By Gregory Hale
Always striving to improve, Steve Sonnenberg heard Emerson Process Management heard from customers the company was sometimes difficult to do business with and users felt the company sometimes acted as separate companies and was too slow to deliver products.

The president of the leading industry process control supplier said that will end because the company will now become more of a problem solving organization.

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“We want to become a trusted advisor,” Sonnenberg said Monday during his keynote address at the 2013 Emerson Global Users Exchange in Dallas, TX. “Anyone can be an advisor. Anybody with an opinion is an advisor, but to be a trusted advisor is something different. My goal is to make Emerson a trusted advisor.”

After devoting a good chunk of last year listening to what customers wanted and needed, Sonnenberg came back with some answers. In short, Sonnenberg wants Emerson to be an easier company to do business with and a true problem solver.

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Four pillars, he said, that will allow the company to achieve this goal is to:
• Connect to the customer
• Technology innovation
• Lifecycle services
• Perfect execution

One of the interesting things Emerson is talking about is creating products that meld into the way a user works. Understanding automation professionals often have a hard time changing the way they work a process, Emerson focused its efforts over the past few years on the Human Centered Design concept where they make products work for the user in the user’s environment. They don’t try to create a one size fits all solution.

“We are striving to make our products more human centered design,” said Peter Zornio, Emerson’s chief strategic officer during his technology keynote Monday. “We don’t want (users) to change the way you do your job.”

One of the other areas Emerson will look to advance is its Pervasive Sensing program. They understand with technology advancing, end users are getting more data coming at them all the time. But data is no good unless the user can analyze it with some kind of context. That, Sonnenberg said, is where their Integrated Operations Center will come into play. The center will be able to get the data, analyze it and then the right people will be able to view it and act upon it.

Technology, always an Emerson strength, also has to work hand-in-hand with the human aspect of working with the end user to find the right solution for whatever issue they are dealing with. That falls in line with Sonnenberg’s fourth pillar of perfect execution.

“For you to improve your operations, we have to improve our operations,” Sonnenberg said. Toward that end, he said they are adding more people to focus on project management. They also added in seven service centers and plan to add 12 more. The goal is to add as many service centers as close to their customers as possible.

“We need to be easier to do business with. That includes having simpler business processes, consistent project execution and delivery dates you can count on,” he said. Delivery dates is improving. “Our on time delivery is the best it has ever been.”


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