Wesco Distribution, Inc. Case Questions.
1. WESCO is a classic intermediary in the channel and must add value for both suppliers and customers to maintain this intermediary position (i.e., otherwise the suppliers might be tempted to “dis-intermediate” WESCO and go direct).
a. How does WESCO add value for its suppliers? Why would a supplier want to use WESCO instead of going direct by employing its own sales force?
b. How does WESCO add value for its customers? Why would a customer want to buy from an intermediary such as WESCO instead of buying direct from the supplier?
2. Why did WESCO initiate the NA Program? How does the program benefit WESCO? Is the WESCO program a “win-win” program for both WESCO and its customers? If so, under what conditions? In particular, a. Is the National Account Program at WESCO a simple application of the 80-20 rule? In other words, is the NAM Program just a key account program designed to locking in large customer using TLC and switching costs? b. Or is there real value to be gained by WESCO’s customers (or at least some of them) from signing on and behaving as a loyal NAM customer? c. Is the NA Program delivering on its promises to WESCO? Why or why not?
3. What is the relative contribution of intelligent customer account selection versus NA program implementation to the success or failure of the NA program?
a. What (if anything) can you learn from the data in case exhibit #5? Thinking back to the Reinartz and Kumar (2002) HBR article, does WESCO’s experience mirror the issues presented concerning the “customer loyalty and profitability” dilemma?
b. What customer segments and accounts should be offered the NA Program (if any)? What selection criteria should be used for choosing NA customers?
4. a) How much service is required from the NA account manager and team to make the NA
program effective? Do NA Sales personnel
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