Siemens' Dr. Krubasik sees growth, IT innovation, "payback" teams
Shortly after conducting German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's Mar. 21 visit to Siemens' stand at Hannover Fair, Edward G. Krubasik, Siemens' executive vp, spoke with Control Engineering. Dr. Krubasik focused on overall growth plans for Siemens, including its industry segment, which he described as its Automation & Control (A&C) business.
Hannover, Germany — Shortly after conducting German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's Mar. 21 visit to Siemens' stand at Hannover Fair, Edward G. Krubasik, Siemens' executive vp, spoke with Control Engineering . Dr. Krubasik focused on overall growth plans for Siemens, including its industry segment, which he described as its Automation & Control (A&C) business. He also stressed Siemens' "common controls" approach, innovation-driven projects, and cost reduction efforts by cutting product variants and parts.
He reported substantial earnings growth for Siemens in fiscal 1999. For example, the industry or A&C segment grew 24%, while the information and communication segment grew 46%. "Helping to translate these results into reality are knowledge-based systems and information technology (IT)," says Dr. Krubasik. For the four groups within A&C, annual growth has been in the 9-10% range in recent years. Acquisitions—26 companies in three years—and alliances are also part of Siemens' total picture.
Dr. Krubasik says his firm's A&C expansion is occurring in five main sectors:
International—North America is the focus of industrial activities, though A&C has a significant, growing presence in Asia;
IT innovation—reaching from sensors to the boardroom. This includes all business areas from software solutions to control systems, data networks, distributed intelligence, and e-commerce. This sector reflects 15% of A&C's present business, though it's expected to reach 30% in two years;
Process industries—which are expected to see expansion of both analog and digital controls and products;
Production and logistic systems—which encompass e-commerce fulfillment and postal businesses (sorting and handling); and
Services—meaning complete engineering and technical services for the life cycle of plants.
Dr. Krubasik added that Siemens' global presence is notable in several ways. Of 425,000 total employees, 64,000 are in the U.S. In the first quarter of 2000, 23% of Siemens' sales were in the U.S. Looking ahead, Dr. Krubasik sees the U.S. market approaching number one status in sales for Siemens, followed by Germany and China.
Lastly, Dr. Krubasik mentioned another productivity tool: "account teams." Consisting of as many as 25 members or as few as two from different Siemens groups, these teams learn how a customer works to help Siemens deliver optimum integrated solutions, not a bunch of products.
The teams generate production process solutions intended to show further payback on investment for the customer. Globally, about 1,000 account teams exist. "This is not a traditional sales force, it requires 'solution thinking.' The idea is to sell payback, not products," adds Dr. Krubasik.