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Emerson Process frenagement: Accelerating sa the internet If you were selling automation products for manufacturing of the Net. They use the Internet primarily to gather information, plants, the 1970s

Emerson Process frenagement: Accelerating sa the internet If you were selling automation products for manufacturing of the Net. They use the Internet primarily to gather information, plants, the 1970s were a wonderful time-sales were booming. By but given the lack of relevant information found there, they 2000, however, the market had changed. Sales had slowed and spend only up to three hours a week on the Net. Therefore, it purchasers were beginning to think of automation products as appears that supplier companies can best increase the value of the commodities. So many buyers were using fewer suppliers. Internet in selling their services by providing more detailed infor- That was the situation that the Fisher-Rosemount division of mation about products and services. Emerson Electric faced. How could it attract the interest and The folks at Fisher-Rosemount must have seen this report, attention of industrial purchasers for services that helped buyers because they chose to develop an information-packed site called optimize their plants and processes? Such decisions are made ThePlantWeb (www.plantweb.com). The home page of this Web infrequently and can involve big money, ranging from $25,000 to site provides visitors with information on ThePlantWeb. Right $25,000,000. How could Fisher-Rosemount demonstrate in an away, visitors learn how they can understand today's technologies engaging and dynamic way the benefits of reworking processes in better, access information more quickly, reduce costs, and customers' existing plants? How could the company show what its increase revenues. They can do this by taking advantage of services could accomplish? PlantWeb University, which provides short business courses on Fisher-Rosemount tackled this situation by first repositioning how to improve plant profitability, and engineering courses in its services. By looking at the relevant purchase processes from which they can explore leading automation technologies. The the customer's point of view, it realized that customers were not page also provides short "testimonial-descriptions of companies looking for individual products that they had to assemble them- that have recently used ThePlant Web to improve their opera- selves, if they had the needed in-house expertise. Instead, they tions. Visitors who want more informat than that provided by were looking for complete solutions. Competitors—especially the short testimonials can call up longer case studies for informa- software vendors----had already realized this. Seeking to capitalize tion. ThePlantWeb News provides recent examples of new users on their own expertise, the competitors had assembled product of ThePlantWeb services and gives a chronological listing for the portfolios that included everything from PC-based process con- last five years of successful applications of its services. trol solutions to supply chain management solutions. However, What is most interesting, engaging, and unusual about this although Fisher-Rosemount's repositioning strategy was similar Web site is a feature called Test DrivePlantWeb. In the test drive, to that of other industry suppliers, the company had the advan- visitors can see how much Plant Web architecture can reduce capi- tage of being part of a much larger organization. tal expenditures compared to traditional DCS (Distributed Emerson Electric was founded in 1890 in St. Louis, Missouri, to Control Systems) architecture. What does that mean? Assume that manufacture reliable electric motors. By 1892, it was selling the first you are a manager of a pulp and paper plant. Visit the Web site, go electric fans in the United States, still one of its major lines. Over the to the Test DrivePlantWeb page, and click on one of the industries years, however, Emerson Electric has benefited from stable manage- listed on the left side of the page. Click on Pulp & Paper, then con- ment and consistent growth in its product and service lines. Today, tinue with the test drive, and you'll get a diagram showing all the it has over 60 divisions selling a variety of products from fans to processes in the pulp and paper industry, from waste treatment process solutions, from to refrigeration and air-conditioning tech- through papermaking, recovery, bleaching, and pulping. By using nologies to tools for do-it-yourselfers and professionals, from the various buttons, such as Customize Areas and Design Cost plastics joining and cleaning compounds to world-class engineer- Assumptions, you can input data for your plant. All the while, the ing and consulting services. In 2000, Emerson reported sales of site provides an estimate of how much you can save using process $15.5 billion-a 9 percent increase from the previous year. The management from Fisher-Rosemount. In addition to a summary company also reported increased earnings for the forty-third year of savings, you'll received information detailing how you would and increased dividends for the forty-fourth year in a row. To achieve those savings. Can't you just imagine engineers inputting achieve such an enviable