The strategic buyer: how emerging procurement strategies may support KAM/SAM relationships

by Simon Croom


This paper reviews key strategic account management from a purchasing and supply perspective. The purchasing function has experienced a major strategic shift in the last 20 years. More professionals are highly qualified, well remunerated and great strategists.1 The article looks at the increasing adoption of an interaction approach by purchasing – we are interested in how purchasing contributes to business performance by placing collaboration with key suppliers at the centre of its strategies, why trust-based relationships are important and how innovation can be gained from partnerships with key suppliers.


A strategic account is a source of significant benefit to an organization's prosperity and future development. Customers are also increasingly stating that suppliers are among their most important assets. Scan the annual accounts of most leading corporations and suppliers not only warrant a mention, they are cited as a vital resource. Apple and Nike, to name but two, list their suppliers in their annual statements and on their websites, emphasizing the importance to their own brand reputation of their suppliers' capabilities and reputations. Mutual dependence is becoming a way of life for world-class supply organizations. Furthermore, the financial and technological advantage to be gained through world-class supply management has positioned the function ...

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