time on your calendar for this project, you could
> simply act as if starting on [original end date] you will be free to
> take other projects on, and deal with conflicts as they happen. There
> aren't great options.
> In the future, you might consider setting a payment schedule based on
> the planned project timeline. That way, if they want to delay, it
> doesn't really matter. This is my preferred option, but you have to be
> careful about how you set up collection of those payments.
> Protecting yourself with a clause like "We expect stuff from you in a
> timely manner" is next to useless.
> --
> Matt Warden
> http://mattwarden.com
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Erik Mattheis


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