It’s hardly news that several years of intense competition have left traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers reeling - in many developed economies, where consumers switch to online shopping for a growing proportion of their spend.
Cranfield’s Professor Emeritus, Malcolm MacDonald and colleagues, writes in their book Marketing Due Diligence , that it is the responsibility of the Board to make sure the organisation is sustainable. In this context, sustainability doesn’t focus on the environmental impact of the organisation’s activities, rather the organisation’s ability to be commercially sustainable over the long term.
The key account manager role is very different from that of a traditional salesperson, and increasingly many key account managers or key client managers do not come from a typical sales background.
As a society, we increasingly talk about the importance of striking a work-life balance. Here at Cranfield Executive Development, we devise programmes that enable people to fit career development around their day-to-day work. But what if you want all three – a career, a life outside of work and to develop your professional capabilities? Can you have it all? And, if you can, how do you avoid burnout?
The greatest potential of using key account management (KAM) as a strategic approach for growing a supplier’s business, rests on the capability to develop long-term relationships with customers. The continuity of a supplier-customer relationship usually comes with such positive outcomes as revenue growth, increased profitability, greater market knowledge and new business opportunities, amongst other benefits.
As key account management has evolved over the last twenty years it has moved from a focus on what the supplier wanted to achieve with a key account to really understanding what the customer is trying to achieve over the next three to five years, and then building supplier strategies that will support the customer achieving their goals and aspirations.
Make a Google search for images of ‘leadership’ and see what the word still implies: there’s one person at the front of the spearhead, at the top of the triangle; one leader fixing the direction and pulling the rest along with them. It’s an idea that been embedded into our thinking of managers since the 1980s - and I should also say, instilled over the years by business schools - as the ideal to aim for.
Within the supply chain, we all want win-win relationships. The key to this is collaboration but we need to be able to develop collaborative relationships and many businesses underestimate the process required to do this.
Moving toward a sustainable supply chain largely depends on sourcing and supply management decisions and actions. Sustainability in supply chain is typically defined as “the integration of environmental, social and economic aspects of business, which are also known as triple-bottom-line, for achieving long-term economic viability.”