Working with a service vendor is different from buying a physical product; what the client and the vendor are investing in is a partnership that has to be developed over time. Once the library has committed to dealing with a new serials vendor, both the library and the vendor must go through a transition process. This article explores the practical aspects of this evolution, looking at the human perspective as well as the technological considerations. Human aspects include understanding each person’s role in the relationship, getting used to each other’s organizational culture, communicating needs and expectations effectively, and learning to work together. Technological considerations include getting computer systems to talk to each other; understanding how each partner’s computer environment affects its procedures for handling transactions such as orders, claims, changes, and payments; and finding ways to work around the limitations of the respective systems and software.
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