When was the last time you sat down and graded each of your vendors? Or have you?
Perhaps you have had this happen with a vendor. After all the contract negotiations are over and the Service Level Agreement (SLA) is in place, you settle into the relationship, never noticing the slow but steady erosion of the great product and services you were originally promised. It may start by not getting responses to emails and calls immediately. Then, deadlines are missed. And that account executive who said "Call me anytime" is never available. Before you know it, you are getting so-so service from the vendor who claimed to have the "best service in town".
Something's wrong. Our guess is that it will only get worse.
This is when it's time to get out the sharp red pencil and do an audit of all those juicy promises from your original contract.
Better yet, get out the set of parameters from the SLA you received before you signed your contract. It's important to give each critical area a grade so that you can average them out over time. If service or product begins to lag, you'll know it. And by creating a regular report card you'll have your talking points ready to go if you need to take on your vendor. They'll know that your serious and, assuming they want to keep their reputation intact, they'll quickly get back on track.