The value Marriott received? The contract totaled 230 rooms per night, seven days a week. The Marriott hotel, which had been a leader in occupancy not only within Marriott but in NYC, suddenly found itself experiencing terribly low occupancy after September 11th and had been unsure what the next few months would bring. The contract has thus far generated $14+ million in incremental revenue for Marriott, with the near certainty that D&T will exercise its option to continue this arrangement. This incremental revenue was more than the rooms alone would have cost D&T—but so was the value D&T received.
This is a clear case of delivering significant value to the account and the supplier. The Marriott cross-functional team, without which Spinner admits she would not have been able to win the business, received nothing from having been a part of the team—except the satisfaction of having done a spectacular job for a major client. Spinner described her role as the team "coach," overseeing the project management. The total solution has worked so well that, whenever a problem does arise, it is quickly solved. The Marriott and Deloitte & Touche relationship continues to deepen as the two firms find it increasingly easy to work together.
There are other ways in which strategic account relationships reap higher profits. As loyalty increases, revenue flow becomes more predictable, acquisition costs go down, and firms get used to doing business with each other. While it is difficult to quantify the value of a more familiar firm interface, most firms recognize which suppliers are easy to do business with and which are not.
A sustainable competitive advantage, greater account loyalty, and higher-profit sales—these are benefits most suppliers would move heaven and earth for. But while describing these advantages, we have skimmed over some of the less quantifiable but nonetheless real benefits—increased employee satisfaction because of the new team-based organization, greater efficiencies through lowered functional barriers, and a greater employee ability to change focus—if the change request comes from the account. These three items can drive a firm's continuing success in the marketplace.