Introducing the Association for Key Account Management
KEDGE Business School, Paris, 21st January 2016
This day centred on AKAM itself, as the first workshop where we aimed to engage with KAM professionals from every angle of KAM activity - key account managers, KAM programme directors; KAM academics and KAM specialists in consulting, training and development. The presentations set out the reasoning behind the birth of AKAM, its hopes and ambitions.
AKAM is on a mission to improve standards of practice in KAM by professionalising the discipline and sharing knowledge. This noble ambition can only be achieved by working with all roles involved in KAM, and especially through facilitating the exchange of knowledge between practitioners and academics: academics have the opportunity to collect and disseminate new knowledge and understanding, which they can only do by collaborating with practitioners. At the same time, practitioners are often unaware of the researched knowledge on which they should base their practices, while there's no shortage of ill-founded opinions around!
AKAM is an independent professional organisation, like many for other professions. It was initially hosted in France by KEDGE Business School, and now resides at the Dublin Institute of Technology. The focus is initially in Europe, but our members are likely to be networking through the internet and accessing resources to help them in their roles through the Members' Resource Centre, so members from anywhere in the world are very welcome and can connect with each other. For practical reasons, however, our workshops and confernces will be held in various major cities in Europe for the foreseeable future.
Key account manager qualifications
One of our first initiatives has been the introduction of a Diploma and Advanced Diploma in KAM. Until now, key account managers have been unable to demonstrate their considerable expertise formally and definitively, as no independent qualification has been established. AKAM has launched the Diploma, and the Advanced Diploma will follow later in 2017. You can find out more about it from the Knowledge and competencies presentation here, and from the home page 'AKAM qualifications'.