ABB CEO visits New Berlin factory | Automation.com

ABB CEO visits New Berlin factory

ABB CEO visits New Berlin factory
December 1, 2008 - How to grow business? “Continue to focus on your market orientation to business,” Joe Hogan, global CEO of ABB, told ABB employees here at the New Berlin location today. “Execute well in this, and every business cycle; get ever closer to customers; and build ever-better solutions and relationships.”

Hogan, who joined ABB after a long career at GE, answered this and other questions today at a Town Hall meeting with a standing-room-only crowd of 300 employees. It was Hogan’s second visit to the campus and factory.

How’s Business?

In morning meetings, Hogan was briefed on the business performance of the Automation Products division, including a profile from general managers from five of the division’s 10 Local Business Units located on campus, as well as the Power & Control Sales team (which supports a number of the LBUs) on progress and growth in the U.S.

“This campus houses one of the largest operating units for ABB in North America, and these facilities include offices, manufacturing and local warehousing and distribution operations,” said Rick Hepperla, regional division manager for Automation Products in North America.

“The New Berlin operation represents nearly half of the Automation Products volume in North America,” noted Hepperla, “and the healthy earnings contribute significantly to the total for Automation Products.”

At the Town Hall Meeting

At the meeting, Hogan offered introductory remarks regarding his background and familiarity with Wisconsin, based on his tenure at GE. He also shared his early impressions of ABB: “Look, the focus is where it needs to be – on offering our core competencies of power and automation to the market,” he said. “ABB is very global, truly multi-national, and there is a great, earned pride in engineering and R&D across the company; these assets, combined with good cash, gives us the tools to become stronger in the long-term.”

Asked how ABB gets ever closer to customers, Hogan emphasized, “Listen! Be humble. Be hungry.” He noted that responses with product and service solutions need to be rapid, but based on multiple inputs from end users that confirm a true trend. “ABB absolutely has, or can create, the technology to respond with better solutions,” he said.

Faster, Leaner, More Pertinent!

Employees queried him on a variety of concerns, including his views on the current economic climate. “Focus on your market and what you can control,” responded Hogan. “Work really hard; getting better at your job every day actually assures our future,” he noted. “Work on becoming faster, leaner and more pertinent to the customers we serve.”

Rapid-response capability and the efficiency of material flow and production processes at the New Berlin factory are examples of this responsiveness to the market, Hogan told the factory employees and office personnel. These capabilities allow ABB LV Drives to respond to customer channels within hours of an order, and to deliver the drives tailored specifically to the order received.

Headquarters operations located inside the ABB New Berlin Campus include Low Voltage Drives, Low Voltage Motors, Medium Voltage Drives, Power Electronics, and Machines -- all Local Business Units (LBUs) within the Automation Products division. Office headquarters for the division also are located on the campus.

ABB New Berlin is one of the top-50-largest manufacturers in Southeast Wisconsin, and the ninth-largest, foreign-owned manufacturer in Southeast Wisconsin. ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 120,000 people.
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