Insight, analysis & opinion from Joe Paduda

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Vendors rating buyers…

Customers and prospects rate vendors all the time – yet vendors never rate/review customers or prospects.

I’m as guilty as anyone else for not seeing the obvious; sellers’ views of buyers are just as important as buyers’ views of sellers.  Sure, I wrote about problematic purchasers and their arrogant behavior – but that was 14 (!) whole years ago.

This came to light recently when I was thinking about conversations I had with a couple of buyers over the last few months. Buyers’ perceptions of how they dealt with vendors was quite different from vendors’ views. As in pretty much opposite; the buyers saw themselves as collaborative, collegial, and open to new ideas and perspectives. They opined that their buying criteria prioritizes forward thinking, innovation, and aligned incentives.

That was NOT how they were perceived by vendors. Far from it.

The buyers in question were perceived as dictatorial, dogmatic, and difficult to work with. The buyers always squeezed vendors on price and forced concessions while requiring detailed Service Level Agreements with financial penalties.

The Golden Rule applied – She Who Has the Gold Rules.

Of course all buyers are not like thatsome are collaborative and thoughtful and really looking for partnerships that benefit all parties. (Thank you HSA clients!)

It goes beyond the purchasing process; some buyers don’t get the “partner” thing. They don’t realize their success is driven by collaboration and teamwork, that this requires the customer’s cooperation and an investment of time, energy, and often IT resources. Instead they require/demand/mandate the vendor deliver on SLAs while making it darn near impossible for them to do so.

So…I’m thinking of surveying workers’ comp vendors about their views, opinions, and experience with WC payers.  Of course as with all our surveys, responses would be completely confidential. If we do this, we’ll require respondents to identify themselves so we can verify they are who they say they are. Once that’s done, identifying information will be erased.

If you’re interested in participating, shoot me a comment in the box below. All comments are held for approval, so I won’t publish yours if you ask me not to.

What does this mean for you?

This will be fun.

Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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