Weblog - Rockwell Automation

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Rockwell Automation is a leading supplier of industrial automation products - Allen-Bradley and Reliance are the major companies in the group. The current management group (CEO Don Davis et al) originated at A-B. These extracts from JimPinto.com eNews trace the news and developments at Rockwell Automation from 2001.
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Weblog Comments - Rockwell Automation

Weblog comments will include date of submission, most recent first.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - To the contributor of the previous weblog:

I wish to wholeheartedly congratulate the writer on his delightfully honest, eloquent and exacting viewpoint. Fantastic contribution (and how the truth hurts). I can't imagine just how many employees and ex-employees there are who can identify with this writer's statement. Thank you.


Sunday, May 29, 2011 - RE: Thursday, May 26, 2011:

Judging by the tone and vernacular of your post, I am assuming you're at a pay-grade well above me. However, you and I are seemingly both employees of this same corporation, so I feel it only diligent to provide my perspective, as it slightly differs from yours.

First and foremost, Rockwell Automation, in my opinion, is not a "best of breed organization" or a "great place to work". Rockwell is a company that, in it's current form, has only existed for roughly ten years, and is struggling to find its own identity as a portfolio of brands. Nothing more and nothing less. Completely mediocre. Similar returns could be had by purchasing an index fund. Additionally, everything I have seen of this company indicates that it has no soul. The entire organization is a collection of individuals that adds no more value than each individual's technical ability. There is no collective drive in a consistent direction that generates outputs in excess of raw inputs.

Secondly the only avenue employees feel they have to discuss tough issues is via this weblog. The amount of time Rockwell Automation spends trying to shape the opinions of it's employees and silence dissenters is absurd. There is no free thinking, or trust, at Rockwell. Every comment or decision must be preceded by first, second and third level thinking. You must go along and not speak contradictory to anyone you work below, or you will be seen as a complainer and eliminated. This is one of the things that makes employees feel like they are in some sort of Gestapo-controlled prison, and why they are driven to this weblog for discussion. Your own post is in this light of controlling the conversation.

Regarding your "Rockwell is ethical" comment; since when is this anything more than an expectation? When is the last time you shouted in the cube farm, "Hey everyone, I met expectations!", "I received a raise in line with the Fed's COLA!". How does this differentiate Rockwell by aligning to a value driver of our customer? I do not understand why this company thinks it's the bee's knees to be ethical.

Also, why does Rockwell think that the only place employees could go work is direct competitors? Is it because the organization only tries to promote engineers? Is it because you only see these companies as your competition? This narrow and inflated self worth focus is not in the best interest of the company.

Overall, your comments indicate you are concerned with a few things:

  1. Shaping the collective discussion of Rockwell, both internally and externally. Maintaining a Shareholder-only perspective, with no regard to your other stakeholders (customers and employees, first and foremost; local communities next).
  2. Not actively challenging anything other than what you see appropriate, or have been directed to by your immediate supervisor.
I am posting this anonymously, as you did too.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

There seem to be lots of issues with regaining morale in Asia. Another loyal person was shown the door Friday with the loss of the Singapore/Malaysia leader, and that is just weeks since the Thailand leader resigned. They are taking the hit for yet another USA forced leader who has taken a growing region and flattened it out. The Organization in Asia still has no HR leader; we rely on a part time guy from the UK and so you can imagine how much focus we get. Rumor also is that we will be getting another US person to run the solutions business, despite the last one managing less than two years with questionable performance. Maybe we are the guinea pigs for the US. The story also is coming out about India, maybe more of looking for a scapegoat than getting caught with your hands in the cookie jar.

How different it all looks from the record-breaking days we used to enjoy. It does show how RA has lost its way. I looked at the acquisition we made last week and when you really look, we have bought a Siemens distributor with a repair business attached. Is someone dreaming they will capture that Siemens business? Or is our CSM business about to become a competitor to our distributors again?

Very, very worrying. But I guess this uncertainty does lead to higher pay because they are afraid of losing more people.


Friday, May 27, 2011

I am a Twinsburg, OH employee. This week we have had very bad weather in the area. On Wednesday after yet another tornado warning the fire alarm goes off. What do the powers that be do? Send us out in the pouring rain and thunderstorm 10 minutes after a tornado warning. I would not have a problem with that if it was a real fire and everyone had to stand in the rain. Only a handful of people were told to get outside and everyone else sat dry in the lunchroom. Calls were made to a supervisor and we were told to stay outside. Way to go Twinsburg - you took the cake with this blunder.


Friday, May 27, 2011

I also have been reading this blog for a while and think that the reason for more negative feed-back is that it is very human to give negative feed-back, more than positive. It does not mean that there is nothing positive to say. I would not ask people to restrain from giving honest feed-back about Rockwell. This is a good forum and I will continue to read it.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

I read through these posts every week or so - and for the past few years the same themes appear to be espoused by contributors. Come on folks - you have turned this potentially excellent source of exchange into a place which consistently (dare I say SOLELY) berates/burns Rockwell. It's not getting old. It is OLD.

With all due respect - I do recognize the first amendment and we are all entitled to our opinion; but I ask that we each make some sincere attempt to turn this into a respectful source of knowledge exchange.

The same posts - just different days. Get over it. Overall, Rockwell is a great place to work. Rockwell is ethical. Rockwell is a publicly traded company which answers to the shareholders - for this reason, tough decisions need to be made as jobs are sourced out-of-country.

Does it stink that we are losing jobs to lower cost sources/countries? YES! Is it a double-edge sword when trying to generate ROI for shareholders (particularly in challenging economic times) while reducing expenses (i.e. loss of domestic jobs)? YES! Do we find ourselves questioning senior leadership as we churn through SAP, compensation changes, re-organizations, and product delivery/quality challenges? YES!

Granted - Rockwell can be a complicated and often frustrating organization; but there is a reason why we are (and maintain our position as) a best-of-breed organization.

I challenge us all to demonstrate some positive posts/exchanges for a change. For those of us who send these anonymous posts while employed with Rockwell - would you rather work for Siemens, ABB, GE, Emerson, etc? With all due respect, if you are only able to breath fire - please resign your position so that a more adaptable/positive individual can join the Rockwell team.

Sorry if I have vented - but I have submitted several posts in the past which run against the grain of the typical on this site. And the overwhelming negativity dilutes the opportunity for reasonable and professional exchanges.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rockwell Automation is well known for lots of parties and free drinks etc. and China probably tops the list in recent years . Don't get confused though. We local employees rarely get to participate; just the Managers and foreign visitors. I am sure it happens in a lot of companies. What they don't realize is that we see and we observe and rarely do we respect. The worst offenders are nearly always the most senior and they think they are buying trust. What fools they are.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I can tell you that all seems well at RA China. Just attended their partner conference and wow they know how to throw a party. The party was free, or at least until 4 am, and I have never seen such merriment from a company who obviously must be raking in the dollars. Our partner program is not doing that well, but 10 out of 10 for the beer, wine and fun. Go Rockwell! Great break from work and paid for by this great American Icon!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - To: Ethics Training:

You might want to read up on coaching and mentoring and find a good one of either. This is not even in the zip code of ethics. It is common RA behavior and poor motivation and management practice but not unethical as it does not really break any policy or laws.

As for the last advice. Listen for the bullet. It is coming. Leave before you hear it.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - To: "ethics training":

You are unfortunately missing the point. I too was a subject of such treatment and did not see the signs for what they were worth. You are being targeted for reduction by being made insignificant to even inform. The manager in question is using the tried and true RA tactics to minimize your impact, so that the decision to walk you out the door will be easy. Your best move at this time is to start looking for a job while you have one. You may also want to start looking at the severance package details. HR will try to make you sign a package that benefits them. Good luck !


Monday, May 23, 2011

I would like to have a topic added to the ethics training and to make this part of the ethics training obligatory for RA managers.

I really do not think that RA is an ethical company and will tell you why. Ethics is also about respecting employees and what they do. Here just a few things that have happened to me lately:

  1. My team members were invites to a meeting where told that I am no longer responsible for a task, I was not informed/invited.
  2. It was agreed that I have region wide responsibility and it was documented with the US team in a powerpoint. I exercised this responsibility a few years, until was suddenly told that the process has changed a long time ago and that I am no longer responsible. I was the last to be informed. And informing me was not planned but accidental.
  3. It was agreed that I have a responsibility in a project and for once it was also announced officially to the project team. But the bitter end was that everybody forgot to involve me in the meetings and I had to run after what had been discussed and decided and keep trying to find out when is the next meeting.
  4. I am constantly being forgotten, walked upon and ignored. What I am responsible for nobody cares or takes notice. In my opinion high ethics in a working environment is also to respect what people have been made responsible for, and respect what they are doing, and seeing to it that the responsible persons are informed first. This is what I as a project manager try to remember every day. And every day I see that these principles are being walked upon, not just me being a victim, but many others too.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I am not sure it's lack of transparency - it's more lack of trust. The senior leadership is convinced that no one person except Keith should have all the pieces to the jigsaw and therefore only he knows what the picture looks like. What he doesn't realize is the picture is no different for most other players in this space, except they perhaps get to play as a team.

The illustration is that as a Sales leader, I am responsible for a number but I am not allowed to see what is in each product business growth plan and so I can only play blind; so I play low. The neurosis about functionality comes because Keith actually thinks that sales leaders like me are incapable of running a business, and so I should concentrate on calling on customers, selling product which I can affect the quality, delivery or specifications. One can only conclude that its experience that tells him this and that experience comes from one head of sales which we all know has his limitations.

The incident in India is just a result of this utter confusion, coupled with the fact that we probably pay the Indians below market so they have to seek compensation in other ways. After last years, incident we were informed India was having special reviews because they were so off-market. What do we expect when we run our company this way?

I work in the USA and we take recompense another way - we work minimal hours, nod and say yes and hope that someone will rescue us. I was once proud of our logo, proud to serve under Davis and I feel bothered by having to acknowledge who runs our company today.


Friday, May 20, 2011

I agree with the previous blogger - RA thinks it is above transparency. I am an employee in Asia and we know that many of our colleagues in Finance (4 leaders) were terminated a few weeks ago for gross wrongdoing. This follows a major investigation last year that the Milwaukee people undertook and found nothing. Its a symptom of our company being out of control. It's run by the function of the day, and not by one leader.

In my country Finance is the leader; in India it is Sales, and in Australia its anybody. It's madness that destroys our ability to team, and our ability to attract and keep world class talent. I wonder how long it will take for the real India story to appear and how RA will brush that under the table.

Frankly I hope they don't think we will win one of "the most ethical company awards this year either". The other concern is that there is no independent investigator at RA. They advertise one, but we have seen many times he acts as image protector not investigator and he certainly does not act as an independent.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sounds to me that RA thinks it's immune to the feelings of the decent world. The way it treats employees is just another testament of how wrong this management team is. The real issue on China five years ago is that they didn't know because they were not close to it, because Bejing is not downtown Milwaukee. This is the most under-traveled management team on the planet. How many times has the CFO ,VP HR, Legal been to Asia? Less than 10 (between them) in 5 years .


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

No one is righteous or condoning this. You were simply wrong in stating that nothing had been mentioned for 5 years. Self reporting was the right thing to do. It did not take away the offense but Siemens certainly did not self-report and was caught. In fact, I was not a Rockwell employee and am not a Rockwell employee. There was publicity several years before this.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Anyone who thinks that self-reporting is righteous, just & moral is probably a person that hid the information for 5 years. You do NOT fool anyone.


Friday, May 13, 2011 - To "You might want to brush up on international business":

Sounds like you know an awful lot about all this. And you are trying to justify it. Get a conscience! What else do you condone?


Friday, May 13, 2011

You people who think self reporting is still cheating are right. But hence the difference between $400m and $1.6m. Th DOJ likes it when you police yourself. For the person who said it went unmentioned until 2006 - well, you must have been in a cave in Afghanistan. No one reports any of this until the DOJ, which is a governmental agency and moves glacially, sets down a ruling and defines the penalty. You might want to brush up on international business.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

5 years that says it all.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - Re : Rockwell pays penalty, forfeits profits in SEC settlement:

This "violation" was in 2006. Why 5 years before it's announcement? The only ethics I can surmise is that the issue was left untouched until a point was reached where it had to be admitted in case it was found out in a more official capacity whereupon the penalties would have been much larger. RA plays it clever once more?


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A company with ethics? Give me a break - they break the law and because they self-report they have ethics? I think you need to take a class on ethics.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Big difference between Siemens and Rockwell is scope of penalty and integrity breach. They fined Siemens $400m in the US alone and found the issues across the business. RAs was isolated to China, the appropriate people were fired and fines levied. Also, RA self-reported. Rockwell is still thought of as a company with ethics.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Leaders won't issue a statement because that means they would have to admit fault. It ain't gonna happen.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mouse Rockwell pays penalty, forfeits profits in SEC settlement

It will be interesting to read the comments from Mr. Nosbusch Re. the SEC fine. He has always made the statement that this is one of the key differentiators between RA and Siemens, yet we find he also is fined for supposed wrongdoing . This negates his whole argument about the violations being greater by Siemens. The big difference with Siemens is that they acknowledged there was a serious problem and heads rolled. At RA the same senior leadership is in position doing the same jobs as at the time of the alleged incident in 2006.

So we are at a time when the stumbling at RA are becoming too many, too often. Will anyone ever have the strength to change the top? The shareholders are obviously voting, even though some commentators think they have jumped the gun.

We know our leaders read this column, so I wonder if they will issue a statement. Then we can wisely vote on our 401ks.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

From the Emerson blog, I couldn't have said it any better myself:

Ego leads to the ultimate destruction of empires. This piece says it all.

Mouse How Does Ego Cause Leaders To Self-Destruct?


Monday, May 2, 2011

Can anyone out there give me the elevator speech of the value of integrated architecture? What is the value of RA versus B and R? Why would I pay a 40% premium? I am sure there are valid reasons but I am failing to grasp them.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Having had time to digest the earnings call and the public charts shown on the RA website my conclusion is in line with previous posters.

Growth year-on-year is broadly in line with competitors and increase in margin is one off gains in cost cutting, but is probably unsustainable .Worrying is the A and S margin decline sequentially on higher volume.vTranslate that across the whole segment and big red flag.

The most startling was the fact that Asia is now growing slower than EMEA or Latin America. So I guess the posts about the effect of leadership change could be true.

So when your flagship is ailing and you are slowing in the fastest economy you need to heed the warning. Take cover; these guys dont know how to grow and so the solution will be else where.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It was an analyst call true to form, lacked confidence, lacked drive and showed yet again the parochial limitations of the senior leadership at Rockwell. The stock plunging and again catching out those who thought they were in safe hands. Of course Keith and his merry men sold out weeks ago.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Interesting comments from Hogan at ABB on acquisition strategy. Thinks valuations are high,look at ROK, and he intimates that he sees those valuations easing. ROK also report today and all ears will be on comparison to competitors and long term outlook. My feeling is RA is running out of organic and margin growth and the bull run is over, with sharp correction in valuation in Q3 or Q4. Question will be if the value becomes attractive for predator, which is unlikely considering the pot louden of businesses in RA with no successful linkage. Eventually shareholders and Employees are paying for Keith dabbling in SSB and Software. As a side note, look at the 2011 share sales of RA execs that are at the end of their career. Not a sign of confidence as we go forward.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Well, the death knell is sounding for Rockwell Automation, South Pacific. Bob Ruff's visit here was courteous enough, but had no element of reassurance,no element of belief and no element of growth that previous regimes bestowed on us . Even the distributor meeting was below par as we saw RA going into a multi year holding pattern until a new president of Asia is appointed. All because Senior leadership in Milwaukee had their heads in the sand and wouldn't fight to keep the passion and belief we used to have . Now we are content with spreadsheets, ratios and how do you do more with less. However colleagues, do not worry, with South Pacific in growth mode elsewhere we can all get new and exciting jobs and you will know who I am when I announce my leaving. Have faith and follow. At least, if senior management read this you will get a pay raise. Enjoy the holiday my colleagues and friends.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

The downward spiral continues. Product development has slowed, market share lost and we are nearly dead in the water. Whilst we take on water and begin to list, management can be trusted to rearrange the deck chairs. Cheers!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It is amazing that Twinsburg employees are complaining about overtime when so many of us were let go. I would gladly take your place to have my seniorty and vacation back. Try starting over. You don't know how good you do have it. In all my years at Twinsburg, I know that the same people complaining about the overtime are the first people to complain when there is none. If you are so unhappy then leave and give someone else a chance that does need "just a job" right now.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

RockwellAutomation is really dying its own death. No big aquisition in recent years, no big innovative ideas, even after selling a brand like Reliance Electric. It's losing its market very fast. AC/DC drives almost fully lost. Wwhere were we 5-6 years ago, and where are we now? Sent on backfoot by companies like ABB/Siemens, and still no wake-up call. Alas.


Monday, April 18, 2011

On Wednesday, April 20, Rockwell Automation (Twinsburg) will be hosting a job fair. But its not really a job fair, its a blitz to quickly bring in more contract temps (they have already been scraping the bottom of the NE Ohio barrel for the past 5 or 6 years). This is needed because the permanent employees are tired of the constant manadatory overtime. So be prepared to work your life away. My advice to anyone interested in working as an Manufacturing Associate (MA) at Twinsburg is: There is no career here, just a job. So if you absolutely have to have a job with no good expectations except experience - take a job there.

    Jim Pinto Note: Unwarranted extreme negativity and language not published.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Now all the readers have had an ability to state why they are better than senior leadership who have doubled the stock this year and increased dividend. What more do people want? Even the socialist organizations in the municipalityies lay off more than Rockwell. So, be content and let's make a better product before it's too late. From my view, its already too late. No innovation, no risk, no go-getters left. I predict RA with a price of less than $52 in twelve months. And so the real advice is sell, and look for a company that will win - to work for Eaton, Schneider, GE or even Siemens. Now just when RA declines below $50, buy and allow the new owners to provide the wave. It's not if, but when.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Darwin didn't get it right! Just wondering how long it will take before folks "Get It" that there are no big things going on in Mayfield Hts except for new Kids at the top. Soon the Darwin folks can go down to the shore and wait for new products to be created from the sand.... keep waiting. The Mayfield Hts and Cheeseland products and those who design them will be gone. Sing-Some-More.


Monday, April 4, 2011

I amazes me how emotional the response has been to my use of that word "PROGRESS"! But then again, some people resent that Darwin got it right. Survival of the fittest ... or industrious ... or hardworking ... not only makes sense in terms of natural selection at the plant level. It is the best (and perhaps only) solution to insuring Rockwell's continued success. Left to the laggards and slackers it would close quickly.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's amazing how RA employees, including the senior leaders, are so parochial and small minded. Whilst the argument on this blog discuss actions at a fairly irrelevant manufacturing site, Schneider acquires another energy service company and GE Energy acquire a major drives company, catapulting them into a position way ahead of Rockwell in the industrial space. Reality is that we at Rockwell are withering and dying. We should hope someone will buy us that has vision, hope and is brave enough to drive for leadership.

I have no doubts that the discussion within RA will be small minded and tactical. Do you think the CEO has ever heard of the companies acquired this week?


Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - To: PROGRESS blogger

Word is that people were walked out due to substance abuse issues. So, you took half baked information and made a case for quality. Then you threatened that if quality does not improve, jobs should be outsourced and offshored. If this is your concept of effective, informed and aware leadership, you seem to be more of the problem. You have effectively caused a morale issue that was unnecessary, when a little honesty and thought could have been better tactic.


Monday, March 28, 2011

When I read the comments from the manufacturing guys, it just makes me agree with leadership. I don't need to have RA-made products to sell; I need good products to sell. Frankly, it's a long time since we proved we could design or make a good quality product. I would prefer to outsource to Japan, Germany and Taiwan


Saturday, March 26, 2011 - To the person comparing salary AEIP to hourly:

Yes I agree that the salaried engineers put in more hours than the production personnel. However, maybe if they did their job properly in the first place, they wouldn't have to. The majority of the problems the shop floor faces are related to poor documentation: Inaccurate bills-of-materials and mistakes on drawings. It just doesn't sit well when the shop floor is constantly fixing engineering mistakes and then finding out that their AEIP is 3 of 4 times greater. It's nice that they have a 99% on time delivery rate in getting documentation to the shop floor. To bad they only have a 20% accuracy rate.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Delivery of orders is all that the "management" cares about because their bonus, stock options , performance share and other incentives are all that matters to them. People don't matter; all that matters is the size of their annual incentive package. These "leaders" ALWAYS blame others for their mistakes. The young hipster types think they have reinvented the wheel. They are in for a big fall. Remember Nero fiddled as Rome burned. And the heat is a rising @ Rockwell.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

I think it is very short-sighted for someone at RA to complain about AEIP payouts of the salary staff vs. the hourly staff. On an hour-to-hour (apples-to-apples) basis, the larger % payouts to a salary employee don't even cover the extra hours they work throughout the year. Most salary-staff I know work more than 10 hrs a week that they are not paid for. If the hourly people are working harder, so are the salary staff (at least some) that provide support. The difference is, when hourly people work longer hours, they make more per hour; when salary people work longer hours, they make less per hour. It's simple math.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

In this economic climate, businesses need to evolve! "Progress" is spot-on about that. This means that the management, employees, and processes all need to evolve - at all levels - to remain competitive.

Obviously, some of the previous posts are from people who are very bitter, or were burnt along the way. A resistance to change in these individuals is obvious. But why? Why so bitter? Why so resistant? Perhaps the employee was not heard, or listened to, or felt neglected at one time. Perhaps the attitude in those posts seeps through in their daily work life and holds them back.

I would challenge those individuals to use the same energy exhibited in their posts for positive change in their work environment. Use the systems, management and supervisors available to you to be heard with your ideas, to better your workplace. You're the best source - for you have the experience!

It is very easy to criticize - it is more difficult, yet much more effective, to use the same time and energy to make the positive suggestions to help transform the workplace as you desire.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The bigger challenge now for aspiring leaders at Rockwell is that most senior slots that will be available in the next ten years are now allocated. This means anyone that has real ambitions in the middle to senior ranks has missed out becasue history shows movements like this are very rare happenings. So it will be interesting to see who flies the nest.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

PROGRESS... Oh, is THAT what you call it? Well, we can see who posted that... a manager of course! Well Mr. Manager, what you call progress is actually the beginning of the end for Twinsburg. You are running your operations people 24-7 and in return you berate, belittle and break them down with your actions that are so against the rules of ethics and company policy.

Your "process improvements" are setting us up for failure, but yet you insist it is Progress. Oh, wait, its those people on the shop floor who are the problem. They are causing all the delays and it wouldn't have anything to do with your young, inexperienced engineering staff making things worse. Let's blame everything on the shop floor people; that way you don't have any accountability for your poor leadership.... You have no leadership, you do not inspire your people, you intimidate and threaten.

And let's address all those great achievements you mentioned.... How much of those are actually true? All those reports and presentations look good; but are they accurate? And you brag to the outside world of how great our quality is... What planet have you just landed from? Our quality has been getting worse over the past few years while you focus on your shipments. Who cares if the customer gets something that will fail in a few years, as long as they got something in their hands, right?

Since you brought up AEIP payout, let's address that. Those folks who are working 24-7 are not seeing the same payout as you. It's appalling to think that some of the people making things worse and not better were given 10, 15% payouts last year, while the majority received 2 to 4%. I'm busting my hump everyday to get 2%, while the managers are giving themselves and their 'friends' a larger piece of the pie.

Last but not least, don't forget that the "same 'ol, same 'ol people" is what ALLEN BRADLEY and ROCKWELL built their success on. The Twinsburg Facility was first to automate the plant and bring in new technologies, staffing it with people who cared about what they did, making it a great success long before any of the current management and engineers who are currently there.

So those old timers you are so anxious to get rid of are a lot smarter than any of you, and have bailed your butts out of more of your bad decisions that you could ever imagine. Do NOT tread on OUR backs for YOUR success, for I do NOT wish to go down with you.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oh dear, yet more leadership changes. Unfortunately and predictably the decisions lack courage and vision, as evidenced by the most uninspiring leader of all remaining, who continues to linger like a bad smell in the halls of old boy power. Rock on!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Announcement out today on who takes the lead A and S role The significance is not who but why. They have appointed another yes man who totally failed in his very short international assignment.


Monday, March 21, 2011 - "Progress":

Twinsburg needs to hire people period, bottom line. You cannot keep the employees you have running 24/7. Sure it is making the plant numbers look great for senior management, but employees are getting tired of it all. Employees are looking for other jobs and starting to retire early. I have heard there used to be people on a waiting list to get into this company when it was Allen-Bradley; now people cannot wait to find other jobs and get out. Why is that? Too bad Rockwell management only looks at their pockets instead having some kind of respect for their employees and what they have constantly done for this company.


Monday, March 21, 2011

O.K... Let's examine this statment: "If they do not walk non-performers out, eventually you'll be walking out wondering why they moved your jobs to Asia or Mexico."

So what happen to Dublin, very good at what they did and still the jobs were shipped to Mexico, where quality is.... No, can't buy it and it's clear that you are either new to the Rock or just part of the old gang in Cheeseland. Plan back in the late 70's to move AB headquarters to Hudson didn't happen, first chance to kill the union stuff in Cheeseland. Yes, Ive been with the company long enough to know the story from the top down. Sales and Marketing in Ohio, production in Mexico, Enginnering in Asia and High level thinking (?) in Cheeseland. Many people, good people have given it all, to allow AB Rockwell to be what it is today. IT is, what it is! Love the Company, best decision I ever made to job the team, just sad to see what is happening.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Hey "PROGRESS", if this is the cure for the Twinsburg ops, when can we see some medicine for Mayfield? Seems to me that dragging your feet and finding reasons why testing cannot be done is not only the rule but encouraged by first line managers. If there is a reason to improve, the first pushback is from the first line management with statements of superior knowledge and experience as to why the change is not going to work. The foot draggers seem to be very industrous as to reasons why improvements will not work but cannot seem to be more productive in other aspects. I hope that process improvement is just that and not a code for reduction in high priced employees.


Friday, March 18, 2011

What's going on? PROGRESS. You may not like the means, but it is obvious the pieces are being assembled to take the operation to the next level. Same 'ole, same ole' is not going to cut it in the future, especially with where the economy is headed. Disagree? Well, you can't argue with the success of this plant. Demand for product is up, service levels are increasing and lead times and costs are decreasing. You will be less disagreeable when the AEIP pays out well this year...again. If they do not walk non-performers out, eventually you'll be walking out wondering why they moved your jobs to Asia or Mexico.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

What is going on at Twinsburg? Supervisors getting walked out, support staff leaving, and "old timers" wishing they would close the doors. I have worked at Twinsburg for almost 20 years and have never seen it like this before. What is going on?


Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - Re March 15 post:

A 1746 ENET module would make sense if it is an "adapter". I.e. it allows the CPU to be replaced for the adapter, so that the existing 1746 i/o is supplied as i/o to a controller on Ethernet/IP. That could be part of a migration plan for older SLC installations.

The POINT compactlogix sounds very interesting. Sure hope that it is at a "reasonable" price point too. It could be exactly what we are looking for. Only odd that AB/Rockwell havent published anything about their intentions. In this game it is not smart to clam up.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - To the March 5 post:

A Point I/O CompactLogix is in the works. To my disappointment a 1769 ENET module is out but a 1746 ENET is coming. The new CompactLogix will have the same ASIC (processor chip) as the 1756-L7x processor. Speeds x3 the current CompactLogix processor. PLC5 is dead, SLC not far behind. I can't understand a 1746 ENET but no 1769 ENET. The Flex I/O group must be involved


Monday, March 7, 2011

Rockwell makes the space more complicated than it is, just to drive the margin that is required to fund such an expensive business model. They force you to pay to use distribution, which costs around 25%. You also have to pay for the myriad of internal sales teams like OEM, Global, SSB. And then you get the privilege of paying to speak to any support engineer. How do they get away with it? Because the customer doesn't think he has options. Well, he does. All RA users could potentially save 40% of their acquisition costs with little effort, and that may make RA a better company. Try it and make yourself more competitive.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Thanks to the feedback re new PLC types. But the news does not sound that good to me. We really do not want to split into having to support parallel hardware and software platforms.

I can understand that Rockwell couldn't make a smaller CPU with the full Logix instruction set 10 years ago, but surely this is possible today. And possible today means obviously even more possible tomorrow. It would be a huge benefit for Rockwell and their customers to streamline into one common code platform. If I could tell Rockwell what to do, it would be to focus hard on Logix, Ethernet/IP, and POINT i/o. For example a POINT Logix CPU would be what we are looking for. Similar to the now dropped FLEX Logix CPU.

It sounds as if Rockwell is intentionally not wanting to make a single uniform platform that goes from small to huge. A comment from the previous poster seems to indicate that it is a political decision that the high-margin Logix shall be protected from internal competition "from below".


Friday, March 4, 2011

About the Logix expansion, the CompactLogix will receive major expansion in the next 24 months, upward not downward, moving into the ControlLogix space. The 800 reference is the Micro800, a product from the Samsung partnership, I believe. This will replace the Pico, 1000, 1200, & 1500. The only MicroLogixs remaining will be the 1100 & 1400. Look for the death of the SLC500 line as well. RA has long lagged in the true micro-plc business. The 800 will have all new software, some open-source. The 800 software suite will program the new 800 as well as the PV Component and the PF4 family of drives. Great for the small machine OEM. On the plus side, the new PV+ V6 looks to be the product the PV+ should have been in the first place. Oh, the PV standard (550,600,1000,etc) will be gone in 12-24 months as well.


Friday, March 4, 2011

I have worked for Rockwell for over 20 years. Overall it has been absolutely fantastic. Even when times are the toughest, there is no greener grass. I have had at least 10 different bosses and only one was an idiot. It took a while, but he got sent on his way. I doubt I will ever leave, but if I were to, I would never even consider working for one of our competitors. I have moments where I question Senior Management as well, but my guess is that there aren't too many shareholders that do. Love my 501K and look forward to my 901K...


Thursday, March 3, 2011 - Re: Plans for 'logix' products:

Try the new 800-number, and don't let them tell you it's unavailable. They are trying to confine to Asia, and sell the Western areas expensive old stuff. But, if you push you will get.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Anyone know anything about Rockwells plans for new "logix" products in the low-mid end of the spectrum? I ask because I work for a machine OEM, and we need a common platform that spans from 50 i/o to 1000 i/o. The current Compactlogix stops at L32E as the smallest CPU (ignoring the L23 "bricks"). We need something smaller than L32E, and we do not want to support additional platforms like MicroLogix. It has been awfully quiet on the compactlogix front for a long time. Generally there are very little announcements about future plans and strategies aimed at us customers.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Does anyone know if the news on Ralph Carter was true? Did he leave? And what about the CSM and Logix successors? All seems silent. Bob Ruff is here with us in Asia and so that transition is underway. Typical though - loads of activity and then nothing. Most of the sentiment is to get out of RA and you will see defectors shortly.


Saturday, February 26, 2011 - To "After five years at Milwaukee HQ".

You have been with RA for only five years and started at the mid to upper management level. You are still in the honeymoon phase. You are also in the coporate HQ. Since most of RA is outside of Milwaukee and upper management access is non-existent, your perspecitive is skewed. Try working in an environment where you are constantly concerned about whether you have a job regardless of your commitment, experience or past performance.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

I agree Rockwell is a great deal for Milwaukee. The unfortunate thing is with most Milwaukee cultures is that they have an inability to think national, let alone Global, and that is a root cause of most of the RA problems.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

After five years at Milwaukee HQ, my impressions of Rockwell:

  • It's afforded me career opportunities that are hard to find elsewhere in Milwaukee. I've learned an entire new aspect of my profession, resulting in good professional growth.
  • I'm favorably impressed with the leadership in our group - as are my co-workers, based on results from the employee engagement survey. I find my chain-of command to be honest, direct, trustworthy and fair.
  • I find senior management to be accessible, professional, and easy to work with.
Maybe it's a matter of perspective, location and job, but I don't think the opinions on this blog represent the majority of Rockwell employees.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Our leaders will never admit that they may realize that they are the subjects blogged about. Their ego & survival at-all-costs prevents them from acknowledging the truth. I will continue to take pride in my work and continue to accept that they won't take any ownership of their faults & weaknesses.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

There are many great potential leaders at Rockwell. The problem is they don't go anywhere. The worst leaders are at the top, skimming the cream. Tell me, do you ever hear of a CEO direct-report leave? No. The true leaders leave because they can realize better value elsewhere. I bet your leadership in EMEA doesnt earn what the fat-cats in Milwaukee earn, and they are likely to be around for a limited time. How many leaders have Germany, UK, Spain, France had in the past ten years? I think the contributions to this blog are valid and welcome, and I do know our senior leadership reads it. But, as usual, they probably don't recognize themslves as the subject.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thought it might be nice to pen the flip side of the coin. I have been employed by RA in EMEA for ten years, and had the privilege of working with and serving some wonderful people. The initial leader who hired me is a Swiss German who has exceptional people skills, tons of humility and knows how to inspire people. Whatís nice is that all the people who have worked for this guy have replicated the same values within their departments. Also within RA there are many exceptional leaders who prefer to lead by example, care for their teams and deliver great quality & service to the customers.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thanks to the previous blogger for pointing out something to us. I have never contributed to this site because, frankly, I thought everyone was just whining. But I now know it's one of the few places that you can air your views with the chance of being heard.

I too am disgusted to know the Keith and his followers make so much money on the backs of guys like me that are called "eperts", which means we work 18 hours a day for no praise and no thanks. I make them look good, without one bit of encoragement to me in 21 years. As soon as I can, I am quitting.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

A sign of lack of confidence is officers bailing out of the stock. In the past week the top 5 at Rockwell people have sold over $20 million worth of stock. Not bad, and I am sure my fellow employees will approve . It is about time the staff gave a clear message to these get-rich-at-our-cost merchants. It's disgusting. Keith, at least you could have held on to your stock a little longer. Take the money and leave your keys on the desk.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

GE are spot-on to put Keiran Coulton in that position. He has a real gift for translating customer needs into business propositions. He did run verticals and Global at RA. I know of a number of colleagues who will be eager to work with him, especially if GE have the cash to fund his recommendations. I wonder if this position is a place holder, as GE seriously look at their position in the Controls space, and possible acquisition of Rockwell or Honeywell. Either way, I am so pleased that Keiran has landed in a quality company. He will serve them well and we, as his past employees, are proud of his achievement.


Friday, February 11, 2011

The Motley Fool has a good article, dated Feb 8, 2011:

MouseWhy Rockwell Automation's Earnings Aren't So Hot


Friday, February 11, 2011

Keiran Coulton is now President, Global Industries, at GE Energy - according to Linkedin.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

With the high volume of stock transactions, is someone accumulating stock for a takeover? It's unconceivable that ROK is trading at fair value - it's way above it's fundamentals.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I read Jim Pinto's latest column. I noticed that Jim listed two major causes for employee disengagement during hard times: lack of honest communications, and failure to recognize achievements.

I would like to add a third RA specific cause: lack of trust by management. I cannot tell how many times my manager has walked through the area and loudly claimed his superior knowledge on all matters professional and social. It is difficult to be motivated when you realize that your best will never be good enough, and you are always second guessed. Some have tried to question the guy, only to be a target for unwarranted scrutiny, which is more a refleciton of ego as opposed to sincere consideration of issues. It is a sad day when one is treated as a mindless cog with the expectation of failure.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Read Jim Pinto's latest column in Automation World, February 2011. This specifically discusses reasons why anonymous weblogs are so popular.

MouseKeep Motivation Up in a Down Economy.

During a period of recession, leadership skills are truly challenged. The solutions derive from strong management, which motivates good people to do what it takes to win during tough times. Mechanisms must be created for the workforce to share their feelings. It's the bad times that make good companies so much better during the good times.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The real evidence that is emerging here is the picture of a CEO who is a loner. He will appoint only people that will do his bidding, and in reality people who are not attracted to the dynamic world outside RA because they would never make it outside. So it will remain the same until one of two things happen, both of which are unlikely: First, the CEO goes; or second, RA is taken over. So RA will not die - but it will wither.


Monday, February 7, 2011

If my colleague in China feels that way, just think of how we feel in South Pacific. Now that we are back as the uninvestable cash-cow and without a true career leader, it is ver possible NHP will become RA Australia. Whilst we respect Bob Ruff and his achievement, he has also shown a huge lack of cultural sensitivity and this is difficult for us to overcome. Maybe, however, with him in place the master plan is to attract our past leader back. He is already active in Asia in the GE Energy business.


Monday, February 7, 2011

RA Management Career Path:

  • 1-2 years as intern: goal ‚àö¬± attend as much training as possible to limit commitment.
  • 5-7 years engineer: goal - realize that promotion is not likely and survive RIF.
  • 2-3 years as first line manager: goal - move fast enough to next level before expected to deliver anything.
  • 2-5 years as product manager: goal - ingratiate self to upper management.
  • 2-3 years director: goal - acquire outside company to compensate for lack of internal development or vision.
  • 2-3 years VP of P&L: goal- Institute cyclical RIF to compensate for lack of business strategy;
  • 2-3 years Senior VP: goal ‚àö¬± cash stock as often as possible to limit commitment.


Monday, February 7, 2011

It is most interesting to note that much of the latest blogging invovles reshuffling of the management deck. This is an exciting time, if you are on the manangement track, because you have survived the RIFs and will be rewarded with a promotion merely because of senior management attrition (Thank goodness something moves them along). This all leads to the internal joke that RA builds careers, not products. Of course, the career is in management. If you are on the technical track, HR will tell you there is a growth track, but will fall short in delivering any examples of technical leadership growth; a promotable engineer is an expensive engineer, which is target for RIF.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

A month after the unprecedented changes at RA Asia, and it already feels that we are relegated here in China to being back as yes-men to RA Milwaukee. Our leader here in China has been passed over for the big job, and no one has asked or consulted us about our future. This is typically how Western companies operate, and I guess we were very fortunate to have had Keiran that thought differently.

I guess the road ahead is clear, and that is we are better with domestic companies. Or maybe we will follow our past leader. Anyway, good Luck Mr Ruff! You will do your two years and go like the rest.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Keith picked yes-men, men that will do his bidding. Does this surprise anyone? Come on we know it's his way or the highway. Terrible way to ruin a company.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Well, hopefully Blake will do as good a job as he did in Cambridge. He was very liked there and people were truly motivated by him. To honor him, a very important exec. renamed the new upender to "THE BLAKE". The plaque still sits there today. Congrats to him.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Well, not all of us think the news out of Rockwell USA is positive. Lipservice, again being played by Keith and appointing two BIG yes men to head up the divisions, and appointing a near-retiree to Asia. Go Keith, shows you want dynamic change. Here in the Americas we laugh at this positioning. There are so many more dynamic choices, and Keith picks the two most boring and non global in the company. Please someone buy this mess!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

MouseWith eye on succession, Rockwell promotes two executives

Signaling a top-level succession plan, Rockwell Automation Inc. on Thursday announced that it would elevate two long-term executives to run its two major divisions, creating a pair of candidates to eventually succeed chief executive Keith Nosbusch.

Nosbusch, who is 59, has not announced any plans to retire. But in a statement, he said the appointments are "are consistent with our longer-term succession planning and leadership development processes."


Thursday, February 3, 2011

What refreshing news posted on Yahoo Movement - finally at the top of Rockwell, Senior Execs being deployed Globally. We wish them well. It's interesting to see Bob Ruff go to Asia; he is the calibre that is needed to keep the momentum going. It didn't say, but I suspect he won't report to McD and so your previous blogger may be right and we should look for departures from RA. With Eisenbrown going to GPT, there are some other moves afoot, I am sure. Keith, let's hope it's not too little, too late. It could be your last cast of the die.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Interesting to see who is selling his stock immediately after the earnings release. Our loyal friend who always looks after himself and is making sure he has money in case he eventually has to leave RA. Of course, he has been doing this every year. Of course, most executives stay invested because they believe in their companies, but then perhaps management really does know that they are just lucky and so take all they can before the luck ends. It's all public data - go take a look.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My "long-winded" prior post was an effort to identify the fact that EVERY company has it's warts - Siemens, RA, ABB, GE, Wonderware...

But - again, how many of these companies compete across the board with Rockwell? How often do people compare themselves with Rockwell - as the bar is often set by Rockwell? ABB is an excellent organization; as is Siemens and others. The point was to to provide a "more realistic" and "less pessimistic" perspective on the organization and market. I would say that one out of 10 posts exhibits any sort of constructive or positive feedback. Is this blog solely for people (often times current or ex-employees) to complain and drive frustration amongst the community?

There are many companies with MES, Process, Drives, Component, etc - which are "subjectively better" than Rockwell's offering! But - how many of these companies share the same breadth which is focused solely on manufacturing automation? Siemens is the only one.

Breadth of Offering = Rockwell, Siemens. Ethics = Rockwell.

Take a look at the bigger picture, please! I have been in the market for 15 years - all of them in either the Rockwell Distribution Channel, Solution Provider, or within Rockwell itself. I have spoken with competitors - the grass is not greener.

Rockwell is a great place to work. If you want to express this on-going level of venom, then you may be more suited to work for one of those companies you hold in higher regard.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I used to work for RA (4 years) and was caught in one of the many RIFs. I now work for a SI who has most customers in the RA fold. Recently, I needed to add a dual breaker unit to a new MCC that had just been installed. Order placed on Dec. 15 with delivery promised for March 10. What would make (2) 30 Amp 480 VAC breakers take 3 months to produce? This is not an isolated situation either.

Several of my clients are actually asking us what other options they may have for future projects that would avoid RA. It's not yet a wave of discontent, but there is business to be had by other suppliers due to RA's issues. If it continues, what is left of the market in the US may be at risk.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Your previous blogger obviously lives in a bubble that only allows he or she to see limited things. I would guess the demographic to be Mid-west USA. So here is reality: Siemes is 10 times bigger, and perhaps the reason they don't deliver solutions is that it's a mugs game. Look at SSB results. ABB doesn't need MES because it's drives and process control are works class, and by the way ABB went from a market cap of 0 to 50B pretty quickly. As for gaining market share, go get the real data on RA versus Schneider in China, or in Europe, versus Beckhoff and B&R. Also look at RA stock price versus competitors over the same period, and why - because it's a safe predictable boring stock that will be retired with it's management when it's inevitable loss of market share happens; and that is already underway. The world leader in PLC is Siemens; Drives ABB; MES Wonderware; and MCC Eaton.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011 - from RA Critic and Friend:

This is my first visit to this site, which I stumbled on while looking for information on Rockwell Automation, which employed me for over 20 years.

To begin, I don't personally know anyone who can be more critical than I am of Rockwell Automation; maybe he/she exists - I just haven't met him. But everything is good or bad by comparison, isn't it? Like Winston Churchill said about Democracy: "it's the worst system of government in the world -- except all others". I see RA that way sometimes. They have been barking up several trees (MES, Solutions, etc.) and have failed on multiple levels. But compare them to the competition. Siemens doesn't deliver their solutions. ABB doesn't sell MES. Even SAP, who dominates their business isn't in the "delivery" business. So yes, you can say there are bad spots in RA, but compared to our competition, I think we are holding our own.

I also think, in many areas, we are much better than any other vendor in our space. Our market share keeps growing world-wide. Even Germans, who are very nationalistic, are giving good regards to the Integrated Architecture of CLogix. Our MCC's are superior, and our loyalty to customers for Migration and backward compatibility is unmatched.

So go ahead and trash our CEO, but our stock prices are at their highest level ever. What would you say if you owned 50,000 shares of ROK? I would say "thank you".


Friday, January 28, 2011

I don't think Ralph Carter will be too sorry to leave RA . Like a recurring theme is the revolving door of real talent that will not tolerate the attitude of the 8th floor. Like many others, Ralph probably wants to contribute to something that grows and something that is exciting. I guess Eisenbrown will now run RSI, and with Mcdermott running Asia, whats next. When will this hapless leadership team realise they lose all that has promise and are left with just yes-men who can't move the company forward. Good Luck Ralph, and we know you will succeed. Any guesses who is next? Of course, we all know who won't go. Keith, enjoy whilst the clock ticks...


Friday, January 28, 2011

Hail the false profits! Yesterday Rockwell announced that they have made record profits for the first quarter. This comes at the expense of the lose of 140 well paid and loyal employees losing their jobs. 10 of these employees are highly skilled, industry leading, prtotype technicians. Rockwell has decided to "out sorce" these services.

Sears has historiclly used others to outsource their product developement, and a few years back was purchased by Kmart. Could this be on the horizon?


Friday, January 28, 2011

Ralph Carter, vice president and general manager for the Information Software & Process Business (ISPB) has left Rockwell Automation. Another company chewed up and spat out...


Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's quite refreshing to read the last post, admidst the sea of negativity and cynicism on this blog. I don't work for Rockwell and have no vested interest in the company.


Thursday, January 27, 2011 - from a Rockwell Employee:

I have been reading this blog for a few years now - often to gain insight into the opinions of others. That said, the majority (close to all) of these posts is cynical and negative. I work for Rockwell - and although I may not always agree with decisions of senior leadership and the admittedly slow pace of product evolution - it is a great place to work.

Ethically ñ do a Google search for "Rockwell bribery" - how many results? Rockwell has been recognized three years in a row as one of the world's most ethical companies. Do this same search and replace "Rockwell" with any one of our competitors ñ ABB, Siemens, Modicon, GE ...

The past few years have been stressful, I am sure - several RIFs, reorganizations and pay changes. Deliveries and SAP implementation have created some major waves in our supply chain, including our distributors and customers. With change there is always some resistance and "pain" associated - business process re-engineering (i.e. GPT/SAP) is a fundamental overhaul of how a company does business. The rigidity provided by ERP (SAP in this case) is a necessity for financial consistency - and once the dust begins to settle, significant value will be recognized by this consistency. It takes time...

From a product innovation standpoint - Rockwell is an ultra-conservative company serving a conservative market. We are in an industry which demands an incredibly long product life-cycle - and the fact that PLC3, PLC2 and PLC5 are still supported, decades since their inception, is impressive to say the least.

Granted, there are other companies (often niche players) with more innovative products, faster performance, more of this and that, etc. Rockwell focuses on the masses, and may often take a "wait and see" attitude when it comes to product development. That is, wait to see what the marketplace truly needs, improve upon an appropriate solution (which may already exist) and tie it end-to-end with our value chain, and sales through long-term support. Just because "Competitor X" has a specific product/feature set does not mean that the user-community truly needs it. We are not always first to the game - but we are usually the last one standing, particularly in a risk-adverse marketplace.

Rockwell has tried to innovate and step outside the comfort zone. There are many products to note here, but I will forego this effort. The point is that we focus on our core competency and consistency. This is where Rockwell has delivered value to our customers when it is needed, not because it is available.

Has anyone paid attention to the yearly trade magazine awards? Control Engineering, Control Design, etc? Rockwell is consistently tops in several categories ñ and top three in practically all of them.

How many companies can deliver the breadth of products, services, and support which are offered by Rockwell? Siemens is in my opinion the only one; and they are not known for their usability or support.

Rockwell's distribution channel is best of breed, quite possibly spanning any industry in the world. It is the envy of our competitors - and the foundation of our organization. Enough said on this topic.

I apologize for the long-winded post ñ but I felt some positive and objective perspective was greatly needed on this forum.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Other signs to look for: people in high places selling their shares, now that the stock is at an all time high. Also, when inflation begins, this companyís dividend is 1% - 2%. I would not touch anything with dividend less then 4%. They still make a few things, but buy a lot more other companies' products and put the Rockwell brand on it. Rockwell's ability to change is like a cement canoe; inflation will crush these numbers when in full swing. So take your profits and run. Watch management do the same.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Onward and upward! Emerging markets are the driver again, and so time to buy and put all the post Xmas blues behind. The exiting Asia leadership clearly left the place in good shape, and so we should fear not as we kick the competitors butt in 2011.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rockwell will probably announce great earnings this week, despite all the doomsday predictions. So, how do you read it? Listen to the conference calls via Yahoo and listen for some of the following signs to see if there is a decline coming:

  1. Performance of Regions: Are they up because of bad comparison, i.e. poor 2010?
  2. Forward looking trends in emerging markets, i.e. BRICS?
  3. Performance of acquisitions.
If you are an employee, listen to see if commercial expense will grow or shrink. If all is positive, then RA is the place to be. If negative, decide if those negatives mean a whole deal, especially emerging markets.

As an RA follower, my take is the feeding of the fat is coming to an end. It is difficult to see how they can maintain momentum with no real product innovation or any big aquisitions. Is the stock ready for correction? Comments please.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I think the previous blogger makes a real important point: ABB Scheider and GE make bold acquisitions in order to really penetrate a market. Rockwell buy old companies that are of no consequential size and have no oomph in the market. Hiprom, Hangsheng, Proscon, ICE Triplex, Pavilion - need we say more? Have any of those companies prospered? And, of course, there was a whole soup of software companies that have died. Oh Dear! Mr. Nosbusch, what are you doing?


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yesterdays news about Rockwell acquisition of HI PROM just about sums up the confidence of senior leadership. The headlines say HI PROM is a major player in mining in South Africa. The reality is that they are a Rockwell Systems Integrator who are less than $50 million revenue.

Mr. Nosbusch, is this your idea of substantial acquisition? Or do you not notice the acquisitions of your competitors? Why do you buy SI's when you have aging architecture, no market in large drives and all-factored IC? I think your team has lost the plot. As a $4 billion company, we should be looking at what adds at least $ 500 million a year. Unfortunately, your team disposes of people capable of thinking about growth like that.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Toeing the line and YES men go all the way to the production floor.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Having had McDermott down here for a few days in Australia, we came to the conclusion we are headed back to the wilderness. Words that where empty, and no real endorsement that we are valued. Time to go, and plenty to go to. Nice knowing you Rockwell....


Thursday, January 13, 2011 - To the RA ex-manager:

I'm an ex RA too, currently working for another worldwide organization, since almost three years now. I can tell you that all the bad things one can see from inside are not so bad, if compared to the bad things you can see "from inside" when you are in another company. I hope the principle is clear. I'm from Europe, where the English language is not the only one in use...

Sadly, I cannot find comments from European RA employees. Is everything OK at RA-Europe?

Talking about end-users: How's CSM doing? Is it still a company in the company? Without a strong CSM, the end-user could get bored of RA on the long run...


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I am also an ex-Rockwell manager and understand a lot of the anger felt by people at the tactics used by management to push out people who do not toe the line. Not too different from other large companies though. Politics and big egos are always active at the top. The key difference for me is that Rockwell is viewed very positively by the financial community because they have extracted a lot of costs to maintain their high margins and still manage to eke out some growth. This is mainly due to their end-users who still specify Rockwell products, and not as much to their "walk on water" top sales executives. Without the strong end user demand for products which are overpriced and under performing, the quality of their executive team would be exposed.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

I read the recent blogs on departures at RA, and would comment it's not a new phenomena. I am an ex-high-potential leader who believed in all the hype of developing people in change and in creativity. I got on great as long as I always said yes. The day I disagreed was the day the undermining started, the bullying started, the intimations of an end of the career. So I left and now do a rewarding job for a real leading company who values me. And yes you guessed it; I also worked for McDermottand, I can tell you of at least ten similar examples since he ran sales. In fact he has never had anyone promoted to his level because he snuffs out talent. But you know what's worse? The whole of the Nosbusch leadership team let's it happen year after year. They are a true disgrace of a leadership team and they should stop using shareholder money to pay severances to employees they engineer out. The only winners are the leavers.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

It's Ok, all you guys talking about reality and hypothesizing. Reality is we lost the greatest leader this company had. We lost a change-agent, a friend and a customer advocate. In Australia he put us back on the map, now we look forward to Mcd arriving to take us backwards. By the way, we are closed this week for Australia holidays. I am hearing rumours Keiran has landed a big job at GE energy, and so maybe the light at the end of the tunnel is aquisition by GE. Hooray!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The leadership/heirarchy of RA are totally out of touch. The more they risk in changing the substance of RA, the thinner the veneer and the more fragile it becomes. The blindness won't stop until the damage is done. As usual, it will be too late for those currently in charge to have to worry.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I agree with the last blog. I also knew Keiran and worked for him twice. He was dynamic and I guess the outcry is we know what Rockwell could be. Picture this Great year Globally so they bring the whole GSM global leadership together in Chicago as a motivator CEO doesn't come along; instead he send a video which apologizes for quality and supply and tells the sales teams to continue to cry until it gets better. Well that was reality. What was incredible was the fact that the senior VP of GSM spent 15 minutes introducing the video and explaining that the CEO was not a charismatic speaker. Result was pity, not motivation. Professional opinion: Keith and John you insulted our intelligence. With the latest moves, you have clearly lost touch With what was once regarded as the best sales teams in the world. I guess the question, "wither or die" are quite apt in this next decade. And the answer is both - without a desperately needed change of leadership.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Interesting how the Rockwell news is always short-lived around singular events . I am surprised to see so many comments around Keiran Coulton, who I know very well and I also know how much he put into this company.

The question though is we all have doom predictions for Rockwell, we all say they should be aquired, we all say there bsiness is dying - and yet they perform ahead of the market, produce best-of-class performance for investors, and no one out there is about to or has bought them. So what are the contribuors to this blog missing? You need to understand Rockwell is a parochial, ultra-conservative company that will never excite, and will never be blessed with a dynamic leadership team. But it will pay your salaries every month, albeit not above market, and the golden few will reap the eggs of the Golden chicken and will fight to keep their places. It's reality. If it's dynamic you want, go to Schneider, Microsoft, General Electric - but stop whining. Elephants do not dance. The reason you are at Rockwell is that you too are probably just mediocre.


Monday, January 3, 2011

The buzz all around Cleveland is this weblog reporting on the departure of Keiran Coulton. Apparently readership numbers are soaring and they include many of the executives. Keiran Coulton really was liked and respected. I do hope that, if the chiefs are reading, they will take time to reflect. The momentum is building.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Perhaps we can get a few comments from Keith Nosbusch on the strength of feeling shown via this weblog on the departure of Keiran Coulton. It really is a sad day, but no doubt Rockwell will recover. I prefer to keep the memory of a guy who would do anything to achive the goal, but was one the the very few that cared about his people. I can tell you that we exchanged mails right up to late New Years eve, and he was still focussed because he had made a committment to deliver the quarter. It wasn't a committment to Milwaukee; it was a committment to his peers and employees.


Monday, January 3, 2011

I fully agree on the comments regarding Keiran being the best leader RA ever had. I reported to Keiran as a GAM and he always did find the balance between growing the business and having a human relationship with the people who did help him as a team to achieve this growth. With Keiran gone, we are losing one of the last leaders with this long term success-guaranteed style.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Anyone know where Keiran Coulton is headed? It is not comfortable he would retire, and he had a good relationship with Milwaukee, so I doubt he got fired. Bad news for RA but great news for the industry and whoever picks him up. I heard Invensys are looking for a new EMEA President, but when the word is out I would also expect Schneider and Siemens to pursue.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It is a sad day for RA UK today. Whilst Keiran Coulton moved on, over ten years ago, his legacy continues. His ability to really engage with employees and to allow them to be creative will be sadly missed at Rockwell. I know no one person who contributed so much of his personal life to serve his company and his people.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Does the change in Asia? Means an end to the rapid development of new distributors? This was one of the most aggressive strategies of the past regime, and I wonder if that caused the bosses to be uncomfortable.


Monday, December 20, 2010

All the very best to Keiran Coulton. He was the best leader Rockwell ever had. He was also the most undervalued. Imagine how different a place it would have been if Coulton was in McDermott's role! He gets the business, the customer, but most importantly the people! Rockwell, don't underestimate the scale of your loss. All the smart guys have gone. What is left are the Rockwell Robots - the "yes men". Coulton, enjoy Christmas, and all the best for your future!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Keith Nosbusch you have it wrong. You have sat by and watched one of your trusted and capable people be minimized by an old boy buddy. We really thought Rockwell was getting it together; we really thought there was light at the end of a very dark tunnel. We have endured quality issues; we have endured supply chain issues; we have worked with no pay increase and no bonus.

Keiran Coulton led a region through this. He was an inspiration to us back in USA. He proved that the ordinary guy who cared about people could achieve at Rockwell. Don't give us the blurb about retirement; this was summary execution of someone who was a threat to your cozy world, and someone who could show that Rockwell could be world class. We in our office are very disappointed in YOU Keith. Your words of encouragement and messages now look all so false and all so dim.


Monday, December 20, 2010

As the calm settles after the storm and we wonder who our new Asia leader will be, McD the person who has not managed to keep a single leader in his career at GSM has declared he will run the business remotely. Ha! Ha! Not only does he eradicate his leadership competitor, but now he thinks Rockwell's engine of growth deserves remote leadership. Of course none of the Milwaukee fat-cats would move to Asia; it's beneath their status. I hope Keith sees the light and has enough pride to tempt Keiran Coulton out of retirement, so that we can plan for a real leader to evolve. The alternative is to watch as the good guys leave. Siemens, Schneider,and ABB will be grateful for the opportunity to get talent - a gift from Mr McD himself. Merry Xmas!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

The mood in China is disbelief! The President was such a passionate driver. Even after he announced his sudden retirement, he immediately engaged in coaching us how to keep the momentum going. He is our friend and one of the very few foreigners to gain our trust. We sincerely hope the company has treated him right, but rumors say otherwise. We are proud and we will wait and see. We wish Keiran Coulton, our friend and colleague, good Luck!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Keiran Coulton has passion for people. He has developed enviable leadership team, reshaped the landscape of RA's go-to-market strategy, grown the business for the past 3 years in AP. His successor will have high expectation from the leadership team and employees. Let us wait and watch who takes up the challenge. Good luck KC!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

We are just hearing of the sudden departure of Asia CEO. I have gotta tell you that during his time here in USA, he helped my company a lot, and that continued as we expanded through into India. He is one of the few people that could balance company and customer. I remember he said to me that his passion was to build the happiest working environment, and to show that led to commercial success. We are eager here to see where he lands, because America needs that spirit. I only hope Rockwell know the magnitude of the loss.


Thursday, December 16, 2010 - RE: Incentives for "the walkabouts":

You have missed the entire point. Bonuses should be shared by all since the risk is shared by all. At what point do you not realize that a 10% to 50% bonus for you does not equal a 2% bonus for me? Especially considering our relative salaries. Do you honestly believe that you provide more worth than I do? If this is your sincere belief, then do not talk to me about "teaming" for process improvement or working "together" to improve the bottom line. You have clearly made the case that you deserve a bigger piece of the pie regardless of who does the work.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rockwell Asia stands in shock and turbulence today as its President announced he was standing down. I have known him for a long time and he has put his life and soul into RA. He has built great teams, including the fantastic team we have here now. His tireless attention to people will be the biggest loss. Rockwell continues to show it is not able to retain talent, and nor does it recognize personal sacrifices that go into the job. I have no doubt the real story will emerge. KC we will miss you, and we all salute you! Thank you for the immense part of your life you have shared with us! Good Luck wherever you land!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It is very sad to see the announcement of the retirement of the Asia Pacific President. He is a giant in the Industry and respected by many. He is also a very young guy and so there must be more. We send him our sincere best wishes for a safe and successful future. Does anyone know the real story?


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Regarding the post crying about incentives for "the walkabouts". It is just those walkabouts who through their analysis and creative recommendations have made it possible for production employees to get their bonuses. Please show a little respect and gratitude instead of whining.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I don't know what Region the last poster was from, but here in Asia we do have engaged leadership. You ask and they always try to help. We flagged up issues on salary here in India, and they fixed it. We asked for investment - we got some. Sure there is a long way to go, but our faith is strong and we have good angels to guide.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I couldn't agree more! I have been with Rockwell for 14 years and see it as a very positive place to hang my hat. Coming from the Emerson world before, I can tell you that Rockwell is definitely moving in the right global direction and we are currently kicking a** in our region. Thank you Rockwell for your vision to make my career that much easier. They pay me fairly as one of the sales people bringing in the orders and I have no complaints.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Yes, stop complaining. I am aligned to Rockwell through encompass, and have just finished another trip supporting Asia. This time I was in Kumning, China. The passion and the belief delivered by the Asia leadership was contagious; they really get it. I talked to many channel partners who felt very pleased with how Asia is going. Thank you, Rockwell! And keep pushing. And Asia President, send me a pint of that passion!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Please stop complaining - we still all have jobs!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Most companies such as ABB, Siemens, etc. have continually awarded small annual raises to most employees over the years, and these don't get mentioned as big news as they are usually in line with inflation. Rockwell on the other hand has had pay freezes in place for the last 5 years, and is now bragging about how it has rewarded employees by giving them a couple of percentage points extra.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rockwell payouts for performance incentive were well received.

Unfortunately, the people that really do nothing in this company get bonus' three times the amount of the "worker bee". Production is not king after all. How can you justify paying some of these "do nothings" $7000-8000-9000-10,000+ for walking around looking down on people?

This is where this company has its greatest downfall. How can you justify paying these people $70,000+ a year? They do extremely limited 'work', while the worker b's are out putting in full days, overtime, etc away from their families to make sure they can keep up with the idiotic scheduling this company makes. Then pay these people this much in a bonus for contributing $0 to sales and productivity. Seems like a rant, but I cannot get into too many details without blowing a whistle.

Thanks for the great year, good payout and to a challenging and more rewarding year in 2011!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - Re: "long overdue RAISE":

Sure enough! RA comes through again for the little guy... I'm not sure what I will do with my whopping 2.3% raise!! It's good to know that all of my hard work and long hours away from my family are appreciated by this company.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Read the latest JimPinto.com eNews item on Rockwell:

MouseWhither Rockwell Automation?


Monday, December 6, 2010

Only the top folks get their rewards, and even then we are lied to about the bonus and incentive packages.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Well, today the EMEA region received their bonusses. Percentages run from 84 % (OES) to 128 % or more for the other functions (IT, HR, Finance), maximum pay out is capped at 140%.


Thursday, December 2, 2010 - Re: Blog Nov. 16, 2010 - "RA released the 2010 numbers today - total growth 10%":

WOW, that's fabulous!! I'm sure those of us who busted our humps to make this happen will see our fair share reflected in our long awaited "BONUS" or perhaps in our long overdue RAISE! Woo-Hoo!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

RA is making a big "push" into process (again). They think it's a large growth area for them; unfortunately they don't deliver. The first try with ProcessLogix only lasted a few years. Currently it's ControlLogix and FactroyTalkView with some process faceplates on top. All the bridge modules to FoundationFieldbus instead of a native in-chassis comm module. No Profibus PA or ProfiNet support. They call the ControlLogix an Automation Controller not a PLC and think it's a replacement for a DCS. Yes, a DCS costs more but it works as a "system" not a bunch of pieces put together. RA thinks the jig-saw approach fits more customers, but getting all the pieces to fit together costs more than the system approach. CLX is barely SIL3 (at best), SIL4 years away. The PLC3 was a better answer than CLX.

Question: How many coal fired power plants run only on PLC's/PAC's? RA: Please answer.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - Re 1757-FFLD:

RA is pushing the Controlnet flavor FFLD, although I heard that 2 very large greenfield projects using this device are having major issues and the consensus from the RA people on site is that the FFLD hardware just doesn't work. Based on this we look at other vendor options for FF.


Monday, November 29, 2010 - To "several well-conceived iniatives undertaken":

I am impressed that someone with 20 years experience feels that new and creative initiatives are only possible with external GE talent. I understand that the RA way is growth through acquisitions, but I wonder if your emphasis on external resources is a indication that internal talent is unimaginative and incapable. You seem to have made an indictment that something is very rotten in RA (to paraphrase Shakespeare).

As far as GE talent is concerned, I wonder why there is such a supply of these "experts". If GE cast off these "experts", why is absorption by RA a good thing? New initiatives by "experts" with dubious success records seems to be an unpalatable recipe.


Friday, November 26, 2010 - Re 1757-FFLD:

It bridges Ethernet/IP and FF-HSE to FF, not ControlNet to FF. This is a good thing though, since ControlNet has much less market penetration than Ethernet/IP.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

There is always time for Reflection following the Turkey. Much is written around Rockwell. True its results are good and it tries to do the right thing, but it is an unhappy company. Senior management is content because they reap great financial rewards for themselves. That means they fight not to move around for fear of losing the golden egg. They really give nothing back to the workforce; or they do, but only when the blood sweat and tears have been given and then it always falls short. The workforce has had to put up with supply chain problems, quality issues and yet not one BU or functional leader has paid the price for their mishaps. Much has been said, or should I say ridiculed, about Sales leadership, yet the pillar of the past goes on. So don't expect change post Thanksgiving. Maybe negative change after the workers get their bonus checks. And remember, you always have a choice where to work. Good night and Happy holidays


Tuesday, November 23, 2010 - To "Foundation Fieldbus for a greenfield":

Are you sure it is not the ENET version with CNET capability? I thought RA was pushing the ENET version with all the updates and improvements. I did not think that the CNET version was keeping pace. By the way, do not let them foist the CN2FF on you. It is old technology with a few issues. If you have to go CNET, use the FFLD.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Our strong numbers are the result of severaal well-conceived iniatives undertaken within the past few years, not the least being the infusion of new talent with career backgrounds at GE. Extensive management training combined with new perspectives always drives great results. As someone with almost 20 years experience at RA, I welcome the new guys and the excitement they bring.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Does anyone know how Rockwell mes is doing? I heard they are knocking the ball out of the park.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Unless you need redundancy, or you already have experience with ControlNet, my choice would be E-Net to FFB. The specs are the same for either gateway.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

We are evaluating Foundation Fieldbus for a greenfield, large scale batch manufacturing facility. RA is promoting the Controlnet version FFLD, have any readers any experience or recommendations?


