A $7.6 billion Fortune 500 company, Anixter International, Inc. was founded in 1957. Headquartered in Glenview, Ill., Anixter is one of the largest producers of wire and cable products, which are used in virtually every type of setting from large, corporate offices to small businesses and personal homes. Also a leader in communications and security, Anixter provides companies with the infrastructure solutions needed to keep a business running smoothly.
Senior Director of Global Account Management Natalia Reed provides the entire account management team with the information they need to strategically support Anixter’s multinational clients and prospects. Reed uses the trusted corporate information in CreditRiskMonitor to map out the organizational hierarchies of clients and prospects and respond proactively to critical news and announcements from more than 700 multinational companies.
“My immediate ‘customers’ are Anixter’s account managers,” said Reed. She supports a team of professionals who interact with the company’s customers and prospects on a daily basis. With a presence in more than 50 countries, Anixter’s market includes six continents and a very diverse clientele. By mapping out the complex mix of subsidiaries, business units, consortiums and joint ventures related to each customer, and by working to understand how they interact in the marketplace, Anixter can meet their business needs in a customized way. Account managers can then address each client’s spend using a consultative relationship-based approach.
Anixter is not the only distributor with a large, global footprint. They compete with other international players as well as smaller, localized specialists. Fully understanding the demand associated with each account allows the Anixter team to highlight their unique value. “We come in with the entire picture and say, ‘This is how we can save you money. This is how we can make your business run smoothly,’” said Reed. She provides critical information on earnings announcements, facility openings and closures and new project announcements to Anixter’s account managers, allowing them to remain informed without taking their attention away from customers to conduct research. Maintaining a portfolio of critical customers within CreditRiskMonitor’s web-based system elevates these account managers to the level of trusted consultants.
Since they have locations the world over, Anixter often has a presence close to the key locations of multinational customers. When an account manager knows which materials are stocked in each location because they understand how that operation is structured, they can offer a plan to realize significant savings – one that combines Anixter’s economies of scale and localized presence. If a customer imports materials, they have to pay for duties, taxes, freight and VAT. Working with Anixter locally offers them savings in terms of both time and money.
Having the right information about prospects shortens the ramp-up time on each new account by providing Anixter with easy access to the company’s corporate umbrella and recent news. This makes it possible to have a solid introductory conversation and to write a first strategic account plan. Over time, the account management team builds up the portfolio associated with each customer, but it all starts with the foundation of information Reed pulls from CreditRiskMonitor: “I consider this information a must-have in forming successful customer understanding,” said Reed.
Traditionally, Anixter worked with one company and one country per customer account. Today, the complexity is much higher, requiring account managers to work with sometimes three or four countries or business units per implementation effort. With broad access to relevant client information, Anixter has ensured a seamless approach to customer support. “We call it ‘One Anixter’ – the unified way we approach our multi-faceted global accounts,” said Reed.
Reed’s wish list is topped by getting additional information on private companies and her keen understanding that no news source can be too up-to-date. “Things are constantly changing,” Reed points out. “We are constantly validating information, trying to get as close to 100% accuracy as possible.”
In terms of advice for aspiring account managers and directors, Reed advocates for learning as much as possible about your industry from a range of perspectives and immersing yourself in information. “Love what you’re selling,” said Reed. “If you don’t love it, and if you don’t believe in it, you’re not going to be successful at selling it.”
Although Reed’s application of the information in CreditRiskMonitor is different from that of credit risk managers, the end goal is the same: empowering her team and company to achieve the highest level of performance by delivering strategic value to their customers. We are always impressed to see our validated information and customizable views leveraged in new ways. We look forward to seeing how Reed and her team continue to apply the CreditRiskMonitor solution to grow Anixter’s global customer base and corporate footprint.