Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2012

Siemens AG: Key Account Management

by Thomas Steenburgh, Michael Ahearne and Elena Corsi

Abstract

The key account manager of an engineering company has to convince a department to give up important contracts. The German engineering company Siemens had set up a global key account management program since 2010. The key account manager of an emerging account had been asked by his customer to cut the costs of two long-term contracts worth about €300 million that his customer had signed with Siemens. Although legally Siemens could refuse the revision, such an act could jeopardize Siemens' relationship with the customer. At the same time, a change in the contracts would bring about losses for Siemens. How should the key account manager handle this problem? He knew that he would have to be resourceful, given that he had no direct authority in the situation, but this was the nature of his job.

Keywords: key account management; commercialization; marketing; marketing management; Engineering; Marketing Strategy; Customer Relationship Management; Profit; Problems and Challenges; Electronics Industry; Consumer Products Industry; Europe;

Citation:

Steenburgh, Thomas, Michael Ahearne, and Elena Corsi. "Siemens AG: Key Account Management." Harvard Business School Case 512-110, June 2012.