Thursday, November 18, 2010

I've been reading and watching the weblog for about 4 years, since I left Rockwell.

There is no corporation worth working for, there is no company worth being loyal to. Wake up. Lock in your skill sets, improve them, and move on. The only person worth working for is yourself. To do that you need skills that can be transported to another company, another business.

The great orange juice company "tropicana" is working well, and your jobs heading south to Mexico, east to Poland, and west to Asia. RC used to make $60 million a month, and reports are last month they made a cool 1 million. Can't keep the lights on for that.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Given the profit numbers they posted, there could be some serious bonus dollars for the senior exec's. Won't see those details until they file the annual meeting notice with proxy, which is usually in early December.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Organic growth is the process of businesses expansion due to increasing output, sales, or both, as opposed to mergers, acquisitions, or take-overs. Organic growth is growth that comes from a company's existing businesses, as opposed to growth that comes from buying new businesses. In other words, it should exclude the boost to growth from acquisitions, and the decline from sales and closures of whole businesses.

Organic growth strategies are built on four main pillars: revenue, headcount, PR, and quality. If you reduce headcount, or more ominously the more expensive headcount, you will increase revenue. It stands to reason that layoffs are part of the strategy for organic growth at RA. If you were to take this thought a little further, then organic growth can be achieved by either reducing expensive management headcount or excessive pay or both.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Growth with acquisitions 2007 to 2010
    • USA -9 %
    • Canada -17%
    • EMEA 4%
    • Asia-Pacific 21%
    • Latin America 11%
    Total -2%


Monday, November 15, 2010

You are killing me with these numbers. What percent of the work force was let go? How much of a cut in pay was forced on us? How many unpaid days off did we have to eat?


Monday, November 15, 2010

Hooray for management! It proves that USA management can drive growth in Asia. So many skeptics think they can't. Congrats to a good all-round job. We always knew we were going down the right path. If we continue growing at this rate and Siemens stay still, we will pass them in 2,3 or 4 years. What an achievement, WOW!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

RA released the 2010 numbers today:

    Organic Growth fiscal, 09-10
    • US 11%
    • Canada 7%
    • Europe, Middle East, Africa 2%
    • Asia Pacific 17%
    • Latin America 10%
    Total 10%
Lets all form a circle and pat each other on the back. You can view the charts for a few days on the Rockwell website: http://www.rockwellautomation.com


Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - To the distributor in UK:

Please don't claim the growth as your own. Firstly, the UK cannot be a growth play; it's mature, expensive and has had it's day. Secondly, you have the whole UK workforce selling on your behalf; they have no choices. So, be thankful of your privileged position. I agree that Rockwell doesn't invest in UK and won't. It will just milk the cash-cow, which eventually will be you. You also benefit with great EMEA leadership that is way better than years ago.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I agree RA results are good, especially strength in USA and Asia. The big question is: how can they break out to much larger growth? How can they access the big opportunities, when their competitors are huge and control huge swathes of the market? To me, RA is stuck as a small player who will be beaten by technical excellence, B&R etc. or just beaten to death by Siemens. They need to be acquired - which would also solve the management issue perhaps.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rockwell has a tendency to downsize one year, followed by a very small growth plan for the following year. The net result is that a couple of quarters later they announce growth and start celebrating by making announcements about how they've achieved this growth through hard work. Sorry to put out your fire Rockwell, but you have not shown any growth at all.

Here in the UK the Rockwell distributor brings in 60% of the total business. We have seen growth in sales of Rockwell products. However, I put this down to the hard work that we have done as a distributor, rather than Rockwell. Rockwell UK are so reliant on the distributor model and have really lost touch with their customers. We the distributor are running the show.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wow! Rockwell earnings release today should quieten all those naysayers. Keith and his staff are doing a fantastic job, with all regions growing extremely well. I think they deserve those bonuses for how they have courageously carried us through the Financial crisis. Onwards and Upwards for the world leader in Automation!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

For those of you wondering about SAP, good luck. It is hard to use, not user friendly at all. It's a cookie-cutter program and Rockwell's immense infrastructure is being forced into it. Trying to find schematics or firmware programs is a nightmare. You can't use any of the old part numbers, SAP has to make new ones, so any part number you were familiar with will be going away. Parts start with a PN and drawings look like 1000001232. You wont be able to just look at it and know what it is anymore. There is about 200 different transcodes and trying to figure out which one you want is a challenge all to itself. And you have to get permissions to use most of them and to get permissions you need to know which sector transcode the transcode you want permission for is in. Why we couldn't just global some of the systems we are already using is beyond me; they sure were easier to navigate. But the Rockwell credo seems to be: if there is a harder way to do something it must be better.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

MouseIntel's Andy Grove on manufacturing in America


Saturday, November 6, 2010

It may be bonus period but the mind-set is all wrong. If you only chase the big jobs, that "moves the needle" you have to cut margin, and have to "work for each and every order" with that mind-set. I propose "sweat the little stuff", the day in, day out, annoyances that drive our good, long term customers crazy. Take care of the little stuff and the customers will "hand you" the big jobs, knowing you work for their best interests. Yes, you still have to be competitive on the big jobs but you can get a premium (instead of low bidder) for being the "best of breed".


Thursday, November 4, 2010

You can tell it's coming up to RA's bonus period. It's all gone quiet! Also, I understand the benefits of the 2008 3% cull are coming through and a large bonus is likely. Thank you, RA management. It couldn't have been achieved without you.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rockwell is going through what they call GPT (Global Process Transformation) which means they are rolling out SAP. They don't know what they have in stock, when new stock will arrive, when they can ship it or how much it costs. On top of that moving manufacturing to lower cost countries has resulted in quality issues and delivery delays. *BUT* the stock is up, and that's all that matters to THE (ROK) CORPORATION.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blackbelts ? Give me a break! Let's see, let's make a change just to make a change then pat ourselves on the back for screwing up the process instead of making it better. If we had half of the money that they say they have saved the company, we should not need mandatory overtime should we? This is going on throughout Rockwell. Blackbelts, along with people in positions they should not be in, have taken this company down.

If you think mandatory overtime is good, you're wrong. It shows that management doesn't have a clue what they are doing and they could not care less about cost or their employees.

News is that the Twinsburg plant is stockpiling product to make a move to Mexico or Singapore. Can someone from the Twinsburg plant respond and let us know? Someone I know who has close ties with a manager has said that could be true. Hello Mexico, Goodbye Twinsburg. Just like the rest of us. If you want to save what you have and not be like our Cambridge or Iowa plants, you need to unionize to try and save what you have.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

The whining continues to eminate from the Dundas Debacle. Excuses are pulled from the Grand Catalogue of Rationalisations for Laziness and Incompetence. Every new idea put forth by management is rejected out of hand by the ne'er-do-wells. If it were not for those dedicated and learned managers, Cambridge would have collapsed. There is still hope that the Blackbelts will pull us through.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

How can you say Cambridge went through unscathed? Lets see, Raglin closed; LV MCC moved to Milwaukee; all in all about 400 jobs were lost and also some very talented people. Your comment does not make any sense, but that's okay, you still have your job, but who knows for how long. 3 very talented employees let go in the last 2 weeks, all long-serving who helped make the Cambridge facility a great operation. Anyhow, you are either in management, or completely ignorant to what is and has gone on in Cambridge.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - Blogger from Tues, Oct 19th - Re: Dundas Plant, Cambridge:

This laziness you are talking about, did we not just have a record breaking month/year end? We have to be doing something right. Orders are pouring in, shareholders are happy, we pulled through the recesion for the most part unscathed, we even got a retro-pay raise because of this! You should count your blessings, we are very lucky. If anything brings this place down it will be the negativity that echoes very clearly in your blog post.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Upper Management doing a good job at the Cambridge Plant on Dundas Steet. Now, that's the laugh of the Century. First of all, you must have people in management that can talk properly and understand what the heck they are saying. Secondly, there's too many managers walking around wasting company dollars. Put your clipboards down and start helping out on the floor. There's a female manager in there that knows NOTHING; I have no idea how she even got the position. Again, the lazy one's and the trouble makers get the management positions. A Union would have weeded out the trouble makers instead of the real workers. But that's too late now. All the trouble makers and non-workers are still there pretending to work. Rockwell will not last another year. The laziness of the workers is bringing the company down.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ah, the great corporation with the psychotic mind. Having very recently personally experienced the personality of this company, it brings to mind the following clip from "The Corporation". If you watch patiently, you will see that Rockwell is one of the companies listed for behavior that would justify a long "time out" on the couch!

MouseTHE CORPORATION [5/23] Case Histories

Don't complain or fight it, move on. It isn't worth it and you won't win.


Monday, October 11, 2010

RA is not blessed with talent that is Global. The current president in Asia is European and did an extended tour in USA. Dont know how he is rated, but people speak highly of him and Asia is doing good. Otherwise don't know anyone who has done significant time around the Globe.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

I agree that the future is outside USA. Does RA have the bright talent in Asia and East Europe. Has Keith or any of his staff lived abroad for an extended period? I guess the question is are they capable of winning internationally? Or is it a slow North American decline?


Saturday, October 9, 2010 - From the Oct 7 post: What do u think the future is for RA?

In spite of everything RA has done, they are still the only choice for large users in the US. Some customers have tried switching to Siemens and come back. They will still have all the other players nipping at their heels, but there is no real threat from anyone. Until someone really makes an effort to TAKE the business, RA has it in N. America. The fact is the NA market has/is shrinking and is not worth going after. Everyone wants the growth areas: China/India/Europe, Middle East, Africa. That is where all the players (RA included) are moving. It's the smart move - follow the money. I don't like what has become of US manufacturing, or what it has cost in jobs but it's a snowball effect. Manufacturers move to countries with lower costs, less manufacturing in the US, more move out. The result is lower wages (service jobs instead of manufacturing jobs) so we buy more low cost items from China/India which strengthens manufacturing in those countries and weakens ours.

NAFTA was the first nail in the coffin and things have sprialed down from there. Consumers won't pay more for a product made in NA, although in the long run it would provide higher paying jobs in NA. We are going to have to impose import duties on everything brought into the US, so that the well paid US worker can compete and put an end to the endless downward sprial. So what if other countries impose import duties on US made products? We aren't making anything, and they aren't buying anything made in NA. RA is doing the right things, it's our US policy makers making the mistakes.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Anyone that is different gets pushed from Rockwell. Tell me one entrepreneur that has done more than 10 years. The list will be short.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Do you really think they ousted Gelly because he was different? What do u think the future is for RA? They are doing Ok - they haven't suffered the future that people who post here have predicted for years. The stock is doing well - so where's it all going?


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The last time the RA top team was challenged was by James Gelly. His operational change tactics took the shares to $70+, but his management style frightened the living daylights out of senior management. Milwaukee strategies are sometimes akin to Animal Farm: "Four legs are good but Two legs are Better".


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Interesting observation on top talent I know at a recent Chicago meeting the talk was all about Mcd replacement and the successor is on your list. I would think though, the race is the ability of the old guard to discredit these folks as they protect their jobs. Certainly in the case of McD, people will tell you he publicly snubs and puts down this pretender, and from what I and my colleagues hear, he would like to see him go. Doesnt that sound a familiar story, similar to demise of President Emea,VP Hr and President Canada - and that's only last year's record. Who knows where Keith is on this, or even HR. But clearly, the plot is underway again, we think.


Friday, October 1, 2010

There are no more than three real top players. The two or three below Keith would be Frank K, Mike L and Keiran C. Keith is probably not going to make a move because they would challenge him too much, unless of course they decided to leave and that would certainly put the pressure on. The way RA works means that Keith would expect them to wait forever, and won't be aware of their full potential. I would appreciate comments from others who may be closer to what really happens in Milwaukee.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Do you think RA has the bench strength now to fill the senior leadership slots? You would have thought if they did, Keith would have acted already.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I've always been an advocate for taking control of your situation. If you don't like the path you are on and whats going on around you, then you have the power to change it. Join the bandwagon of talented and young professionals that quickly recognize the lack of motivation and drive at Rockwell and have left for far better opportunities. There is a good old boys club at the leadership level. In due time, Rockwell is going to face a significant issue with lack of talent and leadership moving up through the company, as the old timers that have been hanging on for dear life begin retiring.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why are people from Cambridge complaining?!Just because they are spoiled for years and years, that's why. Look at yourself, check how much work you do in your regular hours. But - real work, not walking around with the paperwork in your hands. Nobody is bothering you, nobody is "pushing" you...And you are still unhappy? You need Union to protect you from not working. That's what they do most of the time, protecting bad workers. Good workers do not need a Union; they are "protected" by doing their jobs.

We don't know how lucky we are to work for this Company. To all that don't like this Company - go ahead, try to find another job, good luck. Spoiled, spoiled, spoiled - that's who we (you) are. Once and for all - Do the right thing - start doing your jobs, don't cry anymore, people.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You Cambridge whiners need to buck up and show a little gratitude to the managers who have dedicated so much time and effort to save your jobs for you. If you spent as much energy working as you do complaining, RA would be in much better shape, and your jobs would be much more secure. You couldn't ask for a better employer than Rockwell. I know, because I have worked for them for years and they have always treated me fairly.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

So, getting the union would save our jobs and stop the plants from closing? I bet all the auto workers are glad that the union protected them. As for the people coming in on overtime and not working (or just not working at all), I'm sure the union would be happy to see them disciplined and fired. Honestly, what would the union do to prevent the plant from closing?


Monday, September 27, 2010 - Re: The Post about World Class Management:

You must be one on the "good ole boys" who are overpaid and keep out anyone else. There needs to be some changes in the upper manangement, as the current ones are stuffy and behind the times. But as long as it remains the "good ole boys" club RA will continue on the same path. Why, in all these recent years of lay-offs, were none of the management boys touched? Why only the mid-level and below? Just letting 10 of these managers go would have saved how many of the other jobs? How many VP's, Sr. VP's, Executive VP's, Directors, Sr. Directors, Executive Directors does one company really need?


Monday, September 27, 2010

Senior management hard working? You've got that wrong! They are working so hard that they are closing plants down. Heads need to roll on the Management Level. Time to clean house. Put management back out on the floor and make them actually work for their paycheque. Just like someone said on here "They had the chance to get a Union in" .. but they are cowards and now they are paying the price. More plants will close down and instead of pensions you will get one lump sum for the Government to tax.


Monday, September 27, 2010

The reason there is no turnover of senior management is because they are world class. They are better than the competitors, hard working, diligent and really believe in people. They dedicate themselves to the RA cause and for what they do are undercompensated.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

All you people at the Dundas Street Plant in Cambridge are still complaining. Why don't you just shut up and work? You all had many chances to get a Union in but you turned your noses up at it. Now a lot of you who didn't want the Union are now unemployed or still working and still bitching. You all got what you deserved. So shut up, quit whining and complaining and get back to work.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

No wonder Rockwell is going down the toilet. There is NO management actually committed and knows what they are really doing. Case in point, Rockwell in Cambridge on Dundas Street. Management needs a wake up call. They are too busy walking around with their clip boards trying to look important. They promote the people who don't like to work into Management positions. They pick on the workers and let the trouble makers continue to help bring the company down. Overtime is paid to people who are NOT working, they are on the phone or playing on a computer. It's time to clean house of Management and turn the company around before it shuts down and puts everyone out of work.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

September 19th a weblog was entered about SAP development. No response. We're going Global, I hope. RC is struggling with SAP at this time. Some response from those that have been through this transition would be appreciated.


Friday, September 24, 2010

You are talking out of both sides. You blame the greed and price consciousness of the American - and I am telling you to look at the American worker, not consumer. I was not talking about the global worker, and I talked of no one as a serf. So, get off your under-productive, unionized and protected American behind, and provide a product worth buying. At any price!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Except my friend, who cares about US jobs when I am German, Italian, Chinese or Indian? Or maybe you perceive global Rockwell employees as slaves to satisfy your US greed. If it wasn't for the global consumer, where would you be? One day you will thank the global serfs for saving your ass.


Friday, September 24, 2010

The last post about buying American is surely written by a union employee. The reason people stopped buying American products is not just about price. Though the union salary structure foisted onto corporate America, coupled with the low productivity and, by the way, low quality, had a little to do with it. The fact is, people, not just Americans, have choices. So refuse salary and benefit cuts; try on a 'buy American' only campaign; sit back and blame it on American greed and the lust for low cost. Laugh at Mexican and Chinese workers, who you claim can't get it right. Or retool, retrain, refocus, rededicate yourselves to making 'Made in America' mean something. And stop complaining.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

As the recent posts relate to outsourcing: we have no one to blame but ourselves. The American consumers ravenous appetite for more, cheaper goods, regardless of where they come from have led to the decline of manufacturing in the US. How many products do we buy everyday that are imported (cars, electronics, clothing, etc) and we scream for ever lower prices. We take no time to understand or take responsibility for our actions, we want to blame the evil CEO or the government for our own actions. Wake up, if you want American jobs, buy only goods that are produced here, stop shopping at Walmart, wearing Nikes made in Bangladesh, watching your flat panel TV's made in Korea. Our problems are mostly self inflicted. Face up and buy local to save US jobs, or shut up. Companies will respond to consumer demands or die. Do you want the lowest price or more US jobs?


Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - Regarding blog Wednesday, September 22, 2010:

Cost of manufacturing overseas also includes risk. Some areas of risk are political stability, shipping (including your ship sinking!), exchange rate fluctuations, loss of key technologies in exchange for local market access (China), criminals (Mexico), nationalization of industries (Bolivia and Venezula), poor product quality (tainted milk and other food products) and so on.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I am challenged by the guy who thinks all we do is complain. This company continues to get less relevant because we don't have one senior leader capable of being brave on acquiring to grow, yet they draw millions from stock sales. No wonder they never move on. Only one guy can solve that issue, and he is CEO.

I am challenged by people that also whine about their manufacturing plant. Well if you hadn't noticed that the quality is crap, and has been now for five years. So don't blame it on the Mexicans. I can also despair because it is now getting in the way of orders and opens the door for the Competitors. Only one guy can solve that, and he is the CEO.

I guess the conclusion is that we either have a clueless CEO, or a CEO who isn't brave enough to save this company, that should be bigger than all those individuals that have had their chance and failed to live up to the vision.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thanks Jim Pinto, for the links. I like this part (second link):

    "In the current recessionary U.S. business environment, global outsourcing has a negative connotation. It means firing American workers and shipping jobs to less-developed countries where wages are lower and labor laws are more lax. The attitude among U.S. employees is understandably defensive and critical. With U.S. unemployment rising above 10 percent, and estimates of real unemployment (including part-time workers) climbing to more than 15 percent, the idea of cutting American jobs and shipping them abroad is offensive to many. The mooted "savings" incurred by outsourcers simply isn't enough to warrant the human cost."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Globalization is the process of aligning production capacity, resources and costs to serve global markets. The old sales axiom of "follow the money" applies to production capacity and resource location. If most of the growth in consumption of a product or service is occuring in the developing world, then it is important for companies to locate production in or near those markets to align thier costs and resources to local market realities.

If it costs $20 to produce something in the US and $10 to produce it in China, and I am competing against local Chinese companies selling the product for $15, then I had better build the product in China. We, as a group, seem to not mind or complain about ever-decreasing costs of goods (the Wal-Mart effect) until it negatively impacts us personally, and our customers expect the same.

If we want to compete in offshore markets, we need to be in those markets and align our costs with those markets, or there will not be an Rockwell left to complain about. If you want to keep more capacity in the US, tell your friends at our customers to stop buying the lowest-cost product, or stop forcing us to deepen discounts every year to keep thier business. Most of our clients demand year-over-year price reductions. The only way to do this is lower our costs. It stinks, but it beats closing up shop and sending everyone home.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It would be really nice if somebody will explain (to those of us who do not know) what GLOBALIZATION means. We can hear that word over and over every day, but...

Does that mean moving plants from USA and North America to different parts of the World - maybe to Mexico or elsewhere? Or does that mean building more plants all over the World? Or....something else? Or, is it again just another "excuse" like "Global Warming", SARS, all kinds of "flu", etc.

Hey, don't forget "There are no stupid questions - only stupid answers!".



Monday, September 20, 2010 - To the author of the blog: "You have no idea how good you really have it."

How hypocritical when those who have just done what you mention (some over many years of loyalty, commitment and dedication) are blandly rewarded with layoffs and redundancy. Now, what was it you were saying?


Monday, September 20, 2010 - To all the complainers:

You have no idea how good you really have it. RA leadership promised to give back our salaries & bonuses, they did, ahead of schedule. Had this been GE, Honeywell, Siemens, etc. this money would have been gone forever (I know I worked outside of RA for most of my career). RA is trying to globalize rapidly. Most of the projected economic growth for the next 10 years will not come from the US. Yes it can be painful, but we cannot be the old US based AB and survive long term, the world has changed. Do our leaders make mistakes? You bet, but Monday morning quarterbacking on a blog does no good. Get off your backsides and start putting in the hours the leadership team does and make a difference. This is a great company, going through a lot of change in a really uncertain time; roll up your sleaves and start making a difference instead of complaining.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Not any complaints from RC! SAP is a little problem but I'm sure it will be overcome? Comments please. Thanks.


Friday, September 17, 2010 - To the progressive Aussie:

You'll be progressing into a new company sometime very soon. Although some of the old distributors were performing poorly, the main reason RA got in bed with NHP and Inaco is to minimise its operations in Australia. Just have a look what happened to logistics (all of them sacked). The question is who is next? Sales anyone? There are plenty of sales people at NHP and Inaco! No need for RA to keep any!


Friday, September 17, 2010

I am still working in Rockwell Automation. I have no choice, but I am very mad about only 1 thing - it's all about quantity not quality. They just pushing it towards plant shutdown process. They used to build 300 IO units in one shift in 2008, and now in 2010 one shift produces 600. No quality, just quantity.


Friday, September 17, 2010

I am a former Rockwell employee who has to finally chime in here about all of the whining coming out of Cambridge. I am not a RA leadership fan and think they have set the company back 10 years. However, look at the whole world and think: Stop complaining about a free lunch and the companies poor management. I am sure your colleagues in China, Mexico, etc., where all of the jobs are going, will not be complaining about "steamed" burgers. The reason you have time to complain about a good gesture is because you are stuck in the victim-mode and are too lazy to either change the climate, or change your environment (read leave for another job). Do something positive. Remember what your father most likely taught you (which you apparently ignored) If you have nothing good to say, don't say anything. Go find a positive environment or at least work harder to change the current one.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Rockwell and Fanuc announced a collaboration to integrate the Logix platform with Fanuc CNC. It has been a very long time since Rockwell has made any acquisitions - and I wonder if a Rockwell/Fanuc (Robotics and CNC) could be in the works.

Also, with Rockwell's continued focus on the Process market via their PlantPAx solution - a play for Endress+Hauser would provide a best-of-breed instrumentation solution as well.

Does anyone have any thoughts?


Friday, September 17, 2010

To the individual who is promoting Siemens technical support - I do not feel that this is an appropriate place to "advertise"...


Friday, September 17, 2010

BBQ's, Parties in chicago, and have you seen the executives stock trading? Sounds to me that RA is the place to be. And who said mediocrity doesn't have it's rewards?


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Medium Voltage Center of Excellence: So does this mean no more late orders? No more "not built to prints"? No more waiting on "import paperwork"? No more waiting for parts from Mexico, because that's where (MVCE) is moving? Sorry RA management, quit blowing your own horn.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wow, someone here in Cambridge is hyping up the BBQ... First off, it was not a BBQ. It was the same and cooked less than normal food (if you can call it that), from the cafeteria, A.K.A STEAMED BURGERS.

A for effort indeed. It's appreciated and a good gesture on part of the company. I'm 99% sure though, that everyone would've loved a $5 gas card much more.

Cambridge rocks, yes indeed, but not because of over-enthusiastic people like the other guy! Or because we got a free Hamburger... It's the workers who tolerate foolishness, secrecy, childishness and poor managing on some peoples parts.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A huge thank you to everyone that helped in the planning of the awesome BBQ that was given to all Cambridge employees in launch of the Medium Voltage Center of Excellence. Cambridge employees should be proud to work for a company that puts forth the extra effort in doing something for their employees. It was great seeing the management team getting "in there" and helping out with serving, etc. Food was great, give a-ways were a great idea and can be used by everyone. Thanks again Cambridge........we ROCK!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

To the ex-distributor that thinks he know what Aussies want. Our customers want service and RA wanted growth. You provided the prospect of neither, and thankfully this Aussie is proud be be part of a growing company with great partners. I am happy to be judged by my Aussie custmers. Your position could be the reason you are EX. Go serve your new masters, and Good Luck !


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The comments entered by the so called "proud, progressive" Aussie regarding the situation of the formerly loyal and competant Australian Distributor group, I find particularly offensive.

As a proud and ethically bound Australian, and ex-employee, such comments show even more the sharp lack of ethics, and moral concience. The decision to "dump" what was essentially a succesful and growing group was deplorable. In my view, this persons inexperienced and thoughtless comments regarding the former Distributors being quick to seek new suppliers, again highlights the strong lack of market or business-practice experience. What do you expect them to do? Sit around and go out of business while Rockwell poured money into their side of the court case? Recouping monies owed is the only comment to hold any moral validity.

The market will be the ultimate judge. Australians do not like what they may perceive as an unfair action. What is disapointing is to see a great company, which was formally a highly regarded division of Allen Bradley/Rockwell Automation built up and established as a key market player by local Australian management and a loyal Distributor base, subjected to ridicule because of ill-concieved decisions made off shore. Seen it before, and it leaves a bad taste which will come back to bite the perpetrators.

A final word to the Aussie writer of the aforementioned article: don't get to cocky - you will be on the removalist list too. It's just a matter of time!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

For the distributor in Australia who wants to perpetuate himself after losing the franchise. The fact is Rockwell is that working hard with multiple partners and are doing pretty good in the eyes of their customers. According to public court records, all they will recoup is monies owed to them, which I think is fair. Most of the distributors wasted no time in launching competitor products. I am proud to be part of this change and proud to be a progressive aussie.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

The comment on the recent Chicago meeting was spot on. This senior management team does not live in reality despite having a great team below them; I won't comment on individuals but if they read this blog they should look in the mirror and act. I know many who will give them a pen for their resignation.


Friday, September 10, 2010

In the Australian courts, Rockwell have just 'won' a case brought about by nine ex-partners of Rockwell. All the partners were collectively dumped by RA to pursue greater access to the Pacific market via NHP. "Losing" means a huge financial hole and possible financial ruin of the ex-partners who, for many years, represented Rockwell in the Australian market and developed a very good reputation in the marketplace.

"Winning" for Rockwell means financial gain, satisfaction that their lawyers were better, but an ever diminishing reputation in the Australian market, highlighting their singular goal to step on the smaller companies who made them good, to achieve short term gains. Well done RA; I hope you feel good and you can sleep well in your beds tonight as some very well respected companies in and around Australia may go to the wall..


Friday, September 10, 2010

I just attended the Rockwell global kick-off meeting in Chicago. Wow, itís really time we changed some of our senior leadership. Case in point, John McDermott is arrogant & condescending and nothing more than a disappointing conduit and puppet for his out-of-touch CEO ñ a real risk to the company. Rockwell would do well by making a change here - ridding itself of one of the ìold boys clubî and showing it can transform itself.


Friday, September 10, 2010

The post where Siemens solicits business on this weblog is reprehensible, and shows how a company convicted of bribery will stoop to any level.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Siemens has great drives and fantastic technical support and, oh by the way it's free of charge between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. We are more than happy to work with any customer that needs quality drive products. Please contact your local Siemens Distributor and let us know how we may help.


Friday, September 3, 2010

No tech-support in the US does not surprise me. Manufacturing is dying out in the US; even RA is moving out, so why invest into a dying market? I'm sure itís a different story in China and other emerging markets.

Also drives are not an RA core business. I donít understand why drives, and MCCís for that matter, werenít included in the sale of Reliance/Dodge to Baldor. Wouldíve been a much better fit.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

I feel the pain of the Aug 11 post. I too have had problems lately with drives tech support. My RA rep tells me production of the 7/70/700 drives have moved/are bring moved to Mexico and the Sumner Iowa plant has been closed. I assume this is where support of these drives were located. The 4/40/400 class drives production is subcontracted to a Chinese supplier and always has been. The new 75x class drives are assembled in Mequon, just outside of Milwaukee. I say assembled because our distributor drives specialist was up there a few weeks ago and saw no manufacturing, only final assembly. We pay for 24x7 priority support, which means we get long wait times, smug/wrong answers 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year. It won't matter much since the only thing produced in the US are food & drugs and we have the FDA & USDA to protects us anyway. BTW I like my eggs over-easy.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Looks like RA's internal problems are now hitting their customers. I'm an integrator who was called out to help replace a 1336 Plus II drive that failed. The configuration was really odd so a call to tech support was in order to help setup the drive. The manual was really sketchy on how to setup the option boards that were used. The original setup parameters were not properly recorded before the failure. I was first able to talk to a tech at AB and he got me headed in the right direction initially. I even put up with the tech newbies condescending attitude towards our situation. (I've been working with automation equipment for 30+ years..)

Subsequent calls to the support group were ignored. There was no way to even leave a message. I sat on hold (with an estimated wait time of 7 minutes ) forever - over 10 times. Eventually the calls were all cut off, except for the last call I made which finally got through. After explaining my problem in detail, the person answering the phone said he was not qualified to help technically and they group responsible was not available to answer the phone and he did not know when they would be. Huh? :( I then emailed them hoping I could get some help that way. No replies. That was a week and a half ago. After banging my head for 10+ hours and altering many parameters, I finally figured out what the manual has failed to mention.

The RA tech support group, at least for drives, was totally dysfunctional. Why would anyone buy AB equipment with this kind of support? The end customer witnessed all of this and they have decided not to purchase any more AB equipment for their plant. Why pay a premium for equipment that has inferior support?

It's very sad as many US manufacturers have made huge investments in AB equipment. Manufacturing in the US is tough enough without an iconic company such as AB going into the dumpster. Hopefully someone will buy AB, kick the nitwits running the company out, and remember where they get their money from ... the customers.


Monday, August 2, 2010

I cannot agree more with the authors comment regarding how RA treats the people it lets go. There is no point in being loyal and hardworking. Currently, keeping your job is down to whether you are under 50 or if your face fits (and thats no more more than 2-3 years considering how many management shuffles occur to keep the brown noses protected). As can be seen, the real decider is whether your RA job is in the Northern Hemisphere; in which case your screwed. The only solace to be gained is the fact that some day what happened to those who were "let go" will will happen to those same decision makers. How long for them, I wonder, is ignorance bliss.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

I worked at Rockwell/ Milwaukee for 38 years in the Union. Friday was my last day. They no longer have a union. My question is... If there are still manufacturing parts in shipping that need to be sent China, Tecate, Monterray, etc. Isn't it against the law to have non-union workers ship production parts out? My understanding is that no "union" work can be done in the plant for 1 year after we leave. Otherwise Rockwell has to call union members back.

We got a raw deal at the end. Rockwell dumped 140 of us on the taxpayers with unemployment. I have a hard time understanding why they did this to the last of the workers. Many people were within 1 year or less to retirement. They have had record profits. This is the WORST they treated the future retirees. How can the CEO sleep at night? They are heartless. Thank you for letting me speak my mind. I was very proud to work at Rockwell for 38 years... to be dumped out like this is a slap in the face to everyone who worked hard for Rockwell.


Friday, July 30, 2010

What bothers me more (here in Cambridge) is that Managers should start dealing with people that are getting money "for free" for years and years. Instead, they are "sending" them (some of them) to different shift, even promoting them to some "coordinators" or whatever. Plus, they can work their own hours, completely different than everybody else. But, as long as they have piece of paperwork in their hands and walk around, it's all good. They look busy, and that's all that matters. Who cares if they are not doing their original job - they are acting bigger than lead hands, sometimes even than Managers. Worst thing - they are so proud with themselves. Shame, big shame!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

I read with interest the comments from a Rockwell employee in Cambridge who is upset that the company managers are making things less productive in her/his work area. Is there nobody you can talk to about this problem?

Also, to the person who wrote that this person should quit whining and do something about it. How do we know that they have not tried to do something about it already? Perhaps you are one of these managers that considers anybody with legitimate concerns to be just 'whiners'. It sounds to me like the person you accuse of just whining actually sounds like he/she may really care about their job and are just frustrated.

There is nothing worse than caring about your company and working for managers that do not care about the company. Or managers who do look down on subordinates and don't want to hear about any problems. Sad, but it is often the case. However, not just with Rockwell.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - For Keith Nosbusch, CEO:

Your managers need to practice better "face talk" with the employees. The key to that strategy is communicating with staff at all levels. Three guidelines for keeping the conversation and information flowing:

  1. Fine-tune internal operations by bolstering internal communications. This, in turn, will strengthen the organization and culture.
  2. Reassure employees by meeting with them frequently in person for updates about the need for layoffs or other staff changes. Nip rumors before they create panic.
  3. Encourage the organization's CEO to speak candidly with employees at least monthly about company financials, results and strategies.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

To the person talking about management taking actions that were detremental to your productivity: If it is as bad as you made it sound you need to DO something about it not just put up with it! You let them mess with your productivity then there is that much less reason to keep your job here in the USA instead of moving it down to Mexico. You ever think some of management might have a hidden agenda? Perhaps they are intentionally slowing you down because they will be the ones presenting the proposal to the higher ups about the cost/benefit analysis of keeping your jobs here. The lower your productivity the more money such a proposal would appear to be saving the company in operation costs and the bigger their bonuses and promotions are likely to be. Quit whining and do something about it!


Monday, July 26, 2010

As a follow up to a previous post, I am curious as to why Keith Nosbusch, the Rockwell CEO, is now suddenly is able to purchase options to buy 300,000 shares of Rockwell stock this year at an option price of $11.60 per share. These options are both considerably lower in price than options in previous years, as well as being for twice as many shares as he has ever received in any year since he became CEO. His net earnings from excercise of the options and their subsequent sale is $12.2 million for 2010.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Myself and the people I work with at Rockwell Automation in Cambridge took the bull by the horns last year and organized our work area to make it far more productive, mostly by placing the materials we need to properly do our jobs where we could quickly locate and access them. For a while, things were running a lot more smoothly and we were actually starting to enjoy coming to work. Then management decided to Kaizan our area without our input. What a mess! Now we can't find half the stuff we need, and we are usually out of the other half. The agravation, disorganization and loss of production caused by these geniuses with degrees who have never done our job is astounding. But I guess that is the Rockwell way.

PS. And in another department the same geniuses actually installed ceiling-high racking in a spot where forklifts have no access. The band plays on - and the tune is, Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Well, I have some concrete news regarging the Rockwell plant in Sumner, Iowa, having returned home from there just this evening. I spent this last week dissassembling the last of their production equipment located there and the majority of it was loaded onto 5 semi trailers bound for Monterrey, Mexico. The remainder will follow next week on a couple more trucks. All that remains at the plant now are office equipment, a lot of stations for miscellanious equipment, and a bunch of industrial shelving that is at present about half empty. There were people actually working on the production line until 11 am Monday, after which the line was stopped and we began to take it apart. The last of the production workers left at the end of the day for the last time and the only people remaining there are those involved with shipping and disposing of the remaining inventory and parts.

They were remarkable cheerful and polite to the people there responsible for helping eliminate their jobs and I felt bad about it. There is nothing I can really do about it but I promised myself that in the future if a similar job comes around I will simply refuse to do it. The job will still get done of course with someone else in my place but I have no control over that.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

I have said it before, and I will say it again. The main objective of today's senior executives in corporate North America is not to do what is best for their company. The objective is to pilfer by any means possible the most money for themselves that they possibly can before they either retire or get booted out. So what if their self-centered decisions harm the company in the long run, just as long as they escape with plenty of booty for themselves. After all, these people did not build most of these companies, so what do they care what becomes of them.

Now, I am not coming at this from any moral or holier-than-thou angle. In fact, knowing what I know now, I wish that I had had the foresight to grab as much money from my company as I could before leaving - and to hell with what is best for the company or anybody else. At least my bankers would call me sir! Besides, I would easily be able to afford councelling to deal with any guilty feelings about it. (Assuming I had any.) Oh, to be young again and to know that all this talk of business ethics is just a load of crap. I sure was naive back then.


Monday, July 19, 2010

The comments on the VP of HR was a little unfair. You can only do a job if you are allowed to. Sure he was a puppet or probably more importantly fodder in storage ready to be chucked under the bus to prevent focus on the real problem. Look at the track record of his manager 3 HR VPs gone, 3 Finance VPs gone, Regional President Canada, Regional President EMEA gone . The only question is whose next and so my money is on Regional guys in USA and Asia and odds on for Asia or maybe he will sacrifice a function or two. Real career building stuff if you look from down here


Sunday, July 18, 2010 - In response to Monday, June 21, 2010 Managers dropping their notices.

The RC facility has very little of the "older leadership" left, but ahhhhhh we have the lean people to lead us (the ones have have the degrees but never got their hands or fingernails dirty). The Factory Talk and SAP operations are a joke. Sometimes takes 24 hrs to get the parts out to the floor customers are screaming, maybe 1m of product out the door for this month in shipments. Production personnel standing around with fingers up in the air, left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. What a JOKE!


Saturday, July 10, 2010

I also work at the CDC in Champaign where they make a big deal out of quantity instead of quality. How much quality can be put out when morale is low and we have mandatory overtime crammed down our throats? It's not the whole facility that is mandated, just the warehouse. Let some of the salaried management staff give up their Saturdays and 4 to 8 hours mandatory during the week for them. We have the worst plant manager I think we have ever had; micro-manages everything that goes on there. Let the supervisors do their job. We have so much product coming in the door that our backlog hovers between 400 and 500+ a day. We have to be getting product we don't need at the time. I guess it makes other facilities numbers look good when so much goes out their doors but ours looks terrible with that much in the backlog. Someone needs to figure out what we need, not what you want to send to us. Kieth should really make a surprise visit to our plant and see for himself what's going on. I believe he has only been here once and they knew he was coming. Of course they spruced up the plant and painted everything to make it look good. Why can't it always look that way? This sounds like a good "Undercover Boss" show!


Friday, July 9, 2010

Under funded Pensions are Red Flag for Investors - Greenberg:

    ìRockwell Automation, with a $599 million under funding. Hackel believes the company will need to find 34 cents a share over several years to get its fund whole. The company is expected to earn $2.90 this year. It was not discussed on the last earnings call.î
Thanks for the no pay increases. May I have another? Thanks for a stock that never splits. May I have another? Give me a break! Do something, Keith!


Friday, July 9, 2010

I have the formal notice from Rockwell on the E3 overloads not being available. My local guy tells me it is a sub-supplier who is having difficulty with a particular part. As of now, we either accept the old style OLs or delay receiving our MCCs (no real choice there). I have been promised that RA will swap out the old for new at sometime down the road but that means shuting down our equipment which I can't afford to do very often. Timing reported before the E3s will be available is 4 weeks but I don't have confidence RA will make that date.

My company has literally 100s of buckets on order or ready to be released. We're starting to have second thoughts about who is our supplier for the future (and my last job was with RA, left less than 3 years ago and wouldn't think of considering anyone else even 6 months ago).

Quality, Quality, Quality - it has to be there or all the quantity produced will be sitting on distributor shelves and not in use in plants.

Almost forgot, along with quality is reliabliity - I need to be able to get the equipment, too. One side of me is glad that RA detected a problem and stopped production, but the other needs to know that I can get what I want when I need it.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Something positive our of global sales and marketing after years of misfires and reorgs resulting in no forward movement: Quiet exit of VP of HR who was no employee advocate and exacted no real change in his entire tenure. What did senior management expect from the puppet of the the sales leadership? From a guy who came to RA as a director of International Paper (not exactly a change agent in the world)? I bet he led the company in travel benefits and miles though. Let's ask the global regions if they saw any efficiencies or true value our of HR. Maybe the senior leaders will put HR leadership in that actually is an employee advocate. By the way, the people working directly for this guy are all road blocks and need to be changed out - quickly and loudly.


Sunday, July 4, 2010 - To blog Wednesday, June 23, 2010 about lump sum retirement/pension pay-out:

Will this have to be reported as "earned income" for that year when you go to file for taxes? If so, be prepared to pay lots of extra taxes!


Friday, July 2, 2010

I worked for Rockwell Automation distribution center in Champaign for 13 years. Over the last 3 years, I saw the company finding reasons to get rid of many employees who had been there from the beginning, and who were faithful, dependable workers.

Going on a PIP, or performance improvement plan, became an excuse for Rockwell to fire you, which is what led to me being escorted out the door. Even if your last PIP was 10 years ago, you can never have another one. We had been led to believe that you could never go on a back-to-back PIP and expect to stay working. For example, if you had one in 09, you couldn't have one in 2010. This was not the truth. My last PIP was 3 years ago for production. I was, it seems, worthy of another PIP this year, so I was fired. To be worried about it once a year when the fiscal year ended was bad enough, but now they have to be worried about it every 6 months?! I found it to be a relief when I was let go. That is no way to run a facility.

I was hired because, at least at that time, quality was important to Rockwell, and I delivered that. I had perfect attendance several years, and that was important, too. Not any more. Now, it's all about quantity -- how much can be gotten out the door each day, never mind quality. How many orders can be shipped? Cut corners if you have to. They don't care about their customers, or their employees. Gone are the days of the best of the best. It's sad. It really was a good job from the start. Now, when people ask me about working there, I simply say "don't bother." Before, I always held them to a higher standard, and encouraged people to apply. Now, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. It's easy for some people to say "stop whining, at least you have a job." But when that job is literally driving you to an early grave, it's better to be without one. The forced overtime on weekends with no work is what pushed me into another PIP. Rockwell was a big part of my life for a long time, and I'm happy I can say that -- but I am just another product of a failed system. I hope Rockwell thinks about what it's doing before it's too late.


Friday, July 2, 2010

No, if you guys don't like your raise and are jealous of shop workers thinking that we are getting much more than you, then, please, come over, to the shop floor. You would be more than welcome to help us out. Tons of power wires are waiting for you, guys. But, no eating on the shop floor, please.

BTW, for the person that wants Cambridge closed - Breaking News: Cambridge is closed. One day for the Canada Day Long Weekend! And yes, we, in Cambridge, are a Happy Family. Don't listen to some people that are complaining; that's part of their life. Most of the time those that complain the most are some of the worst workers and they don't know how happy they are to have jobs at Rockwell.


Thursday, July 1, 2010 - To the bitter R-A shop floor guy:

If you don't like your current job on the shop floor & you are jealous of the office folks, then I suggest you get an office job.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Shop Floor - not allowed to use a telephone.
Shop Floor - not allowed to have personal conversations.
Shop Floor - 10. min breaks with 50% tolerance, but watched closely.
Shop Floor - Physical labor with extensive knowledge on vast applications.
Shop Floor - Cross-Traning to be adaptable to every task applicable.
Shop Floor - Looked down on by office staff as lesser than equals.
Shop Floor - the list goes on....

Office Staff - use phone anytime and duration for personal calls.
Office Staff - converse all you wish.
Office Staff - Sit in a chair and use a computer.
Office Staff - Do your job and only your job.
Office Staff - Dressed in nice shirts to make yourselves feel good.
Office Staff - the list goes on....

The point is this: Office staff are making A LOT of mistakes, and so do people on the shop floor. BUT, the shop floor has to be sharp to catch them and more so to figure them out and correct them. This is not right at all. That is the biggest beef, you will hear about floor to office. As for office, I cannot speculate.

Are we not supposed to be a team working together, to build a great product for our customers? How can we win as a team and win the war on gaining business when our own battalions are fighting with each other?

Maybe we should all go back, COPY and PASTE a page out of the Art of War and think about what Sun Tzu would have to say about all of this!


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I think it's time to close Cambridge. Sounds like no one is happy there. I'm sure it shows up in the product quality. We can get the same junk out of Mexico and not have to listen to the whining. At least the people in Mexico are happy to have a job; maybe they can get the quality piece right someday.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I see TWB is hiring 2 more lean managers. How many more do they need?


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Physically we on the shop floor work harder, mentally office staff works harder. I think trhe raise should have been the same accross the board.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Of course-because quite often we, shop workers have to do our job, plus to fix all mistakes that are coming from Office-paperwork, diagrams, etc. Why? Because the easiest is just to "Copy & Paste". I never saw any of you guys doing any power wiring, wiring, assembling and fixing our mistakes in doing that! But, we even were told that we are getting "big money" to do our job and also to check all the diagrams, fix mistakes, etc.When you guys were getting thousands in Christmas Bonuses, and us only couple hundreds, nobody complained?! We didn't cry here about that, like you do now.And now it is a big deal?!

By the way - if you want more, you should fight for yourself, not complaining about us - you are just showing your "real face". It doesn't go that way, brother from the Office. If you think that you deserve more, fight it, but don't blame on us-shop workers,OK?

If it was up to us, we would get at least 10% raise, and you too (OK, maybe not 10 for you guys, but 5 % for sure). Final point: Do you think that we don't deserve 2.75 % raise? If so, then complain, but don't complain against us in order to gain something for you; it's just not fair! Play fair game, please!


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

3 months since the shop floor in Cambridge had a raise? Who on the shop floor had a raise 3 months ago? How much was this increase? Nobody I know got one. For everybody I work with it's been over a year. Of course you forgot to mention that your EIP;s are consistently higher than ours, while we correct your mistakes.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kudos to the shop floor in Cambridge. You have once again proved your point! You got a higher percentage of raise than the average salaried worker. The salaried workers as usual took it with a grain of salt as they have everything else. The two years without raises (shop, 3 months... work it out). The need to work 44 hrs before overtime kicks in (shop, 40 hrs), and you need to beg for it (shop, management is begging them to come in). But you have to hand it to them. Good for you! Maybe those union reps at the gate helped. Congratulations, and hats off to you!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Once again, Rockwell has missed the boat. They had a perfect opportunity to increase morale even if it was just a little bit in both the office and on the mfg floor. But, as seems to be the norm with Rockwell, they messed it up again -- the mfg floor was given one rate for the pay increase and the office was given another. If they had used their brains to build a little morale by saying - anyone with a meets or exceeds expectations - you will get "X" amount.

I know and understand that the salaried personnel are provided their increases based on performance but have you forgotten it's been 2.5 years since they got anything but even then it depends on your manager -- if your manager likes you get a better rate then if the manager doesn't like you. This one little gesture is a would be nice thing that could have provided a boost.

I am thankful for the increase and especially since it's retro active. I still feel that a little bit of fairness would have made everyone just a little bit happier.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - Ref : Tuesday, June 29, 2010 beginning; I left RA after 24 years in the SBB group:

I wholeheartedly echo this sentiment. Middle and higher management deserve a dose of their own medecine - it's long overdue. They have for too long promoted the inept in favour of those who have the real acumen and honesty to do better. And to think, each year the same management forces employees to undertake an ethics refrsher course and sign a pledge!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I left RA after 24 years in the SBB group (yet another name change, formally MPS, GMS etc). mainly because the US management decided to send someone to Asia with no previous management experience in this group, no experience of Asia and had never run a P&L anywhere in any business. He was to begin with my immediate supervisor, but quickly demoted me as he found out I knew more than him. Some surprise for him when, at the age of 61, I found another comany who appreciated my skills. Best thing for RA is to be bought out, and all the old management team and their cronies disposed of.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Sung to the tune of "Polly wolly doodle all the day":

    Oh, my job went down to China
    Just to fatten the head vagina

    Singin' sittin' on my ass all day

    I'm one of the statistics
    Take a look at the logistics

    Singin' sittin' on my ass all day

    Socialism, socialism
    Is becoming the American way

    For my job's gone down to China
    Just to fatten the head vaginas

    Singin' sitting on my ass all day


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Busy week here in Cambridge. I still think this is a PR thing, having the big shot come down. I really don't believe this will be an on-going thing.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Busy week here in Cambridge. Some of the leaders got came out to the shop and joined our production personnel for an hour or so. Excellent idea! It would be great if this became a monthly event or even a weekly one. Its a fantastic way to bring down the barriers that exist between our groups. Its a way to bring back some of the camaraderie that used to exist in the old days. Way to go!

On the other hand there was that communication session that took place between members of some of our salaried personnel and our business unit leader. Apparently its only communication if he hears what he wants to hear. Otherwise we are a bunch of negative people who never have anything good to say. Apparently we are the only facility who are not ecstatic over the raise that we are going to get. First of all we still dont know what we are going to get, (and frankly I dont think its going to be anything that great), and second of all just in case he has not heard it is customary to get paid a fair wage for a fair days work! The sacrifices that have been made by the workers (not only here, but everywhere), the unpaid overtime, the mandatory overtime, the harassment, the helplessness we feel as we see our good company being flushed down the toilet by a senior management group that seems to have no clue or no idea of what it is like to be on the other side.... any way we deserve a good raise!

So, at the end of the day ... excellent idea for some of the leaders to join us, lets do it again real soon! As for the other event, maybe the next time someone wants to honest communication, we should be warned that the only honest communication is Si seor.


Friday, June 25, 2010 Re: "member of upper management getting down and dirty taking. I am convinced this is a PR thing"

PR or not, it is an attempt to bring some humility to the plant floor. I never seen it myself, but I'm sure he could've handled himself as good as any guy out there. If you think you can do better, why don't you step up and go in and do some plant managing for an hour or so. All he wants is a successfull day of production...HR is where the real problem lays.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

We have both Rockwell and Siemens in our plant. Siemens has free support during the day and I can download service packs and get full access to their support site for free. The world sure has changed in the past 10 years!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Many Rockwell end users are justifiably upset that they have to pay annual support fees and software license fees to get support as they have already paid for the most expensive products in the industry. I see some comments from other users saying that's ok, its the way the industry is. No its not. Suppliers such as Beckhoff Automation provide free phone support and free software updates and their products are far less expensive than Rockwell's. They believe such customer service is part of doing business.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nice to see a certain member of upper management getting down and dirty taking parts off in the paintshop. Good thing for him the parts wern't that heavy. I am convinced this is a PR thing.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Would like to hear from the folks who feel Rockwell is doing so well. How well is it going in Mexico, I got the answer, though I would like to see how you dress up the quality issues. Twinsburg and Dublin released World class quality. Tag you're it....


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

For those beginning to buzz about retirement plan changes and options: please read the documents posted as a follow-up to the announcement. Bottom line: no changes to CURRENT pension plan enrollee's except you now have the OPTION to cash out of the pension plan with a lump sum payment. It is not mandatory. For new hires, you get enrolled in a retirement savings plan instead of the pension plan. RA is just doing what every other company in the US has been doing for years and is closing access to the old style defined benefits plan for new hires.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How many USA based plants did Rockwell have 3 to 4 years ago, and how many do they still have open as of today? Just trying to get an idea of how many have been closed and moved to Mexico, or other non-USA based locations. It would also be very interesting to know how much smaller the existing plants in the US have become due to product being moved out of the country.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - re:Monday 6/21/2010 retirement:

I heard this was only for new hires? Or will it affect those for 2010 that have not retired yet, they have gone by there retirement dates and need to work for the insurance or whatever. The supplemental, plus pension is not enough to support their needs. 2010-2011 is a questionable year for future orders - oil,energy,cars etc.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Major retirement changes will be put into effect, instead of receiving a pension it will now be a "lump sum", this is the latest announcement. Question, so if I take a lump sum, will this now be considered earned income for my taxable year? If so, heart attack time!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Another manager dropped notice to leave RA, this makes two managers in less than two months. In addition, an industrial engineer also gave a short notice last week, so what kind of message is this sending? "Keith, we are not happy with what is going on" ?


Friday, June 11, 2010

A major employment services company in Michigan is looking for very experienced people to hire on as Technical Instructors via contract through RWD Technologies and working as instructors on Rockwell/Allen-Bradley equipment. Travel would be at least 75%, conducting training at plantsite locations and regional RA offices. Since Rockwell directly disbanded the Rockwell Training centers concept, Rockwell is trying to meet customer demand for training. Here again, a corporation using advice from third and fourth parties in a futile attempt to provide "customer statisfaction" indirectly. As former RA employee, it is just too bad that RA had to go to this low level.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

My apologies to the senior support engineer. If I am lucky enough to get one of the field service engineers or 2nd level support people I find I get correct answers with an explanation. Hats off to you guys; you know your stuff. But the 1st level support (new hires) need to learn not to spout out an answer just to get his/her call quota in. As a customer I assume the answer I will get is correct the first time. I have had senior support go the extra mile to help me when in a bind, but it's a crap shoot as to the level of support you get. As recent as 2 years ago I could depend on good info 99% of the time. Everybody has a bad day or the info they have is bad and we're all human but across the board it's not the same as the years when RA had the best-in-class support. When I pay 5% more per year for support I would expect the support to get better. I have learned to "work" the system but others in my group are not so experienced.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

As an engineer at Rockwell Automation who regularly works for the phone support group when demand is high, I felt obliged to respond to this earlier comment: "I don't call tech support; if I need wrong answers I can call about anybody and don't have to pay for the privilege."

If you call RA for phone support and get a misleading answer, or one you know is downright wrong, you have every right to ask to speak with a level 2 support engineer, or a supervisor, even if that means calling back to do so because you didn't realize at the time you'd been given wrong information.

In my experience, customers who ask for a supervisor because they're not happy, along with customer's whose support tickets are flagged as "Unsatisfied" get some personal attention from the leader of the support team responsible. Like any other company, RA's support team has performance metrics related to customer satisfaction. They really do want to help you be successful in your application of RA products. Just remember, we're not mind readers. If you're not happy, you have to express your dissatisfaction with the support you received and insist that the matter be escalated and dealt with, not spout off on a blog about how the support sucked and you'll never call again.

If you let us and our leaders know what we're not doing well, in person, on the phone, at the time, the support team learns, has a chance to improve, and everyone receives the benefit in the long run.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

In response to my previous comments related to Ken Christensen's message...my apologies if I misinterpreted. But, I do read these blogs frequently and, quite frankly, it does get a bit frustrating to see the rampant Rockwell bashing. Ironically, this blog has significantly more activity than any other. But, they do all appear to be gripes for the other blogs as well.

With respect to the support contracts - a few things:

  1. Customer service is now a profit center, much like many other suppliers; so charging for support is not uncommon. There are other benefits which many customers may not even be taking advantage of.
  2. If there are commercial concerns on pricing for support contracts; I would suggest that this is discussed with your local RA sales engineer as they can work with you. The intent of TechConnect is not to take advantage of customers - but it is an effort to fund the internal business responsible for effectively support our customer base.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

If you have been at Rockwell a while you might know that all the layoffs of the senior employees and moves to Singapore and Mexico began soon after McKinsey and company was brought on as a consultant. This is the same company that advised State Farm insurance to fight claims by premium paying members as a way to boost the bottom line. McK and co advises it clients to f*** people over to make a buck.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

RA really messed up the support. They switched from software support to phone support which includes software updates. I used to able to buy support on one or all of my software packages. Now it's all or nothing and it's based on the # of PLC's I have, not the amount of software I have. They figure the more PLC's I have the more I'll be calling tech support. I don't call tech support; if I need wrong answers I can call about anybody and don't have to pay for the privilege. I just wait until my software won't work with the new hardware then buy another package, it saves me money over the long run. RSLogix500 is about $1500, they want that much every year for support; so if I buy a new package every 3-4 years I'm ahead. The basic Micrologix software is free and we don't use many SLC's anymore so my costs are $0 now. We've heard the new small controllers will also have free software.

In their defense we pay out the nose for Wonderware support so RA is not the only guy trying to make a living off of support $$.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010 from Jesper M P(jmp_maildump@yahoo.dk) in response to the response to Ken Christensen's comments:

That's not what he said. He used as an example a customer who had purchased $ 1800 of equipment had to buy a Tech Connect contract for $ 1500 per annum. If that is true, even you must admit that it is close to extortion. He did not say how much his own company had to pay in Tech Connect contracts, which of course he should have done. He also said that they were putting in Siemens, not just AD. And I think that Siemens is quite comparable to AB/Rockwell in the "upper segment". I have to say that I find AB/Rockwells "policy" of of charging for support either ammusing or aggravating, depending on how dependant you would be on support in an emergency.

I know of no other supplier with this attitude/policy. I know that my own customers would not accept that attitude/policy. How they manage to pull this off is beyond me.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

In response to Ken Christensen's comments:

I am a current Rockwell employee and previously held positions within the Rockwell distribution channel - so I am keenly aware of RA; at least for the past 15 years. That said - I do not dispute the fact that RA is going through some challenges; delivery and SAP implementation is compounded by the challenging economic sitation over the past two years.

Rockwell is a great place to work - I can assure you...but, like all large corporations who go through cost reductions, great people were lost over the past few yeras to the reduction in force. While there will continue to be commidty-focused suppliers, such as Automation Direct (and it is with no disrespect AD as a supplier) - Rockwell is focused on the "bigger picture" - value is not just cost of goods...it is about sustainability and cost of ownership.

In the bigger picture - the automation costs are significantly lower than many of the other lifecycle costs; yet, there are individuals (such as Mr. Ken Christensen) who will switch from a value-focused supplier (RA) to a commodity/cost-focused supplier (Automation Direct)... Two companies who are polar opposites of each other - RA and Automation Direct...

The value-driven System Integrators and OEMs are forging stronger relationships with Rockwell - and Rockwell has made a significant effort to forge stronger relationships with them. There is an intimate recognition that Systems Integrators and OEMs are an incredibly valuable cog in the manufacturing/automation lifecycle - the stronger SI's and OEM's are embracing the RA relationship.

While I do not dispute Ken Christensen's decision to migrate to Automation Direct vs. RA...I highly doubt he was responsible "millions of dollars" in RA revenue over the $1,500 Tech Connect contract. If his decision was based upon this premise - is Ken Christensen really delivering the highest value to his customers?

The stronger organizations will prevail in this economy - and Rockwell is working hard to align with these customers. Value will ultimately prevail over price...and the SI's, OEM's and suppliers who focus on the END USER's cost of ownership will remain successful...

With all due respect - there are not a large number of "multimillion dollar" Rockwell integrators to begin with - and I sincerely doubt many of them are transitioning to Automation Direct for a $1,500 support contract.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Australia: Rockwell finally came clean with the guys in the store here. 18 months ago they told everyone that there were no plans for job cuts. Now they have told the stores guys that they will shut down the store later this year. What other job cuts "aren't planned"?


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

As a former employee with (American owned) Bailey Controls and then with (American owned) Rockwell Automation, if Rockwell goes they way Bailey did, Rockwell (Allen-Bradley) will cease to exist. Bailey went to the Italians and they screwed things up, then went to ABB and remained screwed up. Rockwell has turned away from training there "customers" by professional educators to contract trainers, thus totally ruined Rockwell's training capabilities. Go ahead Rockwell, sell yourself out to ABB and add your name to the list of American companies lost to foreign control, not to mention, the loss of the American dream of "made in America by Americans". We will all be learning to speak "Mandarin" any way. Forget about the Swiss.


Saturday, May 29, 2010 - Re: "FACTORYMATION.COM - they have TECO at 1/3 the cost of Rockwell, and it is UL listed!":

You may be right but as a user who has to support an installation with a life cycle of 5-20 years we need to have parts support and a solid migration path. Our experience with these types of vendors is they are regularly dropping one model in favor of a newer one. When that happens we have no choice but to do a wholesale change/upgrade that most times is not planned for in our maintenance or capital budgets. I don't like the idea of spending more money up front but if it allows me to better plan for the future it's sometimes a small price to pay.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

FACTORYMATION.COM - they have TECO at 1/3 the cost of Rockwell, and it is UL listed!


Thursday, May 27, 2010 - from Ken Christensen [omniint@aol.com]:

Rockwell Automation has been taken over by the accountants and has forgotten about the small System Integrators that are responsible for recommending their products. After buying their products, they do not give any technical support, which is critical for industrial applications. Our group is responsible for recommending equipment to industrial users and we have been using Allen Bradley/Rockwell Automation, resulting in sales of their equipment of several million dollars per year.

Five years ago I was told by a Rockwell engineer that the accountants had taken over, and this is why we have so much difficulty getting any help; but they were going back to the old way of doing business. This has not happened and the problems have gotten worse.

I was at a customer that purchased a $1,800 software product, and Rockwell would not even answer a simple question unless they spent another $1,500/year for tech-connect. We are now quoting on removing the Allen Bradley equipment and installing Automation Direct.

We are a small group, but Siemens has offered to train our people on their equipment and give discounts and free software. It seems as though they have a lot of large jobs to replace Allen Bradley equipment. We have been recommending Automation Direct equipment when possible, and now with Siemens I don't think we will be using much Allen Bradley. This will be a loss of several million dollars to AB/Rockwell but I don't think they care.


Monday, May 17, 2010

For the first time ever, the senior management has started to sell some of the shares they've been buying or were granted the past few years. I know that the CEO declared earlier this year that he would begin to sell his lot of 300K units, and others too have jumped on the wagon. The CEO has cashed out net this year to the tune of $14M and still has his 300K units of shares to sell. Not sure if it means anything, or perhaps is just consistent with 52-week highs. I figure top brass agrees the stock is not a good investment.


Friday, May 14, 2010

On the local news this morning: All hourly production work in the 2nd street plant will be outsourced by July.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Godbye hourly production workers in Milwaukee's corporate headquarters. Notice went out today. All production work will be moved/outsourced.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

I lost 15% of my stocks last year with Rockwell Automation.
BUT.... I saved 15% on my car insurance by switching to GEICO....


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Somebody is obviously bad at math. A $1.65 dividend on a $60 share is 2.75% return, which is much better than you can get on most if not call bank accounts or CDs, plus you have the upside opportunity of share appreciation. Actually, it's quite a good investment if you believe that there is relatively low risk of asset devaluation.


Friday, May 7, 2010 - To the person who had a question on why invest in RA stock:

I don't profess to be a stock guru, but I do know why I continue to invest. First of all, a stock splitting does guarantee anything since it immediately decreases in value by half. Also, a dividend is certainly one component to get wealth, but many stocks don't pay any dividends. For me, I look for long term gain. RA has been good to me over the years. I just looked at my 401k statement this morning and I saw that the performance of this stock has returned 15.69% for the last 10 years and 29.49% year to date. This has been attractive to me over the years. Anyway, just wanted to share another viewpoint.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Would someone help me understand this? Rockwell stock has not split in over 20 years! Rockwell spilt the company in two when RA Collins was set free. The $ Billion motor business was sold-off and the total number of employees continues to decline. Why would I give someone $60.00 just to collect $1.65 (estimate) a year?


Monday, May 3, 2010

I feel I need to respond to the weblog concerning project management not seeing the bigger picture, talking about the guru that left who did see the big picture.

This person was the first one I saw inside of the businesses actually question the businesses about their strategies and how to tie projects to those strategies rather than just wait and be told what to do. He actually spoke up to Steve Eisenbrown and their staffs about how he saw RA business and product managers just chasing the competition with a "me too" attitude. He said publiicly on many occasions that chasing the competion's spec sheet will always keep you in no better than second place.

This person truly understood where project management was an enabler for the company and not just a position of "reporting status". He knew that true project management began at business strategy development and carried into the customer's hands. He would press for requirements and question those that did not tie to the strategy. He questioned the "peanut buttering" of funding across too many development projects that the company did so that RA did many projects half-way rather than a few in the best way. He even drove the development and testing process to include agility and responding to market conditions rather than live and breath requirements that were 2-3 years old.

To the person that commenting that project management was a solution looking for a problem: I agree that is what drove this person away from the company. Too many people looking to build a solution to compete with a competitor's product what came to market more than 3-5 years ago and using processes that took 2 years to implement the solution and not leading the market with new and innovative solutions with processes that could get us to market within a year.


Sunday, May 2, 2010 - Re: the Camry having more American content:

You need to properly define content. Engineering, Testing, Design, Financing, all of those not just for the platform, but for the components too. Then the day-to-day materials needed for operations. Go the back shipping docks in any offshore companies, and open the sea containers. You'll find Japanese oil, packaging, toilet papers, ink pens, writing paper, etc, etc. Add it all up and you'll find the assembly content is quickly over-shadowed by all the other non-American content. Don't believe everything you read. Find out for yourself.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rockwell Automation profit soars
Extracts from Journal Sentinel, April 28, 2010

Rockwell Automation Inc. has an answer to the question of whether the economic recovery is under way. At Rockwell, the recovery has arrived. The maker of factory automation systems said Wednesday its fiscal second-quarter profit more than tripled from a year earlier. Net income rose to $137 million, or 95 cents a share, from $40.6 million, or 29 cents, a year ago. "It appears an industrial recovery has taken hold," Keith D. Nosbusch, the company's chairman and CEO told analysts on a conference call.

