Bill Beard likens his job to that of an air traffic controller.
He can’t lose sight of the prop planes or the Boeing 747’s, and they both require his sharpest focus so they don’t come crashing down.
The Highlands Strategic Account Manager, based in Florida, works exclusively with a Mega-Reseller (or Mega, for short) in the US.
On a typical day, Bill starts his morning like most of us do:
waking up early, enjoying that first cup of coffee and clearing out the bulk of his email before leaving for the office.
He tackles, what he calls, his daily business: pricing changes, UPC discrepancies, answering questions about products and connecting a client to the Mega before moving on to logistical, legal, content and supply chain issues.
After another cup of coffee or two, Bill then reviews more strategic initiatives like: laying out and complying with promotional calendars, aligning goals and strategies and taking advantage of all the tools available in the four channels (digital, commercial, contract and retail).
With the change from morning to afternoon also comes yet another shift in focus. Bill calls these larger picture things: meetings with Highlands marketing team, or clients themselves, or merchants, or the client’s replenishment team, or launching a new opportunity or closing a new opportunity. This is the time that he delineates for greater follow up pieces.
For Example: New client onboarding has a particular process. Bill is continually aligning himself with the Mega’s strategies and finds the niche that each client will fill in order to be approved.
Each client’s product line he works with is strategically built. He doesn’t just load in new products, he solves customer pain points and provides real solutions in the current offering. This builds incremental sales and doesn’t steal sales from another supplier.
What he says further differentiates his work are the other offerings that come with a Highlands partnership: back-end support, a qualified, seasoned and national field source and a marketing team that is the best out there. It’s a lot of collaboration and team effort. He doesn’t work in a silo.
However, what really makes Bill special is his relationship with the Mega. He doesn’t just get meetings, he absolutely engages in the business. Bill’s deep understanding of the account’s landscape and goals allows him to provide assets that are easily executable and give them solution-based proposals.
After heading home, Bill rounds out his day by spending time working on the Client’s intranet system. This includes anything from: updating pricing, to working on forecasting, to uploading new items and content, to pulling documents for EDI compliance guidelines.
“Clients depend on me to manage the portal for them. The Mega trusts me because they know I have the experience.”
And with more than 30 years in the industry, Bill has unmatched experienced working with this account. Add that in with the rest of his team at Highlands and he’s providing a total business solution – bringing value to the clients, as well as the Mega, by successfully launching new, innovative products and technologies that will enhance the customers shopping experience resulting in greater sales growth and a stronger partnership for both organizations.