The relationship was falling apart. Even though both parties had been careful about choosing a partner and they had both invested a great deal in making it work, nobody was happy. It was no secret he had started meeting other partners. After one final ultimatum wasn't met, they broke up in a brief, terse phone call, and he left for someone else. The next six months were spent sorting out what stuff belonged to whom, and how much he still owed on the bills.
The relationship between customer and service provider in outsourcing is similar in many ways to a committed relationship between two people. When outsourcing relationships fail, it is not unlike a divorce: complicated, emotional, time consuming and expensive.
Fortunately, major disasters in manufacturing outsourcing are uncommon if you do a good job of entering the relationship properly, managing the relationship carefully, and - if there is a time when you have to part - exiting in a fair and professional way.
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