Rockwell earnings were $111.9 million, or 77 cents a share. Revenue for the three months ended March 31 climbed 10% to $1.16 billion. The financial results beat expectations. In line with its improved earnings, Rockwell raised its 2010 forecast. Rockwell shares touched a 52-week high of $63.90.

The profitable quarter was good news for Rockwell employees. Nosbusch said employees worldwide will get a pay increase this year.

Rockwell plans to increase its spending on investment to support growth, particularly in technology. And much of that spending will be in emerging markets, company officials said. "Long-term prospects are bright," Nosbusch said. "I'm excited by the new opportunities we are seeing every day."


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Some great stories on msnbc.com about products made in America & products no longer made in America. The big surprise is the US auto with the highest American content: the Toyota Camry. Funny how the Japanese believe in US manufacturing but Keith doesn't practice what he preaches.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - To the previous blog poster:

Here's a newsflash for you: NO ONE got a Christmas bonus or raise last year. Did you really expect either during the worst recession that this country has seen in 50 years?


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Well, after all this great news, I hope we, the workers, can expect some bonus, raise... That would be very nice, since we did not get a Christmas bonus, no raise... nothing last year.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Noosebutch is not concerned about quality, only in Wall Street driven profits. O.K. let him whine about a manufacturing czar and the Country cannot afford to lose production facilities. He will go where it is cheap. Cheap, cheap and anything less is too much. Tata this and Tata that, my cronies will make me FAT. Heads up on April 28.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

The post about project management takes a limited view of what they call the Bigger Picture. Projects should be properly defined and have agreed-on goals before they invoke a rigorous Project Management discipline. Organizations may have problems, but they are not necessarily agile or project management problems. Actually this sounds like a solution looking for a problem. Project Management practitioners are worrying serious about their art.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

For the person who was concerned about the loss of "Quality" under "AB" in Richland Center: It was removed when the sign was repainted. It was a symbol of the loss of quality within the facility. The gimmick is that it will be replaced when the quality levels increase. Stupid move, but there it is.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

I guess I have been living under a rock, but I recently found out that the main person driving improvements in the project management organization left the company late last year. This was the person who was trying to get some agile processes into Steve Eisenbrown's organization. Now it makes sense why everything slowed down in this badly needed improvement area.

How could they have let this guy leave Rockwell? He was the only one who understood the bigger picture. The people in charge now are the same people that have been around Rockwell for 10-15 years are more. What new ideas are they coming up with?? I understand that all that is happening now is they are attempting to implement what was already started by the guy who left and are failing at it.

If they had any sense at all, they would be trying like crazy to get the guru back into Rockwell. Can't someone in the higher ranks give him a call and get him back. The ones trying to drive this improvement area now are a bunch of suckups and don't have a clue as to what is needed and how to do it. We need the big picture guy to come back in and take charge of this once again.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The drives plant in Sumner, Iowa is closing soon; production (PF70's) moving to Mexico. Cambridge gets the new Phoenix(high HP air cooled) drives. RA only seems to be interested in engineering/manufacturing of CLX, PF7x, 2100/2400's, & Kinetix.

Question: Is Twinsburg the 1756 (CLX) plant? Are all the SLC/uLogix now made overseas? What about the 500 and 800 NEMA lines? All now made in Mex?


Sunday, April 18, 2010

I have worked at Twinsburgh for over 12 years now, and every time we get a new plant manager we get the same people that try to brown nose their way to the top. Most of them are so miserable in their own lives that they have nothing else to do. It's quit sad really. I say to those of you that are trying to get the new manger on your side, why don't you try to work like the rest of us and stop bossing everyone around.


Friday, April 16, 2010

I just knew that when we sent all those pushbuttons and selector switches to China this was going to be the business move that would make Rockwell Automation the next great industrial conglomerate. Thank You RA management. Show Us The Money !


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It seems that you just love to whine about the whiners!

There have been no relative posts in weeks, so YOU thought you would add something to discredit people who have issues with their workplace... Oh, and for your re-buttal about finding somewher else to work like HONEYWELL, the closest one is about 4,000 miles away. What ar you talking about anyway? Rockwell Automation is the best Canadian company ever? Any company that cannot even provide their own workplace with what they specialize in making - is their TITLE a lot to be proud of?

From the day people are hired, they are expected and scrutinized to fail. We whine because we see better ways; we post blogs because we need to vent our frustrations; we go to work to see people like you fumble and trip over your own tongues, trying to say hello to try and get ahead!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This blog gets old after awhile. Cambridge, UK, Australia. Cambridge, UK, Australia. A lot of griping from a few. If you dislike Rockwell so much, then leave and find a better company. Obviously, you all have the talent to go elsewhere. Try Honeywell, Invensys or some other automation company (check their blogs first though, there seem to be similar challenges there). But, it may give you a new forum for your venting.

I work at Rockwell and I may not agree with various things (especially the Yellow ribbon blog earlier) but, I "man up" and try to change them, not gripe in a forum that is predominantly 'bitchers".


Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - Re: Sunday, April 4, 2010 - "Wow Rockwell Automation is really staffing up for growth in Australia."

Give it a rest - "World Class" what? Smoke and mirrors again from Blackburn.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Be proud of Rockwell; but Rockwell has changed its name from A-B QUALITY to just A-B. This highly recognized symbol has been around for 30+ years representing the Cadillac of MCC. Now it is gone. Take a look at the symbol on the outside of the building at Richland Center. The word Quality is gone. It is on our diagrams, labels etc. Quality has taken a different path, I guess. When they painted their building they left it off. Why? Maybe that's why some of the old employees are leaving.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Wow Rockwell Automation is really staffing up for growth in Australia. They recently brought back a world-class sales director from South East Asia, announced a new facility in Sydney, and their new distributors are hiring great people from competitors. Go Rockwell! Proud to be part of the team and proud to be Australian. Asia President visited last week and all the talk was up.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

About a year ago we lost a key and talented person that had to manage three facilities (but her bosses took the credit). This person made some predictions and a lot is happening just she said it would. They are "dropping like flies in RC"; some very talented people are getting out (retiring)25, 30, 35 year employess. Hmmmmm, maybe the management that never got dirt under their fingernails might have to start doing the work?


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Come-on people, you are hoping some company can come and put the spilt-milk back in the cup. We are only a second tier integrator. Allen Bradley is a memory. The ability to design and produce our own products is long gone. Our catalog is full of competitors products. To sit back and hope for some other interest to come in and put the light back in a burnt-out bulb is a pathetic fallacy. Hold on and CYA, because the ranks can only get smaller. Good luck to all


Saturday, March 27, 2010

God Bless America! Thank you to all who have served and fought to give me the freedom to say that here!

I continually hear people complaining about the loss of freedoms imposed by our government and our RA executives far removed from the reality of a local workforce. It is one thing to stand idly by as our rights and freedoms are taken from us but it is far worse to give those rights away. Employees of this company can hang their heads in shame for doing just that.

Recently, I was forced to take down a few yellow ribbons from inside the entrance to our factory. The ribbons were in honor of a returning veteran.

In 2008, an Allen Bradley supervisor was called to active duty. He spent a year state-side before deploying to Iraq where he spent several months. Like thousands of others, he left his family and the comforts of home and went to war. His young wife and baby were left to manage without him and to live in fear that another husband and father may not return. Thankfully, after two years of service to our country, this soldier returned home and to work at our company.

Before our returning soldier had a chance to see the symbols of kindness and support, I was called to the HR office and informed the ribbons had to be taken down. Some selfish and bitter people had complained of being offended by the ribbons. I am filled with sadness that our returning vet was not allowed the greeting he deserved. I find an even deeper sadness in the fact that this choice was made by my co-workers at Rockwell Automation, not our government or unknown executives.

Let's not be so willing to GIVE our rights and freedoms away!


Friday, March 26, 2010

First off, for all you anti-Rockwell Automation folks, I'm an employee at Rockwell in Milwaukee, and it's the best place I've ever worked. As far as our leadership, they do look out for us, they listen. I dont believe Keith would sell us up the river; he's been a great CEO. We have a culture unlike most companies out there today, which helps us to be the most ethical company.

As far as the buyout rumors, Ive heard those for years - see extracts from an article below I found on Barrons.com from today:

    Shares of $8 billion (market cap) Rockwell Automation (ROK) are up 20 cents at $56.06, apparently on a rumor that General Electric (GE) might be interested in the company. That's a rumor that's floated around for some time now. Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Christopher Glynn expressed skepticism in a phone call this morning: GE could do maybe a $2 billion to $3 billion deal, but not until it completes its joint venture for NBC-Universal with Comcast (CMCSA), which is expected to free up $8 billion for GE to use in its industrial business. GE shares are up 21 cents, or 1%, at $18.28.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I think all this talk on CNBC is about Rockwell Collins. I read the article and saw the Webcast and in both cases they are talking about aerospace not automation. Evidently they don't realize ROK & COL are not the same anymore.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

To see the CNBC story about Rockwell Automation go to this link (cut and paste). It starts at about the 10 min mark.
http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?play=1&video=1450170544


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

So with the news today on CNBC... Rockwell Automation is a hot stock. And a buyout in the next couple of months by GE? How big are the golden parachutes for Keith and the rest of upper management?


Monday, March 22, 2010

Way to go Keith. No wonder you didn't mind foregoing your two million USD bonus. Give yourself a pat on the back; while the rest of your workforce grit their teeth.


Monday, March 22, 2010

As I read it. Keith's made a little over 8 million dollars on Rockwell stock since the middle of January. And I'm not talking about on paper, I'm talking about in his pocket.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

So where is the present plant manager of Rockwell Canada going to? Is he being promoted up? Or moved out?


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Here's the tally of recent stock trades:

Rockwell senior management recent stock trades
1-Mar-10
NOSBUSCH KEITH D
97,893
$5,384,115
26-Feb-10
MCCORMICK WILLIAM T
3,502
$187,041
26-Feb-10
ISTOCK VERNE G
1,153
$61,639
26-Feb-10
ROCKWELL BRUCE M
3,502
$187,076
26-Feb-10
ALEWINE BETTY C
2,720
$145,329
26-Feb-10
TOOT JOSEPH F JR
3,262
$174,256
19-Feb-10
STUEVER A LAWRENCE
2,800
$43,400
19-Feb-10
STUEVER A LAWRENCE
2,800
$152,000
9-Feb-10
ALEWINE BETTY C
1,000
$16,960
2-Feb-10
ROHR DRALLE RONDI
3,400
$52,700
2-Feb-10
ROHR DRALLE RONDI
3,400
$172,000
TOTAL
$6,576,516

Keep on taking furlough weeks, no pay increase, and no bonus and enjoy the PIP. These folks did not miss anything. This is the most manipulated stock to benefit the few for the short term. Save your own ass, because none of these people give a darn.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Having just come out of Rockwell UK over the last few days, I feel like a tremendous weight has lifted off me. I spent a number of years there and it was great to start with. But over time you realise that there is no scope for promotion and that the small-minded middle managers are oh so desperate to hang on to their jobs. I've seen many people come and go from Rockwell over the years, but one thing that remains constant is the middle management layer. It's a little club that engages in mutual back-slapping and self promotion. Me, I prefer to move into the real world.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chairman, President and CEO of Rockwell Automation Inc. Keith D Nosbusch sells 97,893 shares of ROK on 03/01/2010 at an average price of $55 a share.

Rockwell Automation Inc. Common has a market cap of $7.85 billion; its shares were traded at around $55.13 with a P/E ratio of 39.1 and P/S ratio of 1.8. The dividend yield of Rockwell Automation Inc. Common stocks is 2.1%. Rockwell Automation Inc. Common had an annual average earning growth of 5.3% over the past 10 years.

CEO Recent Trades:

  • Sell: Chairman, President and CEO Keith D Nosbusch sold 100,000 shares of ROK stock on 01/29/2010 at the average price of 50.12, the price of the stock has increased by 10% since.
CFO Recent Trades:
  • Sell: Sr.VP and CFO Theodore D Crandall sold 1,040 shares of ROK stock on 12/06/2009 at the average price of 45.64, the price of the stock has increased by 20.79% since.
Directors and Officers Recent Trades:
  • Sell: Director Verne G Istock sold 1,153 shares of ROK stock on 02/26/2010 at the average price of 53.46, the price of the stock has increased by 3.12% since.
  • Sell: Director William T Jr/wi Mccormick sold 3,502 shares of ROK stock on 02/26/2010 at the average price of 53.41, the price of the stock has increased by 3.22% since.
  • Sell: Director Bruce M Rockwell sold 3,502 shares of ROK stock on 02/26/2010 at the average price of 53.42, the price of the stock has increased by 3.2% since.
  • Sell: Director Joseph F Jr Toot sold 3,262 shares of ROK stock on 02/26/2010 at the average price of 53.42, the price of the stock has increased by 3.2% since.
  • Sell: Director Betty C Alewine sold 2,720 shares of ROK stock on 02/26/2010 at the average price of 53.43, the price of the stock has increased by 3.18% since.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I just read my friends comments as he typed them and would like to get a severance package and leave, too. I am not as burned out or upset as he is; I just think it would be best for my future. Like him and a lot of people. I have been at Rockwell long enough that I too don't want to just leave with nothing. However, with a severance cheque in hand, I would feel nothing but relief on my way out the door. It would be nice to work for an organized company. Even if it meant a pay cut.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I am quite serious that I would do cartwheels out the door with a severance cheque in hand. I do not believe that Rockwell will be in Cambridge long enough for me to see retirement anyway, so I would be ecstatic about a severance package now. As would a good many others. And the problem is not pay or benefits. It is total disorganization at every level of management. These poeple quite literally do not know what they will be doing in that plant tomorrow. Of course, all the pro-Rockwell people would not know that because most of them probably just have low stress make-work jobs anyway, and don't have to actually try to produce and build the product.

If the shareholders ever knew just how much money they are not making due to incompetence at the top, they would not be very happy and heads would roll. So let's face it, the purpose of every senior Rockwell executive is to suck as much money out of the company as they can before they 'Cash Out' and retire or get fired. And if their decisions to fool shareholders and land a big bonus now have a devastating impact on the company in the future, what do they care? They will be gone with their booty anyway. In short, they don't care about the company any more than most of us on the plant floors do. It's all about the money to us. Oh, to have my severance package and to be escorted out the door. HEE - HAW!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Go read the Siemens blog. Sounds just like this one. Bean counters and management. Only difference is they are complaining about the Rockwell managers (hired from Rockwell) poisoning their company. Yikes.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - RE: Monday, March 15, 2010 - about Australia and New Zealand:

What a joke. This statement can only come from the top at RA Australia. He has no credibility throughout the industry and treats his people with contempt. RA Australia is set to disappear. Lies and more lies from RA Australia. Those butts that are being kicked are all in Rockwell Australia.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Richland Center announced last week they are getting a new plant mangager. The way it was put out is this will now be the "Rockwell way", rotating. By the way the new one coming on board is not from Rockwell.

Whooopeedo, we get em trained then they send em off. Sad thing is we have been getting new ones that are "green behind the ears" probably never got a lick of dirt under their fingernails and are book or school trained. Not like the old days when the person worked their way up from the bottom. Here we go again.

When is Lyman or Keith leaving, anyone got a clue?


Monday, March 15, 2010 - To the person who asked about Australia and New Zealand:

I work there and it's great. The partnership with the two best distributors in the region is going well. We are seeing more investment in our future, and I feel the future looks good. There is no way we feel that our company will not keep a large presence in the South Pacific. And we are kicking the butts of Schneider, Siemens, ABB et al.


Monday, March 15, 2010

No, I cannot agree with you that RA Cambridge is a great company to work for. Pay is decent, benefits are prtty standard, atmosphere is horrible. Work is work, dont get me wrong. You should earn your money no doubt. A decent day pay for a decent days work is how it should be.

The complaints come from complete frustration with the decisions that are made by managers, team leads, HR, upper management, and so on. I am 100% positive that workers make mistakes, which is frustating. But the point of the "whining" as you and others put it, is not all. It's a collection of frustration that is never answered, often ignored, quite possibly, decent answers to a lot of problems that can be addressed swiftly and efficiently.

The level of "whining" is a testiment to the workers that would like to see this company succeed, prosper and deveolp a better relationship with its management to become what it should be... the best!

Erase the favoritism, the childish secrecy. Make a plan and stick to it, changing rules as we go, follow the guidelines that are set and you would have a much different and more efficient functioning teams to build a true quality product, so that we can all get paid! That is what business is...profit. Nothing more, nothing less.

Rest In Peace William Wolosinecky! A great guy who made a great impact on myself and many more.


Monday, March 15, 2010

I don't know why some people from Cambridge are complaining so much? We have decent jobs, decent pay, decent benefits.... What else do they want? To sit at home, watch TV, not go to work and get paychecks?

Yes, if you don't like it - leave the Company. There are so many people that would be more than happy to work for Rockwell. Management makes mistakes, but everybody does; workers too, do you not agree? Let's be honest with ourselves first, then with everybody else. Rockwell Cambridge is a great Company to work for!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

I am one of those former employees and totally agree that life out of RA is much better, less stress, more enjoyment and job satisfaction. Those 5 to go from RA UK Sales should see this as a positive move, a move to a much better life and future.


Friday, March 12, 2010

So much for improved business conditions in the UK. I work for an outsourced HR company and we have recently been informed of a 5 man reduction in Rockwell's sales force.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

If anyone talks to former employees, whether they quit, got fired, laid-off, or retired, those employees more than likely will all say the same,"I am so relaxed, no more stress and enjoy what they are now doing". They more than likely are saying "I had no idea I would be enoying what I am now doing and should have moved on some time ago". I am one of the many, and everyone says I look "10 years younger and look so relaxed". I rest my case.


Monday, March 8, 2010

I am the former contractor who wrote the 3/4/10 post. Less than 24 hours after I wrote this post, management was alerted to it and promptly threw me out the building in the middle of a phone call with a distributor. He was such a proud peacock, he couldn't even wait for me to end my call. It was so funny to me that they would "fire" me on my last day (2 1/2 hours before I was leaving anyway), so I figured I'd let everyone in on the joke that was on me. Not only that, but they had my temp service on the phone before I even made it to my car reporting my transgression. It's amazing how someone could be reprimanded for something done in their off time, from home no less. What happened to free speech? Some would say I got what I deserved, but I'll say to them, if I really didn't want to be found out, I wouldn't have posted the blog nor would I have made myself so easily identifiable.

As further proof of the incompetence I spoke of in my first post, instead of being professional and bringing me into an office to privately kick me out, the guy decided it would be best to do it in front of 7 of my co-workers. Nice. Not only that, but after they threw me out the first time, he walked away for a bit, came back a second time, threw me out again, and tried to start an argument with me, which I promptly shut down. I told him what he was doing was unnecessary and that I was going to take my things and go like he asked. Yeah, like I was gonna fall for that trick, cuss him out (and I REALLY wanted to because he was cutting up something terrible), and give the temp service another reason to fire me, too. I don't think so.

At this point, my temp service wants to put the weight of their relationship with Rockwell on my shoulders, saying I have now jeopardized their standing with Rockwell. Like I would allow them to put all that on me. Nah, that one's for the birds, people. Little old me doesn't have that kind of power. If Rockwell pulls their contract (which I seriously doubt they will), that's neither here nor there to me. All that can't be because I told the truth about what goes on in the department...and look, I'm doing it again, aren't I? Talk about putting salt in the wound...

Needless to say, I have already found myself another job, seeing as how I don't do unemployment. I start Monday. I can only hope that the next place I venture to won't be ANYTHING like Rockwell. Truth be told, it's not all bad. I can't sit here and say the company is crap because I didn't work in the entire company. I was only in Milwaukee Customer Care and can only speak about the things I saw and went through. Again, I leave behind an amazing set of co-workers, but management sucks! Lies, deceit, and cover-ups are all the name of the game over there. Also, to clarify, this DOES NOT speak to any of the Team Leads in the group. They are all outstanding as well and are only doing as instructed. It's sad they are involuntarily involved in the bureaucracy that goes on over there, but when they're ready, I'm sure they'll go shine somewhere else just as I will be doing next week, and if they don't, to each his own.

I already know whoever dimed me out on the first post will be chomping at the bit to dime me out on this one, too. Feel free. How childish of whoever that was to do their due diligence and run tell. That was so high school of you. At the end of the day, it's no matter because karma will get you every time.


Monday, March 8, 2010 - This is a message to all the "non-negative" people that keep telling the "negative whiners" to shut up and be thankfull that you have a job:

There are more jobs, than Rockwell Automation; there are more employers than Rockwell Automation; there are plenty more opportunities than Rockwell Automation, believe it or not. There IS life outside of and after Rockwell Automation. You people are the ones who are stuck. People like myself can afford to take the job loss, and the severence. We have other skills, and thankfully don't have a narrow view of your flat world, that consists only of Rockwell. You must be one of the workers that basically lives there. That is unfortunate. You work to live. You do not live to work.

Why do I stay? Friends, connections, and challenge I guess. And probably I would miss the everyday soap opera of the daily gossip, ridiculous decision making schemes, and mostly watching people like you non-negative guys work like there is a blue ribbon for you at the end of your shift. Ease up, do a good job, a fair and honest work day. I assure you, there are no ribbons waiting, and most do not care to listen to you.


Monday, March 8, 2010 - For the last blog:

Who do you think made Rockwell employees's so negative? Not just at one plant, but throughout Rockwell. I wonder if it has anything to do with Management. Ya think?


Sunday, March 7, 2010

I have read all the comments by all the negative people who seem to have come through the doors of Rockwell Automation, but I have to respond to the person who is wishing for their severence package. Be careful, you might get what you wish for and then lets see you doing cartwells to the unemployment line!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Actually, there are some of us here in Cambridge that would like to see the plant closed so we can get our severance packages and move on. We don't want to just quit and leave with nothing. Still, we know that the plants future here is questionable. I have nothing against Rockwell, but I would gladly take my severance pay and go. And so would a lot of other people. And many of us have the same reasons. The total lack of organization by our lazy management and the unbelievable incompatence when it comes to ever solving any of the real problems. Many days I leave work feeling as if all I have accomplished is to bring the same old problems to the same old useless managers. And the result will be more meetings to discuss holding even more meetings to meet about passing the buck down the food chain to junior managers who just want out, too. So lay me off and give me my severance package. I will do cartwheels out the door!


Friday, March 5, 2010 - To: I work as a Contractor:

Today the world is flat (sorry to quote a book), and as a planet we are becoming more educated. Todays 2 yr degree is a high school degree, todays 4-year degree is a 2-year degree, and a masters degree is a 4-year degree. Get the picture? This is a harsh reality. The only recourse is go back to school and hit the books hard! And find a company willing to invest in the Future! This rock will NEVER FLOAT. Best of luck!


Friday, March 5, 2010

What's the latest on RA in Australia and NZ? News is that senior RA managers in Aus started jumping the ship. How are NHP and Inaco performing? With NHP and Inaco completely taking over, there's no need for RA personnel. RA in Aus will be reduced to a handfull of people, ensuring NHP's and Inaco's numbers are correct. It's not like that they'll be able to do anything about it anyway.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

I work as a Contractor in the Customer Care group in the infamous Clock Tower building. While I've noticed most of the comments in this forum are from people who work in the plants, I will say this: To voice one's opinion is not to be disgruntled. It is simply what it is -- management is useless. In my group, we have some good people, but the fact that seniority plays no part in the hierarchy makes no sense to me and is a dis-service to the staff. Not only that, but we, too, experience "secrets" in our group. Most of the updates we get on products are from the distributors, which is tragic beyond belief. On more than a few occasions, I've taken a call from a distributor who has given me a rundown of issues with products. Don't even get me started on the current MicroLogix catastrophe. Oy! I've seen the comments that have said - if you don't like Rockwell, quit. Well, my last day is tomorrow. Ha! My contract is up and I'm getting the f*** out of Dodge.

I am so glad to get out of that place, I am throwing myself a mid-day going away party. I LOVE my job and I have the best co-workers, but it's just too much for me. I'll go over to ABB where management seems to have some sense. It is ridiculous how employees are treated in my group and I'm sure we aren't the only ones to suffer at the hands of micro-managers who want to tell you how to do your job, but don't even do theirs, like we all don't know they surf the web all day. I won't say I was a perfect employee, but I was good enough to be permanent. For whatever reason, I was told I wasn't qualified enough to do the job I've done the last 18 months as a permanent employee. Like that makes sense - why keep me that long if I wasn't qualified?? I'd prefer the truth, but somehow I think that would open them up to litigation, so I've moved on from finding out the real deal. Oh, AND they wanted to keep me another 6 months, but their glorious legal department said no, and yet I'm not qualified. Hmmmm. Thank goodness!

Besides that, they want a frickin' Bachelor's degree to answer the phone. For real? I guess an HS diploma (not a GED), an Associate's degree, and 14 years of experience in call-centers just doesn't cut it over there. I don't have a Bachelor's, but I intend to get one... not so I can answer the phone, though, but so I can move into my desired field-of-choice, which is NOT a glorified secretary. That's what the lowest level reps are there. We answer the phone, take a message, and send the ticket on up the ladder. And I need a Bachelor's for that? Yeah? Ok.

Damn, I think I sound disgruntled. Either way, I'm out. The powers that be don't recognize talent and dedication when it's staring them in the face, so I'll go elsewhere and let it be nurtured by a company without a set of ridiculous standards that no Bachelor's degree holder would even contemplate. Farewell, Rockwell!


Thursday, March 4, 2010 - Re: To Rockwell inventory is at an all time low. :

Amen. There is an old sales axiom that states that you can not sell from an empty cart - think about it no stock = no sales = no profits; meanwhile, your competition is shipping from stock and on time. You are holding open the doors for our competitors to walk in and take your business away. If you do not understand this then I would be more then happy to visit a board meeting and draw you a picture. Quite frankly, there is no valid excuse for the present stocking levels. For the record, I am not an employee of Rockwell I am in the channel and we are in the upper quartile.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - In reply to the hockey fan:

Oh man, you are delusional. You may as well fly to see the Queen and demand your country back. Oops you already have it. Sorry but that was a terrible analogy. The Canadian hockey team is not a U.S.owned entity, but RA Canada and Cambridge are. All of you whiners need to just stay off the airwaves, stay below the radar and do your jobs. If I was Milwaukee and I read this, I would figure no one is working in Canada and take the whole place as a cost savings. Guess what, your customers are reading this and wondering what the heck all of you are doing between complaints! This written by an amused non-RA employee.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Times are tough. I have been in two companies that have experienced low-profit periods. The result is the same. Fewer people do more for less. It's just like getting your car stuck in the mud. Someone might have to get out and push, and it could involve some unsavory conditions. I have seen many people step up to this responsibility in my division of RA. Good people. However, the difference with the other companies and RA, is that here, there seems to be no regard for an employee. If you don't value your employees, the foundation of your business will crumble. It is just a matter of time.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Has anyone see Keith Nonesuch's rant in the 2-28-10 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel? Blames most of the company's problems on the government. I guess if we all lived in grass huts or tent cites, our standard of living would be low enough that Rockwell could afford to hire us. I guess everyone needs to have excuses for their failures - but I couldn't get mine published!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Rockwell inventory is at an all time low. This has caused a snowball effect throughout the entire company. Simple items like pushbuttons relays and disconnect swiches are delaying shipments of MCC's, drives and custom panels. These parts shortages cause major scheduling issues for the other divisions needing them need a 30mm pushbutton? Oh they are on backorder. (4 weeks) The old phrase "on a slow boat from China" that is now the delivey method! We had a cusomer call our distribtor needing a 200 HP drive in a hurry. No problem, the drive module will ship in 20 days. But that is 20 working days, which is 4 weeks, which is a MONTH! Brand X had SEVERAL in stock. My distibutors morale is at an all time low. Every order has to be handled special, expedited, appealed, re-expedited, escalated, until exasperated.

Then the factory asks: why doesn't the distibutors have stock? They DID, until their replenishment order was back ordered. The amount of time spent on all of this cannot be cheaper than keeping inventory on fast movers. The inside-sales staff has the lowest morale ever; they are tired of fighting the clock tower. AB: Absolutely Broken.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Yes, I seen the increase in ebay items but it could be worse. A Cambridge employee was terminated for selling stuff on Ebay that didn't belong to him... maybe he snuck back, lol. I doubt it, our security guards are relentless at catching shady characters and vigilant in seeing wrong-doing anywhere.

On another note: Can someone please inform managemnt that it is pathetic for keeping secrets about hiring people. Seriously, grow up. Rockwell is a professional company, act like it, you are the leaders!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I have noticed an increase of items for sale on Ebay (motor control related) stuff from AB/Rockwell. Wonder what is going on with this increase? Really found an interesting one ALLEN BRADLEY/REYNOLDS Cap/Drink Carrier Collector NWOB. Neat and sure brings back the pleasant memories of the "Good Ole Days"!


Monday, March 1, 2010

Watching the U.S./Canada hockey game on Sunday reminded me a lot of the Cambridge plant. Up to 3 years ago we were aggressive in Cambridge, stood our ground and fought back the Americans just as they did in the first two periods of the hockey game. However, in the 3rd period the Canadians sat back on their heels and were bullied and out played by the Americans, just as the Cambridge plant is allowing the Americans to do to them now. So as I see it, Cambridge can continue to sit back on their heels, be bullied by the Americans and eventually lose by being closed by them, or they can fight back like Team Canada, dig in those heels, and be the Division they used to be. It is time to pull together, find a leader and step up our game. ***Go Canada Go***!


Saturday, February 27, 2010

I'm employed at the RC plant & since we are "THE HUB" of re-work I saw a cabinet in the re-work area that had the serial plate exposed. It was a 2100 & the serial plate said Guadalupe. I did not know we built 2100's there or that we had a factory there?


Thursday, February 25, 2010

I cannot see how Rockwell Automation can succeed on the path that it is taking. I have been with this company for a long time, and up until 2 1/2 years ago have enjoyed my job. Unless you are on the manufacturing floor you would not understand what is being told, not asked, of the employee's. We are being forced to work mandatory overtime on all shifts. (Including weekends with various hours.) Even if you want to take vacation you have to find someone to take your place or come back in to work the weekend or weekday depending on what shift you are on. (That's fair right?) The management makes up policy as it see's fit and changes it at will. Management could care less about any ones family life. I would like to see these policies in place for them.

I agree with the previous blog. There needs to be a change in the upper level management, they have lost touch with reality. Allen Bradley was a great company to work for and they cared for their employee's and customers. Rockwell is about GREED and MILKING it for everything they can get, and then selling it off. You have to ask yourself, would a union help change the way employee's are being treated? Could it happen in Twinsburg? Time will tell.


Thursday, February 25, 2010 - Lean SIX SIGMA's:

Now to most out there, these people are a waste of money, time and an actual pain in the proverbial butt. I do see where a lot of the complaints come from, on the workers behalf indeed. I also see the need for a lot of the complaints. Did we need them, YES. Do we need them, NO.

They were started off great, with fresh ideas and a thirst to help MAKE CHANGE. There was great change to be implemented, people were being asked questions, team setups, meetings, etc. The same problem with this company for the last 10-15 years. THEY WANT CHANGE, but will not spend the money, time or resources to do it, and do it RIGHT!

This Cambridge facility management loves to put a nice big expensive band-aid on it three times instead of fixing it right the fist time, and actually costing them 2-3 times the amount than it would've to do it right... not to mention the aggravation.

Lean Six can be a very usefull tool in the presence of someone who truly knows the jobs at hand, tasks and rythm. That is where the workers have a lot of gripe as they see these people fiddle with things they have no idea about.

A lot of great ideas are proviced by the workers. Six sigma is a great tool to help bring them to life and to drive the chain of thought to be more efficient, but in the end, the upstairs managers who decline to do it because it might save them a few bucks, are to blame; not six sigma, not the workers.

Look at the way this place does its traning. It is a complete joke. This is why people do not take the job that seriously anymore. Before it was like a skill; now you have skill-sets shoved down your throat. It is not about learning one thing and mastering it. It is about doing 15 things and getting something done in a matter of minutes. Tact time! that is their goal, not quality. That is why I think Lean Six fails..

Big Macs look so good on the commercials, because they have taken the time to do it right... Go to any McD's and you will find a sloppy, soaking soggy pile of a mess. Qualitative over Quantitative.

Train your work force properly and thoroughly. Treat your workers like yourself! A lot might not have the education you do, but there are some people there that would put you to shame intellectually. Be fair. The employeee handbook is printed in English. All the workers can read it. Use it, follow it. It does make a difference!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

I have been reading this blog for the past 4 years, and up until recently worked at Rockwell for 6 years right out of college, in engineering and sales. My impression of Rockwell when I joined the company 6 years ago was that they were the industry leading technology innovator. They were known for being high priced, but had the quality, people, products, and industry reputation that allowed them to command higher prices.

Since then, I still believe that Rockwell Automation has some of the best products in the industry. But unfortunately, I saw the company crumbling from the inside. I'll never forget the video they showed us during the hiring process that detailed the long and rich history of Allen-Bradley (not Rockwell Automation). That video showed people that were passionate about their work, took responsibility and pride in their company, and worked together to build a great company. As is evident from all the comments on this weblog, today's people are FAR more interested in spending time bickering about internal problems rather than focusing on the customer needs, getting product delivered, innovating, improving quality etc.

I have never posted to this weblog before. But, given my recent departure from Rockwell, in addition to what I'm hearing about the Micrologix issues, I just can't believe that the management running Rockwell allow things to continue the way they are. I could spend hours writing about the problems I saw internally; but I'm not here to complain. Ultimately, I want to see Rockwell succeed, as I still work heavily on the integration side with RA products.

I think the best thing that can happen at Rockwell is a change in leadership, that has the courage to do a top down overhaul of the company and get back to focusing on the problems that are preventing them from being the great company they once were. People need to take responsibility and work together, rather than always trying to pass the buck.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - Response to Feb 24, Six Sigma person:

Show some gratitude - for what? We have never been more late on orders than we have been since we got the "sick" sigmas. funny how we were able to grow drives from 20 a month to 50 to 75 without you. Declining productivity - funny how we were about to produce a quality product at the peak of the economic boom without any help. You have more production people now working on non-productive things than ever before - graphs, spreadsheets, etc - when these people could be putting out our so called late orders. You've just move the quality problem from the test dept into assembly areas.

You sigmas have done some good work, and you can see some progress. But it could be so much better if you would actually listen to the people who do the work.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

For all of us who started with the Company in the late 70's, early 80's... we did O.K without the need of six-sigmas. We gave up vacation time, worked swing shifts and did what it took to make the Allen Bradley a leader in the Automation world.

It's sad to see what is now happening with the Jobs and quality. Those who helped in making it great are now being over-shadowed by folks (six-sigmas) that feel that they have a better way of doing things. Greed and Bad business decisions have killed a once great Company. Mexico is turning out to be a bad decision, just like the European design center in the 90's. Don't call it whining. Watching a great American Company turn its back on the American families that made it, is sad. They need six-sigmas in the call centers, go for it. Good luck to all that remain.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Has it ever occurred to you Cambridge whiners that you and your poor performance are the reasona we six-sigmas were brought in? Something had to be done. Late orders, poor quality and a declining productivity would lead to closure if we had not been thrown into the breach. Instead of infantile complaining, show some gratitude for the fact that we have helped save your jobs.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Lean Sick Sigma was introduced to management at RC from Toyota. The spreadsheets and charts and graphs look good on paper. The spreadsheets, with many orders and their ship date and dollar amounts, and man hours, is part of SAP - looks like it will work. Only one thing, it does not show less parts of any kind. We will build and ship, never being short any parts for an order. It is a perfect world.

Also in Monterrey, Mexico, should see all the new buildings being built for future customers. Interesting. It has been going on in RC for a good year and no end in sight. End-of-the-month is on.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

We are now being told RA might fill our Micrologix order. They "found" some components to make them with. I understand Arrow was their global supplier of components. Did Arrow "find" some parts in inventory, or did RA go to a secondary supplier? As an OEM, we have to look elsewhere for a dependable small PLC supplier so we can fill the orders for our customers. We've never looked elsewhere, but RA has compromised our business to the point where we have no choice.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Nosbusch is nothing more than a flea on Don Davis' tail. If tweedle D is "Dan" from Milwaukee, good luck, POS in our book. You can have him. The rape of Allen-Bradley is almost complete. No, it is not satisfaction - more like subtraction.


Monday, February 22, 2010 - In response to the post on FEB 21: "As an American, I am proud to be part of this evolution."

You must be related to Keith Nosbusch, because you sound like him and must be drinking the same Kool Aid. Many of my friends (hard working blue collar types) have been laid off because of the work being moved to Mexico / China etc. That is Fact!

Ask any of the workers in RC, or even workers in Cambridge who lost work. They moved work from Cambridge to RC (4R mcc sections utility sections for example) We were told in RC that more SC/PE 2 and engineer mcc orders were being moved south of the border, but at least we will be getting Canada orders in RC and then we were told AMAT is leaving RC for Monterrey and China in spite of the fact of the lack of skill sets and how RC is bending over backwards and on their knees to please AMAT. (Mandatory OT, working weekends) Something does not add up. That is Fact! Many of us dont like the way things are being handled either in RC. That is Fact !

Now both our plant managers in RC (tweedle D and twiddle D) are getting balled out about the indirect labor and overtime that is put in. Its funny how lean management was brought in to make things run smoother but added more indirect labor and countless bulletin boards with charts and pretty graphs. Is the customer paying for this? Can you say mismanagement? The so-called "Professional types " may make more moola overseas, but I bet you could not make a living being a "regular joe" working family man in Mexico.

This whole "global vision" you rave about - let's see how you feel if your job is outsourced.


Monday, February 22, 2010

You must be in your 30s. Heres problem with your global company look and the wonderful outcome of China, India and other lower income nations taking American jobs and you getting richer in the long run. You will end up paying for the unemployed workers through your taxes. So your net income will be lower.

America needs to reinvent itself, and we can no longer be just a service-provider nation as manufacturing jobs move out of our country. Levis had 22 plants in North America 10 years ago, but Wal-Mart help move all that to Mexico and beyond. You cant find a nice metal sprinkler that last 10 years anymore, because Wal-Mart got us to buy the 99-cent plastic sprinkler from China. If this country is going to get serious around sustainability, then they need to include Labor into the Sustainability categories. Reduce Carbon footprint, do more with less and reduce energy cost.

When a plant in the USA closes, so does other programs with it, like Junior Achievement and Little League. People from these plants invest in the community they live in. You close the plant; you close those support groups that create the DNA for future business leaders in America. Oh wait, you must have thought the Chinese were going to come over and teach the next generation of Americans on how to do business?

I left Rockwell Automation almost a year ago, and it was because of the poor leadership in the States. The stock has risen because of extreme cost-reductions; reduce investment into R&D and threat of a buyout. Rockwell Automation could be just a name in the next few years; much like a Stanley Lawn Mower (Stanley doesnt make lawn mowers but Wal-Mart got them to sign their name onto cheap Asian lawn mowers for creditability). Are you ready to sit along side the Sprecher and Schuh salesman? Thats where youre going, my friend, as ABB or GE buys RA and breaks it up into smaller groups and sells off pieces.

How would you feel if a software company came long and created a software packaging that could program any vendors PLC? You no longer need the vender PLC software to build out your line. End users could then pick a PLC provider base on their capability and support with no worries about compatibility. That day has come. Rockwell Automation ControlLogix is a beast that is getting long in the tooth. There has been little enhancements made into the technology over the last four years and the next best thing is always 24 months out.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

This weblog needs to upgrade its readership The fact is that Rockwell stock is up, because it is winning, taking market share and producing better financials than competition. Share gains in Asia and USA. Fact: A global controls company needs to manufacture globally. It isn't cheap labor; in fact professional cost in Asia is higher, as in East Europe. Fact: Those that dont spend time whining on this site are making a diffrenece, beating Global competitors, making money and enjoying the dream. Fact: US people have had it too easy and have forgotten how to compete at an intellectual level and accept they are just a part of the Globe. They don't own the Globe. As an American, I am proud to be part of this evolution and hope the Indian, Chinese and Czech will help me have a richer life. GO ROCKWELL! Born in America Raised Globally!


Saturday, February 20, 2010

To the person that mentioned signing Union cards. Keep encouraging that and you'll get your wish... perhaps a Union, but you won't have a job. If you think for one second that the Americans will keep our facility open, you'd better start looking for a new job, now, cause once again... you are WRONG with your thoughts.

Sounds like your ideas and dreams are bigger than actual reality. Grow up and stop whining. Go in, do your job, be thankful you have one, or move on to someplace that you might enjoy.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Rockwell is getting ready to lose a lot of business due to the fact that they can not ship Micrologix controllers. A lot of Micrologix customers/OEM's also use larger CLx systems and this situation is putting them in jeapordy.


Friday, February 19, 2010

ArmorStart is being manufactured in RC instead of Monterrey because as part of our agreement with the TSA/federal government (who purchases some of them), we cannot manufacture it outside of the country.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

ArmorStart new product is going to be built in Richland Center. Three to six month project. Why? This going on a smaller line. What are they going to do with the 24 benches and test fixtures that have been sitting vacant for months at RC since the layoff? More personnel for many small projects. Why? What 's going on in Mexico?


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rockwell manufacturing in trouble. Tecate continues to build junk! The MCC wiring quality is very poor. Since this worked so well we moved the engineered drives to Monterey. Monterey is now up and running, but they are shippng orders weeks late. Quality is reported to be crap. Nosbush takes $10 million in stock options while the company is falling apart. When will the madness stop?


Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - Re: Why is Rockwell's stock so high, when orders are down?

During the boom years (before the financial melt down) the board approved the purchase of stock shares. After the sale of Reliance Motor for more than 1 billion the board allocated this for stock purchase. I think it is being propped up with the money from divestments and past earnings.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I did enjoy the lunch Rockwell provided. But, when it comes to safety, like any other company they don't care. The only thing they care about is the money that is made. Rockwell is just lucky no one gets hurt. I really like their policy on work place violance. If it was an hourly employee that grabbed another employee, they would be fired. But, management has their own set of rules. If we can get enough people to fill out a union card, and get a union in our plant, then we could have this problem removed before someone else is grabbed.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The issues in Cambridge can be satisfied by firing the operations manager. But, we know that won't happen as he takes his directions from an arrogant American, and we all know the employees in America have no rights. If it had been two employees acting like that, the grabber would have been suspended and after three days of sweating it out at home would have been fired. How many times have we seen that in the past?

The downfall of Rockwell Cambridge is the Americans. All was well until their presence became more dominant. Canadians are "we" people, but the Americans are all about "me". As long we in Cambridge continue to allow them to have control, things will not change.

Stand up Cambridge! Unite (not with a union, but together as a division) and stand up against these people that think they are smarter and better than everyone else. Stop letting them walk all over you.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why is Rockwell's stock so high, when orders are down? This does not make sense. What is keeping it so high for the shareholders?


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Yes, very true. We the unappreciative. We the ungrateful. We should be glad when upper management uses intimidation to motivate us. What better way to get the most out of your workers than to frighten, subdue and daunt. (By the way, intimidation in and of itself is workplace violence, let alone the actual "grab".... but I digress). It's fine to express our oppinions, but we should first check with our boss to find out what our personal views are. It's the right thing to do. If we do have a thought of our own, we should be sent home immediately, glad to have a job to be sent home from. We should encourage our leaders to make assumptions and accusations about us. It shows they love us and we should thank them for it. We should never take for granted the wisdom we are shown day in and day out by the warm and wonderful people who lead us through our work week. Thank you for the free sandwich.


Monday, February 15, 2010

When it comes to a Hostile Work Environment, or Sexual Harrassment, or Work Place Violence, there is a very, very easy way to stop it. File a lawsuit. Money might talk, but BS Walks. If it is so bad, then make a move.


Monday, February 15, 2010 - Training in China vs Training in the USA.

The Chinese and Indian workers are working for next to nothing, in terms of our pay ranges. And even if China is a Communist country, they have certainly realized the value of their workforce. So has India.

All that said, you can see the result. If you want to personally stay in the rat-race, then you have to train up. If a company won't pay for it, you'll have to. And take the time. Or make the hard decisions not to, and trust your future to the new supervisors who are 20 years younger, and 20 years faster on the draw.

Find some training you are interested in, hit your passion, and find ways to make it happen. It's all you can do. Or face the results when you hit 55 and they don't want you anymore.

No, I didn't have the money. I spent %20,000 on my credit card to get the training, then took out a home equity loan to pay it off. And got it all back in less than 4 months when I took a new job.

Roll the dice. Change sucks. Moving is worse. Watching your company meltdown is horrible. Watching your finances burnout is worse.

Adapt, Improvise, Overcome. Or be overtaken.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Think about where that sandwich offered up as the reward lunch ended up... much like everything else Rockwell touches.


Sunday, February 14, 2010 - In response to the blogger that mentioned I was living in the wrong era:

Yup I am, I'm living in the present, 2010. It is you that is living in the past. I value the fact that I am one of the fortunate people that does actually have a job in today's tough economy, that knows how to appreciate what I have and not take things for granted. I don't expect things to be given to me.

I too am the carpet that you refer to -- a rather plush one at that. Aren't I lucky that I have the opportunity to be on the floors of Rockwell Automation?


Saturday, February 13, 2010 - To: Cambridge:

Shut up and stop whining! You are lucky this plant is open. Your only place in the order of things is to build it and ship it. If that is too much to ask then Management will find some place less confrontational.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

I agree - Lunch was OK, but... less than a month after Annual Dance (or Christmas Party) for which we had to pay $20 per person?! If we didn't deserve to get that party for free, than... No comment!


Friday, February 12, 2010 - Re: Congrats Rockwell Cambridge:

Well said. Always seems to be those few disgruntled people out there who want to speak on behalf of others in the company and be negative towards just about everything. Thankfully common sense prevails and most of us continue about our business and ignore these ignorant, self-centred blogs that continue to cut up the company for self-gratification. In the end we know the truth and we know who's behind the negativity.

Thanks for posting a positive comments. Lunch was indeed very enjoyable.


Friday, February 12, 2010 - To the author who wrote "I agree, Congrats to Rockwell Cambridge on receiving the "Crystal" award for Environmentl/Safety/Health. I'm honoured to work for a company that is able to achieve this. "

Praise to Rockwell! Err, scratch that. The latter part of this contribution appears to show the author either living in the wrong era, or likes being a carpet. Maybe he/she would prefer the new period of austerity thats being hoisted upon those "internees" of RA. What an abhorrent tone, so unforgiving. How much more should people bend over before complaining? Nice approach! Grrrrrrr.


Friday, February 12, 2010

A funny thing, this place we call work. Cambridge is still exactly the same as it has been for the past 3 year. Management that was almost invisible here while the Union was out front, have come back with a vengeance, dusting off their hats just waiting to flex their muscles once again. In the last couple weeks, management here has shown us their true colours yet again. They remind us that they can do as they please and get away with it. Something we did not see for almost 8 month while the C.A.W. was out front passing out cards.

The materials manager in particular is up to her old tricks again, targeting and attempting to eliminate employees as she sees fit. Rockwell currently uses 3 different systems to control inventory, and every 6 months it changes to accommodate one more than the others, and as expected employees grow weary of trying to figure out where the parts are, or what system to use. So when an employee voices their opinion about how poorly inventory control is and how frustrating it is to use, they get written up and sent home for the day because this manager was offended by a word used by the employee. The very next day she attempts to get 2 more employees written up, assuming they are using cell phones, though none were seen. What I find very sad and offensive is that this manager has repeatedly tried to get multiple employees fired based on lies, and has been caught red handed, and yet still somehow keeps her job. Is that how you lost your job at A&W?

    "Workplace Violence: There will be no tolerance of violence at Rockwell Automation. Any assault, battery, stalking or other threatening or intimidating behaviour conducted by an employee, or directed toward an employee, is prohibited. A threat includes any expression of intent to cause physical harm to another person and may or may not include using a weapon to carry out a physical attack.

    "Appropriate action will be taken for any workplace violence, up to and including termination of the offender. Every threat of violence will be taken seriously and excuses will not relieve the offender of the responsibility for having made the threat."

This is taken directly from the employee handbook; a passage that our manager of operations should know by heart. Obviously you missed this part in our handbook but no worries you can find something similar in the Canadian legal legislation Im sure. Just so you know when you lay your hands on someone, it is assault. It doesnt matter if you think they were not working hard enough or you think they were doing something wrong; assault is assault. It is NOT!O.K. for anyone, including management, to grab or touch another person, and you are not exempt from this rule. H.R. seems to be a little slow on this one. I wonder why.

To the previous blogger: I also did not take part in the free lunch; thanks Rockwell, but no thanks. I love my job and my co-workers and believe we make an excellent product, and only wish to be paid for what I do. I will not be bought with a sandwich, and if having an opinion makes you a whiner then most of us that work here are whiners. You're more than welcome to sit there and take it; but dont tell the rest of us we have to as well. The majority of people I know for a fact feel the same way as I do, and your blog tells me you are jockeying for a management spot and that you havent been employed at Rockwell very long. Keep it up there may be an opening for you soon.


Friday, February 12, 2010

I agree, Congrats to Rockwell Cambridge on receiving the "Crystal" award for Environmentl/Safety/Health. I'm honoured to work for a company that is able to achieve this. Great work to all employees that made this happen.

I disagree with the fact and am sorry for those that cannot accept the excellent lunch that was provided to us as employees by the company, and that they would rather have money in their pocket. Perhaps if you didn't work at Rockwell, you would be able to get money in your pocket for a while through EI and then find another way to get it other than a weekly pay cheque. You people that are complaining about how BAD things are need to get on the outside and see how fun it would be to look for another job and maybe find one that pays minimum wage with no benefits. If you are that unhappy and have nothing more to do than complain about what a cheap company and how poorly you are treated, QUIT. No one is holding you back and the company doesn't owe any one of us as employees anything. Quit your whining and appreciate the fact that you are employed. If you find that hard to do you always have an alternative.

Another note.......your inconsiderate and thankless comments are a small minority of people within Cambridge, and the others that do appreciate what they have truly feel sorry for you.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Are the people on here that say that companies shouldn't invest in training for their people, all rich in wealth and time? Do you not have children or family? Money and time do indeed hinder one's chance at additional training and upgrading skillsets! Let's talk about the amount of training and schooling that the Chinese spend on their employees. I'm telling you that the number is quite substantial and we as American company employees are not getting the same treatment.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Looks like Rockwell Software is doomed. 2 years to adapt to Windows Vista, which no customer will ever have the need for. No plans to move to Windows 7. No engineers/developers left (most sent packing). Why would customers want to bring this stuff into their plants when there are no future support/development plans?


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Seems the Cambrigde plant has a little problem on their hand with a Senior Member who likes to grab people. I know there is a zero-tolerance policy inplace and employees have been fired for a lot less things in the last two years, that is for sure... Let's see how this incident is swept quietly under the rug. It is common knowledge that this happened, in this facility. I am not for firing someone or seeing someone lose their job, but policy is policy. What was right for one person is right for another, no matter the level of your belt, so to speak. The unfortuneate fact that is comes from the man who trys to enforce everything that is supposed to be.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

As a former employee like some of the previous bloggers, I agree with the general opinion on the senior management. They follow orders and dont think about the consequences of poor sales strategies and poor marketing. The recent decision to move away from the RS Rockwell Software branding and base product names on Factory Talk is insane. They spend 15 years building a brand name to almost household status and then get rid of it. Talk to the customers and see what most of them think, youd need to attend a week long course to get your head around the Factory Talk product range. On the plus side, as a consultant, Im making money explaining this to Rockwells customers so it isnt all bad news.


Tuesday, February 9,

Money is not an obstacle to self-improvement. There are countless free or nearly free opportunities to learn and upgrade your skills, from local community colleges to online tutorials and classes. Also, there is no better investment than in your ongoing education, so allocate some of your own money as an investment in yourself. It will often pay handsome dividends. Don't depend on your government/union/company/mommy to do it for you. Stand up for yourself.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

CONGRATULATIONS! cCongrats to Rockwell Cambridge on their recent award for Being the SAFEST place. This is a prestigiius award I understand and was given out to only two workplaces out of 200-300... They will recieve a $300,000 kickback, I hear from Work and Safety? A dinner will be provided for the people that made this possible...everyone gets a piece of cheese! not the cheese you can spend, but you actually nibble on. Oh and the good china and tableclothes are coming out as well.

I guess giving everyone who made this possible a kickback only goes one way...the companies! A $50 gift card or a bonus makes too much sense, so spend it on cheese and crackers, and you wonder why CAW are allways knocking on the door there?


Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - Re: the post - "Rockwell seems to be buying up controls systems integrators in the US and Canada but they are being very quiet about it. Why?" 'cos they want the business, thats why. The process is called wringing blood from a stone. Via the newly owned S.I. channel they can obtain larger margins on the same products sold. It's one of the final routes for maximising short term gain before subsuming the previously healthy independant business and crushing it.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Who are the controls system integrators that Rockwell has purchased?


Monday, February 8, 2010 - Regarding skill sets and money:

Don't improve the skill sets and watch your income potential disintegrate. Pay some out and watch your income potential expand. Since when are companies obligated to keep your skill sets current or improved? I didn't realize it was a welfare program.

There is a tipping point when a company won't put any more money into you. It's cheaper to hire and train younger newer trained engineers. Moral of the story: stay ahead of the curve, or get lost in the herd.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Regarding skill sets.....what if the highly trained and experienced engineers would have taken the time to listen to the winds of change. And they themselves became Black Belts and Lean Experts?

The moral of the story is that we are all responsible for our own skills. And if you see a train coming, get onboard, get out of the way, or get run over. And I'm not being mean. It is what has happened.

The reason RA brought in all the outsiders (I was one of them), was to make positive changes that their own internal staffs couldn't or wouldn't make. With all the negative lessons learned, just think how much more improved the situation would have been if the ROK legacy employees had taken the training when it was offered, prior to the Lean 100? It was offered, and some took it. But most of those never took it and ran with it.

So GE trained new leaders saw the need, and brought us in. With all the inherent issues of bringing in outsiders. One supervisor actually told me / us that he wasn't going to push his people in the cells as he was related to all of them in some form or another. Guess what, you all are reaping what he planted...the seeds of self immolation. The seeds of T2. The very cells he managed are now either in T2, or on the way there.

Over the next few days, go into your plants and cells, and ask the legacy leadership why they didn't push for the change. Changes that would have saved your jobs. What do you think their answer will be? Try it. Ask the questions. All the seeds for success were planted in the late 90's - 2002. It didn't grow, no one nurtured it on the plant floor, or in the plant offices. So it flailed around.

The message was: No change is possible. The Lean 100 was the last ditch effort in my opinion for local legacy to change and remain. It didn't. So T2 flourishes, so RC implodes. Not everybody can work at the dairy or subway. Look to those previous leaders, then make sure you look to yourselves. Maybe the other supervisor, who came across the desk at a Lean person, and yelled at them, and said he'd never trust the Lean people because he didn't know them, can answer the questions above.

In the last 10 years, Michigan has lost over 1 million jobs, 2/3 of all manufacturing jobs are gone. Wisconsin is just a follow up story, with the same result.

Good Luck!


Monday, February 8, 2010

It's not the company's job to keep your skills current when they can hire someone with more skills for less money; it's your job. Take responsibility for yourself. I put myself through college to get a better job and I take classes with my own money to stay up with technology. When layoffs come, I'll be prepared with experience and current skills.

Here's an interesting article about the effects of layoff's on the company, people, and the economy.
http://www.newsweek.com/id/233131


Monday, February 8, 2010

The main reason for the budget cuts on engineering re-training was due to the fact of their ages. We cannot invest money into a person who is about to retire in less than 5-8 years... It's like putting a rock on a glass plate...

Old engineers are mostly used for their nostalgic contributions of retro-fitting and short-cuts. Certainly not their efficiency and ingeniousness with aided tools. Bring in the new, out with the old. The new generation can grow, and morph with the newer products easily.


Monday, February 8, 2010 - Re: Weblog Wednesday Feb 3rd 2010 - "The only thing stopping "old engineers" from upgrading their skillsets is the "old engineers" themselves.":

Excuse me! The only thing stopping "old" engineers from upgrading their skillsets is money! I've worked for the SSB group for over a decade and in the last 5 years there has not been enough training budget money to allow engineers to upgrade skillsets.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rockwell seems to be buying up controls systems integrators in the US and Canada but they are being very quiet about it. Why?


Friday, February 5, 2010

The jobs are leaving the US; the skill-set of the US engineer doesn't matter. The jobs are moving, period. US engineer ~$100k/yr, non US engineer ~$30k/yr. Even an American trained engineer fresh out of college with the latest skill-set can't compete $ for $ with a fresh grad out of India/Mexico. The jobs RA are hiring for are NOT rocket-science, an AS/BS in electronics, electrical technology, or mech. technology/design is more than enough. A half dozen REAL engineers can do the product development/science, the others are just over-qualified technicians. RA just resells others products anyway, how much engineering does that require??


Thursday, February 4, 2010

If management is going to move the jobs that support the AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE out of the USA, maybe they can also do as Halliburton did. It is clear this is just about the last cost cutting measure to be made, other then figure out how to grow top line numbers. By the way I sold at $75.00/share I keep looking for a sign to get back in.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

For all Rockwell employees in the U.S. that are losing or have lost your jobs this year be advised, Rockwell will be taking federal tax out of your severance at the 25% flat rate option. Rockwell will try and convince you that it is required by the IRS but that is not true. Rockwell has the option to either use the 25% flat rate OR they can use the aggregate method. Using the aggregate method would require some effort on their part. Unless your supplemental pay for the year exceeds $1,000,000 the IRS has two methods of withholding. The first is known as the aggregate method, in which the severance pay is basically handled just like a regular pay check and normal withholding brackets apply. The second method is a flat 25% tax (of gross pay). The sad part about it all, that they do not and did not have the decency to tell you that they are/have already done this. The decision to do this rests solely with Rockwell, not the IRS.


Thursday, February 4, 2010 - Re Weblog Wednesday Feb 3rd 2010 - "The only thing stopping "old engineers" from upgrading their skillsets is the "old engineers" themselves.":

What a great example of self-centred arrogance. Carry on and perpetuate the myth. RA can now continue it's campaign to rid the faithfull. One day, my friend, you will be in that exact same position. If not at RA then elsewhere. Nice to see such great affection for those that helped create your position before you.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010 - Re: "The only thing stopping "old engineers" from upgrading their skillsets is the "old engineers" themselves.":

THE ONLY REASON JOBS ARE BEING LOST IS.....MONEY! Plain and simple... Why build for a cost of $1, when I can have a cost of $0.10.... It has nothing to do with me learning new skills. Every one of my fellow co-working engineers and I can have all the skills in the world. It does not matter at all, but the price/cost of business. Your comment of being an indicative situation from our own actions is absurd at best, and appalling to say the least.... You obviously have a vauge concept of reality when it comes to a conglomerate-type scenario on a global level.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The only thing stopping "old engineers" from upgrading their skillsets is the "old engineers" themselves. You stagnate, you're done. Simple as that. The previous poster's "nanny state" mentality that the union (and indirectly the company and the government) are responsible for continuing to develop their skills is totally indicative of why the jobs are leaving in the first place. Take some responsibility for your own situation, be accountable, and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT YOURSELF!


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Keep your eye on the ball. 3/09 $18, 2/10 $49, the owners (stockholders)are making money, everything else is just noise. Laid off US employees, loss of market share in the US, just noise. Job #1, make money for the owners. Job #2, see Job #1.

I feel bad for the US employees that made AB/RA what is is today, but we should thank NAFTA and the other free trade agreements for the decline. Keith is just playing the hand he was given. Do you really think a new owner will do anything different?


Monday, February 1, 2010

RA Q1 2010 North American sales -18% from last year. Only real growth in Asia/Pacific. Is this the result of the new world order or the US business seeing the effects of neglect by RA management? US customers upset with deliveries, product quality, engineering/support?

Product Alerts (recalls) with PowerFlex 4/40/400 drives contract manufactured by Chinese, Logix PAC(flagship product)firmware alerts. Missed ship dates on MCC's. Support/Engineering from India. SAP primary/secondary servers both down. No orders in, no orders out. The US market is ripe for the picking. Kieth promotes US manufacturing but continues to ship jobs out of the US.


Friday, January 29, 2010 - Re: "Young Engineers are being hired at Monterrey by dozens. Any idea on how to stop losing manufacturing jobs?":

Yes, create a non-Mexican union that will allow old engineers to go back and upgrade their skill-sets. This is what is important now - not experience, but skill-sets. Engineer #1 with 25 yrs is "laid-off", because Enginner #2 with 10 yrs also has a cross-stitching course.


Friday, January 29, 2010

My thinking is that it will take just as long to get T2 up and running as it took to get RC up nd running. After all RC was opened to undercut the labor cost that was once in HQ location. Face it NA is done, EU not there, Asia is where the work is. Sales are not growing, and only cost-cuts are adding to profits. This will keep the FAT CATS in the $$ and the small guy is out of luck.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Young Engineers are being hired at Monterrey by dozens. Any idea on how to stop losing manufacturing jobs?


Thursday, January 28, 2010

You have ZERO control over your destiny in this case.


Thursday, January 28, 2010 - Re: Cambridge Facility:

WE NEED TO UNITE! we need to become one again like we were in 1987. We all need to get along and work/strive for one common goal. If we can do this, we will see positive change happen for our wages, our life expectancy at RA. We need to be aware that out business is competitive, cut-throat and slowly slipping out of our own hands.

We choose our own destiny. For the 8 hours we work, we should focus on doing a #1 quality job, then and only then can we blame management for their plunders. We all need to come together, co-ordinators, reps, managers, workers, blackbelts, cleaning staff, cafateria workers, security guards, human resource managers and even the people from downstairs! We can make our faciltiy truly the center of excellence if we focus!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Those in RC that do not understand that their jobs are moving South, are either confused or refuse to see. T2 will take the RC jobs as soon as the workers become qualified enough to handle the complex work. Some luck may prevail, in that the folks in T2, need to develop the experience level, and well beyond, that the Tecate facility has. The original plan was Tecate, the new plan is T2 since Tecate can't handle the ETO side of the business. Maybe the skill level just isn't there. If it is, then when will it all be moved to MX?


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yes, here in Cambridge, we are getting some new positions in some areas - "Coordinators". Some people were "hand picked' for those jobs and after they got chosen, right away they (or some of them) stop doing their previous jobs?! If these are new job position's, shouldn't they be posted so that everybody can apply?! Also, if they(Coordinators) are not supposed to do previous jobs anymore, shouldn't their old jobs be posted!? We are confused a little bit here .


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Funny how both Siemens and GE are re-investing in local custom-manufacturing in both Panelboards and MCC's. Meanwhile Rockwell is leaving for eastern Europe and Mexico. Canadian and US customers want equipment customized, fast and competitively priced. Leave the discrete manufacturing in these places, but the actual customized product such as MCC's, panels etc needs to be local to meet customer needs. Look at your pricing strategies. How many more third party panel shops can Rockwell support?


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Not a rumor, not a joke - RA announced yesterday to their employees at RC they are moving one of their lines to Monterrey MX and the employees here will have to train their over the border counterparts. There was NO mention of layoffs as an end result of this decision, but it will impact close to 40 personnel at the RC facility. So much for support of keeping the American jobs in America, CEO's leadership and shareholders of companies should be ASHAMED of themselves for NOT supporting the US economy.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Twinsburg: I don't know what happened to Abe, but managers don't get walked out, they get transferred. He had to have done something worth suing over to get walked right off the plant floor.

As far as the new guy we will have to see what changes he sees for Twinsburg. I hope he has a clue because we are tired. I know we should be grateful we have jobs, but none the less we are TIRED! Logix has been working 60 hours a week since last Easter. Which seemed to be news to Abe for some reason. Abe's famous last words, "If you don't like it find another job somewhere else" I don't want to work somewhere else, I have been here for 20 years. I just don't want to work so much. Can we cut it down to 50 hour weeks, PLEASE. Staff the weekend shift already.

On another point, Rockwell can't get or keep qualified people because they refuse to hire from within anymore. Used to be you could come up from the ranks and bring all of your experience with you, now they hire from Engineers up, only from the outside and these people don't have the knowledge or experience that a person who is already there has. I saw hiring practices changing to them only hiring people with Bachelors or better so I knew if I wanted to advance I was going to have to get my degree. So I did, at the company's expense I might add. Can't even get an interview. So I am taking my company paid for degree and going else where. If they can't appreciate the knowledge and experience they have under their noses I will find another company who will. I am not looking forward to the change but I don't see any alternative at this point.