record, Emerson stresses increased various data to see how much they could save? In fact, the site has growth-particularly in global markets and innovation. proven very effective in attracting new customers. No doubt that's One way Emerson stays ahead of the competition is through why TestDrivePlantWeb has won several awards. heavy use of the Internet. It has over 115 e-business projects What is PlantWeb? According to the Web site, it's a revolution- under way. In 2000, it transacted 10 percent of its sales (that's ary field-based architecture that changes the economics of $1.55 billion) online and 70 percent of its 60-plus divisions had process automation. Test DrivePlantWeb allows you to build your Web projects up and running. own virtual plant to evaluate the economics process automa- The Internet provides a good channel for selling technical tion. It employs an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop interface that products. A survey of industrial users of the Internet indicated allows users to customize models by adding or deleting process that much of the industry (85 percent) has access to the Internet, areas, units, or devices or by adjusting variables such as labor and that engineers are among early adopters and frequent users rates and average wire run. The effects are shown immediately in
the summary. Specific benefits of retrofitting your old plant with PlantWeb automation solutions as compared to traditional automation from Fisher-Rosemount include reduced process DCS architectures. variability, increased plant availability, reduced capital and engi- Does this work? You decide. In the first 18 months that neering costs, reduced operations and maintenance costs, and TestDrivePlantWeb was up, Emerson identified 65,000 unique streamlined regulatory compliance. visitors to the site, and that translated into 850 installations of in 2001, as part of its corporate repositioning strategy, ThePlantWeb product. Emerson Electric renamed the Fisher-Rosemount division, call- ing it the Emerson Process Management division. The goal was to QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION enhance the overall corporate brand and to provide insight into 1. What type of purchase decision is involved in buying solu- the division's services. The repositioning also involved the inte- tions to a company's process systems from Emerson Process gration of Fisher-Rosemount with other services in Emerson Management (Fisher-Rosemount)? Electric, such as Emerson Performance Solutions, in order to pro- 2. Who might participate in the buying process? How can vide complete solutions to purchasers. ThePlantWeb and the associated marketing campaign impact Emerson Process Management does not rely only on the each of the buying-decision participants? Internet to sell its services. To promote ThePlantWeb, it hired 50 3. How can The PlantWeb and the associated marketing cam- sales reps (dubbed "PlantWeb Champs") and trained them on paign affect each stage in the business buying process? Internet technology. To support their efforts, it used print adver- 4. What purpose do the testimonials, case studies, and tising and direct marketing to reach prospects that it calls “tech- PlantWeb Guarantee serve? nical evangelists." The print ads used brilliant colors and images 5. Is promotion and selling on the Internet a wise decision for that contrasted old and new technology-for example, a weather Emerson Process Management? Why or why not? What are vane and a weather satellite. These ads stood out amid the wordy the advantages of using the Internet compared with using competitor ads surrounding them. Emerson also used the only personal selling and advertising? The disadvantages? TestDrivePlant Web site to collect names of prospects and their 6. In your opinion, is Emerson wise to reposition itself by affiliations. It then sent direct mail to higher-level executives in branding all of its divisions with the Emerson name? Why each organization. The idea was to intrigue the "technical evange- would this be beneficial in selling to business markets? How list's" supervisor, who was more likely to be involved in the pur- might it be a disadvantage? chase decision. Perhaps they would meet in the hallway, and the technical evangelist, who was excited from taking a “test drive" on Sources: "Briefly Noted." Mechanical Engineering, May 1999, p. 24; ThePlantWeb, would exchange information with the supervisor David Lewis, “Emerson's Web Rollouts to Keep Earnings Rolling who had questions about costs. Too," Internet Week, November 13, 2000, p. 118+; Kevin Parker, Such simple hallway conversations can be the beginning of a "Fisher-Rosemount Out, Solutions Selling In," Manufacturing process that takes months to complete. During that time, Systems, June 2001, p. 12+; Weld Royal, "Web Marketing's New Emerson sends prospects promotional materials and invitations Wave," Industry Week, November 6, 2000, pp. 29–32; George to seminars to keep their interest from flagging. If all of those Short, “Information Engineering," Plant Engineering, June 1999, marketing efforts are not enough, Plant Web has a guarantee p. 54+; plus information from the Emerson and PlantWeb Web that the purchaser will reduce total installed cost using sites.

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