October 9, 2012

Sonnenberg Keynote Highlights Strategy and Investment

With attendance at the 2012 Emerson Global Users Exchange set to exceed previous record levels, Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management, focused on explaining how Emerson is managing the growth it is experiencing across the globe. He made special note of the fact that North America is now the company’s area of highest growth. North America is our “new emerging market,” he said.

Sonnenberg outlined the changes the company has undergone since its announcement at the 2011 Users Exchange that Emerson Process Management is focused on becoming its customers’ most “trusted advisor.” He cited the addition of 4,300 people to the company’s staff in the last year and said another 3,400 will be added this year.

Sonnenberg also pointed out the development of new facilities in Brazil, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and Russia, as well as strategic supply chain risk mitigation strategies that have been adopted in the wake of floods in Thailand last year. The flooding occurred at the site of the company’s principal supplier of integrated circuit boards, and has resulted in “a redistributed supply chain and built in redundancy, as well as better risk mitigation plans,” he said.
All of these moves are part of Emerson Process Management’s strategic plan to be a problem-solving organization that is easy to work with, Sonnenberg said. To deliver on this, he highlighted four tenets of the company’s strategy:

  1. Connect to Customers. “We deepen the connection by solving problems, not just selling products,” he said. “If we’re only known for our products, we aren’t conveying the full value of Emerson to you.”
  2. Technology Innovation. Sonnenberg pointed out that new technology is key, but it is “an enabler, not the end game. The end game is to solve the customer’s problem.”
  3. Project Engineering Resources. Emerson has 4,600 project engineering-focused employees in place now. The plan is to grow that number by 50 percent in the next few years.
  4. Services. “We’re investing in regional centers of expertise,” Sonnenberg said. “We built eight last year and plan to add nine more next year. These centers are designed to deliver the automation skills that provide a business turnaround for customers.”

“We are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make this new strategic plan successful,” Sonnenberg said. Emerson Process Management is able to do that because it has experienced “record double-digit growth in sales and profits” in every geography and industry this past year. North American has seen the highest growth for the company. “The long-term outlook is good. The funnel is full and growing every day,” he added.