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Crusade for Higher Visibility of Automation
This week Invensys is holding its Foxboro User Group in Boston. While I had plans of attending the event, I was unable to go due to last-minute personal reasons. Fortunately, a number of other magazine editors are covering the event, so I’d like to refer you to one nice summary written by another editor. After all, we realize that it’s nearly impossible for us to cover everything going on in automation, all the time…so we link to other sites to bring you the most information we can.
If you have heard Dr. Peter Martin, Invensys’ vice president of performance management, speak before, you know that he is very passionate about solving real business problems with automation techniques. What many of you may not know is Dr. Martin also holds a Masters degree in Biblical Studies. Apparently in his free time, Martin is also one of the ministers at his local church. It’s no wonder he is such a dynamic and engaging speaker. I thought it was only fitting that Walt Boyes of CONTROL Magazine opened his summary of Dr. Martin’s address, Peter Martin Whacks ‘Em Between the Eyes, with “crusade for higher visibility of automation in the enterprise.”
Martin’s presentation, aimed directly at engineers, attempts to drill home the concept that engineers must prove their own worth. CEOs and CFOs are focused on the business’ bottom line. Nobody else in the plant understands the process and related technology like the engineers. And nobody else in the plant knows how to analyze, optimize, and improve the process. According to Martin, “Your worth is phenomenal. You provide more value than any other part of the organization. You must demonstrate your worth.”
Martin spoke directly to the end users: “As engineers you are measured on the capital budget. The capital budget is all about ROI. The problem is that when you hit 100% of ROI with a capital project, you don’t get any more credit!”
Martin went on, “Return on investment is always negative. Once you have recouped your investment, you have bottom line value, but nobody measures it– and nobody can see it– and so you don’t get credit for it. All you get is blame for the red line that is the ROI line. ROI is always negative.”
“So how can Invensys help you?” he asked. “We can help you reduce the cost of automation, make the top line measurable, and reduce the lifecycle cost. We know that we can help you explain your worth. This is why we came up with the idea of asset performance management,” he said.
Bringing it back home, he said, “If you aren’t the most valuable person in your organization, we aren’t the most valuable supplier in your organization.” He proclaimed, “The tools exist to do this, engineers!”
You can read Walt’s full summary online at Peter Martin Whacks ‘Em Between the Eyes.
This is a great segway into Jim Pinto’s featured article this week, The Keys to Successful Innovation. Jim points out that Innovation is not just the occasional “eureka” flash – it includes the process of making improvements, generating new ideas and methods, and devising procedures that yield major cost or value shifts. In the organizational context, innovation is linked to performance and growth through improvements in efficiency, productivity, quality, competitive positioning, market share, etc.
Enjoy the rest of this eNews!
Vice President, Publisher