Project awards drive engineering capacity increases
Emerson Process Management has accelerated plans to expand its project engineering staff to meet the demands of major project activity. With its number of new projects growing at double-digit rates, the added engineering capacity is needed to meet customers’ needs for effective, timely project execution.
“We’ve seen unprecedented project growth, especially in very large projects, over the last three years,” said Jim Nyquist, president of Emerson Process Management’s PlantWeb Solutions Group. “It’s very gratifying that customers are overwhelmingly choosing us, and it’s also the catalyst to grow our engineering resources to stay ahead of the project load.”
This expansion follows significant growth in the past as well. Emerson has added over 2500 engineers to its project execution staff since 2005. In 2012 staffing levels for project activity topped 4600. The company is now adding engineering staff at double-digit growth rates and expects to do so for at least the next five years. Emerson continues to grow in all disciplines including process control, safety instrumented systems, electrical and instrumentation, networking, and wireless as well as deep industry expertise and operations management. Based on the specific project needs, various disciplines come into play to achieve the user’s automation goals.
“We’re not just adding staff, we’re making them more efficient and effective,” continued Nyquist. “We’ve invested for years in standard practices and tools for project engineering and are taking advantage of global communications technology to be able to locate talent globally and then deploy our expertise anywhere it is needed. Our commitment is to meet our customers’ demands for competitive, predictable, high-quality engineering services that get them into production and making money as quickly as possible.”
Major project activity in both developed and emerging markets periodically requires focusing considerable engineering resources on one geographic area for a sustained period. Emerson’s engineering depth – including multiple wholly owned “back office” engineering centers – enables it to collaborate globally and refocus parts of its overall global engineering staff for these occasions. At the same time, standardized project execution through its Project Management Office (PMO) initiative enables consistent results anywhere in the world. Combining PMO standards and best practices with tightly coupled front-office/back-office virtual teams has reduced project execution costs dramatically on recent Main Automation Contractor projects – resulting in substantial savings for the end user.
Emerson project service customers reflect the diversity in the automation market, and range from BP’s oil production platforms in the North Sea, to Lucite International’s global polymer plant in Singapore, to Petrobras’ refining facility in Brazil. They all use Emerson’s automation expertise to meet their ever-increasing business demands.
Evidence of the excellence embodied by the project execution teams is found in highly positive customer survey results, additional mega-project awards to Emerson, and customers entrusting Emerson to manage multi-project programs over a number of years. Customer survey results in the past year indicate both high satisfaction with project management as well as an overall three-point gain in the customer loyalty score. The number of mega-projects (greater than $5 million) won has tripled in less than two years. Multiple customers who started working with Emerson on a single project have evolved to where Emerson is currently managing multiple project programs. Emerson managed one multi-project program starting in 2001 and is currently managing thirteen.
Emerson’s growth in project services means a continued expansion in engineering staff, supported by consistent processes and ongoing refinement of engineering tools to improve efficiency.