searching for a y2k compliance lettergreenspun.com : LUSENET : Millennium Salons : One Thread
i am looking for a letter which addresses y2k compliance to send out to vendors, banks, utility companies, etc. i've seen a few in the past but can't seem to locate then. any ideas?
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 01, 1998
Hi, You might want to take a look around the Government Services Administrations/CIO site: http://www.itpolicy.gsa.gov/mks/ yr2000/y2khome.htm. There are "purchasing guidelines" there that contain wording that's pretty good when it comes to making sure new products will work in the near future. I'm not personally aware of the location of specific vendor letters, and have had no need to use any myself. If you (or anyone else) come across any good ones though, please post them here in this thread or send me a copy, and I'll get one of them into the "Tools" section of the Millennium Salons site.
I also remember reading somewhere recently that the best possible method for determining vendor compliance is via the "relationship" route: Talking to them, either in person or by phone. The basic idea was that what's been happening is most companies are sending out compliance letters while at the same time "disregarding" (literally or through "boilerplate" ambiguity) their customer's requests for the same. Some kind of widespread case of "Golden Rule Violation" (GRV) going on. The idea was that the best way to get to the bottom of things is as face-to-face as possible, and that trying to ascertain business's states of readiness via the mail has proven a mostly frustrating, time-consuming - not to mention potentially devastating - process. If you and I were doing business with each other, and had been for a while, chances are we'd have some kind of relationship going on. Chances are you could call me and get hold of me, whether you wanted to buy 60,000 extra Whatevers and wanted to know if I could meet the demand, or if you wanted to let me know how upset you were with how late the last shipment was. You or someone in your organization probably does that kind of thing a dozen times a week.
Y2K shouldn't be some kind of big mysterious exception. For some reason it sure seems to be, but it shouldn't be. To me it's like the question of the order for an additional 60,000 Whatevers: You would want to know if I had the capacity to handle the load. If I told you, "Hmmmmmm. That's a lot of Whatevers. We'd have to expand a little, but I'm sure we could manage it," you'd expect me to keep you tuned into how that expansion was coming, and I shouldn't be surprised or coy about letting you know how it's all coming. After all, your business, your investment, your well-being hinges (in part) on whether or not I'm able to come through, deliver.
And I shouldn't be surprised if you start looking around for another source (primary or back-up) of Whatevers if you ask me how the expansion's coming and I start hemming, hawing, and all of a sudden having my attorney draft letters that don't really tell you anything. Letters that say, "We're working on it, hope, and fully expect to be able to supply you with the number of Whatevers we discussed. Unfortunately, because of circumstances beyond our control ('It's not my fault!'), at the moment cannot, are not at liberty to, or just plain do not feel like telling you anything specific. But don't worry."
I guess one of the things that surprises me about the "vendor chase" (so far) is people's reluctance to approach it like they would any other supplier issue. If I treated you like that in almost any other instance you'd get mad, disgusted, and start looking around for someone else to do business with (unless I had some kind of monopoly going - like electricity?). I guess there's a tremendous amount of everyone being in the same murky boat going on, but still... If I don't know if I'm going to be able to keep supplying you, I can tell you that. I can be up front with you and let you know what my situation is instead of doing my best to let you know as little as possible... That, of course, could be risky for our relationship. But then, isn't dealing with risk a big part of what keeps relationships strong?
Anyway. The idea was that the more personal we can keep it, the better answers we're likely to get, the better decisions we'll be able to make.
Somewhat relatedly (in a strange, 'round the barn kind of way), this URL leads to the recent federal legislation that was aimed at "helping make it okay" for businesses to tell each other and the public where they're at. You might want to look at them in case you need some kind of, "Well. The law says it's okay for you to tell me," documentation to get me to tell you how I'm coming on my vital-to-your-business Whatever project:
"Bill S.2392 Summary & Status: An act to encourage the disclosure and exchange of information about computer processing problems, solutions, test practices and test results, and related matters in connection with the transition to the year 2000."
Good luck! And please keep us posted.
-- Bill (email@example.com), November 01, 1998.