Sports and event schedules are stubborn things. They do not care about timelines, unforeseen circumstances, job changes, or missed deliveries.

A stadium venue called me last week, 72 hours before game time, for an event item they had to have. It seems that their current supplier either couldn’t or wouldn’t accommodate the previously agreed to delivery date. He was understandably panicked. At this point, even a few hours can mean the difference between having the product or having to explain why you don’t.

In this case, it all worked out and product (not from his current source) will be in-hand and do the job well. The good news is, that never having looked up new sources of supply, questions were asked, responses were given, and this near-catastrophe resulted in a new relationship with a much more responsive source. Although this particular organization wasn’t a client at the beginning of the week, they will be going forward.

I advise my clients that if they are dealing with outside business partners who don’t share their dedication to the job and sense of urgency, it’s best to fine one who does.