Vendor Contracts

Business By ugcjill Updated 25 May 2014 , 8:20pm by CoutureCake

ugcjill Posted 12 May 2014 , 9:02pm
post #1 of 19

I have a new issue that has come up, and want to see if someone has experience with this.

 

My florist has semi-retired and someone else has been taking care of the business end of things for some time now. I have had no issues professionally, but something came up this weekend that has me concerned.

 

My husband tried to order flowers from them for mother's day, but on Saturday they called, told him they couldn't make the delivery, and cancelled the order at the last minute.

 

They didn't know I was the recipient since the business name was not associated with the order in any way.

 

This has me worried now that they are overbooking or overcommitting for the big days, and nervous that things can fall through the cracks - fresh flowers are probably the only thing I don't have a reliable disaster plan for, and if something falls through on, say, Valentine's day, there's no chance for getting a last minute replacement.

 

I have been happy with their work to this point and the service I have received, but in light of this, I am considering a vendor contract specifying damages for last minute cancellations.

 

Any thoughts?

18 replies
costumeczar Posted 13 May 2014 , 1:14am
post #2 of 19

AI don't understand what you're ordeting from them...do you order the flowers for cakes? Personally, I don't do fresh flowers on cakes veryoften,byt whenI do the bride arranges for them.

What I would do is arrange for a different florist if it's something that you're ordering all the time. I would be nervous that a last-minute cancellation would leave me in the lurch.

AZCouture Posted 13 May 2014 , 3:55am
post #3 of 19

AYeah, I have never been responsible for ordering fresh flowers. I tell them to ask their florist for extras for me. They don't match? Blame the florist. Not enough? Blame the florist. Wilted and dirty? Not using them, aaaaand blame the florist.

ugcjill Posted 13 May 2014 , 2:01pm
post #4 of 19

Sorry if I wasn't clear initially - yes, these are for the cakes where fresh flowers are requested. In these cases, I make the arrangements myself.

 

I prefer to work with this business because I am pleased with their quality and attentiveness, they take care of details, and make good suggestions. If it goes on my cake, I have ultimate responsibility for it and if something goes wrong, I'd rather take the hit instead of my customer.

 

I know that large businesses sometimes have contracts with their suppliers and vendors, but I've never tried something like that before, and I don't know if that's ever done.

 

Then again, it doesn't actually fix anything if they fall through on me... I guess it wouldn't hurt to have a generic gumpaste spray ready and waiting for something to go wrong. It's not fresh flowers, but someday it might save my butt.

costumeczar Posted 13 May 2014 , 3:17pm
post #5 of 19

well, if she's semi-retired and someone else is handling the business end, you're essentially delaing with a new business. I wouldn't feel bad about changing florists if that's the case because you need someone reliable and they might not be it anymore.

ugcjill Posted 13 May 2014 , 3:22pm
post #6 of 19

Good point.

cupadeecakes Posted 13 May 2014 , 3:42pm
post #7 of 19

I never order the flowers either, I leave that up to the customer, although I have no problems communicating with florists to make sure they understand what type / how many flowers are needed for the cake design.

 

If it's a business relationship that you value, I would call them and tell them about the situation and your concerns.  If they can't give you a satisfactory answer, then you can move on to another vendor with a clear conscience.

810whitechoc Posted 14 May 2014 , 10:36am
post #8 of 19

Have you discussed this issue with them?  I have owned my own business for 20+ years and do both wholesale and retail.  During that time many of the cafes and restaurants we supply have changed hands and every time we have to rebuild our relationship with the new owners.  Sometimes this has worked out and we have continued supplying them and sometimes not (for various reasons).  Likewise we have had a couple of our suppliers change hands over this time. Most recently our fruit & veg supplier changed hands and for the first month they made a number of mistakes with our orders.  We talked to them about it, worked out some simple arrangements with them and since then have not had any problems.  Rather than come on here talking to us, why don't you try talking to them?  If they continue to screw up after you have had established a relationship and what you expect from them, dump them and find a new florist.

ugcjill Posted 14 May 2014 , 2:22pm
post #9 of 19

I wanted to polish my approach a little bit before contacting them. I have a brusque, no-nonsence demeanor. I sometimes come off as harsh when I don't mean to be. I also didn't want to blur the line between my cake business and the sting of not getting a mother's day present.

