22 Jul 2024


Engineering Council shake-up aims to give better value

Engineering Council shake-up aims to give better value

Siemens is launching an Internet-based ordering system as part of a plan to expand its sales of control and automation products in the UK by 15% a year.

Graham Philips, managing director of Siemens Automation & Drives, forecasts that the e-commerce initiative, known as the Siemens Mall, “will have a major impact on the way we conduct business into the next millennium”. He predicts that e-commerce will eventually become “the de facto way of doing business”.

Siemens has already recorded a 22-fold increase in the number of orders taken via its EDI (electronic data interchange) system this year and electronic buying now accounts for almost a quarter of all of its orders.

Philips` target of a 15% annual expansion of Siemens UK business appears ambitious in a market which is growing by just 2%. But he is confident that he can meet the target. He points out that the business grew by 18% last year with £60m-worth of drives being exported to 58 countries from Siemens` Congleton factory.

The company has also reorganised its UK sales operation to provide a better service to customers. Over the past 18 months, it has invested £2.5m in customer management systems and is now offering a single point of contact for all orders.

The merger of the previously separate automation and drives operations has effectively tripled the number of sales and support staff available to each customer, Philips says.

Siemens is continuing to invest in its technology with a global research and development budget for drives and automation products of some £380m. Around £8m of this is earmarked for the UK.