Updated: 9/30/08; 6:03:50 AM.
Gary Mintchell's Feed Forward
Manufacturing and Leadership.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I arrived at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas a couple of hours after the opening keynotes, but I still got the gist of the speech at lunch chatting with CEO Paulett Eberhart. What she has been up do during the past 18 or so months has been to bring the various companies that became Invensys Process Systems together into a cohesive entity. Primary among the efforts was getting the sales forces aligned. She's established a Client Executive position giving major customers a single point of contact and IPS a person to coordinate efforts. Previously sales people from the various divisions--Avantis, Foxboro, SimSci Esscor and Triconex--would independently call on the same people. This is just an external look at what has been going on in other facets of the organization.

The company has been well known for services for a long time, but in today's market there is a renewed emphasis on services including working with customers with an eye toward being a long-term partner. Another part of this aspect of the business is building a vertical industry focus. Executives are actively researching where all the human knowledge assets are and bringing them together. They are also building a knowledge base to keep the momentum going.

Products are not an afterthought, but still front and center. As Eberhart remarked, "I know where the company's crown jewels are." But she also noted, "Integration is where the future lies." So the company's InFusion platform becomes the basis of integration technology. Combine technology with personnel and expertise integration and the new consultative sales approach and the company sees sales wins like the recent Kraton Polymers order for a $20 million plus services contract.

One interesting executive hire is Lauri Crawford as VP global marketing. Her career is brand management and her talk during the afternoon keynotes was significant in the early comment about building the IPS brand. We've seen this challenge often before as companies try to find a way to build a new company brand without ditching all the brands that are well known in the industry. It will be interesting to see this industry newbie apply P&G brand marketing concepts to the process control and automation market.

9:51:24 AM    comment []

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