The purpose of this paper is to describe the implementation journey of global account management (GAM) programs. ALTANA’s case offers a good example of the challenges a supplier faces when attempting to ascend into the highest supplier league – as well as lessons on how they can be resolved.
The conceptual approach for the GAM implementation is based on the results of benchmarking studies with more than 300 companies. Over the period of six years, the authors then conducted planned interventions and captured results via multiple sources on a yearly basis.
Findings include: implementing GAM pays off (i.e. driving business in good times, protecting business in economic downturns), and implementing GAM catalyzes a company-wide transformation and creates client-focused organizational structures without expensive, often useless “integration” projects.
A limitation of the research is that it consists of a single company research study in one industry. Cross-industry validation studies would generate further insights.
The described approach can serve as a blueprint for other firms and can help them to save time and costs in their own efforts.
This is one of the few multi-year studies on GAM implementation. The results confirm that implementing GAM pays off, but also show that only a cautious and evolutionary approach generates sustainable success. In this respect, the findings contradict the widespread assumption that GAM programs can be implemented within 12-18 months and offer those who are charged with such a task useful lessons for their own practice.
Lindner, D. and Senn, C. (2015), "Fit for global customers: how ALTANA mastered the journey to a customer-centric organization", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 3-10. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBS-08-2014-0088Download as .RIS
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