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Strategic action must be coordinated across functions and vertically integrated in the feeder mode of the supply chain system. Capturing and controlling the value in the industry you are in requires major stra­tegic moves on the part of the organization.


Major decisions are presented that may include technology choices and redevelopment or new development of products. These are critical initiatives that define the major strategies of the company. It is at this point that intuition and a solid strategy come into the most critical play. The stakes are high and the strategy explodes into multilevel supply chain tactics.


For many years, technology was the major driver of value growth in the organization, and, oddly enough, customers were of little concern to

the overall business strategy. Breakthrough, innovative technology will no longer save the organization.

Today growth can only come from value creation, which is created by the interaction between customer priorities and strategic business design. Business designs inconsistent with strategies will surely fail.

Strategic business designs are dependent on relationships and lead­ership direction. The more interlocked and seamless the business de­sign, the more impact it will have in the competitive realm of the mar­ket.

Through value integration conventional strategic behavior shifts from a technology mindset to the customer consumption mindset.

Uncovering value growth opportunities is the responsibility of the supply chain team.


The objective of strategic account management is to develop a long-term strategic partnership with your customer. When you attain this strategic relationship, both sides should be participating in each other's respective planning process.

If you are experiencing your customer's consumption chain, then you are part of your client's business success. At this point you should be helping to solve their business problems. Dedicated resources would be a requirement for this type of relationship to be successful. These dedicated resources are both the eyes and ears of your company.

These resources will become part of the internal structure of your customer's organization. These key people will protect your business interest while new sales and opportunities are pursued. Successes will be leveraged while maintaining a strategic relationship in the business areas where you have developed this type of relationship.

Quantitative milestones to get to this phase should be devised and adapted to your specific industry and situation. There is no right or wrong measurement to show progress. The chart or tools you choose to use should, however, allow your management team to readily un­derstand your position within the account. Quantitative benchmarks for other accounts should also be presented.

Strategic account planning focuses on long-term relationships be­tween the customer and the organization. It establishes a guideline for charting a course of action for the customer and the supply chain sys­tem of the organization. It brings together strategies, budgets, and short-term tactics.

Strategic account planning is not an isolated happening, but an on­going dynamic process, which involves the entire supply chain team. This collaborative planning allows the account sales team and the cus­tomer to see what is going on in the relationship, what resources need to be committed by both parties, and the expected outcome.

Having the fastest, cheapest, easiest, and highest-quality product will not guarantee success. No one individual can guarantee success, neither the president nor the line worker. Success is based on the whole organization understanding what needs to be done and everyone work­ing together as strategic account team members.

Everything must be viewed as customer-relationship-driven by strat­egies that continuously improve the supply chain system. It's a tough job with a lot of hard work, but success is maximized and potential achieved by the solid process performance of the supply chain.


Now that you've read through the article, I realize that you probably already know or had some idea about the specifics and ideas presented herein. Each person will focus on what they want to take from this shared information.

The critical questions I need to ask at this point are, what will you do with this information, and how will you utilize the information and apply it to your organization's supply chain system?

It is fitting to conclude that no strategy will work, either in its de­velopment or implementation with the supply chain system, without superior leadership and skillful capable people.


Another absolute truism about strategic development is that it doesn't happen automatically. You are the only person who can make it happen along with your stakeholders.

I believe your journey has already begun. Strategies for excellence are developed by two key groups, the executive team and everyone involved in the supply chain system. The top level is where the plan for excellence will be determined.

Qualitative strategic thinking in your supply chain will create an exciting future for the organization. Superior strategy development in the supply chain system is the only way to win the battle in the hyper-competitive world.


I wish you all the best of luck. May the spirit of your mission and your strategies be so magnificent that you leave your competitors in the dirt as your customers applaud your excellence. After all, that's what it's all about!

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and click on Series 11

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