Next point: Rockwell is an electronic/software based company. Why are they bringing in people to build this stuff who barely know how to use a plug. You should see the temps they bring in here. Most don't even know how to use a computer. And the starting pay is the same as when I started 20 years ago. (I think there is a clue there somewhere). And while I'm on this subject, why is it that new positions appear out of no where and people are hand picked for these positions without them being posted. But they will post any other new jobs for that position if they come up in the future. This happens quite frequently and is very frustrating for those of us who are trying to get a leg up in the company.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wow, sounds like Twinsburg has been going through the same issues as we have in Cambridge (approx 3 years of chaos). Yes, we all know when the chaos began. I really dont know where senior management is getting their mandate from. If running facilities to the ground, and causing employee morale to be as low as I have ever seen it, then they have done their job. I am sure they will collect their big bonuses for a job well done, while the rest of us pull on our rubber boots and trudge on through the cess pool that they have created, and try to catch up through the backlog or work we have, when we were forced to take the unpaid days.

This same senior management actually flew up here so that they could listen to the little people. What? Are they deaf? As far as I can tell the money they used could have been better utilized by cancelling those unpaid days. There is now a buzz about employee engagement, but it may be too little, too late to be effective.

As far as the blackbelts go, we have some awesome blackbelts, the ones that actually were hired from within the company. They know this place better than anyone, and they know the people. They have their respect and cooperation when they need it. They have no problem when it comes to getting their hands dirty and actually listen to us, the people who do these jobs day in and day out. The ones that were hired from outside, they should have kept them outside. They are so busy gathering information, drawing plots and graphs, impeding people from actually working, and generally getting on peoples nerves. They are more of a hindrance. I bet you they dont know what we build here. Give our own blackbelts the support they deserve, and send the outsiders back to where they belong, the automotive companies.

Now, a little note to our employees. you were all at the update meetings. Did any of you notice the chart about facility loading? Did you notice the loading at Katowice and JZE? Our management kindly refrained from mentioning them out loud, but they were there. As much, as I would love to blame management for everything, we are going to have to take some responsibility for our actions. If youre getting paid for 8 hrs work, then do your best for those 8 hrs. Work with each other, instead of against each other. Remember, there are plenty of people willing to take our jobs. Look around you, that person who stands around pretending to be busy, is more of a threat to our facility than anything else. Dont sink to their level.

Well, I hope the people reading this, listen. Its obvious management doesnt. Just in case anyone in management does actually read this, please dont treat employees like idiots. We can see through right through most things.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Interesting perceptions regarding TATA? They are much more than a car maker, you should consider what part Honeywell would play in such a takeover as it is Honeywell "TATA" that does most of big H's software. I know Honeywell "own" this division but that was done mainly for convenience and to get around some issues regarding outsourcing.

Honeywell and Rockwell now there is a marriage that makes excellent sense and given their collaborations in the past it might just have a grain of truth about it?


Friday, January 22, 2010

Just what we need, more materials people. The materials people have screwed us up so bad that weve gone backwards 8 to 10 yrs, in other words, the stupid ways we have to handle materials now is the mode of operation we dug our way out of 10 yrs ago. Guess who makes the rules on how we operate the manufacturing lines, materials, not operations people. How screwed up is that? Oh, wait, to a black belt its not screwed up, its progress. There are more material handlers than there are productions folks, and we keep hiring more. The hope that the materials group would finally get their chain jerked and reeled in is now going out the window as the new planter manager is going to come in and take sides with what he already knows. Hell be wearing grey even if its blue.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

I agree with the statement that management is not being told the truth about what has been going on in Twinsburg. Marty does need to go,after all he created this mess. Blackbelts are creating not resolving the problems. Unfortunately the plant manager was listening to much to the blackbelts and not enough to the employees who know the jobs. If the new plant manager coming in continues on the same path he will not last long either.It could be Twinsburgs down fall if he cannot get the plant turned around.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Twinsburg, be careful for what you wish for before you start singing ding-dong the king is dead. Plant managers are dispensable as will the next person be, who, by the way comes from GM and has a materials background, not sure if he has any operations/manufacturing experience. Mr. Thomas continues to shove previous automakers and black belts down Twinsburgs throat

Marty, you are the one who needs to go, if you dont, ALL of the remaining employees in Twinsburg will also be looking for new jobs when they close the doors for good. You cannot see past the smoke that is being blown past you. Management & black belt leaders are not telling you the truth. You must be delusional if you think that the plant manager was the entire problem. YOU are the problem. I would say you are doing a fine job blowing smoke past Mr. Eisenbrown...


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Big news out of the Twinsburg facility today. After about 3 years of total chaos, the Plant Manager was let go today and walked out. Thank-you upper management for the move. Are the black belts next? Will the next Plant manager listen to the employees so we can turn this plant back around and make it productive again and a good place to work? Will the mandatory overtime that is being demanded come to an end? Lots of people smiling today and that was great to see.


Thursday, January 21, 2010 - To "crystal clear":

If Tata acquire RA, it would not be like Siemens selling to Mercedes and BMW at the same time. It would be like Siemens and Mercedes being one company -- Siemens being a competitor to BMW, not just a subsupplier. And in this busines you are not just "selling to", but "making projects together with" which is quite intimate. It would mean that BMW accept to give intimate information to Mercedes, to be dependant on Mercedes, and to pay good money to Mercedes. Unthinkable.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Everyone in RA, like many companies, works at home after hours. Why should only sales be reimbursed for home internet? Also, would you not make customer calls in the day and CRM/emails at night anyway, so you can maximize your pay regardless. Or are you not selling, just taking orders?


Monday, January 18, 2010

So let me get this crystal clear; Siemens sells products and systems to Mercedes so BMW will never use Siemens huh ? I say again: Rubbish!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

The problem at Rockwell Automation is the over-the-hill executive Management staff that has been there forever. Somehow these guys are immune to change at RA. If Keith was smart he would clean house.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

I have been following this Blog on and off for probably 10 years. The one thing that seems to be constant is the rumor that RA will be sold. The only change seems to be who is going to buy RA this year. Without much thought, I seem to remember Eaton, ABB, Siemens, Tyco, Emerson, GE all about to purchase RA. I'm sure I'm missing 4 or 5 others. The bottom line is that while it is fun to listen and spread rumors, the reality is that we just don't know. Having been here over 20 years, if it happens, I'd be shocked. However, stranger things have happened.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

To the person who thinks Tata is just a car maker - I guess you also think GE only makes light bulbs! Look again there, sport. Tata is a very diversified company.


Thursday, January 14, 2010 - To "Rubbish":

May I pile on more? What the writer was referring to was a direct competitor like Tata, who is taking share from Detroit, Europe and Japan and then (if they buy Rockwell) would sell an automation solution into these manufacturers. Maybe this is why Rockwell needs to be sold. Apparently you do not understand market dynamics. Maybe Keith Nosbush should do his job, find a way out of the mess RA is in and stop writing about blogs he doesn't understand.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010 - In response to "What a lot of old rubbish!":

I wrote the post that you responded to. I work in a company that supply machinery to the automobile industry. So I can tell you that I know everything about gaining access to the production facilities of the automobile industry. In short, if you come from a direct competitor, you are persona non grata. Not so surprising really. The automobile industry is still enormously important for the automation suppliers.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What a lot of old rubbish! RA has been supplying equipment and services to multiple major auto manufacturers for years. Whenever RA impliments a system they gain significant knowldge about the process. If they then do a similair system for a competitor it doesnt stop them winning further business with the original customer. Also, the auto manufacturers, while still important, are no longer the be-all and end-all in terms of the automation market. Get real!


Monday, January 11, 2010 - In response to the speculations that Tata might acquire RA:

I have resisted it so far, but I have to respond to this. That a major car manufacturer purchase RA, would be a catastrophe for RA. It can look as an advantage at first, for RA to use Tata's plants as a safe place for both developments and an assured income. Problem is: Every other car manufacturer will shut the doors on RA. No car manufacturer will allow a competitor inside his plants to have a close look at their manufacturing facilities. With the importance of the car industry for any automation vendor, it would be the death-blow to RA.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Rockwell would be a very good fit for Tata Industries on a number of fronts. Internal applications for Rockwell technology in Tata's diverse industrial operations, a large services opportunity for TCS, and of course the Rockwell business itself, which has good upside potential in the emerging markets with the right leadership.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

I find it interesting about the discussion on a company in India purchasing RA. Maybe Mr. TATA will buy them - they certainly have enough mfg to capitalize on RA. Someone will buy RA and it appears it will happen in 2010. This will certainly cause some significant changes whatever happens. Hang on to your seats and enjoy the ride...


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I work for Inaco & I think it is all good. The company has a diciplined sales process which is not everybody's cup of tea, hence those who cannot perform should not whine - just leave.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Interesting comparsion. Better Buy: Rockwell Collins or Rockwell Automation?

    http://msn.fool.com/investing/general/2009/12/23/better-buy-col-or-rok.aspx?logvisit=y&source=eedmsnlnk0010001&published=2009-12-23
Rockwell and Allen-Bradley would have both been better off to leave well enough alone in 85'.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

I read this weblog with interest and chuckle. The truth be told, the parallels between RA and several of the other struggling controls companies (Invensys) are laughable. A total lack of direction and motivation, draconion micro-management of misunderstood metrics, RA lacks the realization that an opportunity is passing them by.

Have you read the article that is online called "15 Signs Your Workplace is Dysfunctional" (weblink below). Read it and post your results. RA is just another poorly managed disorganization which will be absorbed by some one with a vision (hopefully). As it is right now, the tires will spin with no rubber hitting the road!

Changes can come from the bottom up - so quit whining and start fighting back. For those of you at RA with a entrepreneurial vision, there will be lots of opportunity in the coming year. And for those who have forgotton what "entrepreneurial" noun means:

  1. A person who organizes and manages any enterprise, esp. a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
  2. An employer of productive labor. verb (used with object)
  3. To deal with or initiate as an entrepreneur. verb (used without object)
  4. To act as an entrepreneur.
Here is the link:

Click here 15 Signs Your Workplace is Dysfunctional


Saturday, January 2, 2010 - Re - Friday December 18 entry - "Just so everyone understands the condo talk in Cambridge"

You spoke to the wrong developer.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Rockwell leases many buildings now; they used to own them. But, who do you think the group is that now runs these leases? Our building is leased - by whom?


Thursday, December 31, 2009

GE, ABB, Emerson? I don't think so. Three other options, logic seems to be a venture capital group out of India. RA has moved engineering and support to India, and that's where the growth is (E&A). Omron is another option, RA already has ties with them in product development. Or Samsung, the OEMax line sold outside of the US is mostly (all) Samsung hardware. The soon to be announced new line of RA uLogix is Samsung hardware. All the blogs are old school thinking, this is a new world. Any of these three options could take the current hardware, add a DCS? solution and capture Asia & Europe. Note, don't forget China, someone there could be the needle in the haystack, waiting to spring into action.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Being acquired is a natural path for Rockwell. Unfortunately RA becomes a small player surrounded by 2 or 3 digit U$ Billion energy / process control conglomerates. Also lets remember that Rockwell is one of less capable players in terms of power distribution and energy management (that today is becoming more tied to process control); GE will complement this gap.


Sunday, December 27, 2009 <> It is no coincidence that GE ended it's joint venture with Fanuc. Why would GE decide to essentially get out of the Automation business? Because they will be in it big time when they buy Rockwell.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Who's the idiot who supposedly talked with the developer (see Friday December 18 entry - "Just so everyone understands the condo talk in Cambridge, here it is. I spoke with the developer of the site..."? Like the following entry says, the land and building are leased by Rockwell not owned by them! Lease is finished sometime in 2010 but I believe that Rockwell has the option to continue the lease (not 100% sure). Rather then telling blantant lies and trying to get a rise out of people, why not check your facts before you speak or in this case post an entry?


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays, all the best in New Year!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

To the Flex Office Guy The rationale is simple, Broadband is now like your utility supply. The company doesnt pay that, so why should it pay for a utility like broadband? And you can use it at the same time your wife watches TV, so your rationale is flawed. Next you will want us to pay for your dinner because you speak during eating. Hey and by the way, look at that new shiny blackberry we bought you....


Monday, December 21, 2009

First it was ABB, then Emerson, now GE I think the closer anyone gets to this imploding company the faster they run.


Monday, December 21, 2009

If GE buys Rockwell there will be a huge number of casualties, and guess what? It won't be GE employees. Worst hit parts of Rockwell will be countries where there is a larger sales force comprised of account managers and specialists. Distribution will also be cut. In spite of all this, industry is beginning to recover, and companies are looking to hire people now so they are prepared for the upturn one year from now.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

If Immelt is really interested in boosting GE stock price, he should look at the technique used by ITT when it was huge conglomerate. Rand Araskog separated the divisions, gave them their own stock. No one analyst could really figure out what the stock was worth due to the size of ITT. By separating the divisions out, and giving them their own stock and ticker, it became obvious what the value was. The effective stock value rose from $35 to over $200.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

So Rockwell has decided not to reimburse sales employees for flex office expenses? I am not sure who did the cost VS benefit analysis on this one, but I for one would like to thank whomever is responsible for this policy. More specifically, my wife would like to thank this person as she was sick and tired of the time spent after hours responding to customer emails, doing PADRs, CRM reports, etc...in lieu of doing these things during the day when customer visits seem to make more sense.

It would seem to me that the "personal time" spent after hours and during vacation responding to customer emails would more than justify the ROI for this "perk" in a given month. I would like to think that this policy was implemented to fix some of the work life balance issues that are so prevelant within much of the sales organization. However, I am sure the reasons for this policy where purely financial. Does anyone in management think for a minute that time spent working after hours at home, in a given month would not more than cover the cost of home internet?


Friday, December 18, 2009

If Rockwell is taken over, or takes over another company, it won't be a "rescue". (Sometimes, David does buy Goliath, because the owner of Golaith doesn't want that product line anymore.) It will be slash-and-burn the similiar business lines, co-mingle them, to get rid of excess and un-needed headcount. If the take over is an expansion of product line to gain market spread (not market share), then there will be less slash-and-burn at the mid levels.

I hope everyone who thinks they might be affected has gotten additional training in other skills. Consolidation take-overs and industry consolidations leave little room to save the careers of those affected. And with China, Poland, India, Brazil, and Mexico in the mix, it becomes even bleaker. Except for the share holders and those who get real bonuses.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Rockwell does not own the building in Cambridge, they lease it.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Just so everyone understands the condo talk in Cambridge, here it is. I spoke with the developer of the sit and yes there is great interest in purchasing that land where Rockwell sits so interesting that devloper is putting together a large offer to present to Rockwell Automation.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

We don't need to be "rescued" by GE. As for the GE "Change" train - we've been constantly changing. Everything we do is based on numbers - if it's not the numbers of orders that are released on time, it's the number of jobs stood in one day, it's the number of orders processed in any one work center to the number of orders we ship on a daily basis.

The GE train is just trying to get away from it's own mistakes in the financial area so they thought they'd go to the industrial area. Seems to me they're not too sure of what they're doing.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

I believe the writing is on the wall at the facility in Richland Center too. Do some research and you will find over 40 job openings for the plant in Monterrey Mexico within the last few weeks. (Managers, supervisors, pcas, quality and test positions, mech eng's etc etc.)

Would like to hear some feedback from the other RA plants that have seen production levels drop or plant closings. I feel bad for anyone who lost jobs to Mexico. We are down over 300 workers from where we were a year ago (lots of hard working hourly workers and office types) Keith's vision of "making the world more productive and improve the quality of life for everyone" I wonder what the folks who are out of a job think of this!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

That light coming at you Rockwell guys is not some one coming to rescue you. It is a speeding (GE) locomotive called Change. Get on it, or be under it! Work, cause where this train is heading there are no under-performing people.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

GE purchasing Rockwell... does that make sense? Are there enough aligned businesses in GE and Rockwell to allow for consolidations and elimination of Parallel activities? Will the combination of the two be greater than the sum? I'm asking because I don't know.

As far as the execs hanging on and cutting deep to gain some bonus on the other end, thats what Wall Street wants. Stocks don't gain for doing the right things; they gain for being seen as sexy and or on the move. And these potential bonuses are just for that - making it move.

Besides, how many former GE execs are working at Rockwell? I know of 5 without thinking really hard. Its A SMOKING time to be in the executive suites, that's for sure.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Protect Jobs? Sending 2000 jobs to Monterrey is protecting jobs? Closing multiple US sites and downsizing the remanents is protecting jobs? What line of leafy material are you smoking? Those "bonuses" have nothing to do with protecting jobs or improving customer service. They are all about getting the stock price up, even if it takes gutting the US operations to do it.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

General Electric Co. is sending plenty of signals that it's on the deal war path for industrial companies. Industrial analyst Steve Tusa at JP Morgan says Rockwell Automation could be a prime target for GE.

Mr. Tusa made the case in a note Monday that GE will make a $60 per share offer of roughly $8.5 billion play for Rockwell Automation Inc. Rockwells stock price jumped 3.6% to a new 52-week high of $48.12 on Monday on the idea.

In the past year, GE executives have mentioned Rockwell as a company they would like to own. The case grows stronger as GE chief executive Jeff Immelt has spoken more and more emphatically about GE focusing on growing manufacturing and industrial businesses instead of financial businesses.

Here is the link:

Click here Is GE Eyeing a Bid For Rockwell Automation?


Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - To the happy positive blogger:

GE agrees with you: Rockwells stock price just jumped 3.6% to a new 52-week high of $48.12 on Monday due the idea to be acquired by GE. GE will make a $60 per share offer of roughly $8.5 billion play for Rockwell Automation Inc.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

You all better stop spending time here blogging and improve your job performance. WSJ and JP Morgan speculating on GE purchase of Rockwell. With their penchant for forced ranking (it will be you bloggers) and geeting rid of all but gems in the portfolio, (there are none left) you all better be looking for ways to shine or ways to depart. Hope for a non-suitor or get some flexibility for when it comes time to grab the ankles.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

These aren't bonuses. They are part of normal comp, and were probably granted years ago. You ought to be grateful that these folks burn the midnight-oil to protect jobs and provide a fantastic work environment. Stop being so negative, probably because these types of job may be beyond your reach.


Monday, December 14, 2009

No Bonuses? What do you call this then?

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/it?s=ROK

    9-Dec-09 EISENBROWN STEVEN A
    Officer 2,900 Direct Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share.

    9-Dec-09 NOSBUSCH KEITH D
    Officer 10,100 Direct Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share.


Monday, December 14, 2009 - Re: Huge news for ROK Cambridge:

Not sure where he got his information from but the land is zoned for commercial. Everyone knows what is being built there, it's no secret. Just another disgrunted union follower I guess, trying to spread rumours.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas to all you negative bloggers. The reality is that Rockwell is doing OK, taking share, making money and as a result its shareholders are benefitting and to the most part its employees are secure. And before you beef about senior management, just think who took a bath with no bonuses or pay raises. Rockwell Automation the Pride of Global Automation.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Well, everything is possible, right? Is it a big deal to build the Test facility in Mexico? (Did they do it in China?) At the end, It is what it is.

We all hope that this info about condo-building is wrong, but... First time shut-down for Christmas, first time no bonus, stil no info about "Annual Dance", first time in Mexico?


Saturday, December 12, 2009 - Question for Dec 11 -- "No Plant in Cambridge":

How do you figure that one?

  1. Turnover in Mexico is at a rate of 4% a month
  2. Mexico cannot manufacture the specialized bus needed for MV Drives
  3. No testing facility in Mexico

Friday, December 11, 2009

December 10, 2009 BAS-Merrill Lynch Conference, Presented by Kieth Nosbush.
Fiscal 09 Sales $4.3B, 50% outside of US.
2010 EPS -2% to -9%
Today's Focus: China, India, SE Asia, Latin America, emerging EMEA
Importance of emerging markets: Growth rates 50% higher than in developed economies.

Bottom Line: US manufacturing is on the decline, 30% of GNP 10 years ago, 20% now (before 2009). Keith talks about the importance of the survival of US manufacturing but is moving RA manufacturing out of the US. In his defense, our elected politicians supported free trade, allowing imports with no restrictions while the rest of the world protect their manufacturing.

Kieth is looking out for the stockholders, that's his job. I don't like it, but until our elected officials do something to save manufacturing jobs in the US we'll be all be working in government sponsored health care or flipping burgers.

As far as a buyer goes I've heard the rumors for 2+ years. The ONLY product they have worth buying is Logix. The new line of controllers coming out are the Samsung NX series of controllers from RA/Samsung. Software is in a state of confusion/transition, EOI (PV+ & PC's) unreliable, safety controllers (other than Logix) Omron & others, just re-branded. Don't look for a buyer, nothing worth buying.

In the US they are hanging on to a dying market, Seimens doesn't even care about the US market anymore, all the growth is in Asia/Pacific. RA will survive as a global player for awhile as re-sellers; but in the end will fold like a card table, no legs to stand on.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Huge news for Rockwell Cambridge: 2013 - NO PLANT WILL EXIST.

Just saw plans for the NEW "facility" across the street from the Dundas plant, or what used to be the Dundas plant. Gone, and replaced with a nice Condo unit...interesting! The center of MVD excellence? More like the center of non-existence!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

All that glittera is not gold. The gem that Allen-Bradley once was is now a facade. The factory is an expensive warehouse. Vision 2000 beat us up for being vertically integrated. A million square feet of what? I'm sure the sales network is more valuable than the once iconic Milwaukee campus. Manufacturing expertise and quality, a humble beginning now means nothing to greedy CEO(s) and such.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009 - Re - NHP's (Aus NZ) priority is to their customers not to Rockwell:

Why would NHP risk losing a customer by making them wait 6-8 weeks for a part from the U.S when they can sell a better priced product which is pretty much available straight off the shelf. Go for the competition. So it's not a Rockwell product. Customer doesn't mind and NHP doesn't care, so long as the money's coming in from somewhere!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

If Rockwell is being bought, perhaps they will see the gem that is Allen Bradley and provide better management.

It's about time that higher management gets "released" - they're the one's causing a lot of the issues by making decisions that do not help the business but continues to harm it.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hey folks, youre getting bought. Tremendous down-sizing continues to occur, while the CEO has told the world that the industry has bottom out? There are few executives being release from management? All this points to the direction that the buying company has told Rockwell Automation Executive Management to get the work force reductions in place before we do the deal, and you will get considerations for further employment or incentives.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sell direct? RA has more employees in sales and marketing than in engineering and production. The US economy can't stand all these unemployed blow-hard's out of work. RA is all about margin now, gave up on the market share at any cost model. Direct sales doesn't fit with increased margin. Sure you could save money by workforce reductions in sales and marketing, but the online sales model they have now doesn't work and the delivery and payment still goes through distribution. Eliminate sales/marketing/distribution and RA has to eat the bad debt that the distributors eat now. Ever tried to collect from a contractor? They also have to actually have something in stock to ship. Inventory cost money. Direct sales is not the answer. The answer is treat the customer right, the result will be happy stockholders and employees.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rockwell has successfully rebranded Allen Bradley into Rockwell Automation. That is NOT a good thing, RA is NOT AB. The only thing saving RA is the distribution channel. They can't sell direct. The SAP roll-out doesn't even work for distribution, much less direct sales. Distributers have to buy from other distributers just to fill orders. RA doesn't have any stock to ship from. Customers complain all the time about the the reselling of rebranded product, no support, no stock. RA markets all the hype about supply chain and manufacturing efficiency but can't walk the walk. Why can't they use all their own software and integration expertise and deliver? Call RA tech support, the answer is: we'll get back to you once we call the vendor, we don't know how it works either. RA has no support at the district level, they fired everyone. If you want to buy direct and pay for support from India God bless you. That's just what RA is hoping for.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The amazing thing is, Rockwell could turn everything back around over night. Customers love the product. Rockwell has gotten over the greatest hurdle for any product manufacturer, BRAND RECOGNITION. They have it. Customers know it & love it. All Rockwell have to do is figure out a way to get it to the customer without upsetting them so much. So, Rockwell, here's what I propose you do: Cut back on advertising, cut back on road shows and 'going on the road' annoyances. Fix your distribution problem by... OK, here's where I get stuck - I have no idea how you're going to do that bit... Hmmm, I know - SELL DIRECT!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rockwell still has problems getting parts. It is done internally. Why don't they contract this out? Or at least try it. Who knows, it might work. They have spent a fortune trying different strategies on getting parts in, but we still have problems. This makes it hard to run a production factory, which leads to not getting orders out to our customers-who are our bread and butter. Sales are trying to do their job. Does anyone have the answer? SAP turning on in 2010.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

All the marketing hype, territory reassignments, product launches and other noise doesn't mean a thing when you CAN'T SHIP PRODUCT. The combination of the SAP roll-out and the move to off-shore production has left the US market with missed/unknown product ship dates. We are given a date, when that passes we are given another date when we are to receive our orders, when that comes and goes we HAVE to go somewhere else. Guess what, your product is not that much better, even thou we usually have to pay more for RA "quality"? You can have the best product (even though the quality has also slipped), the best story, the best sales force, and the best distribution but if you can't deliver product on time you can't keep customers. RA management have come to visit and told us this was a short term hiccup but delivery just gets worse.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Don't think the person who thinks he knows Rockwell Australia numbers either knows, or is prone to telling the truth. If he can prove his statement, maybe we at Rockwell Australia will give him a big check as a reward. Needless to say, it's easy to make claims without having to identify yourself; he should be careful as he is making them in a public forum and may be forced to tell the truth. So for the sake of a useful blog, lets keep to the facts ,the truth and be ethical. That is how we all learn.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Zealand wasn't broken either Rockwell, but now you've really messed it up! Get rid of NHP before they take you all the way down. This is a total disaster. Rockwell, are you listening?


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Have you seen the latest on the NHP website? They (NHP) proudly spout that they were featured on the "7.30 Report" on the ABC. Well, apart from about five seconds of film showing NHP Teresaki circuit breakers, there was absolutely no mention of NHP. Maybe the point is that the close-up shot of these circuit breakers were the big deal. Hmm, wait a sec, I thought NHP were the Allen Bradley distributors (in part) here in Australia. How come NHP can promote Teresaki breakers when they are contracted to sell Allen Bradley? As an earlier blogger suggests - the tail wagging the dog? - absolutely.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

FY10 from Keith and leadership team - one time contribution to U.S. Salary 401K accounts is scheduled for Dec. 2, 2009. (on payroll Sept.30, 2009). The contribution will be equal to 1.69 percent of your annual eligible earnings as of Sept 25, 2009.(plus any overtime paid to you from Jan 1,2009 through Sept 30,2009.) We are able to do so because we have experienced some stabilization in the markets and in our fourth quarter of 2009 revenues, specifically in our product business. No mention of a wage increase until Dec. 2009.( for 2010).


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rockwell, can you hear us? We are your customers from Australia. Can you hear us? If so, do us all a favour. Get rid of NHP and Inaco and put it back the way it was! It wasn't broken - why did you fix it?


Monday, November 16, 2009

I work at the Dundas facility on the shop floor. There are a few things that concern me after sitting here and thinking about things. First thing: Last year we waited till December until we found out we had major cuts to our benefit package. When do we find out this Year? We will never get these cuts back; but the company will rebound and be in better shape on the other side.

The other thing that made me think of is the consolidation of dept. 15 and 17. If you remember, we had a vote earlier in the year about whether we wanted dept seniority or plant wide seniority for posting for jobs. It has been a while, but obviously this shows that the company did not like the outcome of this vote. Why else would they combine the two largest departments? This is almost as hilarious as this skill-set nonsense. They want to choose who goes where.

I wonder how much money this CI group got for capture the moment. I think there are a lot of backroom discussions on how to take from us without us knowing. They think we are stupid; sign that card before we lose all of our bargaining power!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Well, Rockwell's Australia is the leading light for the Asia pacific region. Complete nonsense! Rockwell's sales are down $40 million AUS. Inaco and NHP are down $20 mill each, so how much damage have they really done to their market. Customers are leaving them in droves, and if it wasn't for the work that was done by the original Rockwell Distributors for Australia, their markets would be insignificant. NHP and Rockwell are consistently fighting and are not teaming to help customers, as in the past. Is it the tail wagging the dog? Yes, yes and Yes. The only winner is Schneider. They are sitting back saying, "Keep on fighting" while taking market share from Rockwell. Ethics, integrity some of the key words from the past, something that was part of Rockwell. Not any more.


Sunday, November 15, 2009 - Responding to employee who worked for Inaco Australia:

I too worked for that company. I thought I had a career at that place; I thought I had a chance to make a real difference - to begin with. BUT, working for those report-hungry micromanagers was a lesson in military school. I agree with the other post: terrible company to work for. Rockwell sells itself in Australia; you don't need to flog the sales staff to sell this. You need to have a better support structure in place. You need to listen to your customers, carry ample stock, pay your staff well, employ more internals, make sure the internals say HELLO to the customers with a happy tone. When the place runs well without even having one sales rep on the road, that is the time to look to the external sales force for growth. A message to Inaco: Just ask the customers this one question: "Do you like us?" A well oiled organisation can ask that question without hesitation.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Rockwell Automation Fair went well, of course , but let's see customers spend money and place many $ orders. No doubt we can talk a good talk, but can we deliver a good, safe, quality product on time for the customer. Sustainability will prevail if we can do this. 2010 will be the revelation.


Friday, November 13, 2009

All the buzz was positive at Automation Fair and I certainly saw more optimism. There was a lot of positive press about Asia and very much so about Australia leading the Global growth chart this year. I guess some of the earlier weblog commentators got it pretty wrong. Anyway great fair and my vote goes to Rockwell and thats all that counts to me.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

As far as China goes, Rockwell needs to give all of the 2500 orders to China and Poland to do. Richland Center has all the bugs worked out of them, so they should be no problems with getting them out. At RC there are no defects or rework or engineered problems. What a great opportunity for China, if Keith would give them the work, which also would be cheaper. Brazil also does a great job on 2500.


Thursday, November 12, 2009 - from attendee at Rockwell Automation Fair:

Rockwell's automation fair another huge success. It's process users group rivaled most of its competitors. Keith has done a lot of behind-the-scenes work integrating the company. I have really seen that come together over the past three years. This is not only technology, but also attitudes, terminology and vision. I didn't know if they could do it, but there are many positive signs. Lots of challenges remain. Success in China and the rest of Asia is still far off - an essential component of its future success. But they're working on it.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The question arises: Rockwell operations are now run by former GE personnel. Is the same model used at GE the correct model for Rockwell? I have no idea if the sales and marketing are GE related, but I do know that Operations is being run by former GE folks. Thoughts?


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why is Rockwell spending so much time and money on Factorytalk, SAP etc. ? What was wrong with the old systems? 2010 they want everyone from sales to the factory floor and out to the customer to buy into Factorytalk. Why? What happens if it crashes, or does not work, or costs to much, or losea business? What if we fail? Is anyone else out there using Factory talk? How is it working? I get the impression that one size fits all.

It seems one thing is for sure: it guarantees overtime. Just come to Richland Center and check the basement amat production area. 10 hr days, Sat and Sun, two shifts. The Plant Mgr calls it high level of company stuff. Charts are set up for standard, simple, plain, low dollar amounts) orders. What do you do when you have complex eng. orders?


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rumor is that the next set of Allen-Bradley digital I/O cards will be reduced from 16 points to 14 points, as part of a cost saving measure. Customers who use :14 and :15 bits in their applications will be shocked to find that they do not work with the new hardware.


Monday, November 9, 2009

I work at the Richland Center factory where we have laid off 300 people and have had contiuos overtime throughout the last 4 months, and we were told this will last for at least the rest of this year. Does anyone else see anything wrong with this picture? Leaves one to beleive that the current management team at RA in RC don't have clue on how to manage. During the last layoff in OCT. 09 we never missed a day overtime.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Another day at the Rock comes and goes, rumors are rampant. The truth escapes the employees. Manufacturing in Milwaukee is dead - almost gone completely. No signs of life whatsoever. Plant manager or any management "No clue". They couldn't build a widget if their life depended on it. Firm up the shareholder support? Go to the Automation Fair. So sad.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

I've left Inaco (distributor for Rockwell - Sydney & Brisbane, Australia) probably the world's worst company anyone would want to join. So, for me to say this is pretty big (as I no longer have anything to do with Rockwell). But, I gotta say, all this mudslinging towards Rockwell makes me think that there's some "bee in the bonnet" on this website about this company. From what I could tell, Rockwell have some huge strengths. Why continue to say "it's all over"?


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lots of strong news coming out of Rockwell about them being sold.

  • Coincidence: ABB moving their Control Division from Texas to New Berlin, just outside Milwaukee?
  • Siemens AG cutting funding to Siemens USA to make a big purchase?
  • Worlds seem to be aligning and possible colliding for the possible break-up of Rockwell Automation.
  • Rockwell Stock at a 2yr high in a down market?
Rockwell Automation upper management already planning to move on as their resumes are and have been on the street. There will be another anouncement of another Rockwell RIF to come before the new year. Watch for the next wave.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rockwell Software has what they call Regional Information Managers, Software Solution Managers or some other hyped up title in charge of rallying the RA sales guys & distribution troops to sell the Pavilion, Inquity and Datasweep products. Mostly they send out emails looking for leads and pushing product features internally. My guess is if someone bought RSI, or they were spun-off, they would end up with these products and this highly skilled(?) salesforce. The real money is in the integration services, not the software. Dell and Xerox have recently bought companies that specialize in delivering end-to-end integration. The problem with RA is they have shed the integration arm of these formerly strong software companies to appease the shareholders in these tough times. They have to subcontract the integration to "partners" who have no clue how it should work. Another "growth by acquisition" strategy that has failed.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

IT IS WHAT IT IS...

RA Cambridge now has released a successull burn down plan to catch up on the back log of MV drives. All the tools were put in place and now there will be FOCUS on better production. It can be done. It was done. It will be done.

Last time there were 75 drives done. The only differences then were another full shift, 40 manpower employees, unlimited overtime, and a much better working environment. It is what it is, though. We will succeed.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Don't read into this more than you should. Rockwell Software has no independent channel, so it is essentially valueless/dead outside of the Rockwell umbrella. Or, if it were to be sold off, it would be at a fraction of what Rockwell paid for the pieces and parts. Also, many of the execs at Rockwell Software are actively looking for new opportunities as they see the writing on the wall.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

So are the former RSI products like FactoryTalk View, AssetCentre, RSSQL & Metrics part of the Architecture and Software Business within AB and not part of RSI anymore?


Friday, October 23, 2009

Rockwell Software has officially decided to move its headquarters to Austin, Texas from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. When Ralph Carter (President of Pavilion Technology which was an acquisiton) took over for Keven Roach (who left the company) he refused to relocate to Milwaukee from Austin. Since then, there has been several reorganizations within the Architecture and Software business which effectively pared down the size of Rockwell Software to include just the acquired companies of Pavilion, Inquity and Datasweep. The rest of the software business moved into another organization.

As of last week, the announcement came out that the Rockwell Software headquarters would move to Austin and that a few of the Milwaukee based folks would be offered a relocation package to move to Austin and the remainder would be let go in February 2010. Several of the folks offered relocation turned it down so they are now scheduled to be in the group to be let go in Feb. unless they can find a new home in Rockwell before then.

It sure seems that there is a possibility that Rockwell Automation is setting this up either to sell or spin the group off in the near future. The return on the acquisitions has not materialized as expected. The charter for the acquisition was to let them run as independently as possible and see if they can mount a pile of revenue using the distribution channel of Rockwell Automation. Well, the results may just be coming in and the management of Rockwell Automation is not impressed.

It just goes to show that talking about a good plan, but leaving it up to the acquisitions to execute it, does not work either. It looks like another acquisition plan gone wrong at Rockwell Automation. Time will tell.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - JOBS:

Rockwell is looking for Production Supervisor and Quality Manager. Quality manager is on Rockwell web posted; Production Supervisor is not. Both are salary jobs career band.

Production Supervisor: Associate degree in supervisory management, electronics, materials management or related field. 4 years degree in industrial engineering, industrial technology or electrical engineering highly desirable.
Experience Requirements: Previous supervisory/engineering experience desirable with degree, or four years experience in supervision/engineering or similar position in lieu of an associate degree.

Rockwell has someone in mind in the plant; for some reason this job is not posted outside of the plant? Why? Times are slow in a tough economy and we are still hiring management? If interested, apply at Richland center. A lot of people are looking for jobs.


Monday, October 19, 2009 - Why would anyone want to buy this company?

ABB would have to be careful of AB/Rockwell pension dollar amount. Next year the 2010 club members retire; this was when Uncle Rock drew a line in the sand for - those certain group of people who are included in the severancve package deal.(dec31,2005) early retirement - they could save money if they cut it short.


Monday, October 19, 2009 - Ref to the film "the corporation":

Compelling and truthful. I left this company after many years of the Corporate people turning a blind eye to everything, and talking out of the sides of their mouths. In ref to the environmental fines of paying out the millions, this was very hush-hush throughout the company and we could not talk about this among ourselves.

Corporations have an allegance to profits and shareholders, not to their workers or to our country. "Globalization" prevents our government from enforcing laws on those corporations.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Everyone should watch "The Corporation" video from the Oct.15th posting. If you think RA is bad, wait until you watch this. A company actually bought the water rights in Bolivia and it was illegal for the population to collect rainwater to drink, it was legally owned by the corporation who bought the rights. Learn how corporations and governments think and work.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

At Richland Center warmups in the morning, our supervisor told us we have a 80% part shortages. You wonder how something like this could happen, and why do they make charts and graphs on this problem. They have been doing lean activities and 5s and SAP to make us a better-run fine-tuned company. But if you can't get parts in here on time for customer's orders, then what are we doing here? Every month the amount to ship-out is getting less and less. This month they want 5.8 mil. We will have to slam it out in the last two weeks of the month, maybe. I can remember when buyer planners were in Milwaukee and they moved it to Richland Center because it is cheaper and supposed to make parts problems disappear. But guess what? Nothing has changed. 3/4 of our parts are made in Mexico. They package them up and send them to Richland Center. We assemble them at RC into a motor control center.

Oh, this is not the first time an order was supposed to be built in RC and was built in Tecate. Customers have come to RC to witness test, or inspect orders that were built at Tecate. I find it interesting that some of the help go to Tecate to inspect there work, the person in Tecate has been in test and inspection longer than the person they are sending. Hmmm... interesting. It looks like if customers are willing to go to Tecate and buy from Tecate, there should be no problem.

Rockwell wants more customers to believe in their product, no matter where it is made. Lets see how this witnessed-test works out again for the customer....


Thursday, October 15, 2009

For those who are interested, there's some information out there that may help you understand why corporations behave the way they do. A good book would be "The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power" by Joel Bakan. Joel is a Law Professor and gives a good history of corporations and how they've evolved. The books is available on Amazon.com. Here is the link:

Click here The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, by Joel Bakan

A good movie based on the book is also available to watch on Google video. You can watch it for free; same title. Here's the link:

Click here Video - The Corporation

As a previous blogger had said, some have left because of their morals and personal integrity. If anything, seeing information available out there can at least give you some assurance that it's not only you that feel this way.

The sad thing is that some think that if you don't agree with the corporate way of thinking, there must be something wrong with you. That's dangerous because it implies pathological thinking is the norm.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

The problem is that Don Davis and Keith Nosbusch see their actions as good business practices. Nosbusch's income in 2008 was $5.22 Million; $2.45 Million of that was in stock gains; $1.10 Million was bonus. Yet they have to charge employees 25 cents for a Styrofoam cup. Their focus is that the value of the stock is the product. That's where the attention is.

Over time, it works like a pyramid scheme in that things look OK for a period of time. Then it all starts to fall apart. The real growth only comes through an increase in sales, retaining customers, valuing employees. And all of that is contingent on having a good product in the first place.

It doesn't appear as if they care, particularly if they intend to sell. It's a cash cow for them personally, as opposed to real leadership to steer the company in the right direction. It's become the norm, and it rots the country from the inside. The real integrity is long gone. This isn't the only company who's slid down that path.

I guess what I'm saying is that the thinking is wrong, and when your thinking is wrong, but you think it's right, it's almost a lost cause. Like the alcoholic who's in denial, until he realizes that, things won't change.


Thursday, October 15, 2009 - referring to Oct 14, "MCC built in Tecate even though the Customer expressed "must be built in RC":

This is due to too MANY yes people that will not take a stand. We are curious to know if the new person transferring orders challenged the transfer request to Tecate and "stood on the desk of his boss or bosses boss" and questioned the decision. I know the previous person would have not only questioned it, but would have put it in writing disagreeing with the decision.


Thursday, October 15, 2009 - ref the Oct 10 input:

Rockwell RC has laid off over 300 employess (public info on local radio earlier this week) reasons given art the "economy".

For those that work there, or other companies if they do not agree with production work in Mexico, China, Brazil or other countries, the only advice is: don't work for a company that takes any production away from their American workers. I personally know of individuals that have either quit or retired, that quietly chose to do this. And I know that this has an impact to their income. But they chose their morals on the principles of right conduct, rather than on legalities or customs of the company they worked for.

The CEO's of many large companies are answering to their shareholders that usually have so much money they don't know what to do with it and are not thinking of the American workers.

If a CEO cashed in $10.1m before the September 2008 market downfall, $3.1m December 2008 in addition to the $5.1m in salary for 2008, in addition to other perks (insurance, vacation, travel) - but the employees had no cost adjustment, no match to 401k, and had to give up "x" days a year without pay in addition to other losses, what does this say about a CEO of any company?

The earnings of companies and their executives is generally public info and can be found on several public websites or company profile and earnings sites.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The pending sale only makes sense. There are very few products design by Rockwell anymore; a majority of the products in their catalog are brand labeled. The business systems were converted to SAP so they can be assimilated into any modern business. The liberal distribution of "needs improvement" means that 10% of the work-force for years saw no merit increase. Holding wages low for older workers hoping to reach the brass ring of a pension, only to be harassed out the door or laid off to limit their pension liability. Don Davis and Keith Nosbusch should be ashamed of their actions to benefit their own interests above the good of a once great Motor Control Company.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The truth came out today about a MCC order that was built in Tecate, even though the customer requested that the order was not to be built in Mexico. Now the customer is very upset and Richland Center is scrambling to send an inspector to Tecate to check for any quality issues.

I can't believe this. So, I guess this phrase "customer satisfaction" is lost on upper management. This is not the first time they tried to get away with this stunt, and it won't be the last. RC has rebuilt a couple of orders within the last couple of months due to the fact that the customer does not want any product coming out of Mexico. I wish I could post some of the customer comments from the field reports that back this info up. Upper management must be turning a blind eye to this or they just don't care. I wonder if some of the other facilities are getting the same feedback?


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Public information released on our local radio station today stated that over 300 employees have lost their jobs at the Richland Center facility. This means there are 200+ left in the facility.

Keith Nosbusch needs to find another home; he is "complacent" and is only protecting his job for retirement. He has nothing to worry about since when the contracts are negotiated for CEO's, and their contracts protect their families and themselves to the max!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Interesting news from JimPinto's eNews No. 273 - 12 October 2009

For sale:

  • Rockwell - whether they like it or not.
  • Invensys - whether they like it or not. Their pension planwas under funded, and was a poison-pill for potential buyers.
  • Honeywell - the Process Systems Division is likely to be divested by a hungry-for-growth-and-glory CEO Dave Cote.
Other (than GE) Buyers :
  • ABB - Joe Hogan (ex-GE) would find GE's Automation businesstoo small. He is more likely to be focused on Rockwell. ABB has the cash, and Joe Hogan needs to make a move. A bigger ABB would create a global alternative to Siemens.
  • Siemens, the largest industrial company, has never been ableto make a successful acquisition. They'll be in the bidding.
  • Schneider - one of the winners during this decade. They couldwant GE's software business to add to Citect. They may also bein the market for DCS player. Invensys would be a good fit and make Schneider a world player in software and Process Control.
Click here (Click)- GE will emerge as next big automation player


Saturday, October 10, 2009

As of now, over 200 hundred workers have lost their jobs since the start of 2009 at the Richland Center facility, to go along with other plant layoffs or closings in North America. Richland Center is a small town of about 5000 and Rockwell is one of the major employers in the surrounding area. Management likes to use the economy as the reason, but when questions are asked if the plants in Mexico are laying off, upper management likes to use the phrase "we are all hurt by the poor economy". This is all lies by Keith NOBsbusch. The truth is that the company has spent millions on the facilities in Mexico to get them up and running and will continue to do so because of the cheap labor and what they have invested in their "globalization vision".


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Does it really surprise anyone that Tecate would reject any product other than their own? 'Course not, they want our jobs. They reject our stuff, but they can't build a handle or a switch to save their life. Don't see us playing those games. There is enough work for everyone -- you keep the standard stuff and we'll keep the engineer stuff.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

So this is how the game is played in Tecate, Mexico: reject all products coming from Cambridge even though there is really nothing wrong with them, and maybe head office will close Cambridge and move all the jobs to Mexico. Boy, it sure is getting harder and harder to care anymore up here. How about permanent layoffs and severance packages now? Lots of us would dance out the door. Cannot afford to just quit, but would accept severance pay and a permanent layoff with a big smile.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Nothing going on here in Cambridge yet - only rumours. We'll have to see what happens; everyone is waiting for the ball to drop.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

So we see Richland has suffered the infamous RIF. What are the other casualties of the further "cost savings"? I've yet to see any postings from Cambridge, Twinsburg or any of the other Rockwell facilities that pop up here regularly.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hi, so here in Cambridge it is October 6 and our fearless leader has not even came to thank us for our efforts at year end. This guy couldn't care less, in fact he does not serve the best interest here in Cambridge. So the petition has gone around to the hourly employees to sign and than be presented to headoffice because if we hear "This is how we do it in Mexico" one more time, then all hell will break out.

So the union was outside the doors again and management wonders why. "If I want a guy in a certain shift I just move them there, thats what we do in Mexico". Guys, we are all adults working here. Please treat us like it and maybe put someone in charge the wants to be here and stay here, not a guy worried about weather.

Down for 6 hours today at work. Why no engineer on off-shifts to approve anything?


Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - in response to weblog, Thursday, October 1, 2009:

The new scheduler that was hired does NOT have a clue. If anyone does not understand the term "wet behind the ears" let me tell you a few. Does chaos, panic and major disorder ring clear since he does not understand when orders need to be adjusted to the proper locations, does not understand updating the systems to inform all when orders are transferred, does not understand mains and internals, CIRCE functions, intricate scheduling and forced entry processes and does not know a 2100 from a 2500, does not communicate to the parties that need to know. We can go on and on to include correct forecasting for all parties. What the heck were they thinking? Or was this another "we will take what is behind door number 3" just to see what they would get? Who ever hired this person should re-examine the qualification issues or maybe this is the "yes" person they needed to support the connection of lost reality! OMG I dread going to work, and can hardly force myself anymore after these years. For my dear co-workers that have retired or were laid off, I wish I were in their shoes, but cannot since my spouse lost a full-time job recently and is working part time for us to struggle on. Be assured though, this is not an office; it is like hell with fluorescent lighting.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Actually, the entire executive management team at RA needs to be replaced. How this group has managed to remain in place is beyond comprehension. New fresh blood is desperately needed.


Monday, October 5, 2009

20 years ago it was common practice to bring "in house" as many outside services as possible. It eliminated the logistics problems and gave much more control over the quality of the product. I never, ever understood the whole "outsourcing" idea. What good is buying something in China for $10 if it costs you an additional $15 to process and/or service the purchase? Make it here for $25, or if you're smart, $20. The cheapest is never the best.


Monday, October 5, 2009

I have to agree with the comment from Oct 4. It's time to bring someone in that has vision. We have no vision, no path and no clue in what we're doing. While most large American companys are bringing stuff back to be built in America, we continue to send them overseas. We need someone at the top who can lead us into the next decade. The employees do care about the company and want to see it succeed. Give Keith his parachute and let's move forward.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

It is simple - it's time for Keith Nosbusch to go. He just has it wrong. It's time he gave others a chance to restore this company.


Sunday, October 4, 2009 - from the ex-Intecolor Guy:

Thank you for recognizing how loyal we were to our customers. If I can share a quick story. One customer had a minor problem with his console. (I was a Systems Engineer, I conceptually designed the consoles and quoted them.) Since I had no idea how we designed this particular feature that was presenting the problem, I wanted to see it first hand. I took a trip to this customers site. As I was there, they asked about making a change to the console. (unrelated to the seal problem) It would involve a new door, and charging for it. Long story short, I sketched the new door, customer agreed to pay for the change, and get this...was so impressed that I actually traveled to his site to solve his problem, he ordered an additional 6 consoles..!


Saturday, October 3, 2009 - Energy Saving Campaign:

Why do we have to run every time after Siemens? We dont have products with regenerative power supplies like Drives and Kinetix. So wheres the value for our customers? Focus and develop on strength, dont try to copy our competition.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Rockwell Automation's problem is it's past. As Rockwell International, the defense and aerospace giant, they made a living off Government contracts. Oh, sorry about the delays and cost overruns, I'll need some more taxpayer dollars. Rocket failed on launch and destroyed communications satellite, Oops, we can make you another one but it's going to be 25% more. By the way Senator here's a nice campaign contribution, thanks, keep the work coming.

Rockwell Automation's customers and employee's are a dime a dozen, they can afford to loose a few, after all, they grow on tree's don't they? There's an endless supply in this big world. They've already bled the North American customers, it's onward and upward to India and China.


Friday, October 2, 2009 - To the Ex-Intercolor employee:

Here is how Rockwell treated the customers you were loyal to: We had a fairly large installed base of Intecolor PC's. We were having a high rate of failure with one model. I ask our RA salesman if there was a problem with these PC's. He stated he personally spoke with the RA product manager and there no know issues, but we could get still get them repaired (for a cost of course, they were out of warranty). I called someone I knew at Intecolor and was told these units all had a common problem and Intecolor had been fixing them for free before RA bought them. I presented this information to our RA sales guy who was suprised but did do the legwork to get them repaired for us. He was getting the screws put to him just like we were. The product manager just wanted to sell more PC's, to hell with the sales guy, just throw him under the bus and let him deal with the customer. Of course this is the same product manager who tells all the RA salesmen how dependable the VersaViews are. What a company!


Friday, October 2, 2009

It took four people to replace the one person that was let go from Richland Center order processing. Also we are still getting behind, because those four people are not as familar or as fast and precise. Customer's complain that they do not get their orders on time. 2/3 of the orders are being sent to Tecate or Monterrey. Moterrey are a lot of GE guys from their plant. What is happening is out of our hands; they have something called the leadership team that is making decisions, that way you can not blame any one person.

68 hourly people gone soon, with no supervisors or group leader cuts. RA combine some of there product lines, but not at RC yet. 2500 is done in Brazil, China, Poland and still at RC. They are more concerned about 5s and taping the floor and garbage cans, tool boxes etc. SAP should develop some day?


Friday, October 2, 2009 - To the RC comments on 10/2:

The plant manager had no influence on the Milwaukee closing. The closing has been planned and underway for several years. The union environment and cost are the reason's for the closure of Milwaukee. Who else from a salary standpoint was let go in RC?


Friday, October 2, 2009 - To the engineer posting Oct.1:

Rockwell seems to have the mentality that a job, or position, is just some description. The personal attention given to it by an experienced person doesn't seem to enter into their business "model". A perfect example is all the failed acquisitions in the posting before yours. They seem to think you can buy success. The reality is that any organization succeeds or fails as a direct result of the mix of individuals within it. I was a casualty of Intecolor about 12 years ago. We had a very successful company, and like you, I was one of the very few who actually thought RA buying us was a good idea. (Meaning I thought Rockwell was a top notch company) Unfortunately we all found out they operated more like the mafia than a respected company.


Friday, October 2, 2009 - RC cutbacks 68 hourly and 5 salary:

OMG, one of the salary people that processed incoming orders in Operations was let go, she was the last one! Who's brain child was this? We have orders to be processed and release to assembly but no one with the expertise to process them for production, other than a few people that came up to do them part time. Our puppet managers go into their offices and close the doors and are hanging on for dear life. Our supervisors, who do they supervise? Not many people left. Our grim reaper plant manager will not even give us how many people have been let go in the past year. BTW, the word in the shop is he was the driving force of the close of the manufacturing facility in Milwaukee. How can the Rockwell management team look at their faces in the mirror at the end of the day? They tell us the economy is the reason. Hello, it added up to bad management decisions at the top. It cost us some very dear customers that took years to get, and of course the CEO would not admit to his wrongs, so everyone else suffers the fallouts. But do not be deterred to much; we still have Lean people left to suck up the money and our retirement pay. Shame on all of the management, from top on down, to poor decisons or not taking a stand and challenging those in charge.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Guys, I don't work for Rockwell and I believe the majority of automation companies suffer similar problems. The company that I work for has interesting problems I would live to share:

Clueless Management: I dont want high management that knows everything about Bits and Bytes, the problem is the complete lack of market knowledge (competition, trends, customer, technologies). Clueless people are worst than stupid ones.

The VP fever: Now everybody is VP. The guy (sometimes the clueless one above) the guy has nobody under his structure and even no team is a VP!

Excess of arrogance: Worst than a clueless manager is that arrogant clueless guy that believes that knows something. Unfortunately some of them fake some know-how based on Google search; and the majority of them become expatriate where their good life sucks up the company profits

Problem: The clueless manager believes in the arrogant clueless guy because the clueless guy mixes trivia with arrogance to sell intelligence (and of course the clueless guy buys that. Because he is clueless !)

More MBAs and Less PhDs (equal to more Powerpoints and less solutions).

Virtual solutions: Brands, Mottos and etc ; Taking 20 years solutions and invoke values like green, energy, performance and KPIs


Thursday, October 1, 2009

In May 09, a long-time co worker retired from the RC facility. (She was offered another job she could not turn down). Her announcement came as a total shock to many. Even though she had over 34 years of service to AB/Rockwell, she was the 2100 Master Scheduler and had the pulse of everything that was coming in, going out (RC) (Tecate) and (Monterrey) bill of material issues, IT problems with orders, order runs and also had some involvement with Canada when directed. She managed all forecasts and dollar operations and scheduled all engineer orders. She had to manage order uploads prior to 6:00 a.m. to about 4:00 p.m. daily, some nites at the plant until 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. to insure orders were being placed to the proper locations and bill of materials not being duplicated on the next day runs. (No she was not paid extra for those hours). She knew how to fix the problems, or knew who to contact and send in writing to get the problems fixed for all orders going to those locations. As an engineer here in Milwaukee, we miss those communications, understanding and someone keeping us in check.

When she retired another back-up person took over and did about 75% up to par. Then RC hired a young person with no experience in Master Scheduling cannot seem to get up early enough to manage the new orders coming in over-night and quite a mess since sometimes the orders are being built more than once and bill of materials cut in two locations. He does not seem to get that Tecate and Monterrey are in different time zones, or that he bit off more than he can chew. In addition to this they placed him in Milwaukee and the paperwork all cuts in RC.

Talk about common sense - who thought this one up? I wished we had our Master Scheduler up there in RC; she KNEW how to manage orders and "stick to her guns". Unfortunately this is how RA has operated in the past few years - by not trying to keep the employees that they have invested the thousands of dollars in. As one of the newer engineers with less than 10 years, I am so frustrated. I believed I was hired for a top notch company, and I was dead wrong.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

These are just a few of the failures since RA bought AB.

  • Bought Icom, their major software competition, took Winlinx and renamed it RSLinx which is a really a Windows skin on AB Interchange. Took the WinView name and rebranded ControlView on Windows to RSView32, both came from Dynapar in Canada who made the original Panelview and Dataliner. We wont even mention FactoryTalkView.
  • Intercolor PCs, now VersaViews, massive recall on hard drives, 10% out-of-box failures, 50% dont make it 2 years.
  • Entek IRD, the vibration monitoring company, now called Dynamix, packaged the product in Flex IO plastic, gutted all the Entek people so no support.
  • PanelView Plus, a CE based Operator Interface, the first version was so bad they didnt even release it; the second version had another massive recall for compact flash cards. Almost as bad as the Versaview, very high failure rate.
  • And my favorite the PocketLogix, an Hp CE device they put a CE version of RSlogix 500 on, they dropped it a year later.
  • Current history is mostly software related, Bizware Scheduler, bought the company, fired everyone, no ongoing development or support. Something they call Plantmeterics, same story.
  • The latest is VantagePoint, bought a company named Incuity, they havent ravaged the company yet, still trying to get it integrated into the FactoryTalk platform before they do.
Current philosophy, buy a company with a strong product, rebrand it, fire everyone from the original company and live off it's past merits in the name of growth by acquisition.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

RIFs coming to Rockwell Software next Tuesday. They are moving the headquarters offically to Austin, Texas, so several Milwaukee folks will be drawing the short straw.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Another round of RIF in Richland Center today. 68 hourly and 5 Salary


Thursday, October 1, 2009

We just heard that our Rockwell Tech. Support guy was laid off today. As tough as it is going to be for him, it's tough being the customer when technical support for a big project disappears and we are left high and dry.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

So how many more were pushed out the door yesterday? This is an annual activity at Rockwell with their year ending Sept. 30.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Deliberate ploy on the cutbacks - no matching 401k, no merit or cost adjustments, raised insurance costs for retirees, and the 75 to 85 point requirement for retirement a few years ago. These changes force people to leave the company voluntarily and then they don't have to worry about long term insurance and pension adjustments. It is normal for companies to make changes every 20 years or so.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

To: Keith Nosbusch
Re: Cambridge

If you take out the blackbelts you put in, the building works. And we know, that you know. It is profitable. Remember where the vfd's came from? And we are proud of it! Quit dancing around the sombrero and give us the support we need. We are right here, and it works. And you know it!


Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - To the person who wrote the sarcastic comments on Tuesday:

I guess you left Rockwell and joined another supplier, so now Rockwell are competition to you.

I left Rockwell many years ago and have been a customer ever since, not only of Rockwell but other suppliers. True, there has been mistakes at Rockwell - in my view it's down to over aggresive sales targets in areas where they do not have fundamental capability - with the inevitable conclusion of not reaching customer expectations. In areas where Rockwell do have capability, I think they have easily matched other suppliers - many of whom also talk a good game but are poor on deliverables.

As a customer now, with no vested interest in Rockwell, I find many of these blogs to be candid. This shows that many of the employees do passionately care about Rockwell enough to write the blogs. They only want to improve the situation. How many in your company care enough? Do they all "whistle while they work?"

We are all in a deep recession and I hope you can all concentrate on delivering good customer service to your customers, and by listening to your passionate employees.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I wonder if the Bradley brothers are resting peacefully, with all this turmoil and torment going on in the company they created? What a shame, an Icon like Allen Bradley going this way.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wow, I really wish I worked for this great American company. These blogs paint a fantastic picture. Strong leadership, great strategy, people centric, great products and technology, highly customer centric approach, etc...

Sorry my mistake... I got that wrong... posted on the wrong blog!

B.T.W. I know that senior management in Rockwell do look at these blogs.... So keep them coming... Maybe one day they will realise how deep these feelings run inside the company. Not that they will do anything about it, other than trying to track the bloggers down and publicly flog them ;-)

Also... check out Linkedin - you'll see how many old RA folks have really landed on their feet. Life is far better outside the clock tower, away from the nobs that run the company.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Doesn't anyone get it? All the cut backs to salary's / 401K/ yearly increases/ layoffs, doesn't anyone get it, and the stock continues to go up.

They are up for sale for sure this time, and the golden parachutes will be deployed soon. They are cutting back to be sold. Its eaither ABB or Emerson. ABB has the ability to bring the rest of the global into the PLC world and they are respected overseas. Emerson has a strong product line with limited exceptance overseas and support unlke ABB.

The RA management will soon all be gone. Their market share has been going down year after year with out RA concern. They continue to make the fat checks. Look out below the mud slide may run you over.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Until now, I have resisted contributing to this Weblog, but now feel compelled to write, especially as the subject of the Services & Solutions Business (SSB aka MPS) has been raised by a previous blogger. For their worth, here are my observations as to why notably in the UK the SSB business continues to freefall downwards:

  • Pivotal to the UK Solutions Business is the issue of Leadership. The current UK based SSB Business Unit Manager has, since 2006, continued to bluff and blame his way through, demonstrating it's only his survival [finances & his politics] that matter. At the same time, this viewpoint has allowed the suitably titled Business Unit Mgr. (B.U.M.) to hoodwink and lord his ignorance (using his fake American accent) over SSB industry sectors, customers, end clients, ongoing projects and his own workforce (sympathies).
  • Significant loss of business occurred when the European matrix based 'Silo' structure (as opposed to country-centric services model) was fashioned at the end of FY2006, beginning FY07. From that point on, commerce for the UK Solutions Business collapsed. Couple this with a total lack of customer focus and weakness in understanding of each EMEA countrys customer base (by the other countries within the SSB EMEA region) then no wonder this ill-advised strategy has failed to deliver.
  • The middle management within Solutions Sales (at EMEA level for the UK) is abysmal.
  • High prices are 'normal' for SSB. Excessive profit margins [otherwise called greed], disproportionate layers of management [causing gross overhead costs] plus high internal labour rates [frantically being negated by outsourcing software engineering to either India or China running consequent risks to quality] are to blame.

  • The company mantra of "Listen, Think, Solve" is being applied solely to protect the interests of Rockwell; leaving the needs of its dwindling customers either ignored or left till last.
To sum up, RA must have leadership with the skills, acumen and one-to-one business sense to regain lost trade rather than the current management (HR included) that seem to extol at implementing the negative measures and the layoffs seen by many. Sadly, as long as certain SSB/MPS EMEA hierarchy & middle management remain in place then the situation just wont change**.

What a mess. Sigh.

    ** Maybe this is all a deliberate ploy. If so, then this would seem to answer the question that one blogger asked over whether SSB/MPS is somehow deliberately being manoeuvred in order not to survive.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Last week a group of Milwaukee executives visited the Cambridge plant and spent 2 hours with a randomly selected group of salaried employees (non-management) in what they called an "Active Listening" session. The questions related to employee engagement, and employees were asked to give honest, open answers. Whether they were ready for it or not, this is exactly what they got. The message was clear. The Cambridge facility is broken because of inept and backwards management practices.

So to the Milwaukee executives: you listened, we hope you heard us and now it's your turn. You have the power and ultimately, the responsibility to the company, stakeholders and customers to make this right. We need action and it doesn't involve balloons and streamers in the cafeteria. And if you need a second opinion, set up the same session with the hourly folks who actually build the product.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

WOW! Is anyone listening? And when I say "anyone", I mean Keith and his band of merry men?

It looks like the sentiments are the same, no matter where you are geographically. There is a huge gap between what the workers are saying, and what Keith is being told by the people surrounding him.

Rockwell Automation needs a big shake up. There are too many groups pulling for themselves, but no one pulling collectively. On any given day, one has to decide which company they are answering to today. Is it Operations, is it Materials, is it Engineering? And where does the customer fit in all of this?


Saturday, September 26, 2009

The last blogs are all too correct, unfortunatley.

At the Cambridge plant, some managers are not too skilled in their managerial efforts, while "team leads" are doing most of the managing, or what they might think is managing. Working team leads are what was supposed to be. But in essence, there are power-hungry and ego-inflated people who forget what a team lead is. Instead of leading and ensuring everyone is CAPABLE of doing the job, with proper tools, parts, training, confidence, team work, engineering support, and their best interest, these people sit down, walk around trying to intimidate workers, and pushing small weights around.

One dept. is run by a person (I will not say manager, as this person is clearly not suited for management) that cannot speak a coherent sentence ... it has become an ISSUE. People dread going to meetings, trying to ask questions that get the exact same answer all the time, that has NOTHING to do with the question asked. It is quite obvious that his homeland is his target and objective while here "managing" the plant. All workers are keen on his lack of interest for the Cambridge plant's best interest. This bothers alot of people, and so it should. While he is running around trying to catch people with an unsigned cart caddy, he and all others turn their heads to REAL safety issues, assembly issues, traning issues, etc...

If only the customers knew the ridiculous ways these machines are built, with ZERO training, unknowledgeable staff, tools that are meant for backyard garages, etc, the list goes on....

About tools: this company cannot even provide proper tools that have been requested, literally, for the last three years. A green belt project was given out, which to me, means a system has been implemented that works, saves money and is effective. Yet, a year later are now in the works of another tool project.

Maybe I should lay down some lines, mop a floor, and put a nice big 6S star above my head, and see how much of a bonus I get this year. Oh wait, no, the favorites allready are picked and Keith says no to Bonus', except his own!


Saturday, September 26, 2009

I will say goodbye to RA after more than 20 years of service. It's ridiculous that they will keep on with the head-count cut while paying out bonuses for plans that 'have achieved certain performance levels'. What are those plans? I bet one of them is the 'cost saving plan' -- you just killed so many good employees to get your bonus...


