Siemens Looks To North American Market

July 11, 2003
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Oskar K. Ronner
DALLAS — North America is of particular strategic value to Siemens Building Technologies (SBT). Oskar K. Ronner, president and CEO of the company, made sure he stressed that point at its sponsored International Trade Press Forum, held here recently.

“For us, it is the largest market in the world,” Ronner told a room full of trade reporters from all over the world. “We see especially great potential for our offerings here. One example of this is the market for electronic security systems. The U.S. accounts for some 40 percent of this.”

On the other hand, Ronner went on, North America is home to numerous global players who, as customers, expect Siemens Building Technologies to appropriately support their global projects geared towards closer transatlantic and transpacific cooperation. “Another special feature is the large portion of integrated solutions that are called for here,” he said. “In Europe, the figure is much smaller.

“The following statistics will probably be of interest to you in this context: in global terms, the majority of our 360,000 or so customers are installation contractors, distributors, and resellers. In all, we handle around one million orders annually. In North America, the corresponding figures are 20,000 customers and 300,000 orders.”

North America also plays an important role when it comes to procurement. Ronner noted that the purchasing volume of Siemens Building Technologies amounted to approximately $630 million in the fiscal year 2002.

Stan Kunka

A Little History

During the last fiscal year, Siemens Building Technologies Inc. USA generated revenues of $1.7 billion through its more than 100 branch offices and a nationwide network of dealers and distributors. This corresponds to almost one-third of the global sales of the company, said Stan Kunka, president and CEO of the U.S. subsidiary, which is headquartered in Buffalo Grove, Ill. Siemens Building Technologies Inc. USA is the operational arm of the Siemens Building Technologies Group in North America and Canada and is one of 14 Siemens operating companies in the United States.

Management of the Building Automation and HVAC Products Divisions, as well as manufacturing facilities for HVAC components, are also located in Buffalo Grove. Manufacturing facilities for fire safety products are located in Florham Park near Newark, N.J., together with the home base of the Fire Safety Division. Security Systems’ operations are based in Sunrise, Fla.

Siemens Building Technologies serves the market through two channels — first, by selling directly to end users through a nationwide network of more than 100 company branch offices; second, through a steadily growing number of dealers, distributors, and installation contractors. More than 20,000 customer facilities in North America are equipped with systems supplied by Siemens, said Kunka.

“Some 25 to 30 percent of all customers want bundled or integrated solutions,” said Kunka, noting that this is a significantly higher percentage than in Europe or Asia/Pacific. “SBT, therefore, provides systems packages that address customers’ key requirements. These may involve meeting specific technological or operational demands, responding to specific regulations, or filling specific quality or safety standards. In this area, SBT’s efforts are closely focused on the best total solutions approach.”

Another focus in its U.S. business, said Kunka, is on energy services. In the context of energy-saving endeavors (electricity and gas), Kunka said Siemens has helped its customers achieve optimal purchases of energy totally more than $4 billion.

“The high level of acceptance and the quality of the products and services supplied by SBT in the U.S. marketplace is confirmed by the results of customer surveys,” said Kunka. “The company has been given top ranking for five consecutive years in a survey conducted exclusively among existing customers of SBT and its competitors, in which customers rated only those suppliers whose systems they have installed.”

Kunka concluded that SBT’s global thrust and its integration into the worldwide family of Siemens companies provides a competitive advantage, “especially when working with corporations operating on a global scale, such as the Marriott hotel chain and Motorola.”

Publication date: 07/14/2003

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