A bad contractor (or subcontractor) can cost your agency time, money and (worst of all) your reputation. Beyond the budget numbers are indicators. One sign I suspect is excessive suing competitors instead of inventing new products and services.
Take for example Apple suing HTC over patent infringement. It is my belief that this shows a shift from an innovation mindset to a protection mentality – a big problem for Apple.
“But protecting your hard-won success is good”, you say. But it’s not that simple. Someone will always out-innovate you unless you out-innovate yourself. It’s the nature of competitive business and the desire for more profits. That’s part of the reason Google is still at the top of the search engine world; it consistently outdoes itself before others can out-do it. (Oh, and there’s also Google Labs – a key to Google’s continued success).
So does your contractor have more of a patent-as-a business-model mindset or innovation-as-a-business-model mentality? Is your contractor constantly suing competitors or is it continually improving its services and products? Run a quick search in the news. See what turns up.