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Keith needs to take a good look at the managers that are milking this company dry and get rid of the whole lot of them. From experience in Twinsburg we have the most incompetent managers that I can ever recall.( Thanks for hiring all the Ford boys.) There are also a number of Supervisors that need to go too. From Black Belts destroying processes so you cannot even do your job effiencent, but then wondering why the production isn't at levels where it should be. Hello look in the mirror, management.Wake up and listen to what the employee's are telling you. A lot of people feel that we are being set up for failure by this management team. This once great company that was a joy to work for, has now become a stress driven machine that has no idea what it is doing or where it is headed. Management needs to change . Hey. Keith how about a visit to Twinsburg for a meeting with the employees without any management present? I doubt that will happen.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Well now that Keith has communicated the wage reductions, no 401K match, forced days off and likely no merit increase again this year, it is time to depart this once great company. On my 5th anniversary with this company they will receive my resignation.

Do I have another job? Not yet; but I can not sit in the office any longer and see what is happening around me. It would be best for me personally to get out now and not continue the stress that is driven by poor management. Several of the VP/GMs need to get kicked out as they are sucking the company dry with some of the worst mismanagement of resources and an even poorer selection of strategic projects.

I would strongly encourage some direct meetings with grass-roots employees and skip the management levels. There are some outright lies being told throughout the management ranks. There are very poor management people that are holding back true innovation because they feel it has not been "socialized".

To the 30+ year employees who are VPs: please do us all a favor and retire. The company can not continue to operate the way you did so many years ago. You sit back and wonder why the 20 & 30-somethings are not staying with the company. All you need to do is look in the mirror. You are the problem in most cases.

Where is the new blood in the senior management ranks? And I am not talking about new management in the support organizations. I am talking about within the product-development ranks, in particular the VP/GMs in the Architecture and Software groups. These folks (other than CVB) are would never rise to the top of any other company. The SSCB VP is an absolutely miserable people-manager and is extremely short sighted. The I2O VP is over his head and needs to go back to marketing. The Portfolio VP has no clue when it comes to his area of responsibility. The MTC VP is more a finance person than an engineering leader.

Come on Rockwell Automation. Get it together.


Friday, September 25, 2009

I am writing this in hope that someone passes the message to Keith Nosbsch (slim I know).

On your visit to the UK next, why dont you actually speak to members of the workforce that have not been handpicked to feed you the information you want to hear. It is all well and good you keep asking for cost saving, but no one at grass-roots level is getting to hear what your management team are personally doing. Are you taking any financial hits like the average Joe? Are they large or small? After all in the good times your rewards are large.

A good manager as the ability to mix at the top level AND with the general work force (not just the people selected to be in the office on one of your visits). So, if you want to raise morale and get the workers on your side, let's see you select a few grass-roots people to meet and speak to, instead of wasting more Rockwell money wining and dining only the management.


Monday, September 21, 2009

The last comment is so correct - Rockwell is so concerned about the numbers and not about their customers. We used to do field service work and keep the customers happy, and get their product right, up and running. Now we are all about the shipping dollar. Customer's are left with GMS or Sales out in the field, to contract or try and fix their problems. Customers are a shoved aside and onto the next one. How sad! There are a lot of appreciative customers who like the one-on-one attention they used to get. That's gone. Now we spend those dollars setting up global plants and manufacturing product cheaper, selling at at the same dollar amount. Let's see how the next quarter plays out.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Response to Fri. Sept 4 comments, in the response to the Siemens guy: I find your comment on this weblog being written by ex-Rockwell employee's who left on their own accord absolutely hysterical! Yes some blogs are from unhappy ex-employees who were un-cermoniously dumped by Rockwell when they decided to right size their employees.

I suspect a majority of this blog is written by current Rockwell employee's who feel that management is no longer listening. People can post things here without the fear of reprisals from management. The saddest thing is that management has forgotten about the customer and is so concerned about the shareholders. It's all about the numbers. Gone are the days when you thought about what the customer wants or needs. It's the customer that helps a company grow not the shareholder. Until we get back to the thought of the customer we will continue in our downward spiral.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

I'd like to open up a topic concerning Rockwell's SSB (System Solutions Business)group. This is the old IAS (Information and Automation Solutions)which later became GMS (Global Manufacturing Solutions) then to GPS (Global Process Solutions)thene to MPS (Manufacturing Process Solutions) and now SSB. This is Rockwell's engineering solutions business headquartered in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. In light of the recent layoffs, overpriced solutions and lack of business direction, am I the only one that thinks that this business is being purposely overpriced in order for Rockwell to justify closing it down?


Friday, September 18, 2009

RC facility (WI) moral is so low, personnel really down. But wait, some ovetime in the facility. Keith had a big write up in the State Journal earlier in the week calling about 12 personnel back. Yippppeee for Nosbusch, he sure is a joke, most may not be aware of the Rockwell stock "trading" that took place 2008 this is where your hard earned dollars went.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Seems as if the blog has cooled off over the last few weeks. Perhaps everyone is getting used to the new realities. Best wishes to everyone!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If you are that good then you should kindly retire since they are being so unreasonable. They could just take all of your pay at once. Talk to the folks that were let go in October and your 25 cent issue will look small.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009 - To the powers that be in Milwaukee:

Who on earth made the decision to start charging a quarter for a styrofoam cup in the cafeteria? You continue to cut into my personal wealth. You cut my pay, you stopped matching my 401K, and my health care will be going up 12-20% next year. People are furious over this latest debacle. If its about the styrofoam, then get plastic cups, I know, you want me to bring my own cup. I get that we are trying to be environmentally friendly, but seriously, at a time like this when employee morale is at an all time low, I can't even get a cup of water from the cafeteria anymore without being charged for it. What is next - a charge to use the restroom? Do I have to start paying for my parking? The cafeteria is a profit center; aren't they making enough money? Seriously, who is making these decisions? You can't keep taking and taking; something will give and it will be that good people will leave when things improve. I know with all the problems we are facing, this is minor. But there is no other anonymous forum in which to make your feelings known, so I hope someone out there is listening. I know people who won't even go to the cafeteria anymore. A quarter for a cup; what is next?


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Manufacturing all your own products is not feasible any more. RA depends on the the products they can buy from someone else to fill in the holes. Relays, IEC contactors, IEC pushbuttons, terminal blocks, photo electrics, proxs, and others all come manufactured from someone else. It's not cost effective to do R&D and manufacturing for all those commodity items. CLX, Software, PF7x Drives, Servo's and MCC's are about the only products produced in-house. It's smart business to do what you do best and buy the rest to fill in the products to supply your customers with the complete solution. RA's strength is the North American Distribution Channel, devoted to serving their loyal, long time customers. If RA can provide a suite of innovative control hardware and branded widgets to go along, they will survive and thrive in NA. NIKE never produced a single shoe in their own plants - all out-sourced - and look at their success. At least RA keeps their core products in-house. Try Modicon, Tele, Seimens, or Automation Direct, see if they will come to your plant and help you when the chips are down. RA knows what their distribution channel is worth and demands excellence from them.


Friday, September 4, 2009 - To the "Siemens guy" Monday, August 3, 2009:

Of course this weblog is a great read, like a quality soap opera. The majority of the negative comments are posted by ex-Rockwell employee's who left of their own accord and went over to the "Dark Side" (that being Siemens of course) and as you are scratching around at the moment with nothing better to do, why not post stuff on here instead of getting out there supporting your Customers and winning new business.

Feedback from one UK (Water Utility) Customer is that an ex Rockwell Account Manager who left to join Siemens actually lost his temper and complained about a Customer who placed business elsewhere. Hmmmm Now there's a Soap Opera in the making.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

PlantPAX is new lipstick on the same pig. A couple of years ago RA had the process extensions for RSViewSE (FactoryTalkViewSE) and the SE Process Toolkit Wizard. RA tried to get the distributor specialists to promote and support these "TOOLS" but none of them wanted to spend all their time trying to make it work with no factory support. PlantPAX is the fully supported package from RA. It's no different than before, only this time instead of the US distributor specialists trying to make it work it's the RA support engineers in India. RA is trying, but it's not a drop-in DCS replacement. There is a place for a DCS system and a PLC/PAC system, but RA is trying to sell a PLC/PAC as a replacment for a DCS. In their defense the DSC vendors are trying to sell into the PLC/PAC space also. A lot of utilities I work with have both, they both have their place, but both the PLC/PAC vendors and the DCS vendors want 100% of the pie. As the old saying goes, "let the buyer beware".


Wednesday, September 2, 2009 - Ref: Tuesday September 1, 2009 blogger "If people want to send an opinion they should at least be educated....... etc"

It certainly shows that the inbuilt Rockwell Automation arrogance still survives. Makes one wonder; what it will take to put some sincerity back into this company?


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Be careful when talking about PlantPax. It is not a new product; it is not a DCS system; it is purely a packaging together of existing Rockwell products so they can then be called a "system". There is some engineering to ensure the packages all work together; there is also "bundled code" to help with configuration of process control systems. However, don't expect a comprehensive, or well proven solution for process plants out of the box, and definitely not one specific for your industry. RA is a loonngg way off that!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Inaco is well placed to capitalize on the distribution changes. They have existing capability and established business. They have gained territory in New South Wales and Queensland at the expense of four previous RA distributors but have lost their potentially lucrative Perth office to NHP.

I think NHP has been given a poison chalice with strong expectations in their territories but no direct access to the NSW/Qld markets which belong to Inaco. NHP has lost most of its automation agencies that it would have relied upon to maintain its (limited) automation presence in NSW/Qld. So what do they do now that they can't take on national product representation for lines that compete with Rockwell.

Surely the end game is to have a single Rockwell distributor in Australia! Question is - is that NHP (most-favored son) or Inaco (global player with leverage).


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

If people want to send an opinion they should at least be educated. NHP are the most successful electrical enterprise in South Pacific. Period. Inaco is probably the fastest growing automation enterprise in South Pacific. Rockwell are proud to be associated with winners not whiners. So if you are a whiner, at least try to hide yourself. History doesn't lie. These companies have great track record before Rockwell, and now with the worlds best brand - what a combination. Smell our fumes guys, coz thats all you can do.


Monday, August 31, 2009

We have heard a few comments about NHP as a distributor in Australia and New Zealand. I haven't heard anything about the second distributor in Australia, Inarco. NHP has been able to sell Rockwell Products for nearly a year now and to date I haven't heard any positive feedback about them in the market. I was wondering if the Rexel-owned Inarco are doing any better.

We keep hearing about the vast amount of stock being held by NHP in New Zealand. But for some reason this isn't generating an increase in customer service. Perhaps they have invested in the wrong stuff? The local Rockwell people will no doubt be very happy with good sales figures generated by NHP buying this stock during a these lean times. Their next problem will be getting NHP to generate sales as the momentum created by the old distributors tappers off.


Friday, August 28, 2009 - Re: the FF project:

You need to be careful of the promise of PlantPAX. It does have some nice integrated features. However, FBUS is not an integrated feature. RA has a solution that has connectivity to the platform.


Thursday, August 27, 2009 - Re: the FF project:

If you choose the RA option with ControlLogix, you also have a "built in" DCS option, its called PlantPax. You can find more info on the RA website


Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - Re: The FF Project:

Thanks for the feedback.

IF RA is successful the platform will be Control Logix, so we are locked into a "PLC" based solution with RA. My personal preference is a traditional DCS, but I'm not the one writing the check. My role will be to make sure that the system chosen works. Another concern is that a lot of the equipment will come in on skids from various vendors. So who can ensure interoperability between all the equipment? FF instrument vendors include Rosemount, Fisher, E&H, SMAR.

I'm familiar with very large FF projects done with Emerson and Foxboro and I know that even with the DCS companies direct involvement their were start-up issues. But they were able to assign an army of associates to get the issues resolved. With RA I just haven't seen any large projects, so that's the G2 i'm trying to pick up here. Hopefully some end users of the FFLD will post and share their experience(s).


Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - For the FF user colleague:

For this ammount of FF intelligent instruments (if FF is your preference), I wouldn't use a PLC based solution, and even worse, based on protocol conversions (gateways) - I'm not a DCS fan, but for the ammount of instruments you have (and FF based) I would go to a DCS platform. You will lose some of the FF benefits having gateways.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A close friend of mine recently left RA, this person was a highly trained professional. All the work they were asked to do was about one thing "Savings". Not improvements, not finding smarter ways to do things but just "Savings". Oh, and of course, whatever needed to be done couldn't cost any money.

This person worked in EMEA where workers were asked to give up a number of days per quarter as to avoid layoffs. Most people complied and guess what? Yes, indeed, the layoffs have continued unabated. The people left at RA in EMEA, well, the good ones are looking for other jobs and RA is being left with whatever is left over after the good ones leave.

The SAP rollout that was boasted about earlier on this blog is a giant joke, there is nobody left on the EMEA team currently that was supposed to assist in the transition to SAP, they've either been sent back to their departments or been made redundant. Staff is demoralized and stressed out, thats not how people do their best work and this state of affairs will only be aggravated because I doubt the end of the layoffs is yet in sight.

I feel for the friends I have left at RA, its not a good place to work anymore.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - To the Potential Customer on FF:

I'm astonished by the size of your project! If you are talking about a batch facility with 3000 instruments you are talking also about some thousands of solenoid valves not mentioning agitators an other things!

Anyway if you have this project - the FFLD's are good as any other FF interface. The "limit" is on the FF technology itself, so you can't connect more than 10 instruments for H1 segment including not more than 6 valves on the same segment (if you want to have a decent response time).

Having said that, FFLD's (ethernet or controlnet) are working fine. I'm not aware of large FF based applications but I know few small to medium size (lets say a couple of hundreds instruments).

I assume you want to use FF technology for asset management purposes. I'll not argue about this but -- I personally don't like FF much. Or, perhaps the fact that I don't see the point in using FF technology and run the control algorithm inside the controller. The concept is great, but the reality is quite weak.

Good luck!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - from Potential Customer:

My company is planning to implement Foundation Fieldbus at a new greenfield batch process facility. We estimate roughly 3000 instruments so it will be a decent sized project. Rockjwell Automation is one of the companies under consideration (Siemens was an early out because they do not support FF). Has anyone had any experience with FFLD Ethernet or FFLD Controlnet gateways? Good or bad?


Monday, August 24, 2009

To the Siemens guy: You can read these blogs cause you don't have any orders on your plate. What's Oprah doing these days? Bet you could give us a great update.

To my former RA buddies: Do you think management will continue with no-matching 401K or have another RIF and bring the matching back? That's what on their plate now.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Anorad NY location had a RIF of 30 out of 95 today.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009 - Richland Center facility update:

Congrats, glad you're going back to work. We can't even get a disconnect shipped to us. Buying most of our stuff from other sources just to keep production running. The move to offshore production was a stroke of genius. When business picks up RA will really be in trouble. Who was the customer willing to wait 16 weeks for a MCC at twice the price? I don't doubt your workmanship but the engineering has to be right. Hail, India. Our software order took two weeks only to be shipped second day for $40. Tech support told me production problems with the software.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Richland Center facility update. They are calling back people due to a million dollar order. The workers were to be off for 1-3 months, and also had to sign up for federal cobra insurance and unemployment. Seems like they are having a tough time managing, or better said micro-managing.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Rockwell Automation announces manufacturing solutions for the Smart Grid". When I read that, I thought it was a joke. Sorry to say that, but for me is a way to manipulate customers selling buzz words. What is the next? Controlnet reduces global warming?


Monday, August 10, 2009

I would like to propose that in the next round of RIF's we consider getting rid of:

  1. One or both of our corporate jets - think how many job that would save.
  2. One or more of our SVP's - I haven't seen this level get hit in years, and think of how many jobs that would save between salary and stock options.
  3. One or more of our VP's - again, haven't really seen this level get hit much in the past years, and again, it would save jobs!
The little guy gets hit over and over again; reduction in pay (let's see if upper management gets stock options this year). We have taken a reduction in pay, no merit, no bonus, no 401k match. It's time to stop the bleeding of the little guy and start making cuts where it is going to make a difference.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

I am a union-worker for Kellogg's Snack Division and work in the maintenance storeroom/stockroom. A few days ago I heard that Rockwell Automation was going to implement RAAMP at our plant. Should I be alarmed, if organizing repair work was the first shift union workers job and that union worker is showing a Rockwell Automation worker how to perform part of the first shift job? I think I may be filing a grievance. Does anyone know if RAAMP has had a negative effect on a unionized maint. shop?


Friday, August 7, 2009 - Responding to the weblog Wednesday July 8, 2009:

So you thought I was from the U.S. Wrong, I'm from Cambridge. And my thoughts are still the same. You are all a bunch of backstabbing people, just trying to keep your jobs. You had it too good for too long. Wasting company money, while gossipping when you should be working. They still have a lot of weeding out to do in managagment before the company can actually turn around. Management helped the company go down hill by favouring the lazy workers and punishing the hard workers. I was there along with quite a few other people witnessing all of this.

Clean up management at Rockwell Austomation on Dundas Street, and then you can clean up the regular workers. Oh, and say goodbye to whatever is left of dental and drug benefits.Goodbye - they're going soon, like everything else.!

Som quit your whining about not losing your job. That's what unions were for. You all had your chance, but you were all foolish enough to decline it. So, suck it up, and move on.


Monday, August 3, 2009

As a Siemens guy, I must say that this weblog is just a great read.... It's like a quality soap opera.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Recently Ive read a Rockwell paper about Sustainable Production. I still believe customers are smart enough to differentiate the real green and energy efficient solutions against companies embellishing all the old stuff and putting in a "green" package.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rockwell people wont post much from Asia because of the language - and hence most comments are from Australia and New Zealand, and most of those blogs are about distributors. I work for RA Australia and, whilst I was sceptical about what the Asia strategy was, I have to say its been pretty consistent for two years. It's paying off in market-share across the region, from what I can see. The management team seems engaged and actually truthful and realistic. As a result, people like me and my colleagues see a reasonable future and reasonable security. Whilst we have a long way to go with our new distributors in South Pacific, we now feel we can deliver better to our customers and that will benefit them. I also see the model has now expanded to other parts of Asia.


Thursday, July 23, 2009 - For the Australian NHP post:

Yes, there are definitely people interested in hearing about the region. Being able to hear the perspectives and comments from around the world is the exact reason I read this blog. EMEA posts come up fairly often, but not many posts come from the AsiaPacific region. You never know who will read these posts and turn them into a positive change. Keep them coming.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Since I am so enraged here that I want to quit, I think I'll take my $250 gift certificate, go to Bayview Village, buy myself a new dress, see my attorney, and file a harassment suit. That's what I'm going to do. Care to join me, I'll buy lunch...


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

For the blogger who starts "For all of you who are still whining over past events at the Cambridge plant: Get over it!":

Lets put things in the correct context. People are enraged by others being forced out of their career through no fault of their own i.e. through broken promises, corporate opportunism and greed. Those worried and affected by job security don't bemoan matters for the sake of it. Far from it. When they see work being exported overseas for a pittance of a wage how can you NOT object? How confident are you that bad news won't come YOUR way? And, when it does, that you won't complain or feel let down that no-one laments over your demise? The put-up and shut-up approach doesn't need grooming, thank you. Your comments are not constructive or appropriate.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kudos to the individuals posting about whining. You're exactly right! First of all Rockwell isn't there to make you happy "if thats even possible" get over yourselves. Come in, do your job and go home, oh and shut up! This constant complaining is just monotonous. The thing that amazes me, is most of the same people have been complaining about rockwell forever. Do us all a favor and leave - go and find another job at this wage and these benefits, especially now. And i'll bet that when you find that perfect job you'll still be whining, still be complaining, because that is your purpose in life, to make everyone around you as miserable as you are.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - To "Get Over It":

Sounds like you got your bonus, destroyed a few careers and need to justify your existence in the management ranks. Most of us enjoyed RA and would like to get back to those days. We have heard about the green belt and black belt projects but have only seen the downside; RIF. For all the cost savings, why is there a need to reduce the work force? You should look around and realize that working in a hostile environment is only a matter of surviving. Feeling vested requires someone like you to grow individuals, teams and the company. Your need to stop justifying your existence and start justifying the team.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I have been reading these blogs for 3 years (admittedly too much) as I want a different perspective from the standard marketing spin. My intent is to see if possible product, strategic news from employees, customers, or competitors may be useful for my own job or for dozens of my friends employed at the other listed companies. Most of us with common sense can discern good information from noise and simply smile when we see nonsense. Many posters have noted that it is skewed against Rockwell and Invensys. Perhaps some of this is deserved, of course each page is not neutral. Word choice for the headers of the negative boards with high activity include "decline, acquired" whereas safe, sterile, & low activity boards include word choice of "Bold, Strong". (Who's in marketing now?)

I can take gossipy speculation..."July 5th is the date" (it was actually the planned roll-in of a business unit onto the new ERP...big whoop), Labor relations and the emotions that go along with it, and questioning of product/company capabilities.

I guess I finally snapped with the silly comment for the $250 prize. Come on, every company does this (I've worked in engineering for two of these big guys) I've seen similar booby prizes for iPods, iPhones (Emerson), champagne and even cash for Siemens & ABB. Also note that many times these vendors will source marketing activities to small specialty companies who run campaigns beyond their control.

Come on guys, think before you post. Rockwell has made it clear they are pursuing the process market. Why not? Their Controllers are rock solid in the discrete world. There is nothing that special about a DeltaV or server based controller that makes them holy. They handle computations for IO with various network protocols. It's the periphery (services, libraries, and install base) stuff which Rockwell doesn't have which will be their uphill battle. I would have also added instrumentation, but the E&H partnership narrows that gap. Their VFD offering is good (not great) they've really missed a big share of the market by not having a fully released sub-350kW grid tie ready for sale (although I've heard some are floating around out there). Finally the FactoryTalk group has show tremendous improvements over it's state when I joined up in 2005 (always bringing in new products and striving toward integration). Lastly the true value of Rockwell is their North American distribution network. None of the other guys come even close to that dominating defensive model with impressive coverage. Matched with an aggressive disrupting sales model for South America and Asia (yes we've all read about Australia) it shows that Sr. management is not just sitting back and collecting paychecks but putting trying to move this company to the next level - even if survival was the name of the game over the last year.

No I'm not a Sr. manager, nor a marketing weenie. I'm just an engineer who has traveled the industry, carries a decent education, and uses common sense. Rockwell isn't that far off the mark of where it should be. It's not perfect but it's not the tragic mess that this board leads you to beleive.


Monday, July 20, 2009

For all of you who are still whining over past events at the Cambridge plant: Get over it! If things have you so enraged - you should quit. Make yourself (and some of your co-workers) happy. If your situation or the situation of you superiors has you so irate - Leave! There are 100's of people who would love to be in your shoes - employed. Consider yourself lucky that you aren't out there pounding the pavement trying to find a job. Consider yourself lucky that you aren't working for a half-rate temp-service that farms you out to different jobs twice a week. You have it better than you know. If you decide to stay. Stop complaining! It's getting old. Come to work, do what you are paid to do and then go home. It's a simple concept. Try it!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Wow, if you ask a Rockwell Plantpax multimedia CD you can win a U$250 visa gift card. Is it the right approach to convince customers that RA is playing in the process playground? I don't think so; it seems a typical retail product company. Maybe it is a subliminal reminder that RA is more a product company for candy machines than solution for refineries


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Just a little update on the situation in Australia (if anyone else in the world is remotely interested). NHP are my new distributor for Rockwell, so I rang for pricing on a couple of soft starters. Although they didn't seem completely comfortable with the product they gave me price and availability on the units without any problems, they even offered me an alternative (?) in AuCom. They seemed a lot more comfortable talking about the AuCom units, and offered me a more than competitive price on them; with things in the industry being tight, this opportunity to save some money was appreciated. I am now the owner of a couple of AuCom units; I guess Rockwell have opened themselves up to internal opposition; their loss is my gain.


Saturday, July 18, 2009 - Re: Lament for EJA / Wigan Facility:

I made a couple of calls, and found out that the overall Project Manager and the key guy for the safety product transfers quit RA, and was not laid off as you stated. Turns out he got fed up with been passed over by senior management in favor of less competent but more politically connected people. So, he handed in his two weeks notice, and said they would need to complete the remaining product transfers without him.

Since he departed it's taken 3 different people to backfill his previous role, the start up in the Dominican Republic has slipped 3 months, and there are massive amounts of customer orders that are past due that can't be built because the parts are not even set up in SAP. Sounds like maybe management let a key resource go that they shouldn't have.

In the days before Functional Excellence this guy had been highly thought of and was been groomed for higher things. However, in recent years he'd been mostly moved aside by the Operations group in favor of new hires with little to no industry experience. But these new people knew how to suck up big time to the new central operations group in Milwaukee. Now that the S#@t has hit the fan, they won't admit to making a mistake, and are trying everything they can think of to restart production. However, from what I hear they are still not even close.

So, to the previous post: You were right in saying it was about management playing favorites, and also is about them not knowing what is going on. Shame, as it seems another good company resource has been unnecessarily forced out by RA's bad management.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's very amusing to see a manager "toot their own horn" on line and tell us how nice it is to have everything back to normal at Rockwell Cambridge. It is too bad though that most of the information stated in you blog is false. The toolbox re-organization green belt project you are referring to has failed miserably and cost the company thousands of dollars with no visible return. Having employees walking around looking for tools or creating downtime for other employees because they have to share tools isn't very cost effective. Appointing someone to walk around and check the boxes regularly just cost more money. Using an entire department to do a project for you, instead of your original team, cost the company a fortune. The organization of the toolboxes was not adopted plant wide because of this project and was implemented in department 17 long before this project was in the books.

As for green belt projects as a whole at the Cambridge plant most boast these insane cost savings, yet the majority have cost the company big bucks and have went nowhere. Half of the original class that was trained at Rockwell dropped out. Management is to blame for this, giving out certifications like candy to anyone who can make it "look good on paper". Poor training and lack of knowledge and leadership also contributed to the problem at Rockwell. The proof is on the walls, failed and abandoned project are left posted for employees to see. Rockwell automations "Green Belt" certification is a gimmick and "is not" recognized outside the workplace. Words like "root cause analysis" are only used in jokes made up by employees to describe someone that runs the place.

The company as a whole seems to be better in some aspects. I just hope it continues its direction because we definitely need to start seeing more positive changes. I truly believe our customers will be happier if the employees are, and this in turn will benefit the company drastically.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's nice to hear some positive news about RA-Cambridge. Sounds like they are set for the rest of the year 2009. They re-design their metal side sheets, with a big green cost savings for metal material. (2100 product line) changed the tooling.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Well I would have to agree, it seems we are emerging from our difficult time. Although I believe that Rockwell took advantage of a situation and used the "recession" as a way to clean house. I also do believe that we have some great managers that make tough decisions as well. One problem though, we still have people that are team leads and nothing but a regular employee, making decisions they have no business making. Some of these people make managers believe others are not working or talking too much, or make errors just to plain make them look bad and make themselves look good and also to take the focus from their own lack of work. Our managers need to stand up to these people and tell them to get back to work and mind there own business!

To talk about the Materials manager, and how "great" she is, on this weblog is actually a joke. Also talking about the tool project, also another joke. Well it sounds to me like someone is doing their best to toot there own horn. Does senior plant management know that the tool project actually fully stopped production from a FULL weekend shift. The whole crew stopped production to do this tool project for almost 2 full weekends. And countless hours of numerous employees other days. So many tools had to be bought to enable the tool project to be completed! Where is this cost saving? Countless times the manager and another employee having to leave several times a day to return a tool and get a different one. How many people does it really take to make a return and purchase? On another note, this same tool setup was already made practice in another department before the "big tool project" took place.

Now onto the comment about senior management keeping only the most qualified and competent managers. I think that is a very disrespectful comment being made about managers who have lost their jobs. Some, I might add, are still with Rockwell but have been demoted. There is only one person I can think of that would write all of these comments. Everything on here revolves around one person and I find it unbelievable that you would stir the pot.

One thing I can say is, it has been said before, we do stick together and do want to see Rockwell Canada succeed and remain in Cambridge.


Thursday, July 16, 2009 - Re: Lament for the EJA / Wigan facility.

I'm having tremendous problems getting products out of the new manufacturing facility. My customers are getting furious with me and RA in particular. Because of delivery issues, a number of them have dropped RA and are going for competitor products. They don't care about our internal problems, they just want their products. When I inquired what's going on, I found out that the lead project manager was laid off and the replacement doesn't know what he's doing. Is this another example of operations either playing favorites, or more likely not knowing what is going on.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I would like to take this opportunity to express some positive views on RA-Cambridge operations. Too often employees may not realize how difficult it is to manage a large facility. I, for one, am grateful we have Managers that can make the tough decisions required.

It seems that the Plant has finally emerged from a very difficult period. Most of the Kaizens are now starting to see a positive return on investment, some have even exceeded their original expectations such as the tooling reorganization which was successful enough to be adopted Plant-Wide. Others have resulted in significant savings that have been applied directly to the bottom line. More and more employees are now certified Green Belts and regularly come up with ideas saving Cambridge more time and money. The Belt program is a prefect example of money well spent.

The need for any further layoffs is unlikely as orders in all the remaining Departments are strong for the next two quarters, plus look as though they will remain that way well into the New Year. Most shifts are operating at the same staffing levels they had before the economic downturn. Senior Plant Management has been able to use this time to carefully select and retain only the most qualified and most competent Team Managers. As an example; thankfully the Materials Department is managed by someone who truly understands the needs of the production floor. The improvements in this Department alone have resulted in reductions in the time required to get materials, as well as solid cost savings.

Transactional discipline by the employees is now common practice rather than the exception. The culture of asking the 5 whys and determining the Root Cause has also become part of everyones daily routine. With two new major Medium Voltage products now in production and selling well, the future of that Department alone in Canada is assured.

Shortly systems will be updated to SAP and bring not only Cambridge to world class levels, but all of Rockwell Automation as well. As one of the remaining employees I am more than happy with all of the changes that have taken place over the last nine months. Only the very best of my fellow employees remain and you can feel the sense of commitment that we all have.

The future for RA in Canada will only improve. I look forward to the eventual re-establishment of the EIP programs and merit raises. Rockwell is back to being one of the best managed and best places to work.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

If the previous blogger is correct then I'm sorry for those worker bees in the UK that will be affected by the latest round of cuts. For the worker bees left behind then they have been left in situ on the assumption by management that they won't break until its their turn for redundancy.

Don't bother trying to fight being jettisoned through redundancy either; matters will be as good as 99.9% sewn up. How? Well, ask yourself when a key member of UK HR Management team purportedly arbitrates on behalf of the Employment Tribunal Board then just how likely is it that errors will have been made in any of the proceedings?

Topmost concern is the seemingly unwritten directive to rid RA of long timers. Better write offs for tax purposes or Lower National and Health insurance costs? Decreased pensions cost etc? Core considerations for the business but which ignores any recognition for those workers who have given the most loyalty. RAs actions certainly speak louder than words.

Why hasnt more of EMEA middle management been hit by redundancies yet? Isnt that where more effective cost savings can be made; especially as RA must now be even more top heavy than it ever has been before?

Finally, RA has pissed off more and more customers through lesser quality products, higher prices & mis-directed protective arrogance its no wonder that the business has resorted to feeding off itself. That is a problem created by sub-standard Business Management; not by current market conditions. Shame its the studious workforce - i.e. those at the proverbial coalface - thats paying the price now more than ever.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rockwell must use RIF lists. How else can they announce head-count reduction and then tell those affected two days later? Surely it would take more than a couple of days to decide, starting from a blank sheet of paper.

Are any of the 22 going to be here at Bletchley? If so, then surely the business here is doomed - unless it's some of the useless management. We are a bit top heavy these days. This blog site seems to indicate it's the finance departpent going to be hit; that maybe logical - but this is Rockwell we are talking about.

One thing with working for HR here, they are pretty safe, every quarter decisions have to be made, heads to be counted which means more work for them. So HR are probably safe - until the economy levels off.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Q: What is a RIF list? A: Reduction-in-Force (RIF).


Friday, July 10, 2009

Richland center is doing canada orders for 2100. Don't know why they are not sent to Tecate, MX yet, because they could handle them. For some reason, upper management is keeping on all management, engineers, and extra salary paying jobs - don't know why. Someone has to be paying these high wages. Technicians are being kept on, with assembly-lines benches (12 benches each line) maybe 1/2 full. We have 3 lines left; if you put all the day shift people on one line it would be full. For some reason they scatter the people between three lines and try to run 5-7 orders down each line. I cannot believe they don't put the people on one line and send the extra benches to Monterrey. We have a leadership team in management that makes decision? I can not see how this could be cost efficient or lean. But it keeps groupleaders,technicians and management employeed. I think Milwaukee management is sleeping.

We have people on involuntary layoff for the next 3 months. We also have people on a voluntary layoff. Each week managers look at the numbers. Involuntary - you have to buy Cobra insurance; voluntary layoff you don't. RC is basically a numbers game for hourly. Good thing they have a calculator.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Who says a RIF list is not legal? Get real. It happens all the time. Companies have lists of people that are HiPOTS (High Potential) and also lists of who will be let go in the next round of layoffs next month. How do you think they implement the RIF? Quit being paranoid. If you are viewed an employee who can not be replaced, then you have nothing to worry about. If you are perceived as replaceable, you may be at risk. The bottom line is that you owe the company a hard week's work and they owe you a pay check at the end of the week. To think otherwise is foolish. I have been at RA for over 20 years and enjoy working here. However, I realize I could be let go in a moments notice. The trick is to become an employee that would be difficult to put on a RIF list in your manager's eyes. You may call that 'sucking up'. I view it as survival and common sense.


Friday, July 10, 2009

UK - Are you saying that 35 people on a 'rif list' will be told their job is at risk until HR decides who the 22 are? I don't believe that for a second. Why would HR scare them when there is only a risk of them going?


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thirty years ago, at my semi-annunal review I was promoted, and then laid off within ten minutes at a large computer comapny. It happens, needs change, forecasts change. I found a new job, you can too.

Take your lay-off and move on. The moles, snipes & scumbags reside within every company. If you have a legit legal case against the company find a lawyer, if not find a new job. Quit Whining!

I personally think that RA's quality and delivery are suffering by rebranding others products and the shift to offshore manufacturing in the hopes of increasing market share (& profit margin) outside of the US will be their demise. With a 50% market share in the US and a 10% market share in the rest of the world all the growth is outside the US. They are chasing growth outside the US to appease the shareholders, but are giving away market share in the US to achive this goal.

The US customers made Allen-Bradley what they are today. But Rockwell Automation ONLY cares about STOCK PRICE. If they ignore and abuse the US customer base, ignore the customers that made them what they are today, they are destined to fail. They are willing to sacrifice a loyal and dedicated US customer base to chase a fickle global market.

Seimens, ABB, Emerson, & GE are all better in process and integrated services. Do what you do best, PLC'S. Oh yea, forget about FactoryTalk Software, it's in worse shape than Microsoft. Perhaps you should rebrand it again as FactoryTalk 7 Software.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

The problem is they wouldn't know "illegal" until someone in authority tells them. They're victims of what Jim calls in his book "creeping criminality".

Usually when you leave a company there's paperwork to sign. It's usually an acknowledgement of severance, COBRA, etc. You're right in that they do not either have the right, nor is it enforceable,to have employees sign a "gag" order. Only the courts can do that. You can speak freely about the truth to anyone at anytime.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

22 people to go from the UK. 35 people to be put on 'at risk'. First contact with those at risk to be made in the next 4 weeks. The names of the 22 will be finalised by the end of July.


Thursday, July 09, 2009

I am now an ex-employee of Rockwell Automation. I was told that I had been made redundant but it seems like now that I was a victim of the RIF list. I will be taking legal advice on this matter and I would urge anyone who feels that their redundancy was not fair to do the same, as they too were probably victims of this illegal RIF list. I was a long standing employee of Rockwell and they need to be accountable for their illegal practices.


Thursday, July 9, 2009 - to the person who called us "a bunch of whiney babies":

You obviously are from the US. You should really get the facts before ranting like that. If you had any idea what you were talking about you would allready know 75% of the hourly employees are AGAINST a union. The only reason the union was called in was by a few disgruntles workers that were being treated unfairly. This is why they kept on coming as well. Management in the Cambridge plant is lack-luster at best. The policies and procedures are watered down with corruption and denial. The spy's and rat's are promised fortune and fame... You were right about brown nosing getting you somewhere, indeed. The food night was decent; tip my hat to them for trying! A+ for effort.

All people really want are polices and procedures that are adhered too, to eliminate favoritism. When and if this is actually implemented you will then see attitudes and morale increase. The second biggest issue is the secrets! Why so secretive? If you are planning on making a new office, why does it have to be soooooo hush-hush? It is not hard to figure out when you walk by and see them working on it. If management actually practiced what they preached and put an effort into Teamwork, then we would be all better off!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What a bunch of whiney babies you all are at the Cambridge Plant. The Union tried to get in years ago, but you all had it too good. Now with layoffs, you're all looking for the union. The management need to be trained in dealing with human beings. Their heads are too big and they don't know very much. Good luck in keeping RC open in Cambridge. As long as you have a brown nose you don't have to be a good worker. But you make the management feel good. So you should be okay for employment until they shut the doors and lock them behind you for good. Oh, and be sure to sign the paper before they walk you out the door that you will not discuss anything with media or anyone else so that you can get your severance pay. It's illegal for them to do this.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tropicana was the initial code name used while the plants in Mexico were being built. This was used prior to the general public even having knowledge that these plants were being built. It's become an obsolete term since the Mexico operations are now public knowledge. It appears at this time that the July 5th announcement was speculation of some kind.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What about news in Canada (Cambridge)? July 5 has come and gone, still nothing. Lots of job postings, but still the employees feel there will be more layoffs by September. And still no information about "tropicana". For the people who want to talk business and marketing, let hear about what's going on. Don't be shy. Step up to the plate and fill us in. There were several of you that wanted to change the topic but we haven't heard much from you. We would like to know what you have to say.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

RIF LISTs are illegal. I would activley urge anyone who finds out if such a list exists to report it immediately and ensure that management are aware that the list existance is public knowledge. Anyone who is lined up for the cut, although unfortunate may be able to use such knowledge to negotiate a higher lump sum. Unfortunately it won't save your job but will make HR's job harder. After all, its clear that the personnel in HR UK are only there due to their skills in negotiating such packages so they must be used to it by now.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

As we go into Q3, the new RIFT LIST will emerge. HR in the UK are working tirelessly to calculate the figures for the unfortunate employees whos names appear on the list from the States. The UK's finance department will be hit the hardest, as they will be embarking on a so-called departmental restructure. The head of finance has been saved for now and he will now be working on an EMEA project that they have made up for him - he knows where all the skeletons are buried, just like me. If you're a team leader and not in the 'in team' in the telephone contracts department in the UK, watch out, you're name has been put forward by management to give you the push. So as you will see Rockwell Automation is not such an 'ethical' company. They chew you up and spit you out at their convenience. Keep watching, more news to come soon.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Richland center plant: They were working overtime, about 30 people hourly and salary, getting ready to turn SAP on live in ESB monday morning starting time. SAP is one of their new programs. No one else was cut.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Well July 5th 2009 has come and gone. Where is this big news (posted June 3rd) we were to watch for? The day is here. Posted June 4th - It's not really big news. Rockwell are just selling over to a company - it's been referred to here before a few times. Who is the person with the crystal ball?


Monday, July 6, 2009

I don't know how much all these inside comments are true, but, for the simple fact that tons of the recent postings are just about the same stuff (instead of any discussions about strategy or technology) it seems that Rockwell is really poisoned.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Pity about EJA in Wigan, UK. Hopefully a few of those hardworking folks have got work with Idem Safety who are nearby the old EJA premises and who produce a similar, but much improved range of products. Idem can make them in the UK cheaper and far better than Rockwell Automation ever did. Idem is headed by an ex Rockwell Engineer of the Year.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Drove by the Richland Center facility tonight, just prior to 10:30 CST (after the fireworks here in Richland Center). The production plant is not open, (Holiday and Sunday no work) however management IS there in Operations---have not seen Sunday activity this late at nite for over 30 years. Will be interersting to hear what the next announcement will be this week who and what is the next axe to come down. Last week they let go one of the "Lean" Managers, as if they are doing very much other than colored charts and graphs.


Sunday, July 5, 2009 - from the "new to this blog, and I am very shocked.....".

I am not a "Newbie" so to speak. I have worked in many other industries doing many different careers for many many years, and I can tell you that no organization that runs any differently than Rockwell. Except for many of the perks. It is a business. It is going to adhere to the bottom line. That's life. If they don't make money. They close. I have been through plant closures a few times. Here is where YOU may be the "newbie".

I have done the whole case senerio. Like I said before, plant closure is a lose to everyone. Newbies and those who have been there for a long time. It's a no-win situation. People who have worked here for a long time deserve to retire with their pensions and those who have not worked here as long deserve to try to get that pension or in the very least make their mortgage payments.

When comments are made to close the place, I tend to get a little ticked that someone else is toying with my life. You are entitled to your feelings and I am entitled to mine. This is an open blog and I am just trying to be a little positive about a very difficult time right now.

If the plant closes, I will definately survive due to my other skills from previous plant closures. Calculate your age into that new feeling of education that you may receive from E.I. because believe you me, it plays a huge part in whether or not you find new employment. Or whether the field that you choose to enter will except you or not. I am no babe-in-the-woods my friend; just someone who has been there and done that, so I am wise to the real world that awaits those who are so eagerly lead towards the negative.

Maybe Rockwell will disapoint, take advantage of, kick my butt. But they are paying me quite well, and it is Work after all. Once your education is finished or your E.I. runs out - and it will run out - then when your looking for a job at $10 an hour, you will wish that you still had Rockwell.

That is not just my opinion. That is just another fact.


Saturday, July 4, 2009 - Ref: "I am new to this blog, and I am very shocked.....".

Well, many of us were just like you - once. The fact is you play by the rules, put yourself out, make sacrifices and go beyond expectations and what do you get? After a period of 5 - 10 years you get churned for a newbiew ((like yourself). Don't count on being at RA for long. Careers don't exist, unless your face fits; you are well connected and can BS heirachy. Now you know why many at RA are disgruntled.


Friday, July 3, 2009

I am new to this blog, and I have to say that I am very shocked at some of the comments made here. Some I understand, while others are just shocking.I am just a worker that goes to work every day and am thankful for the opportunity to do so. It is a very very scary place out there right now, and when I read how some people say just shut the place down, it verifies to me just how uneducated these people really are when it comes to the economy.

  • Fact: Not a lot of work out there today.
  • Fact: Offshoring is happening everywhere so good paying jobs are gone now.
  • Fact: I don't want to earn $12.00 an hour anymore. (If you're lucky)
  • Fact: We have excellent benefits
  • Fact: I am not management
  • Fact: I have worked for companies that you have to have someone do your job while you go to the washroom. Equal paying jobs. (Gone now)
  • Fact: We have it pretty good here yet all I read is complaints
Can someone please list some postive things about our company. I challenge everyone who reads this to actually research other companies and come up with a list of 10 positive attributes that Rockwell does that other companies don't. Yes, even UNIONIZED companies can be put on this list. By making this list, maybe then we can all be a lot happier with our jobs on a daily basis. I will give the first one: Personal days off - even unionized places lost those during concessions.

I love my job. I enjoy the people. I know that there are a lot of things that are unfair; but who said life is fair? I have had job postings disappear on me. Not fair. I have lost jobs in the past and not because I didn't do my job, but because of being that number. And believe me, if Rockwell shuts its doors, you will be a number, and not a high one. So, trust me when I say BEING A NUMBER SUCKS! I hate being a number, and that is what the unions do. They make you a number. I firmly believe that everyone who works hard should be able to achieve their goals. Unions stifle that opportunity.

We are a great group of people, and we have more talent at Rockwell than you can shake a stick at. So lets find a way to make it better without a union. Remember the grass is always greener on the other side.

I have not been at Rockwell for 30 years, so trust me when I say that it sucks out there in the world of EI. It is not the answer. It is the spring board to hope. New careers are great but without experience you fall back to manufacturing and so many people are unemployed the good jobs are already gone.

As for the barbeque. Thank you. It was free. And I am thankful for the extra 15 minutes.

Long live Rockwell, and the opportunities that we all benefit from!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thanks Jim, for allowing us to post on your website.

Why is July 5th important? Why did RA corportate notify Dublin, GA and Sumner, IA one year in advance that they will be closing their doors in 2010? When RA changed the pension clause in Dec 31, 2005 allowing certain groups of people to get the supplemental with their pension, and most of them being management at Richland Center, why 2010? Amazing - does canada have the supplemental clause in your pension? Being a profitable facility and with lean taping of our garbage cans area and telling us what our drawers in our tool carts should look like, it is amazing they survive lean-5s-8d- etc.. 2010 is an important year


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wow! If you were in Cambridge today for the Canada day barbeque, you will know exactly what I am referring to! (Not even a Barbeque - it was cooked in the kitchen). Talk about laying it on thick! It was almost like a Monty python skit. Any intelligent employee would have seen right through it.

Company cut backs? For the incredible hard times we are facing, we can't seem to find the money for new tools to do our job properly. But we can splurge for a barbeque to obviously soothe the savage beast. We have the incompetent management team to thank for the UAW at the the main gate.

Don't get me wrong; the food was great, the line moved very quickly, they even gave us a 15 minute extension on our lunch. Very nice! We have never seen such enthusiasm and circus-like atmosphere in the 25 years I have worked here. The painted smiles of the managers, silly hats and the willingness to help, gave me indigestion...

Without the C.A.W on our door step, I am sure that the new policies and the good food would have never been on the agenda. Just the continued poor treatment of the unprotected worker. Maybe we do need an alfa-dog like the C.A.W to keep the management muts in line. It is obvious that the management team has never taken courses in people management. Abuse of power is the biggest problem. The incompetent team lead is making far too many important decisions without guidance from the department managers.

I have never been a fan of unions. In fact, it just might be the best thing for everyone involved to just stop playing the games and close the place.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Just a lament for a great UK organisation in Wigan called EJA. This week the last production workers said good by to their plant, where the great Guard Master Safety switches were Designed, Marketed and Manufactured. The factory was ahead of its time in the deployment of Lean Enterprise and it R&D personnel sat on ISO committees determining the world standards for the design and manufacture of safety switches. Because of its agile leadership, its time from Development to Manufacture was exceptionally fast, which allowed the company domination of the EMEA Markets. Sadly it was closed because Labor costs were perceived to be cheaper off shore.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rockwell doesn't give a hoot about any of its centres. If the facility is not cost effective or manufacture/supply of the goods/services concerned can be hashed to return increased margins, then thats exactly what it will do. Nothing is sacrosanct except for the survival of the same mercenary heirachy incl. "jobs for the boys" via the school tie network. This is how its always been; how it always will be.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Years ago I worked for Rockwell and lost my job, but about 1 year later took a job with a competitor (doing well). I recently spoke with an individual that left Rockwell and let Management know that he did not agree with the direction of where the Company is headed. If you have not made plans on your next job moves, or retirement, better do this soon before all is lost. Ask yourself why key personnel are leaving, including a key finance person. Why did Keith make over $5m with nearly $13m in stock options - ttal of $18m for 2008? (this info is available)on several bonafide business and newspaper sites.) The employees leaving are quietly telling Keith they do not agree with his management of the company. All of the cut backs impacts your retirement if you are vested.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Commenting on a PUBLIC WEBLOG, that has no affiliation with RA whatsoever, has absolutely no bearing on the current state, or future of business for this company. That comment is obtuse.

People are giving their opinions on fact. Hoping that someone who can help make changes at this plant can get the ball rolling. Why can you not understand the concept that people have rights? Voicing a concern and never letting it fester is a pro-active approach to gaining new ground.


Monday, June 29, 2009

I'll say it again just to drive the point home. Petty BS is what destroyed the Duluth, GA location. That location was to be the location for all of Rockwell's Industrial Computer Business. A lot of very talented people worked there. All of that business and potential business lost. If you can't learn from past mistakes, perhaps it's time to turn the driving chores to someone who knows how to drive.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

I'll thank Jim Pinto as well. He's allowed people to post here that have real concerns about the real problems they're observing or experiencing.

As for the "industry professional" - understand that people who post here are "professionals" as well. The only "losers" are the ones that think only they count. If you have any experience at all, you know you find out the health of your company, or industry, by reading posts like this one. Expressing you concerns openly at your job usually labels you as a troublemaker. Doesn't have to be that way, however, that's what some of us have experienced.

I also enjoyed the "ratgate" or "molegate" drama, as it so clearly illustrates what the real problem within this company appears to be. Any problem can be resolved, but only if it's openly discussed. Since most agree management reads these posts, it's the only "safe" way they feel they can express themselves. That's a good thing.

I'm interested in the "mystery date" of July 5th as well, no reason to be cryptic about it.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thank you for keeping this site open to all individuals, so that they may express there views about anything involving Rockwell Automation. In many instances this is the only forum or outlet that people working at Rockwell have. Please do not limit the responses.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

I would like to thank Jim Pinto for posting the comments that are from employees of Rockwell Automation. These are from frustrated employees who are not being heard at the plantm - not union losers with petty BS. These are "CRITICAL" concerns that have been going on far too long. Everyone knows that management reads these posts, so if this is the only way to have them hear us then this is how we will get it through to them. The petty BS actually is going on at the plant and we are proving that we've had enough and will not tolerate it.

To the person who some call a "rat": If you get away with yelling, with profanities, on the shop floor, this will also prove what has been written on here. That management is showing favourtism by allowing you to do it without concequences! This is also not petty BS. Most other employees would have been walked out immediately.

If anyone wants to talk about sales and marketing on here, you are more than welcome to do so, but if you find there is too much BS on here, just don't read it! There are many other people who use this site, not just people who "claim" they are someone else.


Saturday, June 27, 2009 - For "industry professional:

OK, then, lets have your views on just how well Rockwell Automation is doing in the market place. Give us a clue!


Friday, June 26, 2009

A.B. Canada pumps out massive product for Rockwell as a whole. We have been running overtime pretty much since January. Almost immune to the recession we are probably one of the only plants still making large amounts of money for the company at this time, and thing said on this blog are important to us. Sorry if you are not interested on the current topic then write something about marketing or sales, O wait I just did. Thanks again Jim Pinto for letting our voices be heard.


Friday, June 26, 2009 - from Industry Watcher:

"Ratgate", or "Molegate" as it is to some, had me and my colleagues in stitches. Maybe some of those "disaffected union losers", as the previous blogger calls them, should consider a career writing TV comedy sitcoms.

On a more serious note - anything new regarding the cryptic date "July 5th 2009" mentioned previously on this blog?


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Enough with the disaffected union losers posting their petty BS in just one small part of Rockwell, in Canada. Can you please limit topics to sales and marketing related issues? As an industry professional that is where my interest in your weblog lays. Thanks!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

I havent worked for Rockwell in over a year, but I know that John Whibbs will be successful in any company that's lucky enough to land him. The fact that he's left Rockwell (or asked to leave) is an indication of the deteriorating condition of the company. If Rockwell really wants to get out of this mess (in Canada), they should start with the firing people who are liabilities.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Remember when Management cancelled shifts and all those employees had to find jobs. No one was allowed to bump, and senior employees had to take lesser jobs and work our way back up. We didn't here a peep from anyone on how unfair it was. You were able to sit in your comfy chairs while the rest of us suffered. Did we complain or try to organize representation? No we sucked it up.

So now the shoe is on the other foot and there's a whole lot of whining and complaining. What a bunch of hipocrites you all are. You are only looking out yourselves and care little for you fellow workers. All this innuendo and hearsay shows how pathetic you really are. Who cares about your senority and whether you end up in a job you don't like, or on a shift you don't want. You sure didn't care about us before the new year.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

RA recently sent this email announcement (extract):

    After 24 years with Rockwell Automation, John Whibbs has made a personal decision to leave our company and pursue other interests in Canada. His last day will be June 30, 2009. John's contributions and dedicated service have made a positive impact to our Canadian organization and we wish him well in his future endeavors.
Many suspect that John knew what US Management has planned for Canada and that until Senior U.S./Canadian Management changes Rockwell Automation will not successfully emerge from the current economic conditions. John will be missed. This is a significant loss to the leadership of the RA Canada and should make Institutional Investors start taking a good look at RA operations and start asking some serious questions about its long term viability.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And the rat speaks! A mole is someone who strategically infiltrates an organization to get information or documentation regarding secretive or sensitive information. You are not a mole. A "rat" is someone who goes into a group knowingly and willingly putting themselves out there for everyone to see and then informing the higher ups on what exactly took place. I think rat is definitely a better description of what you are.

I hear that today you went on a little rampage at work, accusing not one but two people of writing about you on this site. You must have missed the crowd gathering behind gawking at you. I would really watch who you accuse and what you say to people because you might just find yourself out on the street. I think HR frowns on harassment and verbal abuse of fellow employees. You should think yourself lucky you dont get hauled into HR because of it.

Fact: You did write down how many people were in attendance at the union meeting. Now to me that does not seem like valid information and has absolutely no relevance to the questions that your friends would have asked. Unless your friend was the plant manager or a "manager friend" as you put it.

Secondly, your manager friend kind of blew it for you the next day anyway. I guess she just couldnt keep her mouth closed and told her entire material-handling team about the meeting the next day. Maybe it made her feel smart, or maybe it gave her some sense of power knowing everything that went on at the meeting, and letting the whole group know that she knew.

Last, but not least. For you to sit here and write that everyone else is wrong and are oblivious to what you are and do is just foolish. You have lied and misled fellow employees and management repeatedly. You have also been involved in trying to get fellow employees fired, and have done everything in your power to claw your way up, regardless of who you have stabbed in the back along the way.

I feel no pity for you. The mess your in now is of your own doing. A "coward" is somebody regarded as fearful and uncourageous; this word you use is incorrect. The word you're looking for is "courageous" - the ability to face danger, difficulty, or uncertainty, without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action. This includes harassment and scare tactics from your management friends.

I suggest you apologize to everyone you have wronged, and try to gain a little dignity and self respect back. Then maybe, you will not be so despised by your co-workers. Remember you have another 25 years to go. Do you really want them to be the same as the last few?


Tuesday, June 23, 2009 - Re: "Rat in Cambridge":

We all know you'll be back! Well, I have to say you outdid yourself this time. You approached 2 people today; too bad you didn't yell at the right person. How can you expect that anyone would believe that you would have anything at all to do with a Union? These 3 people you were taking notes for; come on, everyone knows that anyone can phone at anytime to ask questions they didn't need you to go to a meeting for them. You have told people at work that the plant manager himself calls you at home when he "needs" to talk to you. This would be why nobody believes you were there other than to support management and give them information.

You don't know what someone is talking about when they say you leaked information about 2 managers? Well they aren't managers anymore and you went and told people there before they even knew themselves! Everyone was talking about it before they were "demoted". You don't want to admit to it because this would show what your "manager friend" is really like. But we all know what she's like anyway. Just a manager that makes everyone else have a more difficult day, including other managers. They know what their employees are doing, and don't need you to "rat" every little thing you see and hears. Don't forget the way she deals with her own mistakes. Makes up lies about employees to try and have them fired!!

As for the job you are doing now. Let's be honest now; we know that we have an employee who fell ill and one who has a very sick daughter. That has nothing to do with you being given "special assignments" so you don't have to do your own job. You were doing something (nobody really knows what) long before these tragedies and long before you had surgery. Make sure you are giving us all the facts here. Let's talk about the pressure you have to deal with. Whether it's okay to eat lunch with your "manager friend" and where you will go.

Now on to the bigger fish to fry. Everyone knows that you are doing exactly what your "manager friend" did, whatever it takes to get a management job. So we know you don't really want our jobs. You just want to rat everyone out so that you look like management material. So really, it's the other managers that you are out to fry. Be careful, I think some of them are on to you two. Hopefully you get fired first.

One last note. We all also know that you aren't the only "rat". We know about the other one, but I guess we talk more about you because you and your manager friend really don't care about who you hurt in the end, and what damage you could possibly do to a fellow employees family. You two have done others things besides being "rats" to obtain that reward, and I'm sure everyone knows what I mean. You have a lack of respect for the lives you have tried to ruin, whether it is intentional or not. Hopefully your "manager friend" gets to read all of this.

So just remember, as it has been put before: Remember what you do and how treat other employees at Rockwell Cambridge. We stick together and will NOT tolerate your BS or your manager friend's BS either. Eventually it will all come back to bite you and we will not be there for you, except to laugh you out the door!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I can't believe that you even wrote on here, Rat. You are a a poor excuse for a fellow employee. You are uneducated person, that has no regard for anyone other then yourself. You think anyone in that office really cares about you? I still can't believe you had the audacity to go up to another employee and start to yell at him because you thought he wrote on this Blog. Well guess what - you've got a lot of nerve. There are many of us that write on here. Go up to you're buddies office and tell him what you did. Oh wait - HR was already told. You may be lucky to even have a job by tomorrow. You just can't sneak around peoples backs that you work with. You are going to find this out the hard way. I hope you get what you deserve for messing with people jobs and lives, Rat. Time will tell!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thumbs up for the "mole". Actually you aren't a mole either - just going to work everyday doing your job. Isn't it amazing how people "percieve" things happening that in fact aren't happening at all. Feel free to post here anytime.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I was wondering - if you were not at this union information meeting, then why were you taking names down? That is the question I have. If you are doing this for the company and the "bully" then where do you expect to go in this company? If you get a management position with some authority, then no employee will respect you. And when they down size, you will be the first to go because they know you can't be trusted. If you stay hourly, then nobody will want to work with you because you can't be trusted. You may not like the idea of a union, I don't really know, but the hourly employees need their rights back. The company continues to change the rules when they know it will benefit them.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Looks like the upenders forgot were they came from. The lies and the vindictive little games are over. We will not stand for this anymore. You both have played everyone for fools and now we all see it. Your days are numbered. We as management still have some pull in Cambridge and we will see that the plant manager learns of all your lies. You are the reason people want a union. A perfect example of how things have gone wrong. Your lies and games have ruined peoples lives and morale in this building. It ends soon.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Shakespeare wrote... the more you protest proves the guilt that you have.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I would be the person in which you cowards are all refering to. I don't need to leave my name because you have all figured out that I am "the rat". Please get your facts straight.

Firstly I would like to say to the first coward: I was not rewarded a job for being a rat. I was put in a position because I have some seniority. I was on a disability after surgery, and most importantly I was asked to step up to a difficult task because of a couple of tragedies that happened to two other employees. I feel bad for you that you would even insinuate that, when the person I am filling-in for is dealing with a very sick child.

Secondly, I sat at that meeting, writing things down for 3 people that were not able to attend the meeting. I was there mostly for my own ignorance of unions. I know nothing about them to be honest. I for one have been in a very tough situation here at Rockwell for the past two years. Those of you that know me well enough (such as my "management friend") would know the struggles and disappointments I have gone through in the past year here at Rockwell (that doesn't really sound like management doing me a lot of favors). As a matter of fact I challenge any one of you to step up and do what I am doing now. There is a lot of pressure, hmmm once again, doesn't sound very rewarding.

I sat in on, what? One of how many union meetings? I sat there very openly. You insist on calling me a rat (I prefer mole; much cuter). You however had to scurry over to where I was sitting and snoop through my things (I apologize, I guess you weren't snooping, because I left everything out in the open) while I was outside calling my children, and oh my goodness, supporting my, how did you put it, nasty habit.(BTW, i keep my desk drawers unlocked please feel free to sneak a peek when I am not looking).

Third, i would like to say straight to the point. Someone had posted that I was involved in leaking information about two managers and the future of their jobs. To speak candidly, I don't have a clue what you are talking about.

Believe what you will about me, it doesn't really matter, I couldn't care less. The only reason I am writing this is because I am getting so sick and tired of being a victim in my own company and not having any say. I am tired of having to face your little potty-mouthed, jobless cheerleaders handing out flyers when I come into work in the morning.

Union or no union, I have bigger fish to fry. I just want to be sure that I have a paycheck every week. I don't work for you, I don't work for me for that matter. I work for my children and that's what matters the most!

You need not respond to this message. I am sure you have some great comebacks for me. However, don't waste your time. This will be the very last time I visit this ridiculous web site.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Rats are everywhere in this sinking ship. On talking about the individual who is a "rat" sure sounds like one we have here in Richland Center. She, is a very good friend of one of the used-to-be Production Managers and has been placed in many jobs that she was not qualified for, but they Always have looked out for her. Furthermore, why is she allowed to work her business during working hours and on the Rockwwell e-mail selling beauty products? Does the fact she is a very good friend of one of the managers (and so is her husband) who used to work at the RC facility say anything? Does Paris Hilton "looks" say enough and she plays the game with the majority of the men.

If this was me selling items during working hours or honeying my way to the top, I would have been fired years ago. But I'm proud of my 30+ years; I go home and look forward to retirement hopefully.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Richland Center facility does 2100,2500, DSY (drives) ESB (eng spec boxes)AMAT etc. and employees 380 people, minus a few on VLO. Moneterrey, Mx. is gradually taking over the orders for 2100, drives and esb. Monterrey plant has GE workers. 2500 are done in Brazil, China and Poland. 2500 have many connection points and you can not move them around or add to units. Very hard to run wires up the wireway to top or side wireway to terminal blocks going through a control plug also. Future units need to be installed at the beginning. People out on VLO save their vacation days, what is going to happen this fall Oct-Dec. when everyone wants to use their vacation days. Did any of the employees from the two plants closing in 2010 get offered jobs in WI facilities?


Monday, June 22, 2009

The young work force does not challenge me; it is the butt kissing that makes my stomach turn. I guess when I was hired I was under the impression that I should shut up and listen to my elders, Learn about the product from the older work force and do good work. I guess if kissing butt and being a fake is what it takes, then I will have to lower my standards, which I would prefer not to do to compete with them. I can charm and BS with the best of them and not care how the company goes. Thanks for opening up my eyes. This will make me a better person. Too bad the 8 hr. days drag out so long at work, but I guess I will be like all the green astronauts.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Do not use the ombudsman's office. I have first hand experience with them. The first thing they do is "notify" the person or persons you are having problems with that there is a problem. Then they tell them "who" you are!!!! This is not a privacy first office! Do NOT contact them unless you want to lose your job!


Monday, June 22, 2009

Well, TechEd is going on now down in Orlando, FL. It would be interesting if senior management looked around at the RA attendees and see how much money is being wasted. Why would finance people attend or HR folks? I guess they are there to teach courses on our hardware and software. No wonder we have troubles. Spending money on expenses for the wrong people to attend. Where is finance reviewing the spending for this event? If they are not doing it proactively, then the money is already spent. Oh I forgot, finance is attending the event!!! They are just as guilty as the other folks who attend that are not customer facing.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Maybe the younger workforce is challenging you due to their willingness to change. A 35 year veteran in absolutely worth their weight in gold, if they get involved in the change. If they stand in the way, their value goes from positive to negative. They become a liability. Especially in these times.

I recall overhearing this comment one day from a supervisor: "I can't and won't challenge the employees, they are my neighbors, and my family members". Thoughts like that get plants downsized or worse.


Monday, June 22, 2009

12 years is a green-horn? Wow! I thought that kind of requirement was saved for astronauts, not assembly work.

Regarding watching the mighty fall. They don't fall. They have skills. They leave and go somewhere else for more money.


Monday, June 22, 2009 - from the guy from Duluth, GA again.

Although what I said about Ombudsman's office is true, and yes, the investigators do work for Rockwell, Rockwell is under no obligation to act on what Ombudsman's office recommends. That's the kicker. When I looked into the "legal"issues related to the Ombudsman's office, this is what I found: They keep no records of their investigations, and they are "barred" legally from testifying in court.

In my own mind, when I think of the Ombudsman's office I think of Mom. Instead of calling Ombudsmans office, call your Mom. Well, she'll look into it, if she believes you were wronged, she'll side with you, but in reality she can't do anything about it. So just cross out the word "ombudsmans" office and replace it with "Mom's" office. Same thing.

In case anyone might be interested in the results of the investigation, I'll quote, "I know they disagree with you, but the results of our investigation are that your termination was inappropriate".

I understand their HR department well. When you have to go to the feds for protection, the line between public corporation and Mafia blurs, you no longer can tell the difference. Unfortunately, that's been my experience. Fact is, it doesn't have to be that way, it was their choice. Once it goes into criminal territory, it becomes a DOJ issue.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Does anybody knows anything about the future of EMEA folks here? It would be very interesting to know about that, many of our "big" Customers have plants down there. Having such feedback would explain regarding the next future as well.....


Sunday, June 21, 2009

As I read about Sumner-Iowa, Dublin-Georgia - with plants closing in 2010, I am sure they have all facilities figured out when they are going to be closing them, based on transfer of work to lower cost markets and Rockwell Automation North American-based facilities operating below capacity. Our facility(RC) used to ship $12-18 milion a month, now we are down to $ 5-6 milion, through no fault of our own. But engineering product line are being built in Tecate, MX and sc-pe2 orders built in Monterrey, MX.

Yes, maybe it is cheaper and that's what it is all about. We also have people with few years of service back-stabbing older seniority people, trying to make themselves look very job-performance knowledgable. Management is buying into it. Years of dedicated service (35+) does not mean anything, when green horns with 12 years know it all. How you treat the old individuals who made A-B the Cadilac of the MCC world should come into play. But guess what? They are cutting there own throats by believing in these green-horns and shipping jobs south of the boarder.

