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key account

Dominic Wilson


“Account” here refers to a particular stream of transactions between a customer and a supplier with respect to a specified set of offerings (a particular pairing of a customer and a supplier can have more than one account). As some accounts are more important than others, they may be termed “key accounts” because of their implications for either or all parties. Many different factors can make an account “key,” such as: the volume or value of the exchanges involved; the knock‐on implications of failure in an account (e.g., faulty oil filters can immobilize vast machines); the anticipated flow of repeat business (e.g., from pilot projects); or the reputation of a particular customer (e.g., by appointment to the queen) or supplier (e.g., “Intel inside”). Other customer/supplier accounts may be particularly important because of indirect factors, e.g., a customer may be involved with a supplier in collaborative product development, or in quality improvement measures, or in mutual benchmarking. The importance of “key accounts” should be reflected in the sensitivity with which such accounts are managed, e.g., in the seniority of the account managers and the flexibility allowed in negotiations. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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