Why do you need a key account manager?
Ryan: An increasing number of our global clients have moved toward more centralized business structures. This has better enabled them to manage their often complex and diverse business portfolios. To complement their centralized business models, it has become evident they also require a similar approach from suppliers such as GEA.
How does it improve customer relations?
Ryan: I prefer to see the key account role as a means of helping to maintain a focus on existing relationships, and of forging new relationships. It’s a partnership in which cooperation and trust ensure long-term commitments beneficial to both parties.
What will the job involve?
Ryan: You need to know your customers and to establish a thorough knowledge of their business. Our customers can be complex, and understanding their strategic goals and future plans is a challenge. Armed with this information, we can coordinate the various aspects of our business and align them to meet the requirements and expectations of our multinational customers. It is also important to ensure we maintain a structured and uniform approach from a global perspective.
What does this mean for your daily internal work?
Ryan: The key is sharing information in a concise and effective manner across our company. In addition to the work GEA Refrigeration Technologies does with our global customers, further opportunities exist across the GEA Group. To fully appreciate these potential “cross-selling” opportunities, it is important to keep in contact with my colleagues from other GEA segments.
What does implementation of a key account manager mean for clients who have until now been served by a country sales organization?
Ryan: Whereas the key account manager can offer a single point of contact that the majority of our multinationals request, I also hear the same comments emphasizing the importance of having a local GEA office. Although a number of our multinational clients have centralized functions such as engineering and procurement, their local operations rely on the day-to-day support our country sales organizations offer.
Ryan was speaking to GEA In Touch magazine issue 5/2014