Let's hope that they also pass the cost saving onto the customer, at a lesser price than the American dollar, when it is made in Tecate or Monterrey. Starters have been made in Mexico for years now. Hopefully the customer got a discount price. Someone had to pocket the money.

Why do you think I shop at Walmart,versus a local store? Because it is cheaper price. Respect of the older personnel has to be earned, not given out freely. This will either make or break this company.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cambridge has a proplem... When sides are being formed, it's clear that a battle is on the way.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Well, let them promote those two to management (or at least salaried) positions. After all, we know how easy it is to get rid of salaried employees (whether it's with good reason or not). I can't see Rockwell Automation letting this go on at one of the few facilities that is actually doing well. If Operations is causing all this havoc, there should be a change soon! And then.... watch the mighty fall!


Friday, June 19, 2009

Call the Ombudsman's office first. They'll investigatate your complaints very quickly. They're very objective and complete their investigation in about a month. They're very helpful. You'll be assigned an investigator, and you can call them to check on progress, etc. My experience with them was very pleasant. They'll present their findings to upper management above the plant level. At that point, it's up to upper management to implement any changes, based on what the investigations discover.

The advantage of using the Ombudsman's office is that often a problem can be resolved before the "trainwreck" happens. That's why it's there. By using the Ombudsmans office, you are seen as someone using the right tool to resolve a problem you see as detrimental to the business. That's been my experience. I'm the guy from Duluth, GA. In my case the "trainwreck" already happened, and once things get to that point, nothing can save it; it's gone. So if you're thinking of calling them, do it now. They really are good and effective before a problem get's out of hand.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Yes, I agree. There are no ethics with some managers and friends. One employee was to be laid off and was written up for missing two days from the previous year (which was done, over and dealt with) - and then literally kicked out of the buidling by the manager being talked about. This employee is still home "laid-ff", while people with less skills, and senority are doing their job and other jobs they used to do. I guess a grudge can go a long way when you have some power.

Why is this? Is this not a direct violation of ETHICS? Nope, it's not a violation, if you DO NOT PRACTICE THEM!

HR is absolutley useless to talk to. All they do is shake their head, "yes, yes, OK, yes..." A lady that worked for HR actually quit and was quoted as saying, "This is the most corrupt and unprofessional office I have ever worked in; I have to get the hell out of here."

THE OMBUDSMAN: A paid Rockwell employee, paid by ROCKWELL...hmmmmmm. The chances of someone actually winning are worse than OJ's chances of people actually believing he's not guilty!


Friday, June 19, 2009

What is the name of the Canadian equivalent of the US's National Labor Relations Board? Ask them to intervene and investigate. You better contact them. You need to know the rules, and fast.


Friday, June 19, 2009 - Concerning the "person":

Has it not occurred to anyone that, whether or not her and her buddy manager use this information to help management, this is a direct violation of the ethics training we all take. This not the first time these 2 have done something like this to further their own goals. Unless something is done, it won't be the last. Is management gonna stepup and prove to us that all that they have been saying and promising lately regarding truth and better relations between us and them is not just smoke but a realization? Can they deal with these 2? I think not; so perhaps it is time to involve the ombudsman and not just a few of us...


Thursday, June 18, 2009

The proof is in the management. I must admit it is funny to see the head of production at the Cambridge facility scurry around frantically trying to oust union supporters and making us all watch anti-union videos on company time. I also enjoyed the facts-sheet that was created by management, telling us about the big bad union, which I later found out was mostly the plant production managers opinion not fact.

It's amazing how easily people believe someone based on their position; all you have to do is pop a Rockwell logo on it and it must be true. I am baffled though, at why a group of people would continue to follow someone so blindly, especially after being beaten down by that same person so many times before.

Now let's talk hypocrisy. I found it very odd why the plant supervisor would come all the way down to my work area to question me about the union. He opened the conversation with: "What do you think about the union?" to which I then stated, "I am undecided". The next question was the best because, after he said "Really", he then said, "I hear youre a big union supporter". This coming from a man who says "dont believe rumors", but starts a question with "I hear". Good leading question, by the way you've just proven to me yet again how dim-witted you think we are out on the floor. It is also funny that you would question me about the union 1 week after I attended a union meeting that you told us all to go to.

Now let's talk about the rat. Well I do know where you are getting your information from; even though I didnt let on that I did know. Everyone at the meeting knew you had sent the little rat in to take notes. We looked at her notepad when she was out having a cigarette - nasty habit. She had written down how many people attended, who asked what, pretty much who was naughty and who was nice (too bad you're not Santa). These are the people you have in mind for management and currently have in management positions, and you wonder why people are handing pamphlets out front? Well little rat, you have definitely ostracized yourself once again from the rest of us. I just cant wait until it comes back to bite, and someone higher up realizes how unprofessional and uneducated you really are, and that you got to where you are based on trickery over people skills. I can see from reading this webpage I am not the first one to talk about you.

H.R. - what can I say about you guys? I thought I got lucky the day the plant manager had questioned me because it just so happened that the U.S. had sent another H.R. guy down to listen to everyone's problems. I thought for sure he would see how it really was now up here. To my dismay, he and our own H.R. manager just listened and nodded at me, after I told them about the scare tactics that had taken place out on the floor. Then they proceeded to tell me about all the good things they plan on implementing - thanks for listening. It's ok though, it just solidifies my outlook on management at Rockwell.

When will corporate see that by leaving the splinter in (plant manager) it just spreads the sickness and infects other areas (the rest of management) and creates a poisonous atmosphere?


Thursday, June 18, 2009

It is hard to believe that this blog is just starting to deal with the deep seeded and long term cronyism which runs rampant in Rockwell. All you needed to do during FE was look at the marketing group. It was full of moving people out for retribution, moving people aside and posting friends to plush director jobs when they had ZERO experience and no clue as to what marketing was or did. I cannot fathom that this is the first time people are commenting on a common practice. Publicly, HR says that this does not and cannot happen - but behind closed doors, the practice exists and is allowed to continue under the nose and with the help of HR. Maybe it is new to the field but this is a 101 course in Milwaukee. Hide your friends and dump your enemies. Not too many more friends to hide anymore.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Just like the great substance-addicted singer from "The Doors" sang: "This is the END, my Friend."

Get out before they force you out. There is life after Rockwell. Reality will hit you like a rock. Most customers really do like Rockwell, but they have to use it or pay for the services they will never use. Rockwell I believe is looking to sell more off and make their books look good by laying more people off.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Keep in mind that while "this person" has not only be placed in jobs that have never been posted, or gone through the proper determination of qualifications, she has also been left on the Hourly Pay Scale at Labour Grade 6, which is significantly more then the correct rate the current position she holds should be paid at. That position should be paid under the Career Band A scale.

This should further demonstrate how all the management rules from Rockwell, before current management took over, have been thrown out. I would think that the other employees doing the same job for years and with more experience, but at a much the lower rate of pay would be more than a little angry.

Perhaps the Rockwell Ombudsman would be interested in hearing from some of her fellow employees. Problem is for various reasons she is one of the "protected" employees.

This is a perfect example of how current management has destroyed the concept of fairness within the plant. Hard to believe someone in the U.S. cant see that it didnt have to come to this horrible situation. All that needed to be done was simply following established RA guidelines, procedures and polices instead of ignoring them, and instead of promoting and rewarding certain employees to become simply a "secret police" and turning RA Cambridge into a perfect model of an 18th century sweat shop. Little wonder there is Union talk.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It wont matter if RA-Cambridge decides to certify a Union or not. U.S. corporate has already decided to move the manufacturing to Mexico. Unfortunately they haven't learned from their experiences in Tecate, JZE and Katowice. This consolidation of manufacturing will prove to be a huge and expensive error. Perhaps having a Union in RA-Cambridge will simply protect the hourly workers while the operation winds down and ensure the employees get all the monies that they deserve. If you dont believe me ask the RA-Cambridge General Manager what the project code named "Tropicana" means.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009 - Response to RE:This Person posted on June 16:

I used to work for Intecolor/Rockwell in Duluth, GA. That plant closed down in 2001. We also had a "person" who did the same thing to me personally. Unfortunately management listened to her, she even got a promotion, although she didn't know what she was doing. I was fired, based on the false allegations. Long story short, Rockwell had planned to close down Manufacturing, keep Sales, Marketing,Engineering and Tech Support, if I recall correctly. Even though I was fired, I saw the memo from corporate describing the plan. Once corporate got my story, and investigated. They closed the plant completely. Still to this day I have an outstanding Defamation of Character claim against Rockwell, and had to get the US Dept of Justice involved as I was literally run out of town. Use this real world example of what could happen. Unfortunately by the time management understood they were being "snowed" it was way too late. "Informers" have their own agendas, and it's never the companies.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - RE: This "person":

There is nothing we can do for this person. It's already too far gone now. She has "friends" on the floor who actually believe they can trust her and they tell her things that other employess are saying. First person to catch wind of this information is her Manager friend, who makes sure all the right people hear about it. She is rewarded by being given jobs that are made just for her, even when they've been told that she doesn't even know what she's doing! Huge favoritism. This manager has caused enough trouble of her own around the plant, but still manages to be there. We all wait for the day the she is "escorted" out the door!!!

These are the type of people that upper management seem to want around Rockwell Cambridge, and this is part of the reason why company morale and trust is at an all-time low. Management knows that in a place this large there are going to be personalities of all sorts; so when are they going to accept that? They need to worry about whether the work is getting done, and not try to prosecute every employee about every petty little thing they hear about them. If this doesn't stop and the "person" and "manager" friend aren't stopped, it will just snowball. Not that it hasn't already but it's just getting worse.

We also have employees on the floor that for some reason feel that they are bosses as well. When is management going to realize that these people who run and tattle about every little thing are only doing it because of lack of doing any work themselves. They take the spotlight off themselves and talk about other employees doing nothing, talking too much, or what ever they can drum up, just because they get a pat on the head like a good little pit bull! These people make it almost impossible for the employees to come to work and even tolerate a couple of hours! Wow, they are really going to get a lot of work done now, aren't they! Put a stop to these pit bulls (or pit bullies) and tell them to get back to doing some work themselves instead of acting like 6 year-olds.

We know that Rockwell was considered the "country club" of all Rockwell plants; but now it's being called "Alcatraz". Everyone knows that they can't stand around and relax like the old Rockwell days. But now this is all getting carried away. Put some trust back into your skilled employees and let them get the job done the way they used to, with pride and perfection. Then you may see the changes that you're looking for out there on the floor.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Like the Huey Lewis song says: "I'm taking what their giving cause I'm working for a living". And that is about the truest statement ever made regarding working for a wage. You take what they give.

There is only one way out of this mess for most of us: training, education, and skill sets. Reinvent yourselves - absolutely. Do something. Sitting around and yacking about it isn't going to put food on your table. Go to the local colleges, take welding, paint tech, computer tech, lab tech, health care, equipment repair, automotive repair, electronics, plc programming, hydraulics, machine controls, etc.

The thing that truly amazes me is that many of the workers at Rockwell just don't get how skilled they really are. How small of a jump is it to go from assembling these systems to being able to debug them? Heck most of you already know how they work, how they are wired, and the products in them. How much of a reach is it to be able to wire homes and businesses? Or repair machine controls in factories? One or two courses, coupled with the knowledge you already have, could easily unlock a new future. People who do this, who take responsibility for themselves, and see their worth, will be well rewarded.

Do you have any idea how much I'd give for a maintenance tech that could read wiring schematics, and be able to plug a laptop into a plc and debug a machine problem? And I'm only talking 24 volt or 120 volt systems, nothing like the systems you all work at.

The other ones who might be well rewarded are the survivors of this economic battle (and it is a war, get used to that thought), who stay at the companies they are with today. Percentages are lower with this tho. And you have no way to help yourself out of the mess. As many leave, the remaining become worth more, but only if the company survives. Otherwise, you'll be the one looking at others that left early, and got the first jobs available. The ones who lose are the ones who won't make the required leap to the next level. You'll be left in the dust, wondering what happened, and getting bitter.

As far as your little informer friend; read the Labor Relations Laws. They are published on the government websites for both the US and Canada. Read them well.

As far as getting a union, go ahead if you want. Understand this: the very 1st thing the union will likely do is negotiate with the company behind closed doors for automatic withdrawal of the union dues from your pay. That is their highest priority, to get that piece of the pie. My personal experience suggests this is the case, and is my opinion based on that experience.

Good luck with your futures! You can make them, or have them made for you.


Monday, June 15, 2009

In the South Pacific there seems to be more emphasis on keeping our Orion opportunity tracking package up to date and accurate, when you don't get the information from our distribution channel. At the same time, they expect us to report on what's happening in the region, when we are not allowed to see what our new distributor are selling to OUR customers. It's like them asking you to drive in a race, then they say "here's a blind fold - wear it" and expect you to win and feel confident. The focus is in the wrong place. It's getting too hard.


Monday, June 15, 2009

As a former employee, it is poor morale and a lack of trust that our management are good stewards of this company called Rockwell Automation, that's killing the ROK. There also seems to be no accountability for the executive leadership team. When was the last change at the executive level (7 years ago)?

For you folks that are talking union: Slap yourself in the face; understand that you are part of the problem with America. We rank 25th academically around the world. That means there are 24 other countries better educated than the USA. We need to reinvent our value in this world. Unions will only fight that change. The quicker our country goes through chapter 11, the better off our kids will be for it. If you shake our country like an old couch looking for loose change, nothing but credit card bills would fall out. You get it! GO RE-INVENT YOURSELF, PEOPLE!


Sunday, June 14, 2009

All this talk about a union in Cambridge. As a recent former employee, if only the employees were treated with respect, rather than a clock number, perhaps the situation would be different. If the two at the top understood this, boy, how things would be different.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Yes, true, we all know who this person is, but I am just curious on what it is exactly, we hourly employees can do to help her? We cannot negotiate anything, barter services or demand anything? I do think it was a mistake to do what she has done, as it has completely alienated whatever respect was left. Not that it matters I guess, as we all still go into work the next day, and the day after, collect our paychecks and do the same thing over every week... She will, I will, you will, everyone will. My point: Does it really matter that management knows who was there, what was said? NO....


Saturday, June 13, 2009

When somebody records people's names and the attendance figures at a union meeting, it just shows what she is about. And management better beware, as this lady desperately wants into management. If she will betray us to get ahead, don't you think she would do the same thing to her superiors in management? People like her do not change as they move up the ladder. So be careful if you are ever 'her' boss in the future. You will be next.

She could not have made it any more obvious. And as for the 'employee' reps who attended; people actually groaned when they saw them pulling into the parking lot. What does that say about our representatives?


Friday, June 12, 2009

Do you think that having a union in Cambridge will help? Do you understand what the term "Globalization" is? If a union ever got in, Rockwell will close Cambridge down in like the blink of a eye. You can then get your minimum-wage job without any benefits after your UI runs out.


Friday, June 12, 2009

For those who are laid off, you might want to look at Emerson or Yokogawa. They both have excellant reputations as a good place to work. You will be respected there. Yokogawa is actually in a growth mode and not laying people off.


Friday, June 12, 2009 - Regarding the Cambridge plant Union meeting:

There is a certain person that attended the union meeting who reported back to management regarding who was there and what questions were asked. This person has already in the past leaked information received from management to "hourly" employees, regarding very sensitive information. There were managers that were being either demoted or fired and this person told people on the floor. Now this person is working on management's side to report back all information from fellow employees.

Everyone knows who this person is. It is pretty sad that you put yourself right in front of everyone this time. Everyone knows what you do, so you had to go to the union meeting to dig up what ever you could so you could run back to management and say "look what I found out!" Just remember that if you keep this up it may come back to haunt you some day. We "hourly" employees stick together and feel each others pain and try to help each other when in need. You may find yourself in a situation where you need these people to help you, and remember what you have done because they may not be there for you in your time of need.


Friday, June 12, 2009

The security guards are the transition support. They support you when you are transiting from being employed to becoming unemployed. So simple.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Glad they're getting transition support. Let's hope this won't be another "escorted out by security guards" fiasco.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009 - Rockwell to close plants in Iowa, Georgia - Associated Press (extracts):

Sumner, Iowa Rockwell Automation Inc. said it will close its plant in Sumner in northeast Iowa by the end of 2010, affecting 163 workers. The Milwaukee-based company notified workers Tuesday, saying the work will be moved to existing plants in Wisconsin and Mexico. Rockwell Automation also announced it would close its plant in Dublin, Ga., by July 2010, affecting 145 workers. Company spokesman said the closings are necessary to remain competitive. The plant in Sumner opened in 1995.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009 - Dublin plant to lay off 145, close next year - From Macon.com (extracts):

The Rockwell Automation plant that opened in Dublin 30 years ago will close next year, impacting 145 workers. Employees were notified Tuesday that the operation would face a phased closure beginning in October and ending in July 2010.

The Milwaukee-based company, which opened the 190,000-square-foot Dublin facility in 1979, provides industrial automation power, control and information systems and services to other manufacturers. It runs two shifts a day. The company also plans to close its Sumner, Iowa, manufacturing center by December 2010, affecting 163 employees.

Work done at the Dublin facility would be sent to existing plants in Ohio and Mexico, according to a news release.

The company announced in 2005 that 200 workers would be laid off during a three-year period beginning in 2006, which occurred. Peak employment at the Dublin plant was about 600 employees a few years ago. Employees will receive severance packages and transition support.

Rockwell Automation Inc. employs about 20,000 people and serves customers in more than 80 countries.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I understand that Rockwell facilities in both Dublin and Sumner will be shutdown/closed for good as of April 2010. Any news on Twinsburg and Highland Hts closing?


Monday, June 8, 2009 - To the blog reporting that Anorad Israel has no profit:

You are absolutely right; first time of not meeting AOP (it is pouring on all of us around the globe) no profit after 11 years of covering Anorad US disasters investments. First action is "lets cut the bleeding leg", without thinking what will happened to the entire body... This is the the difference between being right and wise. As mentioned, RA management need to take the Ethics classes again and again.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Its a crying shame that despite the fact the MV voltage business is apparently doing quite well in these tough economic times, the hourly personnel at the Cambridge plant feel that they even have to talk of a union. We have a great group of people in Cambridge, and even with the loss of Dept 16, we continue to be very busy, as can be seen by the cancellation of the unpaid day.

Its too bad that they feel so helpless, that they feel they have no one to turn to but the one group of people that have quite instrumental in the loss of jobs in the area. Look at other companies in the area. Without naming names, how many jobs have been lost even though (and probably because) they were unionized?

We used to have a facility where anyone could walk in and talk to either management or HR when they felt they had an issue to talk about. Obviously that was in the past.

I do hope that Milwaukee is looking closely at us and determining when the deterioration started. I hope that they look back and see what has happened to the once wonderful place to work at. When canning employees with up to 35 years of dedication to a company became fashionable. When decimating a whole HR department, and replacing them with robots that obviously care more about what the business unit managers have to say, than what an HR department is supposed to do, which is to look after a companys employees.

This is definitely one time that I hope Milwaukee has a good look at us and helps us to get out of this mess. Its obvious that we have no one up here to do it. We are supposedly one of Rockwells best. If you walk around up here, its easy to see why. We have some of the most dedicated employees, both salaried and hourly. We are an example to be followed. Look at when it started to go wrong, and fix it. Meanwhile, I hope that our employees hang in there, until such a time.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

I'm an ex-Rockwell employee from way back and would have to agree with the last post. Until management understands that you will not get good output from employees by treating them like animals you'll never be successful.

The wonderful degrees, the black belts, that all sounds good, but is it accomplishing anything? Many years ago I used to train new Mechanical Engineers (not at Rockwell). I was a Mechanical Designer (meaning an ME without a degree). The reason I was chosen to train was that all my programs got completed on time and usually under budget. I'd spend two days with a new ME teaching him how to interact with other employees, that was the key to my success. Yes you must have the technical skills, but it's how you treat the people in your organization that determines the success of it, and your own. That's real teamwork, not just an "idea" to shoot for. If this organization ever gets that, it can go far forward.

Like the last post said, if you beat your dog, it will bite you; but if you pet it, it will do anything for you. It has nothing to do with pay, but has everything to do with respect.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

I too work at RA in Cambridge. Less than 20% of employees want a UNION. It is a stupid idea for numerous reasons. For most people, the biggest one is paying out approx. $1,500 each so other guys can ride around in their Lexus; no thanks. A union cannot stop a business from closing, paying you more, etc. Unfortuneatley, unions are abused by lazy jerks, and people who just use it to their advantage.

With that being said, the RA plant is full of favoritism, deception, lies, unethical practices and manipulation. A union would definitely put an end to this, but at a great cost, financially and figureatively.

I think it is time for management to wake up, smarten up, listen and be pro-active in creating a positive shift for the employees. The atmosphere you guys created certainly isn't working; try again!

If the "bullies" had any sense, they would take the advice given to them and run with it. What is the worst that could happen? People hating you more? Remember, a dog will do more for you out of love, than fear!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

I work at Rockwell Automation, in Cambridge. Recently the CAW has been trying to help us get organised. I was'nt a union person, but the way this place is run is like a jail. It is time we had someone help us fight this bully. When the union showed up to hand out flyers he did not go out there himself, he sent 2 woman out to try and get rid of them. He has no problem being a bully to the employees. But he cannot stand up too people outside the plant and tell them to leave.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's not really big news... Rockwell are just selling over to a company ...its been referred to here before a few times.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

July 5th, start of year end quarter. Who does this affect?


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Don't know what the July 5th 2009 post means, but if it's what I think it is, I can't wait.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The day is here: July 5 2009. Watch the news.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

At RC they announced more changes, looking for volunteers to be laid off for three months ---- number of employees unknown, and if they do not get the desired number (only they know) who knows what the next cut will be. They cannot answer many questions. We are all saying, between June and December 2010 is when the doors will be "locked" at this facility. The new plant manager is the "Grim Reaper"--yup that's what we call him.

I do not understand, we have all of these business high-to-do's that have degrees but do not know "beans" of operating a business. The high falutin business types bigshots in them fancy cars blame the economy. I say mostly bad business decisions and to avoid eating crow, they punish the ones that pay their wages. The man on the street knows more since they are the ones that get the dirt on their hands.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

To the May 27th comment about the Anorad closing: I don't want to go into specifics on a public site like this, but I can say with all certainty that the Israel operation was not making profit. To say otherwise is simply not accurate. I have been very close to this situation and I am not just a representative of RA management. I just wanted to clear of any mis-statements on this site. Thank you.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

I struggle with the thought that Ops alone created the morass you describe. Are you really saying the GE team so overwhelmed everyone that Sales, Engineering, Supply Chain, HR, and the Executive branch all went along without thought? Cows to the Slaughter? Basically you're suggesting that the Operations branch is stronger than Keith Nosbusch and all the executive teams combined. I do doubt that everyone went thoughtlessly to Abileen for Ice cream, if you know the story.

Now if you suggested that the Ops team had experience in building similiar and competitive systems in offshore situations, and they advised accordingly, I'd buy that. After all, the Monterrey site manager is from across the road from GE Monterrey, if it's still the same dude.

Its just a bitter pill of reality to comprehend that most of the competitive systems of RAs are made offshore. And while RA's entrance into the offshore race is late, they are following the same-ole same-ole playbook. That book was written by Motorola, GM, GE, etc, etc. What is somewhat disconcerting is now the Voice from Washington, the Great Pooba himself, is saying that he's going to reverse these trends. Well, he just might. All he has to do is make the dollar weaker yet, and lower the minimum wage to $3 an hour, and it'll reverse. With an additional trillion bucks in debt, it might just happen.

The only failure that the offshoring will run hard into, will be engineering quality and sales accuracy. And those are the same failures that plagued the other plants. Your note mentioned that the plants are there to "Serve". You suggest disparity in your thought processes of how a team is supposed to work. Designs are supposed to make sense and be able to be built. Customer demands are supposed to be accurate, and when don't make sense, sales is supposed to ask sometimes hard questions. And the timeline is supposed to give procurement time to buy the parts, inside lead time. And manufacturing is supposed to bring it all home. Tough to do when the REAL failure rate on unit build is 90%, not the reported 20%.

But hey, its all supposition on our parts anyway. The die is cast, and the mold being filled. But as your note pointed out, the finger pointing has started, the rocks being thrown through glass houses. Failure is immiment, so the camps are segregating into warring factions. Like the proverbial truck load of noncommitals going to Abilene for Ice Cream, when they get there they might just ask why, and won't be able to figure out who really wanted to go anyways.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

The culture and conditions witnessed at the plants can all be traced back to the crack Milwaukee Operations Leadership team. Ops leadership believed the manufacturing facilities were staffed with "incompetents" who under-preformed, and went about eliminating everybody they could get their hands on. It's no accident that nearly all the manufacturing facilities have new Plant Managers/leadership who deploy the "Thomas(GE) manufacturing philosophy" to the fullest. This from a bunch of people who also drove Ford into the ground!

The sad truth is that the Operations Group has turned the plants into nothing more than crude labor camps with Plant Managers who know nothing about the product/customer, and run the plants purely on the weekly numbers. Before anybody jumps in, and asks what else the plants should be measured to. I would also introduce the almost complete separation of Business and Operations, and the indifference of the Operations group to Business Requests (New Product Introduction, Prototypes, Pilots, etc) and Customer Requests (Specials, Customs, quick delivery, etc). The operations group are forgetting their purpose, and for whom they serve. The Operations group wants to operate like a contract manufacturer to the exclusion of everything else. I have news for them, they are not that good!

The decision to close plants such as Eden Prairie, Manchester, Milwaukee, Wigan, etc and move production to low labor cost countries like Mexico and Poland is a pure Ops decision, with little input requested from the Business leaders until after the decision had been made. This is a highly flawed strategy that won't even provide short term cost savings they so desperately claim, and is doomed in the long term. Customer service is already suffering, with major and long term customers already complaining about the shoddiness of the product after it's been transferred. Again, sadly this strategy will only increase as MORE plants and good people are to be sacrificed to a deeply flawed manufacturing philosophy.

If I could provide some advice to Keith, it would be to put an end to this empire building group within the company. Please don't let it continue. Rockwell needs a group that can work with the Business, not set itself up in isolation.


Thursday, May 28, 2009 - Re: Union

The Cambridge facility needs a union as much as they need more picnic tables out in the orchard, so the disgruntled employees can sit out there and complain and bicker about everything that's wrong with the company and how they could do it better. "Why do they do this, why do they do that." Complain, complain, complain, that's all you do.

My question is: If the place is so bad, why do you all come in so early to sit on these picnic tables and complain? Is the union going to solve all your problems? Maybe you should sit in on a management meetings and find out what really is going on. You may find out that they are actually trying to run a company. The objective of management is certainly not to see how we can make your lives miserable by "sliding" somewhere you don't want to be. It's to make a profitable business, so we all have jobs.

Come on people, in a perfect world you all wouldn't be working in manufacturing, am I right? You chose your future. Now make the best of it and work together to make the Cambridge facility number 1. Enough of the complaining. Do something positive for a change. Otherwise, if you chase Rockwell out of Cambridge, you'll find out what a real paying manufacturing job is all about, without all the perks and benefits that are thrown in.

Best of luck to you all if the union gets in. Pick up the paper and read the classifieds under good paying factory jobs. They are not there unless you're an educated, skilled person.

One question to the union: With all that money that the employees are going to be dishing out to you off their pay checks, Are you going to make sure they find another job when you chase Rockwell out of Cambridge? Answer: NO. You've already chased every other manufacturing job out of this region and Canada.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wonder why they need a Warehouse Supervisor in Memphis? I heard they were going to close it down and move it. They only have a one year extension lease that is up in November.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rockwell is closing both Anorad Europe and Anorad Israel. But why? Still making profit but it seems that it was not good enough. We all are curios if Mr. Nosbosch has follewed the ethics training, NOT!


Friday, May 22, 2009

The recruitment firms in Milwaukee have been having a field day for 2 years. It has become a running joke with them.


Friday, May 22, 2009 - Re: Shocked if someone in management did not log the Sunday, May 17 posting:

Well, be shocked then. Because it wasn't a management person who wrote that. Just someone with a lot of experience.

Sorry guys, it's a horrible world for manufacturing everywhere right now. Even the Chinese are out sourcing to Vietnam. Massive outsourcing, and many jobs. Because its cheaper. Factories are easy to build, and relatively cheap. And the equipment moves easily. If the stickers on the product were truthful, they would say Manufactured in Vietnam/India/Pakistan, Packaged in China, Sold in North America.

So, be shocked that the one blog did not come from management.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Is Rockwell getting ready to offload some senior management? The mood in Milwaukee would suggest so. As difficult as it is, the CEO can't get to his cutbacks by killing any more troops, or closing any more plants and with a potential mass exodus on the cards from the ranks; he may sacrifice some senior guys to appease the workers. The recruitmant firms are having a field day with the people let go so far. This could be a good chance for the up and coming talent to take the reins. Or will they chicken out at the last minute? Keep close top the news as it will happen fast.


Thursday, May 21, 2009:

A change in attitude, in addition to an "open" environment, might bring respect back.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

I thought the Arena software and the Factory Talk package were both very good tools.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

I would be shocked if someone in management did NOT log the last posting (Sunday, May 17, 2009).


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cambridge Union note & Reply to the earlier blog from a teacher:

Unionization means different things to different industries. As a teacher, you have one of the best types of jobs to be unionized. Very tough to outsource and very entrenched in the local psyche. You have little to worry about. Your product is hard to package and ship.

For a manufacturing site, its a different story. Products that have high value, and can be easily shipped, can be outsourced. And are being outsourced. Just like cars, that have high value, and high labor content, have been outsourced.

The large systems made by RC and Cambridge, have very high value, and value density. They can be easily shipped. And are heading to Monterrey, India, Katowice (sp), Brazil, China, and in some case, across the street.

I am not union bashing. I am saying that high value products can and will be outsourced when the local climate is not as business friendly as a foreign climate.

Your advice, while well intentioned, does not readily apply to industrial solutions. One of the largest issues facing the CAW and UAW is a perception by the average joe on the street. While average joe loves to think about himself being a UAW or CAW autoworker, he senses an arrogance. An Arrogance on the part of those same workforces that he wants to be part of. An arrogance that says I get paid well, I get great benefits, I get lots of time off, I'm protected no matter what (and they have been), so basically the heck with everybody else. That is what average joe wants, and yet average joe can't deal with. That is why average joe wants the American car companies to see and feel serious pain. So when you talk about your great benefits, great pay, great time off, all you're doing is building frustration against yourself, by your audience.

One other thing to consider. Here in the USA, many people got very tired of hearing the same thing from teachers. Teachers that abused their union rights, and their benefits, and their tenured positions. Poorly taught students by poorly behaved arrogant teachers. So laws were pushed for options and Voucher schools were started. These alternative schools are excelling at their standardized testing results. The teachers get paid far less than their state mandated counterparts, and the state schools are suffering severe cutbacks.

So beware the trap that awaits the arrogant, gloating, inefficient labor pools, no matter where they are from, or what they do. Please study the subject at hand, and understand the situation. The advice you give could cost jobs, and could take food from the tables of families, wives, and children. I didn't create this brutal reality, but am well versed in it.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Why say too much about Rockwell Automation's newest product? It's a new technically advanced Vortex. Feel my pain. RA Employee, has your plant closed yet? Feel my pain. The Blackhole is Rockwell's newest product. It will vacuum up all of the American production and send it to Monterrey, Mexico's newest Rockwell Automation, Monterrey. Feel my pain. By the way Monterry has one large Tec de Monterrey, technician college. Not bad actually; feel my pain. Ah, Monterrey, with it's beautiful Sadle Mountain. Feel my pain. But my dear Monterrey counter-part, I hope you make it to the factory. To much drug violence in the street for me. So, good luck, live well making my products that I used to make. Feel my pain.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Stay clear of Production Center and Arena. Production Center (in its Datasweep incarnation) is a dead end, and Rockwell hasn't done a thing with Arena since it acquired the company. Check out Simio.biz if you are seriously considering Arena. And write your own MES in Visual Basic for 1/10 the cost of Production Center.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Did anyone hear about the Anorad plants (owned by RA) in Israel and the Netherlands being closed? I believe some 80 employees lost their jobs. What is next? I can only hope the severance is good...


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Union dues at $150.00 a month. Obviously this entry was probably posted by the company. Union dues are nowhere near that. Try calling the union office if you want the facts!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

If people enjoy a 40 hr. work week, safe workplace legislation, sick benefits, workers rights, paid holidays, government health care, etc. etc.; then they should not be bashing unions. And as for the argument that there are now laws in place to protect workers, consider this - the average wage of a labor lawyer is $450.00 an hour. So if the company decides to break the law and screw you through wrongful dismissal or whatever, how many of you working class people can afford to pay a labor lawyer $450.00 an hour to represent you in a battle that the company with lawyers on staff will drag out for years?


Saturday, May 16, 2009

The FT Suite is a set of products that depend on FT Services. Some use the FT services more than others. To the best of my knowledge AC uses FT Directory, Data Services(RSLinx Enterprise) and Security. The FT Suite is only slightly more integrated than the BiZware Suite. Actually the FT Suite is for the mose part the BW Suite remaned and infected with FT Services. (Same pig/different lipstick) Arena is a simulation package and is another RA acquisition, I think anout 03-04 timeframe.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

As a German insider, I totally agree with the latest blog - stating that R9ockwell technology is too old. We are facing all the major competition here, and I guess RA is three years behind in the core product segments. Market share is very small in the biggest OEM market, and I cannot see clear plans or strategies to align to German or European business behaviour. Secondly, I miss innovation and market leading products and behaviour to come out of the role as a project driven supplier. Change attitude and success will come back.


Friday, May 15, 2009

First I will say I don't work at Rockwell - but my brother does at the Cambridge facility. I'm a teacher here in the Cambridge area, and would like to say that peoples first mistake is that when they hear the word Union, they think of Autoworkers, and that is so wrong. This countries most professional jobs are people that are run by Unions - teachers, doctors, nurses, goverment officals, police officers, firefighters. So for people to think a Union is a bad idea, than look at these jobs, not jobs in the auto industry. I enjoy my Union - lot's of time off, great benefits, early retirement and all the jobs I listed have this. So if you want to continue to work with no Union go right ahead. But just remember what is the reason we only work 40 hrs a week, and the reason why we get vacation time: that was all started by the Union. Maybe people could say what they feel.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hello, Richland Center! Nice to see you join in! There is sooooo much I'd like to say. Unfortunately cannot.

You all know that you need good designs to make good product. Just keep letting engineering know that. When they get it, you might get good drawings etc. Don't blame the black belts. They're only as good as they're directed. The hang-over effects from the party of the 1990's are due to too many Harvey-Wallbangers to drink. The bigger the party, the bigger the hangover. And the economy has been on one big party since the 90's. The bubble burst. So take the pay and the hours, and find a clubhouse to order another Harvey-Wallbanger, or have a Lettuce Wedige. Live large or live lean, take it as it comes along. Bad times are coming, and in many ways, its not your own fault. A scott-free existence isn't what its all cracked up to be. And the whole thing sounds like its running like a Gran Turino with a bad exhaust and a smoking oil pan. You've very complex systems to build, like a good Scotch, a lot goes into it. It's not a champagne product for sure. Get as much training as you can, so you can take it with you when you go. Its not as easy as Walmart to be sure.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Does Production Centre include the Factory Talk Suite? Is Arena software still available? Owned by Rockwell?


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Midway through FY09 Qtr3... Look out for the next block of lay-offs. Good luck everybody.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Rockwell Automation is selling too much "Cost of Ownership" with no new technology in the wings. Uphill selling for my former co-workers. RA is always 18-24 months out and never living in the present day. Mgmt views ROK as a stock that delivers dividends and presents "low risk" to it stock holders. When will RA invest in anything beyond software? This company will be bought by an investment group soon and split up to sell. Hmmm, not a bad idea. Get these Milwaukee Community College Grads out of mgmt.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

There are no unionized Rockwell sites aside from Milwaukee and Wigan (UK) and both are being stripped of manufacturing (in Wigan's case, it is being closed). So any work being sent to the US is being send to non-union sites because nothing is moving into Milwaukee.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

ProductionCentre is RA's name for Datasweep, a company they bought in 2005. (Look in company news 2005 on the RA website for info.) It has an installed base with some large companys. I don't think Tracker/Cordinater was ever installed anywhere and was made obsolete with the purchase of Datasweep.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Voting for a union at the Cambridge plant, is futile.I am just a worker Bee, and would love to see some change for the better towards a lot of good, hardworking, honest people. But all unions are good for, are lazy, trouble making workers who will no doubt abuse the system. As well as paying for these union dues, which I hear cost a lot of cash, about $ 100-150 a month...OUCH!

The plant will shut down, with or without the union, at some time, since as the management of this place is horriffic, at best. There are too many "bosses" and not enough of the proper bosses making boss decisions. Rather pathetic, actually. In addition, the ridiculous "morale" talks managers give the "children", is a joke! I thought making up the rules as you went along stopped at 8 when we played snakes and ladders. I guess having no real management experience, qualifications or education mean nothing.

Unionizing this plant will definitely make it shut down faster. I myself will not be voting Yes to unionize it. I feel in the long run, it's in my best interest to just sit back, put a decent days work in, smile and just shut up, watching everyone else go crazy, wasting their time valuable own time about this menacing brick-and-mortar building.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Anyone have any comments on Rockwell Software's Production Center software? We are thinking of investing in it. Though to me the software seems to be heavily reliant on script and seems to have little or no integration with the rest of the suite. I am familiar with Rockwell's tracker and co-ordinator; is this still available as it seems to have far more synergy with the rest of the suite?


Friday, May 8, 2009

While I am a frequent visitor to this site, this is my first entry. I am still on the fence as to whether or not to vote to unionize our Cambridge plant, which will be gone in three years anyway. (In four years, the site will be a strip mall.) I have been pondering this since I learned of it a few weeks ago. (I was actually accused by one manager of promoting it because, he says I was heard talking about it. But everybody is talking about it! Still, it is sad that there are such people in the company.)

Anyway, it seems that one day I think it is a bad idea and wouldn't accomplish anything anyway; then the next day I think 'what have we to lose, really?' Still, there are people with mortgages and kids and stuff, and I often think about them. But then I think of how unfair the company has been to those they laid off months ago, yet kept on a string with temporary recall after temporary recall, so that these people have now used up over half of their Employment Insurance eligibility while they are unable to get another job.

The reason for that is that a temporary lay-off from Rockwell around here is like the 'kiss of death' for getting hired elsewhere, because another company will figure that you will just go back to Rockwell come the first recall, so why hire you at all? And if these people quit, they are not entitled to any E.I. benefits at all.

So I am uncertain as to what to do. However, I do resent the company having meetings and telling concerned employees that if they wish to know more about unions or the CAW they 'need' to talk to Rockwell management. That is totally misleading. If anything, we should be getting as much information as possible from neutral sources - as each side will have an agenda to bash the other. Oh, what to do?

I wish they would just lay me off and give me my severance package. In fact, I dream about it 24/7. Then again, perhaps it is time I became pro-active and forgot about the severance package and just started considering other options - so I don't eventually end up with a minimum-wage job at the aforementioned strip mall. Sort of like the old saying - "Pay now, or pay more later.)


Friday, May 8, 2009

Automation goods have become cheaper, but technically more difficult to take ownership of. Software licences have become more expensive and support has become more expensive. Technical users and SI's cannot get a return on IP investment because manufacturers reps farm the accounts as soon as they start to mature, and so the techies leave or do other things leaving the manufacturers without the real value-add stream. You can farm a business model for only so long, until you have to give back something to your customer base, or you end up in this mess.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

To the person wanting to know if the work out of Cambridge is going to a place that is unionized. I don't know about Ladysmith but I do know that Richland Center is NOT union. I believe that most of the factories that used to be union are now closed because Rockwell wanted to eliminate the union. I personally have never seen the union do any good for anyone. I have a relative that worked for a place that you had your choice of whether you were in the union or not; this person choose not to join the union. They got pay raises quicker and more benefits than the people who were in the union. So don't run and jump into the union until you have checked into it very closely.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Twinsburg management does not get the whole morale issue. They think that by bullying people we will respond with a let's-get-it-done attitude. Maybe the Twinsburg management should read the clips on the rain page about power and the bullying of people and how this does nothing but hurt the company in the long run. Keep up the tactics and the company will continue to decline.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

I agree, years ago we had our own tool boxes and did not have an issue finding the right tools to work with. But, oh my the area looks such a mess with all the tool boxes. So along comes another great idea, shadow boards, oh how pretty they look. Now if we can only train the kids to put the tools back in the correct cut out. There will be a class on shapes next week, stay tuned. Hey how about the stress management clips on the rain page?

If managers and supervisors would just stay in their offices and leave us alone, there would be a lot less stress. Hey one more thing. How did we go from reduced hrs., to pay cuts, to layoffs to 401k matching funds taken away, to attendance bonuses taken away, back to asking for overtime, then back to mandatory overtime all in a couple of months? Hello, is anybody in charge? Anybody?


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Twinsburg really needs to get their act together. Last Thursday supervisor was told we needed to have people do overtime Friday and Saturday. Monday, we come in and weekend people are there also doing overtime. WHY? We didn't have enough work for everyone to do and our main 2 "money lines" have been down all week long! This company doesn't make any sense. Work overtime on weekend to not have work during the week. Pitiful way to run a company.

In the past, up until last fall, we worked overtime regularly and even mandatory overtime 7 days a week fairly often. Same thing would happen then too, told to work overtime on weekend, then come Monday morning we didn't have enough work or we would have to make what we did have last all day long. Very poor management and way to run things.

Our own plant manager had a meeting with us last week that basically told us that he himself, made the decision to end the quarterly "bonus" for perfect attendance. This was not a Rockwell decision, he stated that other plants are not doing this, that he decided on his own this was the best thing for Twinsburg. WHAT!? How is that the best thing for Twinsburg? Everyone's morale is already so low and then he has to go and take the very last thing some people had left. The measly $150-200 they might still get for the year or $500 if they actually made it all year without taking a personal day. Now, come on. There aren't that many that actually meet that anyway. The amount of money that they "saved" by ending the last 2 quarters has to be pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

Yet, they are taping floors, making shadow boards, taking photos of people's desks (to keep in their area to show them what it should look like at the beginning and end of every day-everyone keeps their areas nice and neat anyway is this really necessary???)installing new mezzanines, chained fence area in warehouse, painting, putting new carpet in, new water purifier machines, cameras everywhere and are making all kinds of "improvements" and apparently are going to be doing the remodeling/painting off and on all summer long according to management.

The quarterly bonus for attendance was really the last thing some people had left and they took that away too. Wow, I mean, it was already bad enough. Instead of raising morale or trying to they just hurt it even more. Now, people that never take time off or call in sick are doing so and really, what did management expect? There is now no more incentive. Management really needs to take a long hard look at how they are treating the people they have left.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm sure some of the people bashing the CAW are really Rockwell senior managers trying to slay a growing monster. Good luck, boys. But remember, you gave birth to it. Things did not have to go this way.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

The company can use this website to spread misinformation. (Actually, anybody can.) So if you support unionization, check with the CAW to confirm any rumors. As well, I heard that the jobs being taken out of Rockwell Cambridge are mostly going to a unionized plant in the States? Anybody know if this is fact?

Also, I will be voting for the union if the opportunity ever arises. Something I thought that I would never do. I am sick and tired of being afraid of this company. At least with a union, even if the company leaves shortly, then we would get some sort of fare compensation. As it is now, this company could not care less about any of its employees - nor do the shareholders. Sad, but that is where we are now.

Lastly, there are three categories of employees in the plant now. Pro-union, anti-union, and undecided. Yet all three groups do have one thing in common: they all no longer believe a single word that either the plant manager or Keith Nosbusch say. In both cases their messages are viewed as nothing more than the company propaganda message of the day. Actually, they're quite funny. We all get a good laugh out of them.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The CAW are not holding a rally tomorrow. This is a trick by the company to see who shows up so they know who is supporting the union. That is why there is no mention on the CAW website. Call the CAW number listed on the handout - they will confirm it is not a CAW rally


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

As a former distributor, integrator and now OEM for Rockwell my view on the problems within Rockwell point to a single factor - loss of what made them successfull in the first place. A-B products became the standard in the marketplace because of quality and the relationship which was developed with the customer base. Rockwell products are over priced commodities with no value added. Stop this nonsense and go back to the basics!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Rockwell Automation (Allen-Bradley) in Richland Center had a meeting today to discuss some policy changes. Again, to take things away from the employees!

We all wonder how much longer we are going to be here! Our new plant manager is all about the numbers. They love to blow smoke, telling us that some possible costomers are happy with our facility, and we could possible be getting work from them. But, when asked "Will the work stay here, or go to Mexico?" Management clams up. Hummm, wonder why?

Don't know about other facilities, but we go from overtime, to layoff, to closing the plant on Friday, to overtime. OMG who runs the show? We, like many other plants, are getting tired of tape on the floor, color-coded, tools on shadow-boards also color coded with numbers. And let's not forget we must have a printed list for each cart, with the number with the tool so we know right where to put our tools back at the end of the day. Hey, we are NOT kindergarteners here!

Years ago, we had a toolbox which we locked up every night, and the next day we had what WE needed. Now with everything out in the open, for ANYONE to walk by and "borrow" (and never return), how well does this program really work? I understand being neat, but come on!

Wow, I'm glad to find a place where I can let my feelings be shown. God knows, management doesn't care about us out there on the floor.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I would like someone to explain what the benefits of joining the CAW would be. Would they be able to protect our jobs, pensions and benefits like they did with Chrysler and GM? Or, would they just speed up the closing of the Cambridge plant?


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

You are right, the CAW isn't going to save any jobs. They may in fact hurry the end along. In this global environment, work is easily transferred to any site, and it can happen quickly.

Also consider that management isn't going to save any jobs either, in my opinion. When all of us sell our time for money, and go to work for a company, all we have is time and skills. Everyone: Get skills. Get new training. Pick up anything you can.

With all due respect, once trained, anyone in any country can build these systems. The only reason RA needs you, in my opinion, is your knowledge. In my opinion the engineering documents and quality is so poor, your knowledge fixes many engineering mistakes. And you've all mentioned this being an issue on this blog. All the above is my opinion. In my opinion, once engineering quality increases, your knowledge becomes less important.

Sorry guys. While you can be proud of the past, it does no good for getting the next paycheck. And even if 16 is now selected as the source for the sheet metal for RC and other sites, keep in mind there are many companies that can punch and form sheet metal. And many of those companies are technologically savvy. And right now, hungry.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

To the individual that would like to use the latest version of software on a now-obsoleted controller: Check with your distributor or Rockwell Automation Sales Rep. Rockwell Automation's standard migration processes offer a significant discount (25% or more) for updating a controller or other hardware to the newer version. The program is called Step Forward.


Monday, May 4, 2009

A message to the person who made the decision to sack all the Distributors in Australia: Never have I had to look at or read an AB catalog for part numbers; my rep was a walking catalog and technically very strong. Being forced to go to NHP as of now, my first dealing with them was a disgrace. The first response I got was "What's the part number". Memo to NHP: Learn the part numbers. You wanted it, and somehow you got it; now you mist learn it.


Monday, May 4, 2009 - To the person asking about trying to get older products to run all the newest features:

Maybe you have not thought it through. Rockwell does update its software so it can incorporate advances in technology but expecting that all/any new technology has to work in your previous generation platform seems a bit much. The newest features will work on the newer platforms, the old platforms can not make use of some of these features. Rockwell if very good at keeping older product alive and supporting it, but not designing new software for it.

It is like being upset that your Commadore 64 will not run Internet Explorer.


Monday, May 4, 2009

I work at the Cambridge plant and I think that you people holding a rally and trying to get the CAW union in there is just stupid. All the company owes you is a pay check at the end of 2 weeks. But, hey go ahead try for a union, just watch the 6 o'clock news and watch the parts about all these union companys going under or laying off. They are not gonna save your job.

If any of this happens, all they are gonna take is a little part of your check every two weeks. Plus do you really wanna lose all the extras that we get now - like hmmm, I don't know, pension, or the RRSP the company puts in. I for one will not be taking part in the dumb rally on May 7th. And I hope that the smart people who know that we have a good thing at Rockwell will stand up and say NO to the Crappy Auto Workers Union.


Monday, May 4, 2009 - Information on RA's Mexico operations:

Rockwell Automation announces temporary closure of all Mexico-based operations due to H1N1 virus

In response to concerns regarding the H1N1 virus (swine flu), the Ministry of Labor in Mexico has mandated the temporary closure of non-essential business operations throughout Mexico. Rockwell Automation is adhering to this mandate, and has closed all operations in Mexico, including our Monterrey and Tecate manufacturing operations and sales offices.

At this time, we anticipate the closures will be in place from Monday, May 4 through Tuesday, May 5, but may be extended by the Ministry of Labor. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and respond in accordance with governmental mandates. Employees in Mexico are being notified of these closures by a variety of means to the best of our ability. Please be patient if you are trying to reach Rockwell Automation employees, external partners or customers in Mexico during this time.


Monday, May 4, 2009

I am unable to find any information on the CAW website with respect to Rockwell Automation. Is the post with respect to a planned rally correct?


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rockwell Automation clearly is living off of its past reputation. I see on this site, and I hear it from customers who we are trying to convert, that Rockwell supports its products "forever" or close to that. We use a ControlLogix L55 to test our EtherNet/IP IO devices so it was a surprise for us when we tried to upgrade our RSLogix5000 software that the latest version would not run on it. We were told that we had to buy a new processor to get the latest version of RSLogix as the L1-L55 processors would not be able to run the latest software. I don't think L1-L55 processors are that old. Maybe traditional Rockwell customers are used to these kind of constant up-charges but we aren't. Annual software maintenance fees then a forced change to a new processor to get the latest features and also a need to update all the IO with the latest firmware. Very expensive in hard $ and time. Rockwell sure knows how to charge to keep so-called older products running.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

There is a planned rally being formed at the Cambridge Rockwell on May 7. It will start at the front of the building and continue all around the facility. It starts at 10:00am and should take an hour. This rally is to push for a union at the facility. Please come join us. We have just over 120 people attending at this time. More info can be found on the caw webpage thanks.


Friday, May 1, 2009

I am not sure what is going on with Rockwell. We have a plant meeting in Twinsburg where the plant manager tells us that things are looking good. And his next statement is, "Oh and by the way we are doing away with your perfect attendance bonus." Nothing was even mentioned about Keith's memo that stated there would be more work force reductions coming up in quarters 3 and 4.

There is more concern over how to tape the floor and then the audits to make sure your carts and material are inside the taped off sections than anything else. Oh and do not talk directly to the Plant manager; you must talk to your Supervisor and they will relay the message to them.

Well more layoffs to come, so sit back and get ready for another round soon to come. The employees that got laid off the last round will be happy to know that there were some replacements hired to fill some of the spots that opened up amazingly after the reductions.


Thursday, April 30, 2009 - Latest RA Press Release (extracts):

    Rockwell Automation Reports Second Quarter 2009 Results

    Organic sales down 18 percent; total sales down 25 percent; Diluted EPS of $0.29.
    Company revises fiscal 2009 EPS guidance to $1.40 - $1.70

    Rockwell Automation today reported fiscal 2009 second quarter revenue of $1,058.1 million, down 25 percent compared to $1,406.6 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2008. Organic sales declined 18 percent, and currency translation contributed an additional 7 percentage points to the total decline. Fiscal 2009 second quarter net income was $40.6 million or $0.29 per share, compared to $0.96 per share in the second quarter of fiscal 2008.

    Segment operating earnings were $86.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2009, down from $240.3 million in the same period of 2008. Earnings decreased primarily due to the significant revenue decline. Earnings were also lower due to pre-tax restructuring charges of approximately $20 million and unfavorable mix, partially offset by cost reductions. Segment operating margin in the second quarter of fiscal 2009 was 8.1 percent, 9.0 percentage points lower than the second quarter of fiscal 2008.

    Second quarter of fiscal 2009 free cash flow from continuing operations was $152.1 million versus $31.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2008. Free cash flow in the quarter benefited primarily from working capital reductions, as well as lower capital expenditures and a refund related to a contractual tax matter. Return on invested capital was 18.7 percent.

    Commenting on the results, Keith D. Nosbusch, chairman and chief executive officer said, Our second quarter results reflect the severity of the global economic recession. Market conditions quickly deteriorated across most industries and all regions. With a sharper revenue decline in the quarter than we expected, we continued to aggressively adjust our cost structure. We made significant progress on our cost reduction actions in the quarter and expect to deliver savings for fiscal year 2009 above the original $240 million target. We also generated strong free cash flow in the quarter, primarily through our intense focus on working capital management. I am proud of how well our employees have responded in this challenging environment. Despite making personal sacrifices, they have not wavered in their commitment to our business priorities and dedication to our customers.

    Commenting on the outlook, Nosbusch added, While there are signs that economic and market conditions may be stabilizing, it is still too early to call a bottom. We believe that the steepest sequential declines are behind us, but markets remain uncertain and our revenue trends are mixed across the regions. We are managing our business assuming that sales volume in the second half of the fiscal year will be somewhat below the second quarter run rate. We continue to evolve our cost structure and expect to implement additional cost actions in the remainder of the fiscal year. Given this outlook, we now expect revenue to decline between 16 and 18 percent in fiscal 2009, excluding the effects of currency. Accordingly, we are revising our fiscal 2009 earnings guidance downward to a range of $1.40 to $1.70 per share, excluding any restructuring charges related to actions that we may take in the remainder of the fiscal year.

    Nosbusch added, In spite of the difficult business environment, we will balance near-term financial performance with protecting our intellectual capital and core technology investments. Our strong balance sheet and liquidity position provide the financial flexibility needed to manage through this economic cycle without compromising our long-term strategy. We are confident that we will execute through the downturn and emerge even more competitive when markets recover.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

As an ex-Rockwell Automation employee, I feel I have to give some insight into some of the comments re: support, free support and product price.

At my present company, we treat support as part of our business cost, not a profit-center. Unfortunately for their customers, Rockwell treats support as a profit-center, even though their products are about the highest priced ones you can find. Their present business model is to maximize income, at any cost. That is why they are also building most products off-shore, or sourcing them and not reducing their price. In today's environment, that is placing many companies in a tough position regarding costs. Rockwell knows that change is difficult, and they are squeezing their customers to benefit themselves.

Yes, you can still get products they introduced 15-20 years ago, but at what a cost? Look into their annual price increases on those older products, they are extensive. Rockwell is not the AB that many engineers used to know and love. Those engineers need to realize it and make a decision to accept it, or change. There are other companies out there, like mine, that treat customers they way AB used to, with cost effective, reliable products and free support.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

What's happening to RA-UK at the moment? Bloggs ffrom the UK seem to have died.


Thursday, April 30, 2009 - Company Ethics:

Comparing the blogs between RA, Siemens, Schneider, etc. it seems quite clear that American companies care a lot less about their employees than many of European counterparts. I've worked for several large companies, and I've never come across a HR department as heartless and incompetent as the one run by Rockwell.

My recommendation for all Rockwell employees is to update their CV's and get them to recruiters ASAP. It's not difficult to find a better company than Rockwell Automation.

Regards: Happy Ex-Employee, looking forward to a bonus and no paycuts.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

From my time in the Cambridge plant, we are constantly asked to go above and beyond the call, overtime long weekends, shot notice, required overtime (thing of the past now), yet NO ONE from upper management, nor the operations manager not once ever said Thanks, yes we get compensated for coming in, however, I am sure a Thankyou would go along way, and make you feel appreciated in giving up your family time.

People are more worried about 6s and where coats and lockers are going to be placed; why not focus on quality? We have some very skilled employees, yet their days are deciding where to perform audits, which frankly dont mean a thing to anyone on the shop floor.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - To the April 27th person who commented on the upcoming obsolesence of the SLC line.

I've worked for other major process suppliers in the industry (formerly Emerson) and I can tell you no company I have ever seen has a better track record with product longevity than Rockwell. I dare you to find another major marketshare product that has had the longevity of 25-30 years as the PLC5 and SLC product lines do.

Perhaps you're in favor of a company such as Schneider who obsoletes a line after 10-12 years of active sales giving their customers a 1 year notice in advance of the end of support. Rockwell has provided customers with 7 years advance notice that PLC 5 and SLC's lifespan may be coming to a close to allow them to plan migrations.....that seems pretty reasonable to me.

Even when discussing ProcessLogix which was stopped short to invest in the bigger picture of Integrated Architecture using ControlLogix is not that bad. Emerson/Fisher have their black marks too with releasing than shortly thereafter obsoleting MicroProvox(after 2-3 years of actively being on the market) and without any cost benefit to customers who invested in their technology. I have seen Rockwell bend over backwards for those who committed to PLX and wanted to migrate to IA by subsidizing the engineering immensely......can't say the same about Emerson.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You are correct, even Rockwell has to make choices. Even the big AB isn't large enough to be everything to everyone.

There are (from my experience) core competencies that need to be maintained. When a customer calls regarding an AB system they have bought, the entire tech support system should support them. I suggest RA has sliced and diced their support incorrectly. If I have one of their controllers, and it has motion control capability, I should be able to askt them about. And get an answer. Customer service along these lines pays for itself, over and over again.

We changed an entire factory over to Omron, and then subsequently all the sister facilities....all because of one incident. A rep was too busy to come see us...we were a small fish....and he told us so. So, over the next two years, everything that was purchased was Omron. Every machine upgrade was Omron. And 6 months into the process, all of our 17 sister plants were on board with the program. And to this day, they are still Omron. Because when we called them, they came up, fixed the issue, and showed us their gear. And promised on a handshake they'd never let us down. And they didn't. Time after time, we couldnt get the support we needed from AB.

Consider the residuals...all the maint men, techs, and engineers were trained in Omron systems and software. Guess what they took with them when they left to go work elsewhere? All that cash left on the table. The controllers. The software. The sensors (proxes, color, retroreflective, etc, etc).


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sign your union cards, people. If you want real change the choice is ours to make. If we want to protect what we have before its gone, you know what to do. Make them think next time before they make decision that will impact us. Bring back what we once had, standards, quality, and pride. No more favoritism, broken promises, deceit or lies. Stand up for yourselves. Be proud of where you work.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wow, this last blogger sounds like Keith... I do agree with the changeing world commnents. We are looking for cheaper and more cost effective ways of building product. We have all moved major segments of production to China. We are now seeing the results. A global economic meltdown. People are out of work, the same people that bought cars, boats, Harleys etc. The high paid people. There products were produced in factories (where the high paid people worked) that used the products that the AB, Siemens, ABB, etc bought. Think about it and support our President in his efforts to bring jobs to the United States.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

These blogs actually are not that negative; they are just reflective of how the world is changing. Products are getting simpler and cheaper, and so why wouldn't you expect to pay for advice if you havent got yourself trained? Why would you have free sales and support if you only buy a low cost system?

Yes everyone has a choice, including Rockwell. They can continue to reduce the real price of controls by reducing overhead; they can focus resources on Global OEMs and Users who need to have consistent and available support outside the USA. They can continue to invest in limited distribution that ensures local and well trained resources to support the customer everyday. And yes, they can walk away from under-performing agents and distributors that cannot invest in resources.

We all have choices. Try the service of Rockwell's competitors, and I think you will find Rockwell still has a diffrentiated edge and passion to do what is right for the customer, as well has hitting the correct market level pricing.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Customer service on the Allen Bradley machine controls isn't what it used to be. With the planned obsolesence, and withdrawn software and tech support on the SLC lines (older), they have thrown themselves into a new, not so positive era.

No more AB controls for me, for a long time. And the product race isn't going to be nice to Rockwell AB. Mitsubishi, Omron, Siemens, etc, etc. It's all nearly the same anymore.


Monday, April 27, 2009

I am on old time engineer (never a Rockwell Automation or Allen Bradley employee) who has specified millions upon millions of dollars of Allen Bradley and Rockwell Automation equipment over the last 45 years. I did this because Allen Bradley was second to none in quality and customer service. I have never found any other company, in any field, that could offer what Allen Bradley could. But I see this changing.

Recently,the Allen Bradley motion support group refused to answer a simple motion related question when my bought and paid for PLC software support contract did not include an option for motion support. It took longer to argue about this issue then it would have taken to answer the question. Recently, I was told that I could not access the Rockwell knowledge base during the interval while a PO for a new support license was being processed.

So, Rockwell Automation, you are now going to have to fight for my business instead of being able to simply take it for granted.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

I am an employee at Rockwell in Cambridge. Just so you know, the employees were willing to sacrifice and even accept job-sharing to help the company. There was even very little griping when the annual merit bonuses were cancelled because Keith Nosbusch said "We all have to sacrifice". People really understood. However, Mr. Nosbusch then gave himself a huge, multi-million dollar bonus within days of cancelling everybody elses' merit bonus, and the morale of the entire rockwell blue-collar workforce in Cambridge has been plummetting in a tailspin ever since.

How do these people running these corporations get away with this kind of irresponsible behaviour? Are the shareholders blind? Are the customers checking out the quality of the product comming to them now? Then again, with so many CEO's in place who never actually built the companies they run, why would they care about anything but getting more money for themselves. (Oh, how I miss being owned by the Bradley family. Now there were some savvy business people - who cared about other people as well.)


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rockwell Automation AB Cambridge, Ontario - what can I say ... wow... yet again!

The signs of poor management and lack of leadership skills are still very apparent as the local managers lick the boots of their American superiors. They are assured the flock is still oblivious and under control. The corporate hot-shots believesthe local pit-bulls are saving dollars, but are unaware of the numerous sitting at home, getting paid. The average wage plus benefits are over $30 per hour. Add that up over 8 weeks and you get $9600 per person, and all because someone forgot to read up on Canadian law.

How do we compensate for these losses ... Let's call overtime and squander more money, but only on management's terms. You can work these hours this week but not next, no wait ... strike that ... we want you to work on the weekend only...

Keith Nosbusch preaches "fairness" and "openness" between all, and sympathizes with us commoners like a proud king, readying us for the next wave of cost savings. Corporate uses the recession as a crutch and regardless of how much you give up, it is never enough. You are nothing more than an expendable asset. Believing that a corporate conglomerate cares about anything else besides money makes you just another foolish slave.

Piece by piece they will dismantle and disfigure A-B and distribute it among third world countries, distorting the product and turning the company into nothing more than a cheap useless imitation of its former self. Department 16 is the first to go. Some from this area are spared, crammed into unfamiliar territory, some others are dismissed, and the old ones well some have just had enough and decide to pack it in.

"Bumping" or "sliding, whatever you wish to call it, has turned co-workers and friends against each other. Required certifications for wiring jobs are overlooked and quality once again tossed out the window because management decided it would be convenient for now. That's the thanks you get for spending 32 none paid hours in a college classroom doing what the company asked of you. God forbid you light one of these bad boys up in the field because we also have unqualified people powering up and testing our products.

Who's to say what will happen next, but if you think seniority will save you or has anything to do with it then you're blinded by the lies. From a cost savings point of view, the best thing to do would be to get rid of the senior people that are "grandfathered" and getting a higher rate of pay. Next would be to scrub the 6% company contribution to you R.R.S.P. and further reduce the benefit package. Then one final pay cut before they ship the place away to Mexico, Poland and China. Do you seriously think your time served means anything to these people?

The only way to save what little dignity we have left is to unite, because the corporate cost savings and cut backs are far from over. Wouldn't it be nice to finally have some say in what happens at your place of employment ... there may still be a way?

Regardless of what you believe, change is needed. How nice it would be to see the smiling faces of my Rockwell family once again. To see morale and leadership return to the workplace and bringing back the quality and pride we once had. Remember these words in the up and coming weeks because the choice will be yours and change is possible.


Friday, April 24, 2009 - CORRECTION REQUIRED:

Jim, in your recent newsletter you stated the Ontario (Cambridge) facility is closing, that is not an accurate statement. The LV MCC production is moving to the Richland Center plant. The Cambridge plant will continue to be the global center of excellence for the successful medium voltage products (drives, starters, etc.). In addition, the Cambridge plant will now be the sole source for ALL sheet metal used in LV MCC production at the Richland Center plant so that department will actually grow. In addition, the configured drives, drive systems and engineered systems groups will move into the Cambridge plant. There is both good news and bads news in this annoucement and give the people effected by this change it would be appreciated if you reported this correctly.

    Jim Pinto response: This will be corrected on the website.

Friday, April 24, 2009 - Message to Jim Pinto:

In response to your appeal then contributors have an equal opportunity to post positive as we as negative comments. However, doesn't it say a great deal about a company when this amount of poor feedback is posted by it's own people? At the moment there is an increasing crescendo of resentment, frustration, anger and rage by ordinary RA folk over the type of organisation RA has become; and your blog is the only channel to openly voice their opinion and to try and make a difference. The condemnation being expressed towards RAs management is as a result of their stumblings on and re-organising to the extent that they are seemingly destroying what was a stable business.

Sorry, Jim. (A concerned RA worker bee.)


