Minnesota Power Realigns Around Critical Customers

After MP mapped out its direction at Bluefin, Edwards reinforced his message yet again, this time by restructuring and staffing MP to meet the needs of its large customers. Edwards promoted Eric Norberg to vice president of Strategic Accounts, which sent a strong message to MP and to its customers. He named Bob Adams VP of Finance and Dave McMillan VP of Customer Solutions, an entirely new department set up to support strategic accounts. As McMillan recalls, "We were set up to provide Eric and the Strategic Accounts group with one-stop shopping. If they needed analytical help or regulatory help or anything to do a deal, we had the people ready to help them. We no longer wanted them to have to go through many departments to get things done. We'd help them price things out, coordinate any necessary commission filing—such as released energy. I think this (restructuring) was a brilliant move on the part of Bob Edwards." Edwards had created the infrastructure that allowed MP's strategic account managers to focus on their assigned customers. And Adams, Norberg, and McMillan formed a team that communicated and coordinated very effectively. This ensured that the large customers would receive the best that MP had to offer and that the customer-focused message continued circulating throughout the organization.

In the first quarter of 1998, Edwards took his message to virtually all the MP employees—in groups of 10 to 50—explaining the new strategy, how it was arrived at, what MP hoped to accomplish, and taking questions. If there had been any doubts as to MP's strategic direction, they were now cleared up. Everyone at MP was moving in the same direction—toward meeting the needs of strategic accounts.

The Seven Keys to Managing Strategic Accounts
The Seven Keys to Managing Strategic Accounts
ISBN: 0071417524
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 112

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