Even in the Automotive Industry we do actually have so many changes than never befor in the last 50 years - linked with many risks, but also a lot of chances. Especially for new supplier or products, because the sourcings processes due to Batterie Cars and IHS will be influenced more and more by Engineering know how instead of only the best price. It is essential to find the right position befor also the new products will have commodity status as well. So it is very important for powertrain supplier base to place their new ideas to change their product portfolio with the support of regular customer. To get the customer which can not be convinced "in the old world" because of not suitable products. Of course most of these strategies work in other industries as well.
After I have been permitted to to take care of the VIP-customers already since my age of 21, I have completed my operational skills by a degree in economics. And afterwards re-organized the sales Organization of a midsize-automotive-supplier, following the rules of 360°-key-account-management. One face- and voice-to-the-customer is even in times of decreasing Margin and global competition an important factor of success - attended by the fact, that the Key Account Manager often has less managerial responsibility rather he has to move with high intelligence in a Matrix structure to get the best result for the product, the customer and - last but not least - his own company. A challenging exercise that - contrary to many people's thinking - does not mandatory assume a longterm relationship to the customer. More important is to understand customers approach soon, match with the opportunities of the own company respectively spend the available resources most effective. Generally the customer key contacts do anyway change every 2 years due to already known compliance discussions.
In times of New Work and high agility-approach on all levels, everybody should think, that the team by himself is a matter of course. But I have realized in my last projects, that the change from following the Management in fixed structures to working on his own responsibility does not run automatically - it is an exciting change process. The lone-warrior-era in sales is already gone in production industry because to get new business you have to convince several customer departments just-in-time of your company performance. Instead the sales manager acts first of all as information broker for the essential additional knowledge for interpretation of specifications and the final sourcing must-haves. In advance he knows in detail for the next years the milestones on are more or less daily base in regard of important new customer projects. Therefor he can arrange the necessary team resources upfront to get his team well prepared. Goal is to act, because only to react means always time pressure and initially defense.
In 2002 I was permitted for the first time to re-organize the sales organization of a midsize Automotive supplier with the focus "customer-oriented". At once no longer interests of internal departments are that important - focus become more and more to understand and to realize the demands of the customer - with corresponding margin. Nevertheless many face-to-face-discussions were essential, often because of concerns of some management levels, who worried to lose some force from former times due to recent matrix organization. Standard in nowadays with agile project-team-organization. It is evident, that people's biggest concerns are changes at work. Corresponding will serious changes - like many companies are faced with in the next years - work only with professionell preparation and permanent involvement of the entire team. Because today the people are well educated and therefor they insist on being involved also for the why and how to drive all changes with maximum power. For these challenges my 31 working-days of training for Change-Management, Business-Moderations, Coaching and Team-Development in 2016/17 bring me the right answers.