Friday, April 24, 2009

Over the last few years, there were many discussions regarding Toyota or Honda buying GM. The question raised was "Why would they?". And the same question needs to be asked regarding someone purchasing Rockwell. Is the Allen Bradley name that strong of a brand in this era? Is the software suite strong enough? Are the manufacturing sites needed for capacity?

We are in obviously uncharted waters in a still downturning economy. No one knows the real impact a potential bankruptcy in the auto sector will have. Will the economy continue to deflate? At what pace? This would have to weigh heavy by any suitor who comes knocking with cash. And this suitor would have to ask themselves, what is this really worth? What are the long term liabilities? And the big question would be... who would buy the segments they did not want?


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Read the latest issue of JimPinto.com eNews, 24 April 2009 - for Jim Pinto's latest analysis of Rockwell's status:


Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - To the sales focused blogger who didn't like the bulleted comments:

You are right that Rockwell has to decide what it is going to do. Manufacture and sale of products, or be a brand stamp on somebody elses product?

Once you rely on contract manufacturing, and you outsource all the work except sales, you become obsolete. All of your proprietary Information goes to the highest bidder. Your competitive edge horizon goes from 18 months to a matter of weeks. All you become is a brand.

I'm always amazed when companies track cost saves, and start using outsourcing to save cost. Outsourcing, in many cases, is the beginning of the end. It implies that you've given up. And you can't find creative technological or business solutions to keep the competitive edge.

I'd much rather see Rockwell expand its holdings to include non-cyclical, or less cyclical non-industrial products. Or develop a focus on controls that are related to non-cyclical industries. Expand the product line, or use its excess production capacity to build, not only its own products, but become a contract manufacturer or brand manufacturer for others.

When I saw that they were buying products made at competitors locations, then branding them, it became clear that we were losing an edge, or the desire to maintain the edge.

As far as the getting rid of the Continuous Improvement Black belts, that is also a sign of giving up. Who is going to drive change or improvements? The same guys that got RA into the situation it finds itself?


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

RA offered a handful of people in the Vancouver office, relocation to Milwaukee of all places. For those of you that are geographically challenged, thats like moving from Palm Springs to Detroit! And having to work for the same bad management, only now they will be in your face all the time. Its no wonder it took them about 5 seconds to come up with their answer. A resounding NO.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A comment to the "numeric bulleter" blogger, and to the many others from the manufacturing blogs regarding global manufacturing, software written in china, engineering centers, etc.

These are irrelevant in reality. RA needs to decide what its "core" is. Is it a manufacturer? Or a marketing and sales machine? Its strength is (was) its sales machine, but they are killing it. People buy from people, and if the people ain't happy, they ain't gonna sell.

Manufacturing: RA don't do a good job themselves, and many of the products are becoming commodities, so outsource it all. Get rid of the 6-sigma dudes. Focus on marketing and selling leading-edge technology that you own the IP for, but someone else builds it for you.

I agree with "ex-RA beleiver" - ABB needs to buy this company, or it needs to be broken up into more manageable pieces by a Venture Capitalist.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Past bloggers mention "real talent" at Rockwell as though it has real leadership that is undercover. Who are they? Name names, so at least those at us still here can focus on getting them to have their voice heard. The current board won't oust Keith, current leadership won't challenge him. So lets get the real leaders, if they exist, mobilized and motivated. This can be a great company but we need to act.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A couple of things to comment on: Based on other's comments in the recent blog notes....

  1. There are lots of former team members on LinkedIn....I hope it helps.
  2. Rockwell is Global, already there. The Monterrey site is just an extension of that Global reach, along with its engineerng group.
  3. Not only are they cutting in Canada, but also in the US. Both countries are expensive, when compared to where most electronics manufacturing/electrical assembly/software writing takes place, in todays world.
  4. The Chinese and others around the world write software too. And they are pretty good at it.
  5. My guess is that MKE will not be the only "headquarters". It may be the leadership location. There will be more than just one engineering center. Other countries have engineers too. Other countries even have electrical power, hard to believe I know. Some of those engineers even work for less money than engineers in MKE.
  6. Rockwell may go completely offshore, it wouldn't be the 1st to do so. But that takes time, but not much time in todays world.
  7. I used to specify all Allen Bradley components on my machine controls in years past. It was the natural choice, backed by a hundred years of expertise and quality. I don't know if thats the case anymore. If so, too bad, for that was a big selling point.
  8. Believe it or not, even MKE has its internal politics, just like any other building, with people in it. And it also has persons with their own agenda's.
Three other things to remember, as shown on a TV interview some years ago with a retired communications conglomerate CEO: (15 years ago or so)
  1. Work at what you love to do...because you spend at least 1/3 of your life doing it...so you might as well enjoy it.
  2. Loyalty...don't have any. Companies generally don't have much for the employees... "I've layed off 125,000 employees in my career, and all it took was a signature. And that was all there was to it". Be loyal to your choice of career, family, etc. But not the company.
  3. Enjoy your money, you can't take it with you. Enjoy life. The last check written should be to the undertaker, and that one should bounce.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

To Ex-RA believer: You hit the nail right on the head.

The person who thinks that the 61 people now out on the street in Vancouver were worthless, obviously does not live in the real world. Give your head a shake. Good luck developing software in China, Rockwell.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Regarding the Post made on the 20th April. I totally agree with you. This blog is a barometer of the motivation, feeling and stability of the company. Have a look at the other blogs. Rockwell is sick compared with them. I only wish the board would read these. Then maybe they would replace Keith for his limp wristed management of his senior leadership team that are all driving indepenent agendas. Then get a change agent in to make the organisational changes needed to make the company 1) Global, 2) Customer Centric, 3) Market leading. They have none of these right now! Their arrogance leads them to thinking that they do - but they do NOT.

Management's time is up, they have failed! They have great leaders they don't listen too, and are out of touch with what is going on in the field! Leadership is still thinking IA is market leading. Wake up, all the ankle biters are eating your pie! I am sure that the company being so risk averse to change, will be happy to become the shape it was 29 years ago - just a shame its customers have moved on since them.

Remember - this blog is healthy. It's Emotion comes from personal impact. Personal impact comes from RA management. Not all decisions are bad, but the balance between good and bad ones in RA is evident in this blog, and RA's numbers continue to decline. Stop blaming the economy - most of the issues are of your own creation. I see a Venture Capitalist making a move soon and breaking the titanic up into small pieces before it sinks!

Ex-RA beleiver


Monday, April 20, 2009

An incredible amount of talent is being lost as a result of Vancouver (and other's) being let go. People with 20+ years of experience being lost.

As for the comments about too much emotion... employees pour all that they have into these products, and the fact that we care despite all the reasons to not care, shows the character that we have. It's impossible for most of us to not have any kind of attachment when we sacrifice so much. It makes it even more painful to watch all of this happening, as we worry about the talent loss....


Monday, April 20, 2009

Vancouver did not do any useful software and all the software engineers were worthless and created no cash flow. I finally think Rockwell is cleaning house and getting rid of dead weight. I really think the next step to really getting Rockwell to move ahead is to close down the entire Cleveland operation because they have proved to be completely worthless. Make Milwaukee the one and only headquarters with no political battles internally. Rockwell will flourish if Nosbusch can make these steps now.


Monday, April 20, 2009

As a Rockwell employee at the Vancouver office who is being let go on May 19, all I have to say is this: The IDIOTS are in control, and nobody knows why. Rockwell is a sinking ship and I guess in some warped way, I should be glad. Good luck to all in Vancouver, Ontario and everywhere else who has been affected by these incredibly stupid moves.


Monday, April 20, 2009

In response to the Monday April 20th post with respect to keeping emotion on the blog to a minimum the author fails to realize that all successful corporations become that way due to the employees emotional involvement.

The emotion shown on the blog is simply a barometer of how the employees feel and if management cant determine the reason and change it, Rockwell will never be successful.

Where there is smoke, there is fire. If the company was well managed the posts on the blog would be very different. Most employees dont want Rockwell to fail. They simply want it to be better. The problem is nobody in management is willing to listen to them or work with them to make it that way.

This is a great blog and an excellent way for RA employees all over the world to communicate. A special thank you should be given for making this forum possible.

In every company there is always room for improvement, the problem is current Rockwell management arent capable of making the real changes that are necessary. They just keep practicing the outdated concept of slash and burn management. Lurching from one crisis to another and being too focused on our stock price. No vision and no true leadership.


Monday, April 20, 2009

I wonder whether the decision to establish the Super Site Manufacturing Facility in Monterrey, Mexico was such a good idea.

The winds of change are blowing in Washington, D.C. and companies that have large manufacturing presences outside of the U.S. are now being seen as less and less politically correct. With the current economic conditions a company seen as not even attempting to retain U.S. jobs in the U.S. is going to hurt their image more than help it. It may even been considered as downright unpatriotic.

Insiders know that RA efforts to establish foreign manufacturing sites in other low cost countries like China and Poland have been difficult and expensive at best. None of them living up to anyones expectations and all continue to be a costly drain on the ever dwindling RA resources.

Monterrey was once one of the safest regions in Mexico, but anyone with any foresight could have seen that it would only be a matter of time before the Mexican drug cartels poisonous effects would change that.

Now RA has millions invested in a country that may become a failed state. How can you attract highly educated Engineers and Managers to a city with ever increasing levels of violence? Just look at all the narcobanners displayed in the city. It is a chilling reminder of how openly and brazenly the drug cartels operate. RA will also need to contend with the increased border restrictions coming between the U.S. and Mexico.

Good luck explaining to our shareholders why our product isnt been manufactured or delivered on time, all because corporate management wanted to save a few dollars.

Until RA Leadership changes the company will never be successful.


Monday, April 20, 2009

As an employee on the front lines of the Cambridge manufacturing facility I would like to draw attention to a concern I think Management hasnt considered.

Many employees currently working on the Shop Floor know that they are going to permanently lose their jobs within the next few months. Shouldnt there be a concern about not only the quality of the product being made, but also the very real possibility of a disgruntled worker sabotaging the product?

Much of the product built at the Cambridge, Ontario Plant is very complex and it wouldnt take much to ensure the product is compromised in some way. Test employees arent likely to catch everything and often product is tested only for a short period of time.

The problem is employees feel that they have invested a great deal of their lives working at RA and have sacrificed countless hours away from their families to do voluntary, or as often was the case mandatory overtime. They have endured the countless re-organizations of management, floor plans and processes only to have it all changed on them again and again, never waiting for any of the changes to actually stay in place long enough to see if there are any benefits to them.

They have seen Management treat them without respect or common decency. When asked for improvement ideas, they have given numerous common-sense ones that are simply ignored. They have seen only employees that are loyal to Senior Management promoted, regardless of actual competency or skill. They have seen Management falsify metrics and cost-savings numbers just to make the U.S. happy. They have seen bad management cost a fortune in lost time, overtime and payment for expediting parts due only to the gross mismanagement of the Materials Department.

Many of my fellow employees are hard-working and would like to be dedicated to keeping the Quality in Rockwell, but know that they are not supported in their efforts. Rather, they are treated as numbers, not true partners in the business. They see the Board and U.S Senior Management making millions at the expense of building a truly great company with a great deal of potential.

Most at Cambridge know that the U.S. really only wants to manufacture in what are seen as less expensive countries like Mexico, China and Poland not in Canada. Taking this fact alone in consideration why would anyone still working here care about their jobs or what they make? They know there is no future in Canada.

All that the employees wanted was to work together with Management to make a good product at a fair price resulting in the possibility of long term employment. That was why for the longest time there never was any worry about a Union taking hold. Then there was a significant change in Management in Cambridge and those ideas were tossed aside. It didnt take long for everyone to realize Managements unspoken part of this bargain was no longer going to be upheld.

I think it will be very interesting to track the Field Service Reports and Warranty Statistics starting in the next few months. I know if I were a customer and knew of the toxic environment they are manufactured in I wouldnt buy one.

It is too bad, with different leadership in the U.S. and Cambridge it could have been a great place to work for everyone involved.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Well Richland Center is back at it again, with another layoff anounced on the 16th. 54 people this time. This is the 3rd layoff this year, and it now total somewhere over 200. There is a rumor of another one already in a couple more weeks. Even with less work in the building, which they are blaming on the economy and we all know that the work has went to Mexico, they continue to keep on the testers. The testers are exempt from a layoff even though most of them have very little seniority then the ones who are currently getting layed off. What is the point of keeping testers when there is no work? We all know that the work won't be coming back. They are keeping Mexico nice and busy. The work that is suppose to be coming out of Cambridge to us we all know that it is a stopping point for now because that haven't figure out how to get the work across 2 borders without it costing them alot of money.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Interesting posts. All you people slamming RA are misguided if you believe you are sticking up for the worker bees. All you are doing is creating a negative perception of the company and it's products. It's easy to say things like "Rockwell sucks" with no facts or figures to back up claims. This is a large company with large company problems. No company is perfect, but the rhetoric on much of this blog serves no one. I am a worker bee at RA. I take pride in my job. I don't "hate" management. Have they made questionable moves? Sure. They all do.

By talking down the company, you are not hurting the management at all. You are only hurting those who grind it out day after day. This could be a great blog if people kept emotion to a minimum.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I have to tell you, as a former Rockwell employee, despite all the changes that have taken place recently, I believed, and still believe that they are on track to keep and maintain their #1 position in the process control system market. The whole concept of 'Integrated Architecture' is a very powerful message and now that I'm at an end-user, I intend to use it as my single control system for the plant as soon as I can rip this Delta V system out..... expected to happen in 2 months.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

So they closed the Vancouver office. Further confirmation that upper management has lost their minds. So many talented software development people. It is such a shame. Good luck to all. As for Rockwell - you can't bring the company out of a recession with nobody to do the work! All that will be left is a bunch of highly paid frat boys manging no one. Good bye Rockwell and good riddance.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

The goal of many company CEO's today is to suck as much money from the company as possible and pack it into their own pockets before they either get fired or bury the company. As an example, Keith Nosbusch canceled everybody else's merit bonus this year, (stating that we all have to sacrifice in these tough economic times), then turned arounthen selling off his own personal Rockwell shares. Some leadership. The guy doesn't even believe in the company he runs!

And as for how everything is done all backwards at Rockwell - who cares? After all, they can just work it into the product cost so that the customer pays for our illustrious managements' mistakes. Ha! The suckers have been over paying for years!

Rockwell management is just lucky that the shareholders don't realize just how much money they have 'NOT' made due to how disorganized and backward the place is run. Then Mr. Nosbusch could hire outsiders to come in and escort himself to the door!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

This blog seems to be centred around Rockwell's manufacturing. I do feel for all these employees. However, from a competitor's standpoint, it's reassuring to see the great AB monster starting to fall apart... Fear not customers, we will pick up the pieces!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

I'm glad management is around still, to let the little ducklings that are still left behind know what these blogs mean.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

If you read the internal memos concerning Keith's 20% reduction, it does not specifically state that his salary will actually get reduced by 20%. It says that he is asking the board of directors to reduce his salary by 20%. Do you think that the board of dirctors will actually do it? And if they do (as a token gesture to the employees) will they offer him some other form of compensation to maintain his total compensation package value of over $7.5M/year? His base salary is just a small part of his total compensation package, and the potential loss of 20% (~$300K) will affect him and his family much less than most of the employees who are losing 4.6% of their salaries. But to be thankful, his reduction amounts to 4-6 workers keeping their jobs, while alternatively if he offered to work for $1 total compensation for 2009, they could have saved 100 or more jobs. Now if you consider what would be saved if Keith's first reports would also consider working for $1 this year, Rockwell would actually be hiring people. But to be fair, Rockwell management is no different than the management of most other companies... which explains why the world is in this economic mess to begin with.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Well, I have been reading these blogs for a while now. Management says this due to people being let go; they are a little bitter and all they are doing is company bashing. I beg to differ!

There are specific incidents that are absolutely true and hard to deny. The company is laying off approximaetly 100 people. The unfair thing from the Cambridge plant is we don't have a Union. The company has layed off about 20 people more than plan so they can give the ass-kissers a repreive and get rid of the people they find undesireable.

The kicker to all this is: The company wants all the employees to do their ethics refresher training by the end of April. Should the company not lead by example?


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The comments from Rockwell people are interesting, but mainly full of whines from folks that could have defined a better path for themselves and the company, but chose to be wall flowers.

However, as a long time Rockwell watcher, I think there are some interesting dynamics. What I see is a critical lack of confidence in its senior manager to invest in what it theoretically believes it is good at. This is probably because Rockwell has no track record of ground-breaking success in product design, aquisition or even initiative.

I would think that until Keith Nosbusch changes himself, or his leadership team, this will not change. You see this characteristic everywhere: lack of real funding in emerging markets. How many people do they really have in Eastern Europe, for instance?

This pain is inflicted on the masses because Senior Management know it is time to act on their own ranks, and won't; aquisitions so small that it doesnt matter if they don't work. Old timers worry about their jobs but the saddest statistic is that new talent, introduced over the past few years, leaves very quickly.

There is some talent, but they are now easy-pickings for competitors to whisk away and complete the Rockwell demise. I also get the impression that the Boards main KPI is the dividend, and so they aren't that interested in Operations. Does anyone know any other bright spots in the corporation?


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Howwwww many more, I ask, howwwww many more greedy Keith Knuckleheads do we need. Gee, Kieth is taking a 20 percent cut in pay, haha haha, the joke is on you. Don't forget he makes more than a million a year, never mind the ffffffive million dollar bonus. How will he ever get by? He might need to cut back on his spending and drive a Hyundai; or make the family cut back on the steaks and shrimp. If Trump could fire him, he would be gone. We need less Keith, and more power to the employees.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The problems that are being seen by Rockwell aren't the result of the bad economy. Sure the economic situation helps to worsen RA's lot, but the real reason is BAD MANAGMENT!

Look at Rockwell Software as an example. Bad acquisition after bad acquisition, no direction, and a completely clueless management team that doesn't even know what products Rockwell Software have produced.

People within the RA team that have years of experience are discounted because they aren't in the "in crowd". Its like being at high school all over again.

We have an MES product that is a layer of script over a DB with one of the most extremely poorly written interfaces to RA processors I have ever seen. A Historian that could truly be world class, but has been given to a development team that has a clueless leader and is more interested on releasing on time, rather than producing a product that works. It embarrassingly sends c.logix processors outside of RA to be programmed for testing, because it has no engineers capable of programming one. Customer requirements are depreciated or ignored due to arrogance.

We have a business manager that just discounts the value or functionality of any previous products that came before his, who actively discourages the use and sale of other Rockwell Software products, because he can create that functionality in script. When he is confronted about functionality, he basically discounts the need for that feature.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Too bad Keith Nosbusch didn't turn down his $5 million bonus; then maybe we would not have to take 6 days off without pay.


Monday, April 6, 2009

I too was recently let go from Rockwell after 15+ yrs. They have no mercy in letting someone go, people who have endured through countless changes in Management. Since these people from Ford came in, it's been all DOWNHILL. Although I regret losing my job, I am GLAD to be out from the very stressful situation they created at the Twinsburg plant.

If management would open their eyes for one minute and look around, they just MIGHT see they are driving this plant into the ground!! They do not care about QUALITY anymore; it's QUANTITY. Rockwell thinks they are a good company - but NOT anymore! Keith, you need realize that it's spreading fast. Rockwell does not care about their Distributor's or customers. Soon, Rockwell will go down!


Monday, April 6, 2009

Does the paycut across the board also apply to the Board of Directors?


Monday, April 6, 2009

How come we have not seen any of our Senior Leadership let go? If they were doing such a fantastic job at the top, why are we in this position? Also, does Rockwell really need 2 corporate jets, and what about board retreats? I think there is a lot of pork that could be cut out of the budget.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

For those of you that maybe looking for new employment, I saw a website that maybe helpful. Linkedin.com It's way to network and tell each other if there are jobs available.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

I've just been reading Nosbusch's interview in ISA Intech. The interview correctly raises the issue of the loss of knowledge that occurs when baby boomers leave or when people are made redundant due to the downturn. What he forgot to question was the loss of knowledge (applications, customer intimacy, process, and products) when you lose your distributors. In Australia there are about 100 people who hold that knowledge that are now lost from the so-called Rockwell family. We hear that India is next to be "re-structured"! It will take NHP years to gain what would be around 1000 - 1500 years of experience in those distirbutor staff.

The Australian solution was for the new and continuing distributors to aggressively poach staff from ex-distributors - accelerating their demise. When that only yielded a dozen or so, they started poaching a few from Rockwell.

Nosbusch's answer to the brain drain is, quote, "There are a couple of ways we pick that up. Sometimes we will tap into the knowledge of our customers, and maybe they can become our employees." ..... So, the new knowledge-building strategy is to demoralize your staff, sack your business partners to cut costs and then later on recruit your customers' staff.

Here's a new slogan suggestion "Rockwell Automation... they took Quality out of Allen-Bradley."


Sunday, April 5, 2009

It's not just the 20% paycut volunteered by the CEO that's crucial. (After all, most CEO's have more than one directorship.) It's the USD cost of the whole of the whole board that counts; probably around a quarter of the 250 million USD the company is attempting to save? What does the Shareholders Report say, I wonder?


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Does anyone believe that Nosbush is really taking a 20% pay cut. He likes lining his pockets to much to give up any pay. Of course, if I just got a $5 million bonus, 20% less on pay is nothing.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

As far as that woman, or another employees being treated that way, it's not the norm for most companies. Recently, I experienced a warehouse closing by another large publicly-owned company. In that case the employer gave 90 days notice to all the employees, brought in the state unemployment office to communicate possible options, etc. They did bring in 24/7 security guards, however these people were not "tough guy" types. They did not interfere at all. When the majority of employees left, they said their goodbye's, keep in touch, etc. All in all, it was positive experience.

It appears to me that Rockwell may need to rethink their HR people, because treating human beings like dirt is a reflection on HR. This other employer I'm speaking about would not have any problem re-hiring anyone they let go. I don't think that Rockwell would be able to say the same thing. Makes you wonder just what it is they're trying to accomplish.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

I too work at Rockwell in Cambridge. I agree that it is disgraceful the way long time employees are being treated when they are fired. Especially office people. They are being degraded like they are criminals. Also, why are outsiders being brought in to do the companies dirty work?

I understand that hard times may call for hard measures. But to parade people out through the plant surrounded by security like they are criminals? Shareholders should be ashamed! We are people too, you know. Anyway, I am salary. So I am probably safe until the end of the next quarter.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

I too had a long career with this company, that was ended with the first round of reductions. I am glad to be out of this organization that has been on an almost continuous regorganization over the last couple of years, trying to find themselves.

I think that part of the decline that RA has seen recently, goes beyond the weak economy. During the days of AB Quality, customers purchased our products, and were willing to pay a premium price for the AB name, and the service that came along with it. I think customers are realizing why should one purchase AB, when there are a lot of alternatives out there.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Here's a question from the Cambridge plant. When is somebody going to change the sign out front from AB Quality to the more appropriate AB Quantity? I started here back in the 80's and I remember when the word 'Quality' was drilled into our heads on a daily basis. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I've heard that word spoken inside our Dundas plant.

Also, why was a lady being let go after 36 years of loyal service walked out in front of her co-workers like a criminal by 'hired guns' from outside the company? You know, if what goes around truly does come around, then more than a few Rockwell senior mis-managers should be keeping a wary eye on their own future. And should the 'hired guns' being brought in to degrade and humiliate these good people?

What a disgrace! All shareholders should be ashamed of themselves.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Management from Rockwell in RC said we will be getting about $2 million dollars in orders from Cambridge, because of their shutdown. We haven't had any layoffs since Feburary and they let go about 1/3 of the plant workers. Which is equivalent to 200 employees.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Extracts from "Business Journal of Milwaukee", Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    Rockwell to cut employee, CEO salaries

    Rockwell Automation will temporarily reduce the salaries of its entire international work force by 4.6 percent while the manufacturer's top executive will get a 20 percent pay cut. An e-mail from Rockwell chief executive Keith Nosbusch sent March 31 to the company's employees said the salary reductions would be imposed until Sept. 30, 2009, which is the end of Rockwell's fiscal year.

    Employees will be directed to take three unpaid days off for each of the final two quarters of its fiscal year to meet the salary reduction. Rockwell will also suspend payments into 401(k) retirement plans and employees will not receive a bonus.

    The e-mail from Nosbusch also stated that his salary would be cut by 20 percent. Nosbusch said that the actions are necessary for Rockwell to come out of the recession stronger than its competitors.

    The recent cost cutting measures are a result of the company's continuing efforts to cut costs by $240 million this fiscal year. Rockwell sees its business being down between 19 percent and 24 percent for this time period. Last week the company announced it would cut jobs in the Milwaukee area and worldwide.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'm the guy who told the story (below) about welding the side sheets by the print. - which, of course, is not how things are ever done at Rockwell. Then throwing them all out because Rockwell doesn't know how to change an erroneous blueprint. I just want to add a couple of things.

When I started with Rockwell in the nineties, I used to brag to my friends about how well Rockwell treated its people. Now I am trying to get debt-free fast, so I can try and find a good company to jump too, even if it means a drastic pay cut and scaling back my lifestyle. I'm tired of being treated like a piece of junk. Wish me luck!

I want to let all those people who are losing their jobs know that I hope all works out well for them and their families. Something I doubt the Rockwell brass would ever even think of, let alone care about.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

I worked at Rockwell Automation in Cambridge for several years. Here is a true story that is typical of the place. When I started welding there a few years ago, I welded ten side sheets for cabinets and placed all the parts exactly where the print showed. The following day I came to work to find the entire pile set aside with a note attached stating that the side sheets were no good and had to all be thrown out. My boss then informed me that some of the parts welded on were located wrong, others were no longer needed on the side sheets, and still other parts should be on them. Here is our conversations:

    Me: "But I built them exactly like the print showed?"

    Boss: "The print has been wrong for eight years."

    Me: "So why not change the print?"

    Boss: "Believe me, we have tried - but you can only bang your head against a wall for so long before you get tired of the headaches."

    Me: "So how is a new person to know the print is wrong?"

    Boss: "The way we see it is we let you build it wrong the first time, then tell you so you will know from now on."

    Me: But what about the next person who has to build it. That's a lot of man hours to make all those parts and weld the side sheets together."

    Boss: "They go through the same thing. That's the Rockwell way."

Honest people, I am not making this stuff up. A television sitcom could get a hundred ideas for comedy every week at Rockwell in Cambridge. This is how things were, and are still done. I could give you many more examples, but I think this proves the point about how the place is managed.

If the shareholders had any idea of how much money they are losing due to stupidity, and managers that are better at talking than actually managing, Mr. Keith Nosbusch would be out. No wonder we're all in deep shit!

PS. I hope our Nosbusch enjoys the big performance bonus he got last year while everyone else was denied theirs.


Thursday, April 2, 2009 - Extracts from Journal Sentinel, Mar. 31, 2009:

Rockwell outlines cost-cutting measures

Rockwell Automation Inc. (which recently began its second round of job reductions in the current fiscal year) on Tuesday outlined measures to impose temporary salary reductions and cancel bonuses to "protect as many jobs as possible."

"No employee in the organization is exempt from sacrifice," Rockwell Chief Executive Keith Nosbusch said in an e-mail addressed to the company's entire international work force. "I want you to know my salary will be cut by 20%."

The company's most recent proxy statement listed Nosbusch's base salary at $1,040,000. The Milwaukee-based supplier of factory automation systems declined to provide further details about the scope of its job reductions. Nosbusch repeated in his e-mail that the company is trying to cut operating costs by $240 million in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. In November, Nosbusch predicted a 6% to 10% decline in fiscal 2009 sales but issued a more dire outlook in February that foresees a drop of 19% to 24%.

In addition to job reductions, Rockwell will:

  • Reduce hours for all global employees by three unpaid days for each of the final two quarters of the year, or an equivalent reduction in base salary of 4.6% for the remainder of the fiscal year.
  • Suspend company payments into 401(k) retirement plans for U.S. staff for at least the remainder of the fiscal year.
  • Cancel all annual bonus programs, including incentive plans.
"As we get closer to our fiscal year-end, we will determine whether to continue this approach" into fiscal 2010, the memo says. John Heywood, an economics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, called Rockwell's cost-cutting approach "pragmatic." The company relies on a large staff of engineers skilled in mechanics, automation and software, which are difficult to replace and train when the economy begins to expand again. Rather than cutting jobs until it hits its cost figures, "it's a self-interested way to keep trained and valuable workers so they are still there when things are better," Heywood said.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Questions:

  1. As these cuts are made in the workforces in Cambridge and Twinsburg, have they consolidated the teams and cut supervision and management positions?
  2. Has much of this work been sent to Mexico?
  3. Have they cut much in Richland Center?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I was let go in 2002, and even before then Rockwell had been trimming their workforce and re-organizing every 6 months, proving they cannot be the great marketing group that they believe they are.

Not manufacturing their own products is catching up with them as customers are becoming smarter and realize Rockwell is merely a commodity supplier. This is a direct quote from a top 10 company in the US who use Rockwell products and even today is having doubts. This customer believes they have gone too deep to pull out, and recently I have shown them that there is a way out.

Rockwell does not value their people - only the bottom line. These latest cuts and plant closures or production relocations are just the beginning. You probably have not even heard of the other products that moved to China and Mexico, or the small plants closure, sales offices, etc. that have happened over the last few years. Freezing wages or not handing out merit increases is not something new to Rcokwell; they have found formulas to make that something of a norm in years past.

There IS life after Rockwell. I have seen many of my friends find work with Baldor-Reliance, ABB, Siemens and others like small distributors and system integrators.

I hate to see the Rockwell decline, as it may effect my pension and medical benefits eventually, as they try and find more ways to cut their expenses. In reviewing some of the other blogs, you can see the list starts with the older employees and there is a direct correlation between age and bottom line. They have no regard for the value of their employees and the morale will continue to decline. Those who keep a low profile and say yes to everything and not question or challenge the management may survive until the end is near. But until new TOP management and a completed re-structure happens this process of layoffs and plant closures will continue.

When AB and Reliance combined, AB was comparing age and years of service between the two companies. Look for the Reliance employees today, most are long gone. Baldor bought the Reiance motor group and now they are paying back their debt for this aquistion at 10 times expected; guess Baldor knows more about marketing than Rockwell.

Do not look for any body to buy Rockwell either, sources out there say nobody is interested!


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Strange that nothing has been mentioned yet, but the word out now is that Rockwell EMEA employees are being told to take six days away from work over the next six months as unpaid holiday. I can't believe that this is anywhere near a sufficient cost cutting measure; so is this action to ensure that those executives in middle management upwards can "hang in there" just a wee bit longer before the axe finally falls? Don't count on it.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

After almost 10 years with RA, I left the company a year ago -- on MY terms. It was tough to leave good co-workers and a good salary, but to survive (mentally and physically) and to THRIVE, I had no choice.

My advice to all who are still there: GET OUT NOW! You're a LOT more valuable than RA will ever give you credit for. Don't stay because you've got so many years invested. I didn't, and I'm better off for it, and I'll fly higher outside of RA than I could ever inside. Other companies need you and will treat you well. Don't think that all companies are the same -- they're NOT! Escape, and you'll realize that within months.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This move is a knee-jerk reaction for the benefit of the shareholders and nothing more. When the crisis is over we will be left in the dust of our competitors. Keep cutting Keith, and provide our customers with nothing in the next few years. By the way, how about getting that Edmonton Business Manager to move to the states so we don't have to pay his airfare, hotel, car rental, meals, week after week after week. Thats just STUPID.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - From EMEA:

To all those that have been laid off, my heart goes out to everyone one of you. From EMEA I can tell you that the impact was kept silent on our side of the water, much to the amazement of my American counter parts, until 5pm today when the email came from Keith Nosbusch.

Unfortunately I was all too aware of what was happening as I lost good friends and co-workers across the globe. I know my own situation is dangerous at the moment and by 5:30pm my (already updated) CV had been sent to the top agencies. We live in fear every day of wondering if tomorrow we have a job, so why would I be motivated to work on projects spanning 3-4 months if I might not be here next week? And they wonder why morale is at an all time low? I loved my job once, now I struggle to go to work in the mornings - the reason I go is simple, I have a mortage to pay.

I am one of the fortunate in so far as being in a country where the laws protect the workers for their salaries, pensions and contracts however in saying that what happens when I refuse a pay cut - I am sure they will find a way to make my position disposable.

To all of you, know that the people in EMEA are thinking of you and know we understand that Rockwell has once again lost some of its best people. Reach out to your collegues over seas, we are more than willing to write recommendations, give support and help any way we can.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In response to the salesman. I was one of the people just let go. And three days into it, it is doing me good to hate the company. Of course, I know I will get past this and be much better off. But for now...let me hate.

For years I have tried to change my fellow employees' bad attitudes towards the company. It has put a roof over my head and fed me all of my life. It is clean, easy work. Just get in on time and do your work and everything will be fine. Shows how much I know. I got an "exceeds" on my review...was a go-to person for others...but I also spoke my mind and didn't suck-up to my supervisor. So did I get put on the list because of my wonderful, talented self? Keep your mouth closed and praise your supervisor as much as you can and you'll go far on the manufacturing floor of Rockwell Automation.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I am a RA employee from China. After having read the words here, maybe I have seen the picture beforehand that will happen in China soon...


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I too was walked out last October and I completely agree with the previous poster; for those of you just going through the experience, you will go through weeks of disorientation and confusion as to why you were chosen. I was a high performer and a manager and had no idea it was coming as it was poorly executed and extremely secretive with the decisions made at the top. Losing a job for the first time after a successful twenty five year career filled with great opportunities and great achievements took me much more than a few weeks to overcome the shock of the experience. The first instinct is to take it personally but that isn't the case. It's business and although we may not agree with the way the business is being conducted, it is what it is. Take the time and grieve and then get back out there and don't judge your self worth on your job or lack thereof. I am happy to be away from the daily stress and being surrounded by people who have such low morale. It is toxic.

I took to opportunity to go back to school and am looking forward to starting a new career once the economy stabilizes. Take the time to regroup and start over, all of the time you spend reliving the past is time wasted that could be spent reinventing yourself.


Monday, March 30, 2009

As someone who was escorted out 6 months ago in the first wave of 600 back on October 1st, this is a note to the ones who are getting let go now.

Life goes on. It is TOO easy to measure your self worth in this world by your job. You have a number of weeks of being disoriented to look forward to, but after that, you sails will fill again and you will be off in a different direction.

As hard as it may be, give it some time and then make contact again with your old co-workers and let them know you are OK. Hit them up for lunch. Those friendships are still there, they just won't know how to deal with it initially.

Management will always be management. Screw them. They will look out for their own, and such is the way of the world. Accept it and move on. Remember, they still have to live that life of half-truths when they speak. You no longer do. You are free from that.

As for myself, I have been meaning for years to start my own engineering consulting business and this shove towards that has been a good thing. If this didn't happen, then I may have never done it.

Between the Rockwell severance and unemployment (thank you Mr. Obama for the extra weeks and COBRA kicker), I am taking this opportunity to build something long term for myself and my family that has nothing to do with the cozy interior of a big company. I have not felt this alive in many years. I would be lying if I said it was easy, because it is not. But that is where the juice comes from. Taking a chance, believing in yourself.

I have a firm belief that the job security that our parents knew is gone. We have to re-invent ourselves numerous times in our careers. That is the only job security anymore. Re-invent yourself and go forward. There is something better on the other side of the next door. I promise.


Monday, March 30, 2009

The problems at RA are a result of the acquisition of AB by Rockwell - the move from a privately held company to a public one. Everything you see in this blog is only a result of that.

As a distributor specialist for 20 yrs. the constant re-orgs (the AGSM only lasted 6 months in our region, most reorgs last 2 years) new managers, new salesmen, new programs, etc. only serve to confuse the US channel. The old guard piss off the customers, so they send in a new bunch. We've grown sales every year in spite of RA, but they keep telling us we're doing it all wrong, that we don't understand our market. RA management thinks we have $3M in untapped potential, and so with every new management change we go thru the same thing (OK you guys knock yourselves out, find what we are missing). But they end up screwing up our existing business and don't ever find the missing $3M.

Our philosophy is to serve the customer, plain and simple. Do that and the sales will come. With outsourced products, they have no control over the supply or quality, although they don't seem to have control over the products made in-house either. Do what you do best, make the best PLC for the US market and quit trying to be everything to everybody. Their services division has been referred to as a herd of squirrels even by the RA sales guys. They come in and get one project, mess it up, and make us and RA look so bad the customer wouldn't even consider RA again. The software fiasco is the same story different division.

The best thing for RA would be to find investors to take the company private again. Having said all that, I think the future holds a 10-count-and-out for Rockwell Automation.


Monday, March 30, 2009 - To the salesman below:

I agree with the person from Twinsburg. Here in Cambridge, Ontaripo, I saw the same thing. People with several years of service were let go in place of an employee who had very few years of service. Letting go senior staff with a wide knowledge base and keeping an employee with a limited knowledge base -- how does that help the company? Yes, we are in difficult times, there is no doubt about that and unfortunately certain things must be done. There must be other alternatives other than layoffs. At least the US had a survey -- we were never given the option at all in Canada.


Monday, March 30, 2009 - To the salesman, regarding your statement "management puts a lot of thought into who stays and who goes.":

I have been with Rockwell for over 29 years and your statement is not totally correct. In Twinsburg I saw some people who were let go that should have been at the bottom of the list to go; and there were others who suck up to supervisors and management and keep their jobs.


Monday, March 30, 2009

For all that lost your job recently, I am sorry. I realize that using this site to vent is probably a good outlet. However, I have to also disagree with so many that portray Rockwell as a completely ruthless poorly run company. I have been with RA for a little over 20 years and I am still optimistic about where the company is heading long term. I admit that I am not in manufacturing, but rather in sales, so I know many of you are going to say "What does a spoiled Salesman know?" Look, times are terrible everywhere. What RA is doing is not that different than what many companies are doing. Whether or not Keith made a dollar or 5 Million is not the point. It's all about keeping enough of the workforce around so that we can survive this downturn. People had to go. It's as simple as that. You may think it was mostly random, but I can tell you that management puts a lot of thought into who stays and who goes. It's simple human nature. If two people are doing the exact same job at the exact same level, something has to differentiate them. Right?

Again, you have every right to be angry if you have been recently let go. However, don't be a victim. If it is RA that messed up in your opinion, go to a competitor and rub it in our face, or try a completely new and different industry. It doesn't do anyone any good to simply go on and on about how evil "management" is treating everyone.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Since being let go from Rockwell Automation, I have enjoyed life to its fullest. Yes the economy is not the best; There is never right time but when is it ever. If you believe Rockwell is still a good company, take a look at it this way. How can a company hire many new sales personnel only to let them go 12 -18 months later, only to abandon the AGSM (Aggressive sales model)? Apparently they were not reading or watching the same news everyone in the world was living and breathing.

Then after the first round of layoffs the CEO gets a $5 million dollar bonus in November/December 2008. Sounds a lot like AIG? Did anyone see Keith Nosbusch give his money back?

Well how about this one. Rockwell sends an email out to their personnel - asks them to take a poll. That pertained to something like what would they rather have: Layoffs / pay reduction / no contribution to 401K - only to have a layoff anyway. Why even ask? Do they really care about their employees thoughts? Read the writing on the wall: Get out and move on, they are hoping since you cut your teeth on Rockwell products you will continue to use and purchase the Rockwell products after you have landed in a new position. Its time to learn something new everyone. There is life after Rockwell.

Yes the truth hurts but move on, they do not care. Upper management is just concerned to make their EBITs so that they can make their year end bonuses. Am I bitter, no not really just stating the facts.

They have had their head handed to them outside the USA only to have to sink to levels they are not use to seeing in the USA. They have all but given up on Europe and Australia. They continue to see growth in South America by dropping their prices on product and projects. They also continue to compete against their system integrators on many projects, which is starting to upset the integrators a lot. There has neve been a more heavily weighted management than Rockwell (Perhaps Enron or AIG.) that less care about their personel than Rockwell.

Take it for what its worth, move out and move on, and don't look back. Because they won't be looking for you to come back.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

All those let go in Ontario - you don't have to sign anything. You have rights as an employee under employment law and common law. Don't sign anything without someone else taking a look.

Many are not aware that the relationship between an employer and employee is a type of contract. The dismissal of non-unionized employees (unionized employees are subject to "labor law" and their collective agreements), contrary to the rules that exist in Ontario and Canadian employment law, may be a breach of a condition of the employment contract. Employers must have a legitimate reason to dismiss their employees for "just cause." If not, this type of breach may be known as a "wrongful dismissal". Employers must comply with Canadian employment law requirements concerning how they deal with their employees during and after dismissal. Employers may be sued and the former employees may be awarded monies for the failure of the employer to provide reasonable notice and not having just cause for dismissal.

Canadian employment law requires a fairly high standard to dismiss an employee for just cause. An employer or employee may be wise to contact specialized legal counsel to determine if there is enough "cause" for the court to consider there to be just cause for dismissal without notice, or whether the employee will be able to sue for wrongfully dismissal.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm sorry to hear about all the layoffs. As a former AB executive back in the 90s, I have reinvented myself and I have never had more fun or more satisfaction in my career.

Life is not about a job, but about finding your passion, turning it into an opportunity so you can pay the bills. Figure out where your passions are, hobbies, non-profits, core skills that can be applied in different businesses, or different industries. Look at it as an opportunity once you get over the depression of not being "wanted" anymore. Remember, your real friends and family will always be there for you.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm just glad a got out when I did - almost 2 years ago. Rockwell management are behind the times and need to learn how to treat the people that have made them the money they have. I hope they all suffer miserable business for the way they've treated people throughout all their facilities, it's disgraceful!!


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Why do people sign documents when they exit? Because of the threat they give you that if you do not sign the paper, they will not give you your severance package.


Saturday, March 28, 2009 - Rockwell closes plant, lays off 115 - extract from TheRecord.com:

Rockwell Automation is laying off 115 employees and closing one of its plants in Cambridge. The layoffs are "due to declining work volumes amid the global economic recession" the director of external communications at Rockwell's head office in Milwaukee, said yesterday.

Seventeen salaried employees are being laid off on March 30, and another 90 hourly workers on May 30, he said. The remainder are being let go at smaller Rockwell sales offices in the area. The company is also closing a small facility it was leasing on Raglin Place and consolidating operations at its main plant on Dundas Street. Following the layoffs, the Dundas Street plant will employ about 870.

Rockwell first set up shop in Cambridge in 1952. The company is shrinking its workforce on a global basis as well. On Feb. 2, it told shareholders it planned to implement $240 million in cost savings during this fiscal year.


Friday, March 27, 2009

First of all, I would like to say to the employees that were let go at the Twinsburg location that you will be missed. For all of us that remain let us not forget the way management handled this layoff process. It made me sick to see how each of these employees were walked through the factory in front of all of us. We were then left wondering who would be walked out next. Talk about Stress Management; talks about being respectful and considerate of the employees being let go. How about management being respectful and considerate of its employees? The next time a manager gets walked out, we all need to go to the doors and give them a standing ovation all the way out of the parking lot.

Management needs to understand that when they do not treat a customer right, the word spreads throughout the industry as to what we are doing wrong. If we start to treat our customers right, like Allen-Bradley did, the rest will fall into place. Allen-Bradley did not only make a quality product, but they knew that the customers came first. They knew that if they treated the customers well, word would spread and business would grow. Next they treated the employees like people, not just a number or an added expense. When times get tough, that's when you find out what the management team is made of.

I have found out that Rockwell's management is arrogant, greedy, and apathetic. They will do whatever it takes in the name of Rockwell to make sure that at the end of the quarter their dollar figures are met. It's time to thin the herd at the top, Keith. Do we really need all you guys? NOT!!!!


Friday, March 27, 2009

If you survived this quarterly hit -- you only have 3 more months before the next quarterly hit. Congratulations -- I think.

It has been a devastating few days in Cambridge -- we lost an entire product line and several excellent people from the office. For those who were lucky enough to be in manufacturing -- they typically follow the seniority policy which is a good thing. But if you work in the office, the last week of the end of the quarter is one of pins & needles. Everyone wants to hide as they never know if they are on the list or not. You check on other co-workers throughout the building in order to find out if they made it through the day or not. They take it minute by minute as they never know if they'll get the tap on the shoulder.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Rockwell has lost sight of the most important thing to remember -- it's your customers who pay the bills not the shareholders. If we could stop being about the bottom line and what the shareholders demand, and focus on what the customer wants, perhaps things would improve. I know it would take time and you won't get the immediate satisfaction for the shareholders but you would grow your markets, increase your market share and with all that you would actually be able to better satisfy your shareholders because it's based in reality not a fantasy world. Somewhere along the road Rockwell forgot that golden rule -- it's about the CUSTOMER


Friday, March 27, 2009

Yes it was a sad day...after day... week at Rockwell. Many people lost their jobs after many years of service, as did many who had not so many. There was no rhyme or reason to their choices. Some people had medical reasons for much time away; others had disciplinary issues; and others had attendance. There were some that had people scratching their heads though. AB is officially dead. I was saddened to see so many go, and yet so grateful to still be employed. It's just one chapter in the saga of "Rockwell Survivor". We will see who makes the next cut. My only question is, "If I am the last survivor and manage to sit back and watch all my friends get walked, do I get a million dollars?" How about it Nosbush...throw me just one of your million?! Sorry,its either laugh or cry.


Friday, March 27, 2009 - Rockwell makes global job cuts - extracts from Business Journal of Milwaukee:

Rockwell Automation began making job cuts at its Milwaukee-area operations and worldwide this week as part of an overall effort to reduce costs in the midst of the ongoing economic downturn. The job cuts, which involve office and factory jobs, are due to declining economic conditions, Rockwell spokesman Keith Lester said. This is a global situation and due to the ongoing nature, we cant disclose work force reduction numbers at this time, Lester said.

Rockwell has about 21,000 employees worldwide. The company listed 3,300 Milwaukee-area employees in The Business Journals Dec. 12, 2008, list of the largest private-sector employers.

Rockwell management announced in February that it was reducing its outlook by about 50 percent for fiscal 2009 after fiscal first-quarter profits fell 24 percent. The Milwaukee-based manufacturer of industrial automation systems posted net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31 of $118.4 million, or 83 cents per share, compared with $156.6 million, or $1.04 per share, for the same period the year before. Net sales for the quarter declined 11 percent to $1.19 billion from $1.33 billion. Company management said at that time that the global recession had grown deeper and wider than originally expected.

The work force reduction is the latest cost-savings initiative implemented by Rockwell in fiscal 2009. Other measures have included a consolidation of business units, the closing of facilities, a hiring freeze, limits on travel and a major reduction in discretionary spending.


Friday, March 27, 2009 - Rockwell Automation cuts jobs in Northeast Ohio, and worldwide - extracts from Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Rockwell Automation, the Milwaukee industrial manufacturer, said it began laying off employees at two Northeast Ohio facilities and at plants worldwide "in response to declining economic conditions." The company, with offices in Mayfield Heights and production plant in Twinsburg, actually added employees during 2008, when international manufacturers were still purchasing its machines and software. The new hires during last year brought the total number of Rockwell Automation employees in Northeast Ohio to about 2,000.

In the latter part of the year, though, Rockwell, like other industrial companies, suffered a substantial drop in revenue and profitability. Over the past 12 months, the company's share value has declined from around $60 to the mid- to low-$20s and even high teens in recent weeks.

Keith Lester, a communications officer at the company's Wisconsin headquarters, declined to say how many jobs the Cleveland-area plants would lose. He added, "Job elimination's were communicated this week. We are not closing any facilities. We can't disclose the workforce reduction number at this time. I can only say that it's ongoing, and it's global."

Rockwell sales in 2008 totaled $5.7 billion, but the worldwide downturn that deepened in the second half of last year cut severely into Rockwell's profitability as manufacturers began limiting purchases of automation equipment and software. In recent years, the Twinsburg plant had about 350 workers producing and testing Rockwell controls.


Friday, March 27, 2009

115 hourly employees laid off and 18 salaried employees let go as of today. Two Cambridge facilities closing, Raglin and Sheldon and Dept 16 2100 LV MCC line is gone by July 1st. The production is being moved back to Richland Centre. As of December 2008 close to 400 hourly and salaried positions have been lost to the lean operating philosophy (read into that what ever you want). Bonuses are still being paid out at the top corporate levels and execs are still getting a pat on the back for a job well done. The slash and burn mentality is alive and well at Rockwell so that those bonuses and stock options pay some dividens to panicked corporate execs. Dynamic and Pragmatic leaders are a thing of the past at Rockwell. Instead the company is lead by greedy, shortsighted, dull minded people who look for the easiest way to bump up the bottom line, namely to reduce head count anyway and anywhere they can. I guess it takes less effort. A company is only as good as its employees and a company that does not recognize the importants of its Human capital as a valuable asset is on a slippery slope. Rockwell has a lot to learn in that area.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Okey, freedom at last. It all comes down to this, Rockwell Automation is all about BUSINESS, nothing else... Not the employees. I find there is a lack of balance. This is the only company where a job of more then 25 years means absolutely NOTHING, only disadvantage against you keeping your job. Be happy if you got walked out, consider yourself free out of a jail where you have to watch you back 24/7. Best part is watching all of the team managers work their asses off and get walked out after 17 years of service. Rockwell is a joke. I think everyone agrees the company completely changed O'Soli has come to shut the doors. Seen this coming from a MILE away.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Why would you even sign such a document? I would have proudly signed with my wrong hand, someone elses name, and bid them adie, smiling! Or completey refused. What are they going to do fire you? Not. Hold back severance? Nope, that would be illegal!


Friday, March 27, 2009

I was one of the employees who made "THE LIST" of now former employees. I worked there for 24 years and they would not even answer my one question as to how I made it on "THE LIST". After parading me through the entire plant with a supervisor I've never even worked for, they put me in a room with a woman who I have never met, or even seen (I found out later they brought her in from Landerhaven because Rhonda couldn't handle everyone by herself, because there were so many of us) to read my little blue severance folder to me word-for-word, as if I couldn't read it myself. I was then told to sign a paper saying I would not talk about the company in a derogatory way or disclose my little blue severance package folder to anyone employed at Rockwell.

24 years of service....half of my life...and that's how they said goodbye.


Friday, March 27, 2009

There were approx 15 people from Cambridge office workers... The Raglin plant will be shut down by JULY... DP 16 moving to Richland by JUNE.. All people who were called back temp. were permanently laid off! Approx. 100 people, which bring the total of permanent job losses to over about 300 production employees now.

A lot more to come still.. All Production emplyees were given 8 weeks notice, and a kick in the teeth. But we must have compassion for all of our workers, so they walk them out the doors treating them like criminals and useless animals ready to be put down...


Friday, March 27, 2009

It was a sad day in Twinsburg Thursday and it will be a sad day today. We will lose about 130 production jobs. It was an awful way to let someone go; they walked them down the main aisles one at a time so everyone could see. Many people cried, it was just very emotional. I'm so sorry for all those that have lost their jobs Thursday and today. I hope God blesses them all.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

I dont know what the body count was in Cambridge the last couple of days, but I do know that it also extended to the Canadian sales offices. I personally know of 6 people that were escorted out. I was an employee for 15 years and can tell you the company I left was not the one I started with. Morale is in the toilet.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

What has happened at Twinsburg (sad day for Twinsburg)? Have their been more cuts in MKE? RC? Cambridge?


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sad day in Twinsburg, Ohio.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Well here we go, it was "mutual decision made by Milwakee executives and Canadian management" to shut down Dept 16... Come on, which Canadian manager thinks this is a good idea? I'm sure that there are a few people who would love to see you out in the parking lot, but make sure it's not in the laneway... if you stop there, you could get fired. Sorry, I am so mad today, I can't even think straight.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More Layoff in progress...

Lets Blame the economy.... get real! Yes the economy is terrible right now, and in markets where you have high market share you expect a big hit. But what about markets where share is poor? This is the time to go on the offensive and take share, instead the company is going down due to bad morale, weakening products, bad strategy and most importantly really bad Leadership. For a turnaround, Rockwell Senior execs must stop being so arrogant.

  • Integrated Architecture, the component pieces are falling way behind (like motion) or have never become integrated (like RSI and its disparate campus')
  • MPS, this is the growth engine, customers want a solutions approach as they have no skills themselves anymore in todays economy. And NO Rockwell, IA is not a solution, it is empty until someone puts some brains into it. MPS is the only way to paper over the gaps in the products! So embrace it, dont sell against it!
  • Leadership, it is about time senior leaders realised that Change is NOT good if it only goes back and forth, it must move a company forward. Also, change takes time - so stop waiting to see the impact in the next quarters results!
Patience, motivation, realism and a pragmatic approach is what is needed. Or even better - maybe a change at the top?!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cambridge Plant wiating for announcement on Dept 16 closing to move to Mexico. Stay tuned...


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Well,it sure looks like it's going to be an interesting week for the US sales folks.... The AGSM sales model looks like it's being abandoned, at least in some offices. More layoffs, sales managers becoming sales reps, and other casualties.

We're all just "dashboards" and "burden". I hope the last man/women standing has their Orion updated before they turn off the lights. We used to be great; we now just struggle to maintain some level of sanity.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Departure of 02 leading stalwarts & oldtimers of Rockwell in Asia... Where is the remaining herd headed?


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The layoffs have started again today.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Hey, who's you buddy... Let's just say I'm the "whistleblower". I'm glad it's fixed.


Friday, March 20, 2009

HOORAY! After 18 months, the tarp in Cambridge is finally fixed. Must have been money left over from all the Kaizen's. Or, maybe this weblog woke up someone?


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Is the Rockwell-Cambridge faciluty leased? The answer would be yes. The real question is who is the leasing company and what is stated on the lease agreement? Let's just say the two work within each other.


Saturday, March 14, 2009 - To the person on the Twinsburg post :

You forgot to mention the specialty trash cans that are used to catch the leaks because they don't have enough tarps to catch them. But hey, we have plenty of money to spend on:

  • The pretty colored tape they put on the floors and steps one day, then remove the exact thing the next day. Darn, we really needed that tape they put down in the tunnel last week in front of all of the lockers. Now that they've pulled it up, I don't know which way to go.
  • Removing all of the water fountains and bottled water and replacing them with high-end water filtration systems that come complete with hot water features that are not used. In other words, we have Cadillacs where a Volkswagen would do. Each of these systems can start around $2000.00 each and they are throughout the factory and office areas. Let us not forget these systems will require regular maintenance and filter changes. Hmmm... we could have purchased many more tarps with that money.
  • All of the pretty Christmas decorations in the front lobby; we paid an outside contractor to come in and put them up then take them down. Guess it was too expensive to have someone take out the decorations we already own; too expensive to let the people who would spend their own time after work to put it up.
  • Construct racking with people who should not have been doing the job. One was badly hurt when he fell though them. The project was put on hold for nearly a month until the "accident investigation" was complete. Last week they hired the proper outside contractor to do the job. How badly hurt was the person involved? Enough to warrant a trip to the hospital for stitches. How much money did we waste in time, energy, resources, etc? Plenty I betWe really could have used that money for extra jumbo tarps.
  • Last year they hired a facilities manager that we can thank for everything (and then some) mentioned above. I saw him standing on the roof last year taking pictures of the parking lot the day after new lines were painted down. He was probably checking to see if they were perfectly straight. It makes me furious that we had our hours cut, pay taken away and he not only continues collecting a full salary but can waste as much money as he wants.
If Rockwell is going to survive, it needs to make deep cuts in managerial and executive positions. Leave the rest of us alone. We are barely surviving to keep our families fed and bills paid, working a few days a week only. Mr. Facility manager, you need to go along with many others.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

On this note, I may as well jump on the wagon...

  • Cambridge facitlities washrooms - stink! (some employees are to blame for never learning how to flush!)
  • Cambridge Cafateria services - serve day old food as new! And the prices! One coffee for person X is 1.50 and on the other side person Y is 1.20. This cafeateria is a joke; at best and food prep is disgusting!
  • Cambridge Security - when I learn how to speak Indian I will comment.
  • Cambridge Plant - tyring to build a product that can literally only fit 8-10 structures on a floor safely, but yet any day has 20-35! This place screams safety and wants to fire people for the tiniest infraction, but yet managemnet turns a blind eye to obvious hazards, all for the sake of getting product out the door.
Rockwell is hypocritical, manipulative and this is downright bad business.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Anyone know if Rockwell owns the Twinsburg and Cambridge facilities? The reason I ask is that if the facilities are leased, the owners of the facilities would repair the leaks and cracks in the wall. I was just curious as I juat closed a leased warehouse and it was the norm for the owner to perform those kind of repairs. Internal facility maintenance was performed by the company leasing the building, but the external, structural integrity was the responsibility of the owner.


Saturday, March 14, 2009 - To the person from Cambridge who wrote about the tarp/funnel/trash can water trap:

You should see Twinsburg - there are several there that have been in place for years. Not to mention the places inside the facility where you can stand and see daylight through the cracks in the walls. But hey, you don't expect the big boys to give up their multi-million dollar bonuses just to fix a leaky roof do you?


Friday, March 13, 2009

I never wrote blogs here before, but find the need to discuss an issue with the Cambridge facility that is being ignored.

A recent employee got stopped a few weeks back by a customer that was touring the facility. The customer asked an employee what the large tarp hanging over an employees work area was. The employee replied that the roof has a leak there. So for the past 1 year and a half, there is a tarp with a funnel coming from it into a bucket. The customer notified the employee that the person giving the tour said it was a recent thing and is being fixed within the next few weeks. The employee stated that he didn't want to lie and said no, it has been there 1 year and a half. The customer (not being named) was not happy and said to the employee that he couldn't believe a company like like Rockwell Automation/ Allen Bradley, who pride themselves on quality, would allow that to remain for so long, hanging over the top of products. So management thinks this is not a big deal and wants names (to punish the employee). We at Cambridge take our job very seriously, and the employees feel that things like this can't be overlooked because the result is no oders from that customer, who then tells other customers, and so on.


Friday, March 13, 2009

After about 20 years in Rockwell I felt I had to leave the company, because the consolidated trend to hire new people from other companies while neglecting any career to the existing medium level employees, was simply UNACCEPTABLE. When I resigned, the Country Manager stammered out some words about a project with the intent to map the talents inside the company and make them grow. Now, after one year outside Rockwell Automation, I'm wondering if there's anybody able to tell me if this happened or is going to ?


Thursday, March 12, 2009

The problem with Rockwells profits isnt just the economy; sure its a major factor but this has been a long time coming. I have been with Rockwell for 15 years and here are my observations:

  • Historically and continuing poor leadership.
  • Discouragement of innovation.
  • Promotion of toadies, discouragement of outspoken individuals.
  • No accountability for decisions made by management or individuals.
  • No investment in technology. This company has the IT dept that picked OS2, Novell and lotus notes. Collaboration technology is almost nonexistent. Engineers struggle to be innovative in an environment with PCs that are four plus years old. Uses SAP to implement business process in a less effect manner than the process it is replacing.
  • Lack of incentives and positive encouragement.
  • Lack of effective partnerships with major technology players. Partnerships that exist are very thin and cheap veneers.
  • Acquisition of software companies made with no plans of integration with existing technology. Confused and virtually nonexistent go to market strategies.
  • Morale is ignored. Management have an attitude of youre lucky to have a job, so shut up!!
  • Good employees have given up. There is now a keep your head down mentality.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - latest Canadian Rockywell news:

Pay cuts are not far off. Nosbush has sent out a form asking for the top two to be chosen out of wage freezes, pay cuts, ESP cut for 1 year, etc.... What about the choice of you not getting over $5million in bonus?

I have no problems with a wage freeze at all, if the economy is that bad and ROCKY - well...sure! But, please do not just cut employee wages down to line your own pockets or to just keep them topped up.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I really feel for our Rockwell brothers in Canada and the UK. I now ask you to imagine if all the distributor network in your respective countries, are sacked virtually overnight, with no conpensation or reason. That is exacty what happened to your colleagues in Australia. These have been loyal Rockwell representatives, in some cases well over twenty years. Is this part of an experiment? Distributors worldwide beware! You will be next, regardless of how successful you have been. It will count for nothing, and most of all, your businesses will be rendered worthless overnight. Imagine your business without Rockwell. How would this affect you?


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

With reference to the posts made Monday, March 9 and the observations/experiences made in Canada, I couldnt agree more with their contents. The way Rockwell is described in prosecuting its "strategy" parallels very well with that currently being experienced in the UK.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

When there are times of plenty, let us remember how our masters treat us in times of famine . The whippings will continue until morale improves.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Unfortunately the last post is the correct one. Kind of like the ones that can't compete, so they cheat, and wonder why they lose all the marbles. Corruption breeds corruption. Jim has a post on how it happens. It's kind of like you tell a lie for so long you begin to believe it. Then if someone disagrees with you, you "eliminate" them. I not sure, but I think that's pretty much how the Mafia operates. It is a shame because at one time this company was respected. What baffles me though is how they refuse to see that they are the source of their own trouble.


Monday, March 9, 2009 - Posted Feb 27 "Managers are left to do as they see fit. Giving blanket verbal warnings to entire groups. Written warnings are a regular occurrence based on the managers hearsay."

This is happening for a reason; your severance pay is not only based on your years service, but on your performace while with the company. The impact of pensions also comes into play, so releasing people before they can draw full pensions in in the best interest of the company financials (the payout is logarithmic, most of the gains are made in the last 5-10 years). Not to mention the savings to the company with not having to pay benefits. Look at the number of senior people released in the Cambridge facility in the last round of "corrections". A lot of good people, and not trouble makers, but solid employee's who were dedicated to Rockwell. Many of them had the bad fortune of 20+ years and not quite at the magic pension number. Hmm, nope, don't smell any foul play here! Canadian law is also weak in this area - you can't get more than 2 years severance, the precedent has been set, and no judge will challenge it; easier just to brush it under the carpet. The company is fully aware of this, and use it to their advantage.

The HR in Cambridge is shameless in the way they treat people, makes me wonder how they can sleep at night. I suppose they can justify it by telling themselves it's the company directive, but at the end of the day it is wrong, and you can't hide from that. Wait until their children have to work under this opressive regime mentality, then they may sing a different tune. Oh, the injustice! Just remember, you had a chance to make a difference, but you chose the easy route and protected yourself at the cost of others. You are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Cowards.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

When a company produces the best products and services, ego is known as pride. When quality of product and service slips, ego is known as arrogance.


Friday, March 6, 2009

It is easy to say to those who are there that "if you dont like it get out." Let us not forget that most people have mortgages to pay and families to feed. Only the very brave would quit in these uncertain times. Sadly though, the writing is on the wall. Rockwell were struggling to grow enough organically before the current crisis. Clearly the competition is in the same boat. But you cannot use this excuse to satisfy the shareholders. Over time, the quality of the products and services will drop below acceptable levels and the bigger guys like ABB and Siemens will get half a chance to switch-sell - that's all they need. Until the man at the top goes, nothing is gonna change.


Friday, March 6, 2009

How about senior managment implementing job-sharing for director level, up to the top. Each senior manager would share a job and get half the salary. We have so many directors and VP's that there wouldn't be a shortage.


Friday, March 6, 2009

In Australia, market share shrinkage is inevitable. Rockwell's change of distribution model has left a very jaded customer base to look at alternatives. We are seeing long standing traditional Rockwell sites being converted to traditionally unsuccessfully competitive brands.(Siemens,Schnider,Omron,ABB). Worst of all, we are being told that the alternatives they are looking at are actually better products in both quality and value for money. Together with this, the news on the street is that the new distributor (NHP) is not anywhere near ready to take over the distributorship wholely and solely, with the handover date being postponed for another few months. Also customers are confused as they are getting reps from the same company (NHP) trying to sell them both Rockwell and Sprecher & Schur switchgear,along with a myriad of other conflincting products.

What a mess and what a shame.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Yes, I agree. A period of acquisitions, then spin-off's. Never made sense to me.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hasn't shrinkage been Rockwell's strategy all along? Supposedly there are huge tax breaks to be had for spinoffs, but the benefits can only be claimed for two years. Have you noticed that Rockwell's spinoffs have occurred almost exactly every two years, going all the way back to Boeing many years ago? Now that they've become good at that but there's nothing left to spin, the only remaining option is to implode, and call it "lean".

Sure, there's been a smattering of tiny acquisitions, but not one of them has been successful enough to call it a working growth plan.

And yes, it's true that working at Rockwell/AB used to be tremendously fun, and it's true that there are some very high caliber people still working there (with golden handcuffs), but in recent years that's changed. When 90% of your time is spent rehashing previous discussions about how to be even more lean, it's time to go. I don't miss it.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Exactly. When your focus is on share price, it's kind of like a dog that focuses on it's tail and wonders why it keeps going backwards. Share price is a by-product of real world performance. You can't grow your company by continuously shrinking it so that it "appears" to be doing better than it is. That's a card trick, not wise management.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Look around your senior management today. They are mostly from Allen-Bradley not Rockwell. Current management is all about maximizing their share price to line their own pockets. Watch the next month or so; if sales doesn't improve, then start saying goodbye to your friends, as you may be next person out the door.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009 - from Brian D. Sorcic [bsorcic@wi.rr.com]:

I worked for Allen Bradley for 35 years. The last 5 years under "Rockwell Automation" were the worse years of my life. Rockwell SUCKS big time and all these blogs are so very true. Nothing is good about working for Rockwell. Allen Bradley was a wonderful place to work. They were a honest hard working group way back then. These days it's a terrible place to be spending your days working.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009 Dominic Molloy didn't go anywhere! Some fool added the "Dominic Molloy" comment to the general announcement.

