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18 August, 2017

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ABB revamp merges instruments with automation

01 August, 2000

ABB revamp merges instruments with automation

ABB is merging its UK automation and instrumentation activities in a substantial reorganisation aimed at making the company more responsive to the needs of its customers. The revamped organisation, called ABB Automation, will bring together more than 1,600 people spanning activities from drives and motors, to robotics and turbochargers.

ABB Automation managing director David Denton admits that, in the past, customers have complained about having to deal with up to eight different ABB personnel and two different companies for a single project.

Now, he says, they will have a "one-stop shop" with a single phone number and a single service organisation for all the activities. But, he stresses, "we don`t want to create generalists". There will be teams of technical support specialists for the various technologies.

ABB will also be relying heavily on its "channel partners" which Denton explains are "not classical distributors, but extensions of ABB".

Another change is a move to account management for large customers in six key sectors including paper, oil and gas, and utilities. ABB`s UK managing director Eric Drewery says that this move is vital to the success of the reorganisation and promises that the new account managers, "will know more about their customers than the customers know about themselves".

Drewery says that the changes represent "a very substantial investment" but he expects a rapid payback with the benefits being felt next year. "It`s not an exercise in headcount reduction," he stresses.

As part of the changes, Ian Rennie, previously vice president of ABB`s global drives business, becomes director for automation products in the UK.

At present, the changes affect only ABB`s UK organisation, but the lessons learned may be implemented elsewhere. "




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