Leo Rodriguez: President of Emerson Latin America.

Author:Haskel, David
Position::A MORE PRODUCTIVE REGION - Company overview


Think of them as your nervous system. The bones, flesh, inner organs, muscles and skin would be of little use without a driving force to organize, optimize, synchronize and monitor each and every movement and function.

At Emerson, a $24 billion-revenue company based in St. Louis, MO, they think in terms of "solutions." And every solution is innovative, custom-made and one-of-a-kind.

Let's say Mexico's Pemex, Venezuela's PDVSA, Brazil's Petrobras or Argentina's YPF want to boost output at a plant, beef up safety standards, improve quality, or perhaps come up with some new product, such as high-viscosity lube oil. Or maybe they suspect that the pressure drop in that gas duct means there is a leak somewhere in the system. Lower temperatures in storage-vats would also be desirable, not to mention faster conveyor belts or better ventilation and illumination and communications systems, they say. Or, more likely still, any combination of the above.

In comes Emerson and presto! They'll design a "solution," bring in the parts, the software, the equipment (which can be either custom-made by themselves or off-the-self), the technicians and engineers. And they will install and run the operation.

Oh, you wanted it fully automated? They can do that too: they'll put in place not just the nervous system but the e-brains on top of it.

Hmm, sounds a bit Jetsons-ish. Is corporate Latin America ready for this space-age approach to production?

"Is it?" says Leo Rodriguez, president of Emerson Latin America. "I've been with Emerson for 37 years and in the past 20 years a lot of things have happened. What I've seen is a huge transformation."

The big oil companies are a good example, Rodriguez told Latin Trade. "These companies used to be very regional. Now they've become truly multinational and very powerful on a global scale."

Playing in the major leagues has led them not only to expand their domestic operations but also to become more demanding as well. Yes, they still want their state-of-the-art solutions. But they want them now, mad they want them here, in their own language, delivered and run by locals, and with as much domestic...

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