Reynolds & Reynolds is hardly resting on its laurels in the SET relationship. Gary Coveyou is currently implementing a plan to provide financing and support services to all SET dealers for Toyota's Technical Information System. This is the first time Reynolds has ever financed and supported a third-party system. But Reynolds' goal continues to be helping SET meet its business objectives, and SET is a solid reference for new Reynolds' prospects—a powerful marketing aid in a fiercely competitive marketplace.
Rick Boyer, Reynolds & Reynolds' vice president, Enterprise Solutions Group, sums up his feelings about the firm's strategic account management: "The foundation for Reynolds & Reynolds' enterprise account management model is a combination of account strategy, account planning, a dedicated account team of highly skilled employees, and a careful integration of the customer into this process to ensure we deliver a complete set of value-based solutions....Ourmodel has resulted in significant success for both our customers and for Reynolds."
Even in good times, many suppliers tend to underinvest in the customer relationships on whose future they depend.
A word about strategic account management in a bear market: Some readers might argue that the best time to implement strategic account management is in a bull market. We are not ignoring the economy—we can see those parentheses on our 401K's as well as anyone. But we believe this book's keys are even more valid in a bear market because strategic accounts remain a supplier's greatest assets. In the Harvard Management Update, David Stouffer quotes Adrian Slywotsky as saying, "In uncertain times, your best customers provide an even greater share of the profits. It's important, especially now, to see the world through their eyes."  Our experience has been that, even in good times, many suppliers tend to underinvest in the customer relationships on whose future they depend.
That would be especially unwise at a time when accounts are hungry for value in any form. Each of our seven keys applies to protecting as well as expanding strategic accounts.
Stauffer, David (2002). "Five Missteps to Avoid in Volatile Times," (p. 3) from Harvard Management Update, September, Volume 7, Number 9