By R. Christopher Haines, Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer

You’re Going to Do What?

So let me get this straight. You needed a new policy administration system. Or you wanted a new policy admin system. You were not happy with or were giving up on your previous system. You paid someone to help you pick a new one. And you incurred the cost of your employees’ evaluating and test driving new systems. You sent out and then read a ton of RFPs. You now know more about the internal operations of 15 policy administration system vendors than your doctor knows about you. You picked the best system there could ever be, and you were going to all live happily ever after.

But now the honeymoon is over. Your system didn’t go live when you were told it would. It is a year later at this point, and no one knows when or if it will go live. Your staff is sure the vendor has no idea what it’s doing. The vendor’s staff members are sure your people have no idea what they are talking about. Your project is at a standstill.

Or maybe your system has been live for a year, but your vendor now loves its new customers more than it loves you. The vendor was very attentive when you were its newest customer, but now you wonder where the attention went. The needs of your company seem to be taking a back seat to the needs of the vendor’s new signings.

So you are through with them. You are paying them a ton of money and don’t need to take this crap. So you are getting ready to put them out on the street. But what about the kids? What will your friends say? Do you really want to go through all of this again? Can you really afford this divorce and courting someone new?

The question you really need to ask is if it’s really worth doing it all again. Maybe an objective third party could have meditated your differences and helped you save the marriage. You might be surprised. Even the most toxic relationships can be saved. After all, your staff members are doing everything they can to make this work, and so is the vendor’s. Both of your organizations are probably filled with great people doing the best they can. All that’s required is some fresh perspective. If both parties are committed to making it work, an independent third-party might be just what’s needed to get the relationship reconciled.

The number one priority for the right third party will be getting everything back on track, not trying to assign blame. And it’s a much less expensive alternative to a divorce.