Global account management in the industrial service sector

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School of Economics | Master's thesis
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International Business
Kansainvälinen liiketoiminta
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The purpose of this study was to examine the phenomenon of global account management in the industrial service sector. The objective was to find out how offering and pricing should be managed with global customers in the industrial service sector and how supplier should adjust the organization in order to implement global account management. Global account management is relatively young research stream and more research is needed. Both the organizational and especially the commercial aspects of global account management need further research. Furthermore, global account management has not been studied in the context of the industrial service sector. This research was able to contribute to the research gap. The research aimed at making interesting theoretical contributions, as well as giving managerial implications for industrial service companies striving for successful business with global customers. The empirical research was conducted as a single case study of a multinational company’s industrial service business unit. The study mixed both holistic and embedded case study designs. The holistic design enabled to grasp the most important concepts of global account management at the case company level, while the embedded case design looked at global account management at customer level. This way it was possible to reach holistic but concrete conclusions. The study used qualitative data that was collected by interviewing the case company representatives, analysing email correspondence and other case company documents. The research was guided by a strict but evolving framework developed from the existing literature. The results of the study show that in offering and pricing management with global customers it is important to have a global modular service offering, which enables that same services can be offered to a global customer in all markets. At the same time modularity enables customization of service across and within global customers. Typically global customers require good justification of pricing. Pricing should be justified by explaining differences in service scopes between different countries. An industrial service company needs to adjust the organization when moving to global account management. It is crucial to have global account managers that have dedicated responsibility for global customers. Global account manager needs to take care of international coordination within the company and should have authority over country management in offering and pricing negotiations with global customers. The main role of global account manager is to drive the business with global customers.
global account management, global customer, offering management, pricing management, organizational change, industrial services
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