Our winners showcase what's possible when companies put the customer at the center of their business strategy.

Category 1: “SAM as the leader”

Winner:  Royal Ambulance

Summary: Royal Ambulance partnered with a medical insurance network focused on reinventing healthcare in the San Francisco Bay Area by providing easier access to refreshingly clear, human care. When Royal Ambulance first established its partnership, the insurance network sought a trusted transportation provider who could help them connect patients and providers in the healthcare continuum through transportation, technology and seamless experiences.


  • Cost savings for the customer of roughly $300,000 per patient rerouted from an out-of-network hospital to an in-network one
  • Dramatic increase in employee satisfaction, thanks to a streamlined process reducing case manager workload that allows more time to be spent on patient care
  • A springboard for partnering with the customer to solve additional strategic business problems


Category 2: “Innovative value co-creation”

Winner: Pfizer

Summary: The strategic account manager for Pfizer worked with a cross-functional, cross-organizational team from her own company and her customer (a regional hospital system) to support a standardized process for appropriately triaging a targeted category of patients for proper outpatient care, solving a long-standing customer pain point.


  • Reduction in hospitalization and improved emergency department throughput
  • Increased administration of early risk prevention and associated preventative treatment
  • Increased profile and relationship capital with the customer as evidenced by its presentation of this business case at the conference of the American Medical Association and others


Category 3: “Outstanding young program of the year (< 5 years)”

Co-winner:   Aramex

Summary: Aramex embarked on a broad-scale commercial transformation with a goal of moving from a purely product-oriented approach to a market-shaper approach through deep integration with its customers. With sponsorship from the company’s CEO, the company created a new central commercial organization to handle defined strategic key accounts.


  • More than 30% revenue growth year over year for the strategic key accounts program
  • Above average growth in gross profit from strategic key accounts
  • Expanded wallet share across major regional players of between 2X and 5X, year-on-year

Category 4: "Outstanding mature program of the year (> 5 years)"

Co-winner:  AVI-SPL

Summary: Since the SAM program’s inception, AVI-SPL has achieved strong momentum in measurable ways, ranging from revenue growth rates and wallet share expansion far exceeding its industry benchmark to dramatic gains in customer satisfaction and strategic engagement with top clients. For the second phase of its SAM program evolution, AVI-SPL set out to achieve two main objectives: (1) to “materialize” its promise of becoming a trusted advisor to customers by giving them something concrete to point to as a true “do different” and (2) to extend the methodology and structure of its SAM program to a new tier of customers.


  • 127% increase in average Net Promoter Score
  • 230% increase in total wallet share with global accounts
  • 50% jump in total contract value of the SAM program
  • Eight net new Fortune 100 customers as a direct result of existing strategic accounts’ advocacy


"Customer co-creation that creates mutual business value" — Winner: Hilton and Johnson Controls (joint submission)
"Institutionalization of digitalization to create meaningful customer impact" — Winner: AVI-SPL
"Outstanding young SAM program of the year (<5 years)" — Winner: Wajax
"Outstanding young SAM program of the year (<5 years)" — Winner: AVI-SPL
"Outstanding mature SAM program of the year (>5 years)" — Winner: Schneider Electric


"Implementation of a disciplined process to quantify and monetize specific customer value solutions" — Winner: AVI-SPL
"Implementation of specific customer engagement strategies enabling, and successfully impacting, the co-value creation process" — Co-winner: Premier/Merck and Air Liquide
"Outstanding young SAM program of the year (<5 years)" — Winner: AVI-SPL
"Outstanding mature SAM program of the year (>5 years)" — Winner: Johnson Controls, Inc.
"SAMA Global Customer-Centricity Award" — Winner: Boehringer Ingelheim


"Outstanding internal branding of a SAM organization across the company" — Winner: Pfizer
"Outstanding customer account team design, management and performance" — Winner: 3M
"Outstanding use of data and digitally-based processes to impact co-creation" — Winner: Arcadis
"Outstanding young SAM program of the year (<5 years)" — Winner: Arcadis
"Outstanding mature SAM program of the year (>5 years)" — Winner: 3M


"Successful implementation of value negotiation plan and subsequent execution" — Winner: 3M and DHL
"Successful implementation of value innovation within the supply chain" — Winner: Adobe
"Outstanding SAM program leadership for young programs" — Winner: DHL
"Outstanding SAM program leadership for mature programs" — Winner: Nalco Water
Special congratulations to honorable mentions:
Merck for "Outstanding SAM program leadership for young programs"
3M for "Outstanding SAM program leadership for mature programs"


"Internal alignment of key stakeholders across the company to a strategic customer" — Winner: DHL
"Customer insights and collaborative interactions leading to a mutually successful and jointly developed customer solution" — Winner: DHL
"Outstanding SAM program leadership for young programs (<5 years)" — Winner: Johnson Controls, Building Efficiency North America division
"Outstanding SAM program leadership for mature programs (5+ years)" — Winner: Zurich Insurance


"For use of business technology to discover and share customer insights" — Winner: DHL
"For customer-driven innovation" — Winner: DHL
"For Impact on customer metrics using a joint scorecard" — Winner: SKF


"Superior execution of a strategic account plan resulting in mutual customer-supplier growth and profitability" — Winner: Johnson Controls, Inc.
"Excellence in efficiently segmented and integrated account coverage" — Winner: Siemens AG
"Selecting, developing and coaching the strategic account manager" — Winner: Schneider Electric


2013 | Hilton Worldwide

2012 | Emerson Process Management

2011 | Siemens

2010 | Cisco

2009 | DHL

2008 | Xerox

2007 | Schneider-Electric

2006 | Cisco

2005 | Nalco Company

2004 | Marriott International

2003 | Siemens

2002 | PriceWaterhouseCoopers

2001 | ARCADIS, NV

2000 | Boise Cascade Office

1999 | Eastman Chemical Co.

1998 | American Express

1997 | Hewlett-Packard

1996 | Procter & Gamble

1995 | Bell Atlantic Mobile

1994 | MCI Telecommunications

1993 | Olin Corporation

1992 | The Upjohn Company

1991 | Fritz Companies, Inc.

1990 | Akzo Chemicals

1989 | Occidental Chemical Corp.

1988 | Cascade Corporation

1987 | Moore Business Forms

1986 | Gold Bond Building

1985 | Essex Chemical Corp.

1984 | American Can Company

1983 | American Hospital Supply

1982 | Diamond Shamrock Corp.

1981 | National Can Corporation

1980 | Purex Industries, Inc.

1979 | Shell Chemical Company

1978 | FMC Corporation

1977 | Union Carbide Corporation

1976 | Borden, Inc.

1975 | IBM Corporation

1974 | International Paper Co.

1973 | Koppers Company

1972 | Star Manufacturing Co.

1971 | Norton Simon, Inc.

1970 | Walter Kidde & Company

1969 | American Can Company

1968 | Borden Chemical

1967 | Eastman Kodak

1966 | 3M Company

1965 | U.S. Chamber of Commerce