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A Better Partnership

Ahead of the Curve Auto Supplier Blog

January 16, 2013

Is It Time to Update Those Old Terms and Conditions?

Companies frequently overlook the importance of periodically updating their terms and conditions. They take a look at them only when they have an immediate reason to, such as when a dispute arises. Often when such a dispute arises, companies learn that their terms and conditions haven’t been updated in many years. In the interim, both the law and the company’s business model may have changed.  For example, imagine a situation where you decide – or are forced to decide by your customer – to switch parts suppliers. You make the switch and suddenly you are faced with the potential need for a court order requiring the soon-to-be-former supplier to immediately turn over possession of tooling needed by the new supplier to continue production of the parts. Your claim to the tooling (and your petition for a court order) is based upon your terms and conditions of purchase, which are incorporated into your contract with the supplier for the supply of those parts. You discover that your terms haven’t been updated in many years. Do your terms address such a situation? Do they provide you with adequate protection in such a situation? Would you rather answer these questions now or when you’re faced with a situation where your former supplier has possession of your necessary tooling? Periodically and proactively reviewing and, if necessary, updating your terms and conditions is a wise practice. Once a dispute arises, it could be too late. Also, taking the time, in the wake of a dispute or a potential dispute, to identify and remedy any deficiencies in your terms and conditions mayhelp you to more efficiently resolve or avoid similar issues in the future.

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