Should I continue using a supplier who I've previously had issues with?
I own a trading company and much of our business and money is generated from the sale of plane models. I had been working with a factory supplier for a while who I was happy with. She provided nice, quality plane models and offered relatively reasonable prices.
However, I recently used some of the pictures from their website for online marketing and the factory owner found out and got angry because she thought I was using her photos to fulfill customer orders through a different supplier. She was unprofessional and called me inappropriate names and insulted me.
Initially, I was upset and told her that I wished to discontinue working with her.
Unfortunately, as I am looking for other suppliers to replace her, I am having trouble. It is hard to find a factory that has molds for all of the different types of plane models that I sell, and they are not as reasonably priced or of as good quality as my previous supplier.
My business will still survive even if I discontinue selling plane models (I sell many other types of models), but I could make more money if I continue selling plane models because the market for them is demanding.
Now, I am conflicted on if I should go back to my original supplier or not. Any advice?
Depending on whether or not she sympathizes with you. If she calmly listens to you, I think you should continue to cooperate with her. In the opposite case, I recommend trying to find another provider. Because you can't work long-term with her when she's impatient and dump all the sins into you. And, does she need you?
In retrospect, you can see the entire scenario entirely played out. I frequently ask people one simple question at this point, and I believe it’s the only question that is impactful and can make a difference in future activities. “What could you have don’t differently to achieve a different or better outcome?”
Base on the information you provided, I'm not so sure that you didn’t warrant the response you're received, regardless of how unprofessional it might have been.
Again, based on the limited information that I know, I’d probably put my tail between my legs, hand my head in shame and ask for forgiveness for not having the conversation up front and requesting the use of their images.
You may be overlooking a more important question. Do they want you back?