Schneider Electric pushes into energy management
Realignment and new message announced at Editor's Conference; 'We're going to show you a Schneider Electric you may not know...'
The biggest surprise Jeff Drees has faced in the three months since he took over as Schneider Electric’s U.S. president is pulling the company’s five divisions together around a comprehensive plan to reshape the company as an energy solutions leader and not just a circuit breaker company.
Schneider Electric named Drees to the position June 1, and he’s spent the time since getting the teams to embrace the energy solutions strategy. “We have an opportunity to drive new sales, and we have to train and develop our sales talent to focus on solutions,” Drees said.
“Our core competency is no longer power,” Drees told the Schnieder Electric Editor’s Conference in Chicago last month. “It’s being a global specialist in energy management. We’re going to show you a Schneider Electric you may not know.”
His background in energy and in team-building made him a strong choice to taken on the new role. “Having worked closely with Jeff over the last few years, I have seen firsthand his ability to drive growth in our business and motivate and inspire his team,” said Schneider Electric North Ameircan president and CEO Chris Curtis. “We are uniquely positioned to help solve our energy dilemma and Jeff has the passion and leadership needed to lead these efforts in our company and with our customers.”
Drees previously served as president of the Buildings business of Schneider Electric in the Americas, where he was responsible for overseeing the business’ performance in the U.S., Canada, and Central and South America.
The company also announced several structural changes designed to further the emphasis on the strategic direction of energy management. “Clean energy and carbon reduction, preparing for smart grid with smart buildings – these are just a few of the issues on our customers’ minds,” said Drees. “With these changes, we are organizing ourselves to better leverage the competencies and skills we have in place to meet our customer needs, and drive the innovation needed to help them more effectively manage their energy.”
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.