:(

Oops, got all teary eyed... still stinging over that one. Maybe I need another day before I talk to them.

-K8memphis Posted 14 May 2014 , 2:28pm
post #10 of 19

i think you should approach it that way--maybe go in person and inquire at to wth --in a diplomatic way ;) happened to my mother's day flowers--it's very ok for them to know you were stung by that--then pause for their response--depending on that then decide how you want to discuss the business aspect--but you do need to check your understanding of wth happened to your flowers in the first place--

 

do you think?

costumeczar Posted 14 May 2014 , 5:11pm
post #11 of 19

Quote:

Originally Posted by ugcjill 
 

I wanted to polish my approach a little bit before contacting them. I have a brusque, no-nonsence demeanor. I sometimes come off as harsh when I don't mean to be. I also didn't want to blur the line between my cake business and the sting of not getting a mother's day present.

:(

Oops, got all teary eyed... still stinging over that one. Maybe I need another day before I talk to them.

Uh oh...How old are your kids?

AZCouture Posted 14 May 2014 , 5:31pm
post #12 of 19

AAnd the florists I know would go thru hell and high water to deliver something they took an order for. If it meant picking flowers from their own yard, delivering it personally, and with a check to make up for it not being their best, that's what would be done.

(But I'm still not going to be responsible for ordering flowers for a cake)

-K8memphis Posted 14 May 2014 , 6:38pm
post #13 of 19

oh man, that reminds me--when my husband's boss' mom passed away and the employees (of the very small company) all went together and got flowers to be delivered hundreds of miles away...which never arrived -- then after we contacted the florist about it they bent over backwards -- refunded all the money --sent flowers to the house here in tn -- it's a big deal to bale on someone like that for whatever occassion--

 

you need some satisfaction i think

-K8memphis Posted 14 May 2014 , 7:15pm
post #14 of 19

fwiw--the rest of the story--the non-delivery was due to the extreme winter weather up north--and like i said they sent an arrangement to the house as well as one to the work place too plus the refund--they made a bad situation as good as anyone possibly could have --

810whitechoc Posted 15 May 2014 , 11:32am
post #15 of 19

Oh I can understand how upset you must have been to not get your Mothers Day flowers, fair enough to take a couple of days and a deep breath before you go and see them.

ugcjill Posted 15 May 2014 , 2:42pm
post #16 of 19

Quote:

Originally Posted by costumeczar 
 

Uh oh...How old are your kids?

They are 9 and 5.

costumeczar Posted 15 May 2014 , 4:42pm
post #17 of 19

Quote:

Originally Posted by ugcjill 
 

They are 9 and 5.

So they're not responsible, your husband is...Urge to kill:evil:

ugcjill Posted 15 May 2014 , 5:36pm
post #18 of 19

Quote:

Originally Posted by costumeczar 
 

So they're not responsible, your husband is...Urge to kill:evil:

I definitely don't blame the kids, and as of now, I don't know how late the call was made to the florist. Until I get some idea of what happened, I'm starting to wonder if this issue has much to do with he florist at all, if you know what I mean. But I don't know if I'll ever get a real answer. Now that its been a few days, maybe it's best to let the whole thing drop and go on like it didn't happen.

 

I appreciate the feedback you've all given me and going forward I can make some adjustments to my business practice regarding the flowers. This whole thing has me reevaluating certain policies I have held until now. It's always a good idea to step back once in a while and take a look at things BEFORE something goes wrong.

CoutureCake Posted 25 May 2014 , 8:20pm
post #19 of 19

I'd give them a chance to explain - OTOH, granted, they knew you from professional work, but still, it gets the WTF happened and I need to be assured this wouldn't happen again!  And I'd say more than anything just be empathetic while saying "hey - not o.k.!".. 


Like others, if there's flowers for a cake, the bride is the one who I had do the ordering/paying for them and I called the florist to go over last minute details including where to leave them if you're not there. 

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