PRO TIP when you face a Business Conflict

Craft Clear Agreements: When an agreement is reached, ensure it's crystal clear. Clearly articulate the terms, responsibilities, and consequences. Clarity prevents future disputes and lays a solid foundation for cooperation.

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Printing Solution Provider V. Construction Company

Date of Claim raised:15/07/2021
Date of Conciliation: 14/08/2021
Date of Settlement: 16/08/2021
Digest: Mediation/Conciliation/Dispute/Claimant/Respondent/Invoice/Settlement
Case Summary:

The dispute was between a Printing Solution provider as the Claimant and a construction company as a Respondent, both being based in Mumbai. Both parties are Private Limited in the nature of their incorporation. The respondent had asked for flex prints for their upcoming property advertising project in the suburban areas of Mumbai. The contract value was for a total of Rs. 15,35,000/-. The respondent had shared the measurements of the various flex boards that they were intending to put up and the artwork along with the same. The claimant was supposed to supply the printed flex over a period of 20 days, which corresponded to a priority list. The claimant was to be paid an advance of 25% and the remaining to be paid 10 days post delivery of each consignment.

The Issue

While the claimant had received the advance and supplied the orders according to the priority list and raised invoices accordingly, there was a disagreement in the sizes of certain flex that were supplied. An invoice of Rs. 2.76,910/- was held back. However, the claimant, in good faith, completed the project, and the remaining flex was supplied as per the agreed terms. However, the respondent denied payment of the same and held up the invoice citing inaccuracies. Despite multiple rounds of discussions, there was no agreement reached, and the claimant approached PrivateCourt for a settlement.

The Process

The negotiator went through all the communications and delivery notes and also compared all dimensions mentioned in the purchase orders vis-a-vis the delivery challans. The one thing that stood out was that there was a change of personnel at the respondent's end on the team of people managing the project, and with further discussions, during the negotiation, it was clear that the initial communications were not explained to the person who took over the process. This caused confusion at an approval level; hence, the denial to pay the invoice. The negotiator was able to establish this fact and also convince the respondent that the deliveries were as per the agreed list and needed to be paid for in their entirety

The Settlement Terms

The total outstanding amount of Rs. 2,76,910/- was to be paid in four equal instalments beginning from 16th August 2021 to 16th November 2021.

The Inference

At times, certain facts are not ascertained during regular discussions between parties. This is one of the cases where the presence of the mind of a trained negotiator brought out a gap in the information flow.