This is the sixth post in a 7 part series entitled ‘An All Around Approach’. We will focus this series on how we provide cost reductions for our customer throughout the entire organization.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a fastener fairy; a magical little sprite that visited your factory floor, found out how many of what parts your production people needed, and then dropped them off where you need them? Wouldn’t it also be nice if this fastener fairy could identify your inventory trends, like usage spikes and dips, before they became an issue? Such a being could surely save you both time and money, and since we all know that time is money, a fastener fairy could save you money…lots of it.
Unfortunately, there is no fastener fairy, but Field account managers are the next best thing. Field’s Account Managers don’t technically use magic, but as many of our business partners will attest, it sure seems that way. After all, doesn’t it seem like magic to take hours of time spent planning a cutting purchase orders for hardware, and make them disappear before your very eyes? Doesn’t it seem like some mystical mind-reading when you call your Field account manager to say that you need parts now, and they inform you that parts are already on their way? Surely it resembles wizardry of some sort when a Field account manager identifies less expensive alternatives for your parts and quotes you less expensive equivalents? Some may call it magic, but for Field account managers, it’s just another day on the job.
You see, Field account managers are not merely customer service personnel, or “inside sales” people. Their job description is not restricted to merely delivering pre-established quotes and sending customers only what they ask for. Field account managers are trained to be proactive and fully vested owners of the relationship between their business and yours. And as such, they handle your entire supply chain, from soup to…well…nuts (pun intended). Account managers start every day with the core value of innovation in mind, always looking for ways to better get you the parts you need to keep your business running the way it should be.
Account managers are purchasing managers, planners, buyers, logistics personnel, and apprentice engineers, all wrapped into one. They use the data of sales history and forecasts, along with seasonality predicting algorithms in our business systems, to buy and ship smarter, so you don’t have excesses or shortages. They proactively suggest VMI or consignment programs and work with the VMI personnel to set up bins and delivery schedules to save you the hassle of numerous discrete orders. They work with the Field engineering team to find better and less costly alternatives to make your assemblies work just as good, or better, but with less cost. What you get with Field is a person who is your one-to-one contact when it comes to your supply chain. You have their direct line, and they work directly for you, learning your business, and ensuring that wherever you use our fasteners, you have exactly what you need, even if you didn’t know you needed it yet.
There may not be a fastener fairy, but with all of the cost savings that account managers can provide, you just might begin to believe in one.
Author: Mike Sturm, Account Manager