Schneider Electric 1999
1999 The year in review
Get more with the world’s Power & Control specialist
Schneider Electric serves customers
in with more than
130 150 150
countries production facilities, service centers sales outlets.
generated sales of billion euros in 1999 of which was outside of France)
in electrical distribution, industrial control and automation, raising net income by
In 1999, 5.3% of sales were invested in research and development.
1 = FF 6.55957
Interview with the Chairman
“To grow our enterprise, we’re pushing back our borders”
Schneider Electric is pursuing an accelerated growth strategy. Henri Lachmann explains why and talks about the progress made so far. Growing Schneider Electric on a bigger and faster scale than we’ve done in recent years is a tough challenge, but I can assure you that it’s a realistic goal. Our market position is a crucial asset here. Thanks to our four international brands—Merlin Gerin, Modicon, Square D and Telemecanique—Schneider Electric is the only worldwide specialist in electrical distribution, industrial control and automation. Since we concentrate exclusively on these businesses, we’re in closer touch with our customers and we can dedicate more resources to these segments than the big conglomerates. At the same time, Schneider Electric is a truly multinational enterprise, which means that we can meet the globalization challenges that national specialists can’t deal with efficiently. We’re using this unique position to conduct a more aggressive business policy and to expand our enterprise through faster growth. For the past several months now, I’ve been pleased to see that this process is gaining momentum. It’s being driven by fundamentals that allow profitable, long-term growth. Regarding the Schneider 2000+ program, we’re ahead of schedule on our targets for reducing base costs and improving our operating margin. Today, we develop products twice as fast as three years ago. Most important, everyone at Schneider Electric is now fully customer oriented. The customer is and will increasingly be the focus of our decisions, strategies and processes.
Is Schneider 2000+ a new step for Schneider Electric?
Basically, it’s a continuation of the Schneider 2000 program, but we’ve stepped up our efforts and accelerated the pace. Schneider 2000+ is dedicated to two vital goals: promoting growth and reducing costs. I believe that success in both areas depends largely on changing the way we work here at Schneider Electric. In particular, this means cultivating a spirit of initiative and willingness to take risks among our team members while developing their autonomy, sense of co-destiny and accountability. To measure our progress, we’re also closely tracking a set of objective indicators: How fast do we develop our innovations? How satisfied are our customers? How satisfied are our employees? Where are we in our international development?
Concerning growth, you talk about “pushing back our borders.” What are these borders? First, our geographic borders. In some countries, our market share still has high growth potential, which we need to exploit. The second border concerns our lineup—our specialties. With the acquisitions already completed and those to come in other areas related to our core businesses, we’re enhancing and broadening the Schneider Electric family of products and services. We must also explore the potential created by new information and communication technologies in smart buildings and homes and latestgeneration automated factories. Meanwhile, the deregulation of electricity markets is opening opportunities all over the world. It’s up to us to respond by offering innovative applications. The third and final border concerns our traditional partners, i.e., distributors, panelbuilders, electricians and OEMs....
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