Steve Sonnenberg at 2012 Emerson Global Users ExchangeEmerson Process Management is hosting its annual Global Users Exchange in Anaheim, Calif. this week. The event kicked off on Monday morning with a keynote address and business update from Steve Sonnenberg, business leader for Emerson Process Management.

All told, nearly 3,000 people registered for this week’s Emerson Exchange, and the mood, despite all of the doom and gloom about the economy on mainstream media, is markedly optimistic. According to Emerson, it achieved record profits in 2012, posting gains in every world market. Interestingly, Sonnenberg pointed out the biggest share of Emerson’s gains this year were in North America, noting that “Now we call North America our new emerging market—it’s amazing.” He added, “Overall, I think the long-term outlook is actually very good. In fact, our funnel is full and is growing every day.”

Despite its recent successes, Sonnenberg said the last year was one of Emerson’s most difficult as a company, as it faced significant supply chain issues due to the flooding of one of its key electronic board suppliers in Thailand. Sonnenberg thanked the end-users in attendance for their patience and loyalty and assured them that the company is working to make sure it never faces a similar supply chain issue going forward. “We are building the most robust supply chain in the entire industry,” said Sonnenberg, pointing out that the company is currently risk-mitigating all of its facilities, products, and key components against supply chain threats in the future.

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As end-user companies continue to lose technical expertise every day, Sonnenberg said Emerson is committed to providing the service level and engineering support end-users will need to fill in their technical gaps. Investments Sonnenberg highlighted during his speech included:
•    A new 280,000 square foot facility in Texas for its Process System & Solutions business unit.
•    New construction for a Regulator Technology Center in Texas
•    New construction for a Rosemount facility for level products.
•    A new $35 million facility in Brazil for Emerson headquarters in Sao Palo.
•    Land purchases in Saudi Arabia and Russia for new facilities.
•    Hiring 4,300 people in 2012, with another 3,400 scheduled hires for 2013.

Through these investments, Sonnenberg says Emerson is well positioned to be a problem solver for end-users going forward. “Innovation is only an enabler, it’s not the end game,” said Sonnenberg. “The end game is to solve your problems and make it easier for you to conduct your business.”