Editor's note: Molloy sentence deleted from Tuesday, March 3 announcement.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

So what did Dominic Mollloy do wrong? Many of us thought that he was the best for a long time. Hard act to follow in my opinion


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This reorg (further one) seems to me as a sensitive one, finally. I hope it will be an enduring one.

I left RA about 1 year ago, but I'm still an RA "fan" because of the friends I've left there, people which is working, and they are not managers, they're medium sized in the org-charts, but high professionals


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Regardless of this uncertain economic climate, there are several areas that we must continue to focus on our strategy and our customers. Our strategy remains unchanged and its critical that we continue to execute the strategy. To help us serve our customers more effectively, we must simplify our organization structure in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), which began last year with the realignment of the four regions into three.

To this end, the Leadership Team and I have worked closely over the past month to develop an organization structure that will give us the best possible advantage for success.

We will streamline our three regions into two regions North and South. Additionally, we will organize around one segment OEM combined with verticals.

The Southern Region will consist of Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Africa and the Middle East and will be led by Urs Marti, regional sales director. Urs will be responsible for focusing on organic growth while building and expanding our presence in Africa and The Middle Easts emerging markets.

The Northern Region will consist of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Eastern Europe. This region will be led by Thomas Donato, regional sales director. Thomas business experience in both the Product & Solutions business will be a great asset to this region. Terry Gebert, vice president and general manager, Systems and Solutions Business, is in the process of identifying a successor to Thomas role.

The combined OEM and vertical market segment will be led by Boe Boesen, director, OEM and Verticals. Aligning the OEM organization with our vertical end user customer base is a key component for our future growth. Boes background in verticals and OEM will help us deliver strong results while optimizing gaps and existing overlaps.

Please join me in wishing all of the above success in their new assignments.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009 - To the previous blogger who wrote: "I'll just deal with it".

You obviously have not been a victim by decisions made by Rockwell which affected hundreds of jobs. You haven't been a victim of Rockwell's greedy ambitions, of not being satisfied with a 50-55% market share. You haven't yourself had to retrench hardworking, efficient, loyal people for no fault of their own. You are obviously not in the position of business owners (Distributors) where they are at risk of losing everything they own, and having to pay retrenchmant packages out of their hard earned savings.

You "just deal with it" and I hope you can sleep well at night while hundreds of LOYAL Rockwell employees are now looking for jobs elsewhere.


Monday, March 2, 2009

The "I will just deal with it" blogger must either be very safe & confident in his role, or just foolhardy. (Not sure which.) Carry on dealing with it, but do remember to stop and think occasionally - or perhaps by then it might be just too late.


Monday, March 2, 2009 - Re: previous weblog - "Me, I'll just deal with it."

Boy do I agree with you!


Sunday, March 1, 2009

I do not see it mentioned anywhere in these weblogs, that the entire global economy has dropped 20% to 30%. I am sure we may see 40% before 2009 is out. If no one is buying products, there is no need to automate a plant that has no end-users.

Rockwell is trying to stay afloat in uncharted waters. I do not care much if we make products in Canada, or we make them in China. At 45, I do not want to look for a new job in a depressed market with climbing unemployment. If all of you are so angry at Milwaukee, stop cashing the paychecks and just go! Me, I will just deal with it!


Friday, February 27, 2009 - Ref: "What nonsense is being allowed on this weblog! Are people just trying to tarnish Rockwell?":

I do not work for a distributor, either an existing one, nor NHP. But I will tell you the word within the automation industry here. Firstly, we are hearing that Rockwell is furious with NHP over the large drop in sales since November; we have all heard about the emergency meetings between the two companies. I heard it from my NHP rep (who is not at all interested in Rockwell products, he is focusing on the other brands they sell currently).

So to the "what-nonsense" poster: Please don't make out that only the old distributors are posting on here. Rockwell is doing massive amounts of damage to their name within Australia. Personally, I find the products to be excellent, but this excellence is being offset by supply and product support.

I find this blog most interesting. Rockwell seem to be having issues around the world. Hopefully this is not the case, because before long it will creep into the products themselves. As a consumer, I am concerned.


Friday, February 27, 2009 - Re: The Cambridge, Ontario weblog:

That was a terriffic post... I simply could not have conveyed that in a better manner myself. How true it is that the management from top to bottom in this establishment are ....

All I can say about Rockwell Cambridge is: How in the hell, does a multi-billion dollar corporation who are leaders in "automation" contiunue to work in a 1970's enviromnent, with penny-ante, home made workarounds? Every day I see people wrestling with the same problems over and over, when there are plenty of in-expensve fixes in the market that are truly viable, cost-effective and efficient.

How does this happen? What about the blackbelts?


Friday, February 27, 2009

Rockwell Automation AB Cambridge, Ontario - what can I say ... wow. The way this plant is run is just atrocious. The ring leader of the facility has single handedly destroyed the morale and created such contempt and bitter hatred towards management that its just a matter of time before someone goes ballistic.

Managers are left to do as they see fit. Giving blanket verbal warnings to entire groups. Written warnings are a regular occurrence based on the managers hearsay. Favoritism, workplace violence and abuse of power run rampant, and straight faced lying will get you a promotion.

The increase of yes men and rats fuels the manager's smugness as he tries to turn us into slaves. Here's an idea: let's cut the workforce by about 250 people (this is in the database as a cost savings by the way), cut overtime and anticipate the same or more output. Hmmm yes, that should work. Even better, lets all work for free... Oh wait, I guess some of us are. "Cutting cost" and "Root cause analysis" is the name of the game, and lets throw in a couple "critical" things, just to make it sound more important than it really is.

Don't fret though; the Black Belts are here to save us, making it all look good on paper. Pretending that you had some input on the matter, all the while implementing management's agendas, but making you feel like you're part of some miracle cure.

One by one management minions move into A.B. infecting it like some kind of plague. Jostling and stabbing each other in the back, trying to get closer to the master. While the corporate heads cut benefits, cut wages, and cut jobs, all in the name of "saving the company".

H.R. is in bed with management, demanding we respect the ones that would try to hurt us, and favoring management by leaving all decisions to the manager's discretion. Don't open your mouth to stand up for yourself, or you may find yourself in the black book. Consistency has been replaced with chaos, and deception is a tool needed to progress.

The workforce up front and on the floor must look like a bunch of mindless sheep being beaten down, broken, and picked off from time to time. Bullying and fear tactics are used, because being respectful is unacceptable when dealing with the simple-minded floor worker. The smell of corporate arrogance looms.

I hope you're happy at what you have accomplished. I'm sure Mr. Corporate USA who's paid $ 5 million a year is watching. Maybe in a year or so he will have a spot for you in Mexico.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

What nonsense is being allowed on this weblog! The previous blog says "unconfirmed reports " - they may as well be talking about flying saucers. Are people just trying to tarnish Rockwell? The Australia comments have all been aired here on the blog, mostly from disgruntled distributors. The new model is working as declared by some customers. Sales are up more than any previous year before or after the crisis. So maybe its time to rejoice that at least one geography in the world is responding, voting and executing!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Unconfirmed reports that since Rockwell has changed the distribution model in Australia and New Zealand, sales have dropped by 50%. This is even before the global financial crisis has hit out shores. No wonder that people are getting retrenched in Rockwell plants.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Who should run UK for Rockwell? They have tried enough - is no one good enough? And how is the new guy in Europe doing?


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Can someone please explain to me why Rockwell is laying hundreds off, when we are actually BUSY at the plants!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I saw some presentations about PlantPax as the Rockwell DCS offering. Are they able to configure and Programm PLCs in a distributed way like DCS?


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Carter is starting to leave his mark on the software side, sending many of Roach's lieutenants away.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dominic Molloy's message is quite simple really. Get with the sales discipline programme or find another job. It's no longer about quality visits, but quantity.

We really are expected to behave like door to door salesman. Hang on a second, isn't that exactly what we hate about Routeco, who usually make quick sales and miss out on bigger opportunities. Perhaps Dominic should go work for Routeco, seeing as he's in their pocket anyway.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I didn't think Dominic's "rallying cry" was too bad; in fact at least he took the initiative to try and rally the troops in difficult times. The worrying thing for me however is the paragraph, "Disciplined Sales Process! High quality customer visits , an aggressive call rate regime , opportunity funnel growth , forecast accuracy , these are the basic building blocks of a professional customer focussed organisation."

I thought customer focused organisations ensured that their whole ethos, cluture and resultant processes were built and subsequently revolved around their customers? "Agressive call rate regimes" and "Disciplined sales processes" are the sort of activities pursued by door to door double glazing sales teams.

RA sales teams were once the envy of the industry but with PLCs, Drives etc becoming commodities they are struggling and resorting to "double glazing salesmen" approach.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I agree entirely, Troy, and Zaid down here seem very similar. We will just have to accept it, cannot see it getting any better. Perhaps we should all move to France and get French contracts - you know what I mean, harder to get rid of!


Monday, February 23, 2009

I know one way you guys could save some money. Quit trying to threaten and intimidat the whistleblower, that's got to be expensive, and not too bright either. Your looking more like The Simpsons every day, and it doesn't help your "image". However it may explain why you have the reputation you do. Sorry I can't post anything good, I guess it's all about "defending" your self, right? Good Luck.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Mr Molloy. Ah bless him. He's doing as he's told. All of his messages are second hand from the US via Brussels. After all, he needs to keep his bosses happy in order to keep his job, and if that means sending out propaganda e-mails about how great company performance is then so be it. Everyone knows that he doesn't actually have any authority, and the only chance he gets to flex his muscles is when he has to help make decisions on who to make redundant. Yet another highly paid puppet just doing his job. In fact if you look closely you can see the strings. Come on Rockwell, let's have a UK boss who will stand up for us rather than just carry out orders.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Mr. Molloy, former PLS Manager, how can you think to "mix up" people's idea just with such goodwilling messages? Most of the recent claims in this blog have to do with a total lack of mapping talents plan/s.......go ahead like this, keep losing talents..... I think and hope that results will be there to be checked, crystal clear, when the market will re-start (we all here are crossing fingers hoping that this will happen very shortly.)


Friday, February 20, 2009

"Plantpax".... Hmmmm. looks like a pig, smells like a pig. Nice shade of lipstick. Who is buying the existing MES and surrounding products? Time to cut the losses on software as senior leadership will never do what it takes to make it flourish. They had a chance when the market demand for efficiency was there. They missed the window by 3-5 years.


Friday, February 20, 2009

"PlantPax" = same stuff, different name. Lots of money spent on marketing and branding, not a lot on product and component integration, since FactoryTalk is more a vision than a reality. This is what happens when companies acquire and try to bolt together a bunch of disparate stuff.


Friday, February 20, 2009

We have just come through what was a very tough Q1 in that the organisation went through a lot of change. We had to unfortunately let some of our workforce go as a result of the economic slowdown ,we had to move to a new segmented sales model , and we implemented a major change to our CRM package. On top of this we have had to cope with what is certainly one of the most toughest economic environments any of us has experienced. All of these factors contribute to a loss of focus as people adapt to the change and work through the implications of our changing environment.

Despite all of this our performance though not on plan was reasonable. Our CPS business has continued to be strong and is 2.1% up on AOP and an impressive 25% up on prior Q1. This has been driven by strong performance in DSY , ESB and CSM . ASW has not fared so well and we are down on plan a few points and down a similar level on our prior year. Our task for Q2 and the balance of the year is to continue the good work in CPS and start to recover our ASW loss and get back to plan.

Q2 and the remainder of the year is now all about EXECUTION. Everyone now should be crystal clear on what is expected of them. In a tough economy whilst we can not control the market growth we can control how we perform and through a vigorous implementation of our Disciplined Sales Process we should be able to protect , and grow where possible , our existing Z2 customers and we should be aggressively acquiring customers off of the competition in the Z3 space.

The message remains the same as in previous months. In our current work environment we are all under a lot of pressure to perform and to deliver against our commitments. Its interesting to note though that when you put people under pressure, they usually respond by turning to their strengths! Not surprising really as its human nature, when in difficult situations you do what you do best and what comes naturally, stick with well developed habits and practices that allow you to really shine. We must keep executing against our Disciplined Sales Process! High quality customer visits , an aggressive call rate regime , opportunity funnel growth , forecast accuracy , these are the basic building blocks of a professional customer focussed organisation , and are activities we need to be world class at.

We need to be willing to bend, to adjust and to adapt, because a rapidly changing world will demand that we all acquire new competencies. We all have a part to play in keeping our culture alive and vibrant. We need to personalise the battle don't let our competitors take our orders or our customers....let's ensure we take theirs!!!

And in essence what this all comes down to is ATTITUDE. If we have the right attitude we will always be successful, we will accept and embrace change, we will continue to innovate and implement and we will continue to deliver and exceed the results and achievements that we know we are capable of.

Whilst the journey we face is challenging I am fully confident that with the people we have in our organisation we will be successful and will be a much stronger organisation as a result of the obstacles we will have to overcome. Together we will develop an organisation that consistently delivers world class solutions to our customers, helping them to be more successful and achieve their business goals. In doing so we will create an organisation that is recognised as the UKs premier in the markets we serve and one which will be the envy of our peers.

Regards:
Dominic Molloy


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What do you think about the "new" Plantpax? Is it another marketing game just taking older stuff and changing to new names?


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rockwell is lucky to have me, him, her, them, and a lot of other people. For the stuff we put up with - un-safe work practices, favoritism, and plain dis-regard for their own company policies - I said it once, I will say it again: There are lots of Rockwell's in the world and only 1 Me! Rockwell should stop degrading people like they have no value!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How many people were let go during the last rounds of cuts in Feb.? They are doing this very quietly and with very little press.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

For the person asking about Rockwell. I can speak only for the manufacturing sector, but here goes. Rockwell is a great place to work, the money is good but the hours are long. There are good intentions for process improvements and the like, but the expectations are high and the budgets are low. I suppose this sounds a bit negative, but I would imagine that this similarity is shared across a great many companies worldwide. Morale could definitely be improved by implementing some top-down cuts in pay, bonuses and other perks, rather than just at the lower levels. Additionally, you continue to see various folks that get promoted to VP, and I doubt that these promotions come without significant pay increases. On the flip side, the people in the facility where I work give their heart and soul to the company (as a whole), but are likely just a couple of transfers away from being out-sourced. C'est la Vie, what can you do but keep pushing, scratching and hoping for the best, after all Rockwell does not determine my place in this world, that is up to me. Bottom line - it's bad everywhere. Be thankful for what you have - while you have it.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Very active blogs are Invensys, Honeywell and Rockwell. Reason?

The comments are often identical or can be applied for other companies. The Invensys blog from Wednesday, February 11, 2009 "... If someone reports what's really going on, he's called a moaner and is put on the deathlist." is also valid for Rockwell.


That's why we lost too many excellent people and lots of valuable expertise in the last 4 to 5 years. Senior managers in EMEA are champions in self-profiling, "Excel-sheeting" and over-administration. They don't really care about customers (except that they are keen on getting their money), nor do they care about employees as individuals (how could they do so with "zero social competence"). The poor numbers that we see actually are excused as a result of economic downturn and glossed over by exchange rates, but they are more likely a result of wasting money in the past for creating unproductive overhead, pathologic travelling, countless meetings, recruiting of replacements for "outplaced" people and not investing in strengthening our market position. ..." Monday, February 16, 2009

To the person who wrote a few days ago asking if he should consider working for RA at some point in the future, my response would be a definite NO whilst the current management is in place. I worked as an Account Manager for RA in the UK for a couple of years, and left nearly 3 years ago. During my tenure, I very quickly learned that RA Management is very 'hire-and-fire' even when times are good- heaven only knows what it must be like there now. A great many capable people came and went whilst I was working there; most of them including myself left for better things. I can honestly say that my two years there were the worst in my entire 25 year sales career; a classic example of poor mangement being continually propped up by a top flight sales force.


Monday, February 16, 2009 - Re: "R-A Canada to move production to Mexico".

Not sure where this info. is coming from. I just spoke with someone with a senior position at this facility and they are indicating that is not true. Can you say where you got this info?


Sunday, February 15, 2009

What will happen with the A-C production after October 2009? What about the LV product lines in the US?


Sunday, February 15, 2009 - NEWSFLASH!

R-A Canada has just announced they will be moving all LV products to Mexico along with MV to The Mexican plant by the end of July, 2009. Canada will still be in production with the new A-C units, until Oct 2009.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Just an observation. I am in the automation business, engineering and solution sales. I was steered to this web blog to obtain a feel on the "big boys", so have looked at all the company blogs. It seems to me that there is an awful lot of negativity on the Rockwell blog, certainly more here than any of the others by far. So, what message does this give? Is Rockwell really that bad a place to work? Should I stay away from this company as a career choice?


Saturday, February 14, 2009 - Refering to the blog entry below about the posters getting the information correct as to the situation in Australia:

Most of the comments posted in this weblog are common knowledge within the electrical community in Australia. Anyone that deals with NHP has been told of the happenings by the NHP sales reps; my NHP sales rep actively promotes competing brands over the Rockwell ones they sell. As a customer, the entire situation confuses the hell out of me. If the intention of Rockwell was to confuse customers, it has been an outstanding success. For me, I am just beginning to appreciated Schniders products.


Friday, February 13, 2009

If only the contributors about the Australian situation would get their facts correct, it would add to a better debate. Publicly available data (in Australia) would validate that NHP have had a long standing relationship with Rockwell and have been selling a key Rockwell brand for many years, of which they are market leader. Secondly, both of Rockwells new partners are well respected brands in their own right and have performed impressively over many years. The old Distributors' growth rates have never matched.

What a combination INACO/NHP and Rockwell. They will be a major moving force in driving up service levels and expanding the market to the benefit of manufacturers in their territory. No distributor who can perform needs to worry about being part of the Rockwell family. Their distribution strategy globally remains a key differentiation from their competitors.


Friday, February 13, 2009

New head of the Rockwell Software div, Ralph Carter, sent this out...

    "First quarter results for the Rockwell Software ESS plan have been calculated and approved. The payout for Q1 FY2009 was 15%, which you will see reflected in your pay on Friday, February 13. Several factors contributed to this strong performance, including first quarter sales at 106% of plan, reduction of operating expenses, and meeting the ESS objectives that were established for Q1. Congratulations and thank you for delivering on our Rockwell Software plan.

    "While we were able to meet our Q1 ESS performance metrics, this is not reflective of the current economic challenges faced across Rockwell Automation. As Keith Nosbusch discussed in his quarterly message to employees, the economy continues to decline and the global economic recession continues to put pressure on our business. We anticipate 2009 will continue to be challenging for our entire organization. During uncertain economic times such as these, it's important to have common objectives across the business to support Rockwell Automation.

    "To support that goal, changes have been made to how the FY2009 ESS plan will be administered for the balance of FY09. Consistent with all other Rockwell Automation bonus plans, the FY2009 ESS plan now has a minimum performance threshold for the corporation, as determined by Keith Nosbusch."


Friday, February 13, 2009

And how does it happen that a company which competed against Rockwell for the last twenty years (NHP), is allowed to steal the good hard work of the founding distributors, with not one cent exchanging hands, and then going on to represent Rockwell while being the major distributor for competing brands?

The founding member distributors were not allowed to sell any conflicting products to the point where contracts stating such were imposed. I am sure that justice will be served eventually, but unfortunately hundreds of lives have been affected; and worse still, I don't think the Rockwell brand will recover from this in our part of the world (Australia). Are we just a test case for the rest of the world? Rockwell distributors beware.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

So it seems that Rockwell can find the (paper) money to buy a System Integrator, but can't find enough real money to pay staff to manufacture (or purchase) goods to clear our backorders within a reasonable period of time. The writing must surely be on the (Rock)wall for Rockwell's continuance as a quality supplier to industry.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

I see Rockwell has purchased Canada's Rutter Hinz, a 200+ engineering and systems integration firm with offices in USA and Canada. It will be renamed Hinz (a division of Rockwell Automation). This should really screw up Rockwell's relationship with other integrators. For years Rockwell have claimed they were not going to compete with integrators; now it least they are out in the open and the gloves can come off.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Another day another batch of news. Latest to surface from the Rockwell files is NHP has been given 18 months to shed their existing range of competing brands. Seems NHP will end up being a Rockwell puppet (if they aren't already). How industry reacts to this, who knows. I would guess industry will simply start buying these brands from distributors that take up the dropped baton.

As a previous blogger reported, Rockwell have created a situation where suppliers are chaffing at the bit to align themselves with the outgoing AB distributors, knowing there is a ready-made channel to market via agressive, well structured businesses. You would be foolish to think Rockwell will come out of this unscathed, given that the Rockwell Asia-Pacific President has apparently given his blessing for the old distributors to start selling alternative brands. It is clear to me that the outgoing AB distributors built the installed-base basically from scratch. They can do it again. But this time we will see non-Rockwell brands emerging as industry leaders.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

To naive worker Bee. Most of the posts here are factual and usually after the company posts unbelieveable factoids like paying the chairman $5M in bonus and obscene stock grants after reporting plunging profit and revenue for the recent past and forseeable future. All this while giving the investment community no plan for a way out of this except for the tried and true...continued cost cutting is the forseeable plan.

Keep your head in the sand and don't read the transcripts from the investor calls and don't look at the 10k telling how much all of the 'upper echelon' is making for driving the mother ship into the bank like the Exxon Valdez. This must be why you are still around. You don't know what is really going on and cannot give your opinion. Two sure fire ways for you to keep your job.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm thinking that this blog is for "naysayers only"? This weblog is an interesting read, but negative 99% of the time. I'm very sorry to read that our business has affected so many people and will continue to do so. Welcome to the world of employment (and unemployment) right now.

In the meantime, however, before we slam the upper echelon any further, let's do more homework. Anytime I hear "this and that" about upper managment, and any benefits they're receiving, I dig into it as much as I can find on the Internet anyway, to usually find that the rumor mill isn't accurate.

NOTE: I am not a manager, just a worker bee. I realize that I'm not in the field per se and may not see what those worker bees do. For those that are, please continue to provide data to substantiate the remarks about what's happening within the business that is causing our distributors to turn against RA, etc. Facts help, speculation causes more issues.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A friend of mine pointed me to this blog a couple of weeks back. Sorry to hear of Twinsburg, Cambridge, and Richland Center cutbacks. My company has permanently closed 8 facilities in the last few months. The rest are on short hours. Good luck! Hang tough!


Monday, February 9, 2009

Well, today we walked into work at Twinsburg with lights mostly out in the first building. My area and many more working only 2 days this week. Hope the rumors going around today aren't true. First one is a layoff now for the people on the floor (MA's) for those that have been here 5 years or less (no clue how many people they are thinking). Second one is the plant will be closed for up to 2 months. Now, obviously, this is just rumor. However, rumors in our plant seem to usually be pretty on the mark. These rumors came from people up in the office area, so, who knows what to think.

Knowing that other companies have shut down their factories already for a month or more makes that seem very possible. Don't know how they would shut down completely though, since we have special orders. Maybe that's why they are making sure our supervisors know how to do our jobs.

Most of us think we will go to one shift and layoffs would probably be minimal then. More restructuring will most likely happen no matter what.


Monday, February 9, 2009 - from the author of "The Rockwell Blues":

The poem may not be great, and was written in my own unpaid time - like so much of my work that has to be done due to lack of resourses and company incompetence. It was a way of letting off steam, which everyone needs to do sometimes. The truth obviously hit home.

I really hope that when those at the bottom (us) have been 'cost cutted', the higher management realise the mistakes they've made and then review the higher levels where the dead wood is a much higher cost. What round that will be we will never know.

Our submarine commander needs to go, and put the person who should have took the position at the helm. Then and only then will there be a sense of confidence that there is a future. The HR head needs to loose the formal attitude and understand he is dealing with real people and not dead resources (a la furniture).


Monday, February 9, 2009

"Our employees are doing an outstanding job"!? Well thats a whole lot more than Keith Nosbusch is doing! Why is he receiving a $5million bonus for reporting results like those whilst the "employees" are being shown the door? The protectionist greed being demonstrated by those at the top is outstanding in its audacity!


Sunday, February 8, 2009 - Rockwell Automation Reports First Quarter 2009 Results:

MILWAUKEE - Feb. 2, 2009 (Press release - only extracts here)

Organic sales down 5%; total sales including currency down 11%. Diluted EPS from continuing operations of $0.81. Revised fiscal 2009 guidance reflects deteriorating market conditions

Commenting on the results, Keith D. Nosbusch, chairman and chief executive officer said, "After a very solid October, we experienced a severe decline in customer demand during the second half of the quarter. Deteriorating economic, financial and credit market conditions affected all regions and most industries, aggravated by an unusual number of customer plant shutdowns. As a result, our performance in the first quarter was below our previous expectations."

Commenting on the outlook, Nosbusch added, "We expect the market environment in 2009 to be extremely difficult. The global recession has grown deeper and wider than we originally anticipated. Key economic indicators and projections continue to weaken and we are seeing a significant deceleration in customer demand. Given the abrupt fall off in sales volume and increasing uncertainty, we are preparing for a revenue decline between 12 and 17 % in fiscal 2009. Based on this outlook and the savings related to cost reduction actions, we are revising our fiscal 2009 earnings guidance downward.

"We are executing the previously announced restructuring actions and are realizing the planned benefits. Given the current environment, we will continue to reduce costs, balancing short-term financial performance with prospects for long-term growth.

"Our employees are doing an outstanding job navigating through these global market challenges and are committed to improving our customers experience and increasing our share. We are confident that we will emerge from this downturn more competitive than before."


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Here in Cambridge, ONT. we laid off 160 just over a week ago, but they decided to keep about 40 of the 160 on board on a temp basis? No, not by seniorty but by well - you know. I also can't believe we still have co-ops working in some areas. Guys at home laid off, with families, while a young kid doing the same job gets to stay. Is this whats it's all about? What do you mean Morale? Look at what's happening.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

I've been wstching this weblog for about a week since things have been a little grim at RA. It's too bad. I remember when I started 11 yrs. ago I loved to go to work/ It was a great place. In the last few years burnout from unforgiving overtime, a new sense of just being bodies and not people. It wasn't like that a few years ago. Now my fellow workers are on edge and somewhat angry. I can't work 2 or 3 days a week, I'll owe RA money! Too bad that it's not just RA that got greedy. All companies upper management have had the good life for too long now we all pay the price.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Unfortunately for Australia, things will go along the lines of the UK. Rockwell has turned an inpenetrable fortress (it's former distributors) into their fiercest opposition. The likes of ABB, Schnider, Omron and Siemens cannot believe that a ready made distributor network has been handed over ready to damage Rockwell's install base. Rockwell's greedy plans of doubling it's sales over 5 years will cost them bigtime.

Good luck NHP in trying to double the existing Rockwell install base, when you have the people that created this install base working against you.


Saturday, February 7, 2009 - RE: "The Rockwell Blues" poem (6 Feb. 2009) and the subsequent negative weblog response:

I agree this poem is no Edgar Allan Poe. However, as a vehicle to express anger, cynicism, humour and a degree of despondency, it delivers. So, full marks. For those to whom the poem may refer, then the truth may hurt. However, not as much I imagine it would if they themselves were hit by layoffs. Maybe they should take comfort while they can?


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Rockwell UK sales have seriously suffered in recent months. Over the last FY a careful programme of sales DISCIPLINE was put in place which increased sales figures. The current sales director has not enforced these and look what is happening. My personal opinion is that if you aren't visiting enough customers per week then you can't be generating enough sales and therefore should be fired. It's quite simple really.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

So I guess the question of the day is 'what are we walking into Tuesday since C shift only worked one day?' I find it odd that when we left Wednesday the thought was that all shifts for EA were working two days. Weekend shift was told dont come back till next weekend after only one day there. What kind of surprise awaits the rest of us when we go in on Tuesday? What else will change by then?


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Great poem. Not. How long did that take to write? No wonder you're next on the pile when you spend your day writing poems instead of working. And take it from me, when you do find yourself out of a job please don't decide to become a poet.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Unfortunately the time has come to do as suggested: Full time employees should take the places of all temporary workers regardless of where they are working in the Twinsburg facility. Then C-shift (weekend day shift ) needs to be shut down and the employees split up between A and B shifts. The only problem is there would be too many people on these 2 shifts and there would have to be a lay off in the production areas of the plant. This has to be done to save jobs and to give employees more hrs. We cannot continue on this current path. Just hope and pray that you are lucky enough to keep your job.


Friday, February 6, 2009 - "The Rockwell Blues":

    Ah well, it's time to get out,
    Before being kicked out.
    Working here is very poor,
    Knowing any time you could be shown the door.

    Rockwell used to be nice and fun,
    But that is all over and done.
    We do are best to keep up our chins,
    But we all know, we'll be kicked in the shins.

    The 'Tempest' head does not care,
    Who is here, or who is out there.
    He integrates here and integrates there,
    Then then he axes, but how its done is not fair.

    The workforce who still remain,
    Think to stay it's insane.
    So searching the jobsites as a whole,
    To get a new job and escape the hole.

    HR have all but a heart,
    Treat us like furniture from the start.
    UK HR Head, what a doyle,
    Our hope in support he does spoil.

    My mates have gone and already out there,
    Looking for jobs, their desks tidy and bare.
    But they have a head start on us,
    Getting on with life without the fuss.

    All who have gone seem to be very relieved,
    A better future from RA is believed.
    People who leave, don't look back,
    To the days they waited for the sack.

    I'd like to know what our customers think,
    Now closure or sell off is on the brink.
    With reduced manpower we cannot cope,
    With orders the management hope.

    With all here doom and gloom,
    Its time to close and go to hoom.
    Tomorrow will bring another day,
    And a brighter future we pray!

    The future is not very clear,
    Where will go my career?
    Perhaps I can become a CEO
    And get a big fat bonus, Ho, Ho Ho.


Friday, February 6, 2009

I am going to throw out there a bit of sarcasm for those in Twinsburg. Lets look at the bright side of things for a moment. We still have temps back in the remanufacturing area, while the rest of the full time staff takes cut hours and days. We are also still pouring lots of money into having smocks to have the appearance that things are OK, and we always have the beloved blackbelts to support us. What more could we ask for? Our jobs to stay in tact!

Although I support the efforts of our upper management in Twinsburg on their efforts to keep us working, I think they need to open their eyes a bit more. Its time to condense shifts; if I recall correctly, second shift still gets a shift premium and the weekend shift is using resources that could be conserved through the weekend. If shutting the plant down in the evenings for three nights a week saved $20k a month for utilities then what would shutting it down for four whole days a week save? Keep everyone else at three days a week, both shifts without premiums and save our jobs!


Thursday, February 5, 2009

I think Rockwell is already tumbling. We are now on 2-day work weeks from 3-days at the Twinsburg production plant. I think they are trying to break the employee's down, so we have no other choice but to take a voluntary layoff. Since we did not have enough taking the voluntary layoff, they moved to 2 days a week to break them down even more. Don't do us any favors -just do what you're going to do and get it over with already. People cannot make it on 2 days a week - unless you're in upper management. There seems to be a bottomless pit of money at the top. Hey Keith Nosbusch, what are you and your cronies willing to give up to save the company? Do we really need all these Presidents and V.P.'s and Supervisors and Blackbelts and... the list goes on. How about a response, Keith?


Thursday, February 5, 2009

With Keith just cutting his salary and bonus of his henchmen, it would help the bottom line, and layoffs would be non-existant or long delayed.

What makes David Madoff, and Keith different, or any other bank bail out CEO making millions? Either way they have both taken millions of $$ in exchange of many former employees and some very good people and their jobs. There has never been more of a multi-layered silo CULT (Organization) with managers that have titles longer than their shirt sleeve, that do NOTHING! RA market share has fallen off the dramatically for the last 5+ years and now they are wondering what to do; down economy/ big bonuses paid out/ layoffs/ market share loss/ customer dis-satisfaction/ higher price increases/ stock lowest anyone alive can remember/ SAP (Stop all process) issues/ Lack of regional and local leadership/ Commissions plan changed again, since the other plan did not work/ Can not make a dent into the European market or Austrialian market - just to mention a few issues. This company should just be sold off. It's a company that is badly runned from the top to the bottom, that has good products (At least the ones they do not brand label from other manufacturers)and many good people.

If your still employed in RA, run away if you can. The house of cards will tumble. Take off the rose color glasses, things are not pretty as they want you to think. Look around and see who is left.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009 - Re: the CEO's 20+mil $ renumeration:

Let's not forget the total package involved for the remaining board members during the same period - it's a massive amount - and all very disproportionate considering the President of the USA receives a modest $400K per annum. Go, Barack - you rock!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Keith D. Nosbusch, CEO, Rockwell Automation

    Total Compensation, $5.22 mil
    5-Year Compensation Total, $20.17 mil
Keith Nosbusch has been CEO of Rockwell Automation (ROK) for 4 years. Must be hard at the top; he deserves it! we should all shut up and tighten our belts. Those poor stock owners like Keith won't make as much money this year, as he owns only $6.9 mil of stock. Oh well maybe dollar-cost-averaging may work for him, poor guy.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Rockwell to sell/spin off Rockwell Software? Heard news that the non-HMI assets might be sold off or moved to a separate company, as it is a drag on earnings. Might be true since Pavillion and InCuity are already being run as separate units, pretty much. Anybody have any more info?


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Black Belts..hmmmmmm.... Well, I do know a fw of them and I must admit they are all intelligent in their own rights, have great suggestions and tools to implement change. Unfortunately, they do not have the power to make the changes or the financial strings to do so.

It is a little mind boggling that people off the street can come in and completey change a process and not even know anything about it. As for keeping them on, I have to agree with the latter. They are HIGHLY expensive at $80-100K a year each, which equates to an avg. of 3-4 hourly production people. You are right about savings on paper. I know a group of people that saved "X" amount of dollars on paper but in reality was a complete washover. But customers love the idea that LSS is involved and we all know we want our customers to be the happy ones, not the people making the money for the shareholders. (And $5,000,000 bonus's)


Monday, February 2, 2009

Not to worry the black belts are on the job and they will save us all. Too bad that corporate Rockwell is so blind to this group of do nothings. They save money on paper but we just spend more keeping them on. Ever wonder whay a Black Belt never works at one place for more tha a year or so?


Monday, February 2, 2009

Sydney drive systems absorbed by MPS. I don't think this is the end of Drive systems at all. They are combining the resources as far as I know. I also think they should combine CSM too. So there's one BIG pool of engineers and saves the in fighting and inter-co crap thats associated with using one depts resource to assist another. This can reduce management headcount and therefore costs.


Monday, February 2, 2009

    Oh Rockwell, lay me off today
    I just can't wait to go
    What I just need is severence pay
    How much I do not know

    I've never known a company
    That's quite as bad as this
    Our masters in the USA
    I really will not miss

    They train you well in ethics
    But just don't have a clue
    They just look after number one
    And **** the rest of you


Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Drive Systems group in Sydney is being absorbed by MPS and effectively killed off. There wont be many RA employees left in OZ. NHP will keep all the stock and product specialists, leaving only a few RA employees to consolidate the profits.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Total amount in Cambridge, ONT now 195. Also approximately 100 temp employees have already been let go before Christmas. Everyone is wondering when the next round will take place.


Saturday, January 31, 2009

160 layed off at the Cambridge, ON Plant. By seniority! Everyone in a particular dept. are staying on, most with less than a years seniority while a huge group with 2-3 x the seniorty are being laid off for an indefinite amount of time. They are building their hopes on a new drive for the Marine environment, but have yet to even deveop it fully, as it keeps failing, while it is due to hit the market in a few months. Good luck with that!


Friday, January 30, 2009

Not sure about layoffs,but I can tell you that the hours have been cut at the Twinsburg facility. Also people are being asked to take voluntary layoffs. Not to worry the black belts are on the job and they will save us all. Too bad that corporate Rockwell is so blind to this group of do nothings! Talk about waste, lets show them the door, now that would be a savings.

Looks like things are only going to get worse and there will be more to come at the end of the quarter. Nothing like looking over your shoulder and wondering if your boss is going to tap you on it and say, " Do you have a minute " Good luck all, hope things get better.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Tuesday this week, there was an emergency state of the plant meeting at Twinsburg announcing we were going to a 3 day work week effective immediately. Every Wednesday we are supposed to be updated as to how many days we will be working the following week. As of Wednesday, which was the next meeting, we were told we are only working 3 days next week also. Of course, that could always change to more or less days depending on the area we are working in.

They are also asking for volunteers to furlough anywhere from 3weeks to 2 months. Not sure how much longer most of us can handle this. Also, temps are gone for the time being. There might be very few that were able to stay on, but not sure. They said they did this in lieu of laying more people off. Trying to spread the "hurt" so it affects all of us instead of just a select few. Not sure that was the wise thing. Also, depending on how many volunteers they get for the furlough will determine how many days we work a week. If enough volunteer, we will go back to our normal operating days/times. Really don't know how many can afford to take the furlough. Starts with one week unpaid time and the next 2 weeks unemployment. After that, Family leave kicks in, at least that is what it sounded like. Correct me if I am wrong for those of you who know.

There are a select few who would love to be laid off permanently. Some older employees who have been there 20+ years keep waiting for them to do so, but nothing as of yet. Some say they should just retire, but they wouldn't get severance if they did that, so they are hanging in. We'll see how long this lasts, they keep saying projected forecast for March looks better. We'll see. This could go on all year!

January's sales they projected 33% more than what they actually did, so Feb projections they dropped to -45% to try to cover it. For now, we are having to use unpaid time for the days not worked or vacation time. They are allowing us to combine the two to try to stretch our vacation time a little further. However, plenty of employees only have 2 wks vacation to begin with, so that will go fast. Sick leave should be allowed to be used also since this is an emergency circumstance, but they aren't budging on that. Shows how little they really care about their employees. Way to go Rockwell....


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Where are the layoffs starting? US (Milwaukee/Mequon) or UK? As we know, there will be none in Australia.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Is it true that Rockwell Australia has retrenched or changed the Drive Systems group in Sydney?


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Well the layoffs have started again. Lead the HR dept on a chase, run as long as you can. For all those that remain, use this as a time to reflect on what you want to do, form an exit plan now!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If Rockwell Sales in Australia are up this will be the result of the work of the existing distributors. NHP haven't been active in the market long enough for anyone to guage the affects of their performance yet. Sales in this industry are a result of effort over a longer period than this.

You also need to remember that RA will be including the stock orders that NHP have placed when reporting sales. I understand these are quite high. RA have a habit of reporting orders not actual sales so you need to clear on what you are hearing. With the RA distribution model you will see the real picture when NHP start reordering stock.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Read Jim Pinto's 2 items in the latest issue of JimPinto.com eNews, 27 January 2009:


Monday, January 26, 2009

I read with interest the post about Rockwell Ausralia's revenues being on the up. It is common knowledge within the industry that the relationship between NHP and Rockwell is already becoming strained. I deal with both an Ex-rockwell distributor, and NHP, and it is becoming obvious to me that the level of technical knowledge between these is amazing; and this is going to seriously hurt RA sales even more than it is now.


Monday, January 26, 2009

I agree that the Austrailian Distributor below should go sell ABB or Emerson if they do not like the situation. Ohhhh, or give up that %$$ that you get for doing nothing....


Monday, January 26, 2009

I left RA just over four years ago, yet always read this blog and keep in touch with ex-colleagues. Why you may ask? The four years I spent there were simply the best! The Company seemed to encourage you to take responsibility and win, and wins were celebrated. The team spirit and morale were outstanding and I made many lifelong friends there.

So why leave? Simple. RA was losing that culture, the guys who inspired me had either left or were showing signs of being worn down by the system, and the management was turning into a bunch of "nodders" and "yes men". Reading these blogs reinforces the fact that RA has passionate employees who truly care, but a senior management team that are way out of their depth, and what's worse - out of touch.


Monday, January 26, 2009

I hear that Australian revenues are well up, and Rockwell is at last growing there with new leaders and new distributors. It's called 1-on-1 change for the better. Maybe the distributors who keeps contributing to this blog should concentrate on ensuring they gets their share of ABB revenue. Now they have to be good to win. There are many distributors like them around. And yes, everyone can win - even the distributors that can forge new paths with new principals.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Morale is very low, as rumors fly about layoffs on the day we announce earnings. News of bonuses for management doesn't help things either. They are already disappointed with no raises this year, probably none next year, and just hoping that you're not on the list to be escorted out.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

I saw a weblog here back in Oct., saying RA would cut 3% of its workforce. Anyone know how that has unraveled? How has that impacted sales staff? It's been kinda quiet in the press.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's a fair sentiment the previous blog has made. But, there are considerably more than a handful of dedicated individuals who have pulled out "all the stops" in the previous crises' (In my opinion, fabricated crises). Some resulting in burn out, loss of family, or worse.

Easy to say "more fool them"; but when you're over-worked, with everyone breathing down your neck - it happens. Of-course it will all come to an end. Do you think we are that stupid? But I didn't expect my contribution to result in redundancies and a $5m bonus pay out to Nosbusch.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wow, so much anger. Perhaps you guys should concentrate on your work rather than complain all the time.


Friday, January 23, 2009 (from Australia):

All I can say to Rockwell is "GOOD RIDDANCE". You have turned your best distributors into your fiercest competitors.

  • We know the market "YOU DON'T"
  • Customers are loyal to us not to "ROCKWELL"
  • You are not Sales people, We are.
  • We know your weaknesses, and we know how to exploit them.
Rockwell, you are fools if you think the distributors will die off and dissapear, on the contrary "They will flourish". We now have great partners that cannot believe how the door has been left wide open for them. For 20 years they could not get past us. I look forward to see you out in the field, We will bury you as you tried to bury us.

Warning to all Distributors and System Integrators world wide. You may be next. Be prepared.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Time to move on and find a new JOB, Rockwell will not be around forever as it continues to LIPO Suck out as much as possible, before it is sold.


Friday, January 23, 2009 - Re: the movie:

Methinks the poignancy made by the original contributor has passed this executive by. Just how pretentious can they be?


Friday, January 23, 2009

I quite like that movie :-) (Note: Several blogs report liking the movie).

One blogger asks, "Please tell me the cynicism of the post didn't fly over your head...please!"


Thursday, January 22, 2009 - RE: "We all worried now, we've just been told that 25% of our engineers go out here in Bletchley, UK."

I guess we'll know who are the 3 in the frame in the next 24hrs. Don't be suprised if they play the "glengarry glen ross" scene again to anyone of the team who might remain.

Click to watch this video: Scene from Glengarry Glen Ross Movie


Thursday, January 22, 2009 - Regarding the comment "They had a 60 base and 40% comission plan before and now have a 80/20% split".

Don't know where you are getting that from. The majority of the sales group is still on a 60/40 split with half of the 40 paid monthly and the other half quarterly. The breakdown for the 40 is 10 will be a gaurantee, 10 will be linked to the sales office you reside at, 10 will be a focus of that same sales office and the final 10 is completely subjective and as it is tied to goals you establish with your manager and who reviews whether you've met them on a quarterly basis. It's very confusing and again is taking mind share away from the sales group as they attempt to figure out how much they can expect to bring in on a monthly basis since that's how most people pay their bills.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In the light of Obama's inauration speech containing criticism toward the GREED of USA executives with their obscene bonuses and presumably supported by payouts to shareholders, isn't it time to put these FAT CATS in therir place. How about getting rid of Nosbush and hiring some one with purely a good salary expectation?


Monday, January 19, 2009

I don't know what it's like in other countries, but here in the UK we have a no-brained idiot in charge of the sales team, who thinks showing war movie clips will motivate us into selling more!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Well Rockwell has gone and done it again and changed their compensation package to the sales force once again. They had a 60 base and 40% comission plan before and now have a 80/20% split which is better. Reason being they have no back office to handle the Point of Sales reports like any other company. The real question is how long will they stay at a 80/20% compensation for the sale personnel. This will change again, it will be a horrible like it was last fiscal year. Time to find a job where the compensation package doesn't change as much the sales model does. Along with that personnel are being told the annual salary increase will be 0 - 2%, while the CEO got $5 million in bonus in December 2008. I understand its a down economy but this crazy everyone from the mailroom to the CEO should have a reduction not just indians that are surrounded by alot of chiefs.

Its time to sell off Rockwell. The end is near for the management, time for change, and change is good.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Amazing...more layoffs! Its funny how Rockwell so tries to rip off everything from Toyota, like the "RPS", "KAIZEN", etc. Why will they not follow this company, who have reported to say, "We look out for all of our team members and are cutting production days, not jobs!"

Yet Rockwell has decided to send a message to all employees to keep up the good spirits and take pride in your job and get back to the old when it used to be good... Not only do they admit the morale is terrible and they have ruined it, but yet once again leave the employees to the daunting task of picking up the peices, making them millions and yet not even get a pat on the back, but yet a comment, "you should be all thankfull you still have jobs, and work for such a good company. There are lots of jobs out there, so take one of those."


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rockwell is just doing the right thing by entering into the Process domain.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Layoffs in Mexico? Don't worry, things will pick up when Cambridge moves there.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

How about laying off Nosbusch thats at least a $5 million + savings a year. Now thats a novel idea!


Friday, January 16, 2009

Layoffs in Tecate for the last few weeks and layoffs of 20 people in Richland Center today and more slated for later this month.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Well here we go again. We all worried now, we've just been told that 25% of our engineers to go out here at RA in Bletchley, UK. Quality cut, Project Management cut, Sales Cut, now engineering being cut - great timing, just after Christmas, but then there are those who would say no time is a good time.

10-12% Huh? UK taking the brunt again! We will not have the capacity to cope if work picks up, but I suppose we can always bring the expensive contractors back!

Maybe they not planning to build business us up again, happier to keep it small and not take on the big projects - too risky? What is their idea, build us up and then chop us down again? In someways I hope I'm one of those to go; it'll give me the push to move on to better things. Can't be much worse that working here.

PS: I think someone has got mixed up stating Keith Nosbush is a renowned hate figure, surely they mean Troy Stewart, the hatchet man in charge of the UK now?


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Get ready for another round of layoffs and reorgs for another tax write off. Why do they call it a one-time write off, when they do it all the time? If you can't increase the numerator, you need to take some more "one time write offs".


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rockwell can't "spin off" Weidmuller. It's a complicated relationship that doesn't allow for this to happen. Sprecher and Schu on the other hand is completely at Rockwells mercy!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Do not be surprised to see an Invensys/Rockwell merger in 2009. Whether it will be at a premium to current share prices is questionable, but it is an attractive deal for both parties. You heard it here first.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Well Keith Nosbusch may be a renowned hate figure in the organization, not just here but in ICS too. But you cannot blame him, it's the way he is. The people who appoint him and keep him in these positions are to blame. When will they learn?


Monday, January 12, 2009

How many re-orgs has Rockwell undergone in the last 5 years? There is always one constant: the same tired, poor, greedy and self serving management.

It's amazing to me how the people who are responsible for creating change are never held responsible when their decisions fail over and over again. What does the senior management team actually bring to the table?

Its embarrassing to watch these buffoons stumble and inform the work horses of the company that they will not be getting a merit increase because of the hard times ahead, while they reward themselves for a job well done! How about showing the rest of us of how they are personally sacrificing in order to improve the bottom line?


Monday, January 12, 2009

Where are the 10% reduction to the workforce rumors coming from?


Monday, January 12, 2009

As a former employee during the most recent Reduction in Sales Force. It's very interesting that a company cuts 600+ personnel and the CEO gets $5 million in Stock options less than three months later. Nice to see a company and a CEO looking out for the employees. I hope he sleeps well knowing every night that if he defered the $5 million dollars in stock perhaps he could have saved some employees from the unemployment line. Apparently the economy is not so bad in the Rockwell CEO household. This is why I believe some economy issues are so self-induced, the rich get much much richer and again the workers need to find another job. Does anyone remember TYCO and their former CEO? Heck who am I kidding, why save few, only to cost you your your stock option bonus?

Point to be made: When was the last time some saw a corporate executive say: Hey things are really bad right now and I am going to cut my pay to save many employees from the unemployment line. Just looking for someone to do the right thing nowadays since no one else is.

Do not be fooled RA will be sold off. The question is what is there to be purchased? Most of the products are brand labeled, or brand labeled by a Rockwell company to put the AB name on it, except for their NEMA products / PLC's / Drives. Otherwise everything else is not from them.

Outside the USA / Canada nobody knows the company or products. They continue to have problems growing outside the North American Hemisphere, with their American business way of doing business. Good Luck Allen Bradley. Every manufacturer continues to nip away at AB market share, especially on the old technology of Automation that is currently being promoted and the way customers, integrators, and distributors are treated. Keep in mind you can put lipstick on a pig and its still a pig. Same with Allen-Bradley you can put your name on a relay but its still not your relay, because some else more than likely built it.

How can a company have a marketing group so large, and survive in a climate like now, for products that are brand labeled and manufactured by someone else?

My final outlook is that there will be another lay-off within the next six months, and Allen-Bradley will be sold off for its Automation, drives and NEMA products in 12 to 18 months as business declines. Weidmueller and Sprecher and Schu will be spun off to some other company without a controls line.

So keep your resumes up to date and start looking for other employment before your forced to. Heed the warnings, a storm is brewing. Everyone keep in mind there is life after Rockwell Automation, and its good !


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Better yet, can someone explain why NOSBUSH recieved a huge bonus this year (so I am told), in the range of $5,000,000 in bonus?

All employees who were to recieve the merit for exceptional performance were denied this merit due to financial constraint of the up and coming year... all the while the appraisal was for 2008 which was a HUGE profitable year for RA?

I am confused... Guess I had better rent some Hooked on Phohics Spanish to English ASAP!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Can anyone explain to me why Nosbush took an award of options of 14,000 shares of ROK stock on Dec 3rd after one of the biggest drops of our stock in over five years? Wheres our reward?


Friday, January 9, 2009

If Rockwell is a target for acquisition now, who are potential suitors? ABB? Invensys? Emerson?


Thursday, January 8, 2009

It's pretty much the same in Oz. Most sales representatives have enough distain for NHP, and Rockwell now, that they dont want to be involved. And as for the ones that have made the switch, well, most smart people can smell the blood monies.


Thursday, January 8, 2009 - regarding NZ distributor sales reps:

I believe only 1 rep total so far is going to NHP from any of the RA NZ Distributors . A few have been made redundant, others have already found jobs elsewhere, many staying put to sell other products.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Regarding the question about McDermott being let go. Not true, he sent out an update message earlier this week.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm wondering what's happening to the sales reps for the 7 NZ distributors? Any news at all? Are they moving to NHP or being made redundant?


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How many times have I seen a RA system integrator or solution provider program which starts off great and then RA salespeople try to grab the resultant new accounts and divert the work to RA services? When there are no sales let the SI's do the groundwork and absorb the cost and when the sales develop - RA will knock on the same doors because thats the lowest fruit for the under pressure sales person.

I think that most SI's don't need the RA badge as much anyway and more and more end-users are wiseing up to where the best value resource is.


Monday, December 29, 2008

If that is true, I will throw a kegger! McDermott has been like a cancer inside the organization, promoting his buddies, while good people with new innovative ideas are forced out because they are not part of the "good ole boys" ... can anyone with any inside information comment? True or False?


Monday, December 29, 2008

Wow! I wish I knew of this web blog before joining ROK. I stayed for 23 months. All the below is my opinion.....

A Six Sigma Black Belt/Lean specialist when hired, I was shocked at the state of quality and CI activities. Equally shocking was the resistance to change, even at the plant manager levels. While the messaging from the CI organization to the functional silo organizations was negative, most of the implementing BB's were more than capable. However, they were being pushed to create savings in all the wrong manners, and ways. And in areas where the savings were marginalized by systemic issues.

Without the benefit of several years of experience in an area under study, the BB's were going to make some mistakes. What shocked me was the malicious "obedience" of the functional staffs, to let things fail, without stepping up and making strong suggestions and offering other ways to the well. Kaizen is a team effort after all.

Another issue was the Central CI group politicalization of assignments, and project selections. One very sad commentary that was spoken was that substance didn't matter, but presentation did. A colleague put together a presentation of presentations, replete with smiley faces, but no real substance. He did this knowingly, tongue in cheek, and was handsomely congratulated and rewarded. I was dismayed to say the least, and the team member was laughing about it for weeks afterwards. Everyone loved it, except those who saw it for what it was, and for what it meant.

Other sad commentaries regarding the consultants of choice, pigheadedness of a few individuals, and personal agendas, could be written ad nauseam.

When learned of the Monterry Super Site, and the plans associated with it, I found employment else where. Much like more than a handful of BB's and BB managers. It became distasteful to most of us that poor quality systems and product design technical issues would be pushed to 3rd world manufacturing markets, where the same issues would potentially create even more havoc. Potential for professional advancement in the US sites would be significantly erroded when many sites were closed over the next few years.

Having significant Automotive and Offshore experience, I was tired of shipping jobs to Mexico/Poland/China/Southeast Asia to save a few $'s, only to have those savings quickly absorbed by quality and logistical issues. Moving most all of North American production to Monterrey without supporting quality control efforts and technical expertise is as close to insane as you can get, without being diagnosed, IMHO

Quality of engineering documents for Engineered to Build, and Build to Order systems was poor at best IMHO. Now let's throw a language and a cross border culture gap into the mix. GDS, LVMCC, MVMCC, ESB and other product lines will only suffer, if proper measures are not taken.

With recent tech center activities around the globe, ROK is moving to a realtime 24/7 engineering solution, but this can only be successful if technical expertise is improved, and communication/data systems signficantly improved. This will leverage other global sites to drive MKE engineering centers to either change, or become significantly downsized, in my opinion. MKE design engineering staffs will now be compared against global price structures, technical abilities, and willingness to work extended hours for no incentives. (I know a bit about the Polish and Indian engineering mentality for long hours, you can blow them off, but they will own you over time.)

The Global SAP transformation is probably getting better and gaining speed. Implementation of such a magnitude, cross functional, cross border, cross product, and cross societal borders, is huge. This system, along with the Technical engineering software improvements, will make for a global system that local entities will find hard to compete with. While it did, and may still be, causing havoc, this transformation has the seeds that will grow to a global engine.

Recent global economic conditions will slow transformations, and slow the effect of the Monterrey Supersite, giving ROK time to absorb and make needed changes, to protect the customer base, if they see the need and fix it. Or, it may speed the process, but reduced volumes may buy time for the teams.

I know many on this blog have complaints against HR. Realize this....HR is the legal entity in place to protect a corporation. It is no different in most places. There are many games played on many levels, and a pawn is a pawn is a pawn. We are all pawns.

Supply Chain and Procurement activities at ROK were 1970-ish at best, (much like the 70 ish MRP ABMS system) IMHO. Slow changes were being made in structural areas, with hard working CI teams trying to implement 2000 era solutions. It's like trying to feed a starving person creme brulee...it just doesn't stay down.

The Central CI team out of MKE needs to change in my opinion. CI needs to be a strong grass roots activity, with a very strong top down drive. The namby-pamby lets-all-get-along consensus model is a muddy cold coffee, and I don't mean good iced coffee either.

Watering down Six Sigma with White and Yellow belt activities is okay, but without a strong Green Belt and BB team, it will fail. Without Best in Class Metrics tied to dashboards and incentives for leaders, the process will fail. Further, it needs to be tied to a very strong lean focus. But Lean is more than headcount reductions, most cannot comprehend that lean means more than headcount cuts. The original Rockwell Power Lean concept was good, but very poorly implemented, in my opinion.

ROK will do well, and if absorbed into another corporation, will probably be their link to a strong global presence. In a non credit crunch environment, a David might buy Goliath. Until the economic conditions and credit conditions improve, ROK will unlikely be a take over target. Unless a super-weak US dollar makes the purchase tasteful to a cash rich brethern. Any good control system companies based in the MidEast?

Agaun, all the above is my Opinion.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Surprised not to see Keiran Coulton as EMEA president. I thought that is what he was lined up for. Anything behind this? Will he exit?


Sunday, December 28, 2008

It seems that RA are copying the UK business model with their changes in Australia and New Zealand. ie. having a single distributor covering a whole region. I believe this model has been in place in the UK for several years and would be interested to hear how effective this is? I have heard rumours that suggest the UK region has failed to meet their sales goals over recent times.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Perhaps he was kept on for a 'good' reason - as a hatchet man, when the job is done a big thank you received and good bye?

But....... will there be anybody of any reasonable calibre left? Some key people have already been axed, the better ones that are still here will go at the first suitable opportunity; those that remain will hang on in hope and despair. Maybe they think its International Rescue and all will be saved?

Customers must be wondering where the level of service for any new and existing UK automation solutions will come from, is RA scaling its UK business down?


Monday, December 22, 2008

Some crazy decisions have been made in Rockwell UK organisation. The guy referred to in the previous message is a renowned hate figure in the organisation, yet he got kept on at the expense of other very good candidates. The UK sales director has lost all credibility and respect and will be next on the pile in April. We need a leader not a puppet.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

News afoot that Mcdermott has been let go. Can anyone confirm?. Happened Friday. Could be a good thing depending on who replaces him. Also whats the scoop on the new guy in EMEA? Seems, others in waiting may queue for the door. Merry Xmas Rockwell


Sunday, December 21, 2008

I have been observing the production floor for 20+ years now. Rockwell was an excellent place to work back then. Now they could care less about the people on the floor. As said earlier, quality does not have anything to do with production anymore. It's imaginary efficientcy numbers and how come you are not making their set numbers.

The black belts are a complete joke to those of us on the floor. They are more worried about who's radio got left out on the floor than the Atmel chips someone bought and had to replace 70,000 of them because they didnt work correctly with our artwork.

As far as support goes, we are so on our own past 5pm; it's a wonder anything gets done. But guess what. We do just fine figuring it out for ourselfs. But it would be nice if on that rare occasion that we cant get it figured out there was someone to help. Ask your supervisor, you say. No electronic experience, no engineering experiece, very little manufacturing experience. It's like asking Paris Hilton to explain how a car works. She doesnt know she just sticks the key in and starts it up.

"I dont know if the artwork on these labels are correct. What is the SAP tcode for past due to want." You get a blank stare and told to ask the honorary pseudo engineering support and he doesnt know anything either. All he does know is who to send out emails to so they can tell him the next day. I got my engineering degree a couple of years ago but if the production floor is this sophmoric I dont know if I want to see the other side of the coin.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Typical American business practice. Get the little blokes {distributors} to build your business and promote your product and then screw them. I can't think of better way to get opposition products into the market place. The top brass at Rockwell can't be too clever if they think all the Aussie distributors are just going to shut their doors and not look for opposition products.

It's amazing what products I've now been exposed to and finally I never have to pay for their stinking software support again. Talk to your distributors guys, there's a lot suppliers out there who have the a lot more to offer than Rockwell.

  • Listen - Only to themselves
  • Think - If some else does it for them
  • Solve - Ask the distributor


Friday, December 19, 2008

Maybe its time to remove the head they brought back into the systems business in the UK; no one likes him, not the obvious choice, upset everyone last time and to save costs the head of the other AC could have taken charge instead of moving into another position? If the situation was better moving out of RA would be a good ting to do. Lets hope that if more go, that its the dead wood this time.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

My local distributor has always told me that they aren't allowed to sell conflicting products. How the hell can Rockwell hand over their entire product range to NHP when they have 2 catalogs full of conflicting products?

To all the distributors who got shafted: there should be some big companies out there looking for new distributors to sell that products that NHP can't sell now! I must admit since moving to a new product range it makes a pleasent change when my orders are filled in one transaction, and not half the order on back order due to Rockwell's pathetic stock holding.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

More on the changes in Australia and New Zealand. It is quite true that the existing distributors were practically prohibited from selling "conficting" products. Is NHP going to be subjected to the same restrictions? If not, then Rockwell could find that its biggest competitor will be its sole distributor... How ironic. Imagine it: a NHP sales rep could offer a Rockwell item, when knocked back due to price, can just whisk out another brand and close the deal. No one has mentioned the human toll of this move. Many distributors have had to completly change their companies and even let staff go. All this after Rockwell wanting iron-clad "commimtments" from its distributors for accelerated growth.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

The software business was mostly untouched due to the change in command, but the honeymoon is over and they will have to make cuts now as well.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

All the data I find on Rockwell is pretty positive versus its Peer group. Holding it's own in Americas and gaining strongly in Asia versus Siemens and Schneider. What's the reason for those areas doing well? Stock is doing ok versus others in same industry. Seems to me that people who post here just want to enact a self-fulfilling prophecy. So whats negative about their market position or management in Americas and Asia. Facts only please.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Regarding the previous entry commenting on Australian redundancies and the citation of the PACE magazine article:

  • The post is clearly submitted by someone aligned with the RA PR team;
  • The magazine article is also part of a coordinated press release (consider the value of RA's advertising spend there if you think it could possibly be objective);
  • The citation actually says there are no "planned" redundancies. However, RA staff has been guilty in Australia of repeatedly making false assertions. Consider- why is RA stock declining while NHP stock is increasing, new NHP facilities are opening, etc. Anyone on the RA logistics team and distributor management should be looking for work or requesting a stay bonus;
  • The entry misleadingly cites Pace magazine as saying there was an "overwhelming response" to the announcement. It is actually RA's claim, not some objective reporting from Pace. BTW, was that an "overwhelmingly" negative response? Any customer looking for technical support from NHP may certainly be feeling "overwhelmed" soon.
I'm sure most readers of this blog will recognize RA propaganda when posted. I hope that RA customers and employees also will recognize in time to prepare themselves that the new management team in Australia seems to employ a pattern of misdirection and misrepresentation.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This is no surprise, it was widely believed by the workers here that the October round was not the end. Why do Rockwell put their employees through this and at this time of year? Surely it would be better to get it over in one go rather than stress the workforce out again. But thats probably the legalities, too much in one go causes the management additional work. Glad I thought ahead and did not spend too much for Xmas just in case.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - Re: "Rockwell to announce 10-12% workforce reduction at end of Q2."

Was this in an article somewhere or is this inside news?


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The staff reductions that the blog below list will not be coming from within their Australian network. They have already publicly stated (in PACE magazine) that there will be no redundancies within Australia. PACE magazine also reported that RA have had an overwhelming response to their new distribution network.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What are the sources of this new info of 10-12% reduction in workforce? How credable is this comment?


Monday, December 15, 2008

Rockwell to announce 10-12% workforce reduction at end of Q2.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

The good news for the Rockwell customers is that amongst all the confusion about supply of goods, Rockwell Australia's dwindling stock levels, and general confusion in the industry; they are all going to be rewarded with a nice price rise at the start of 2009.. Listen. Think. Solve... fail...


Saturday, December 13, 2008

The payout of the incentive bonus is, as I understand it, a legal requirement. As it is contractual, so credit cannot be taken for this act, RA could do nothing about it. RA seems to be on the slippery slope both here in the UK and elsewhere. Perhaps the buyout by ABB is imminent.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Jordi Andreu (Presidenbt of the EMEA operation) resigned yesterday - announced his "retirement" today effective the end of the year. I suspect Jordi was really shown the door over the more than expected poor performance from that region in the most recent filings.


Friday, December 12, 2008

I think some of you bloggers just don't get it. Let me explain a few things. Every employee was due the employee incentive bonus (Regardless of the economy) especially after mandatory overtime all through the summer at the Twinsburg facility. (That had to haved sucked for you guys.) Now on the merit side of the issue, the money for the merit increases was already in the budget from the previous year, therefore the employees busting their butts should have had their merit increases this year and been told that for fiscal year 2009 that there would not be any merit increases. That I am sure would have been understood by all employees. Not - thanks for for a great year but we aren't going to give out merit increases, but look at the bright side, we gave you the, Employee Incentive Bonus and you still have a job.

Look I feel bad for the people that have been let go, and I am glad I still have a job, but Rockwell is not done yet. If you think that no merit increases is going to save jobs, or benefits at Rockwell you are wrong. Corporate Rockwell are followers not leaders. They are watching to see what other companies are doing and will follow along in the name of the economy even if they don't have too. (Great excuse though!!) What ever it takes to fill their pockets they will do. We employees are just a number with no name. "Oh by the way keep up the good work."


Friday, December 12, 2008

Please understand that you are not the only person who has worked for a Fortune 100 company. Understanding that, Rockwell is not a Fortune 100 company and would be nowhere near the top or the middle of any workplace satisfaction surveys. They get no style points for telling people they do not get a merit raise. "Shut up and suck it up" is not motivational. I imagine you are a management drone who is fed a consistent diet of 'we are still the greatest and most poweful automation company in the world and that alone will get us through'. You obviously come form the Keith Nosbush school of motivational speaking.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

On the issue of Australia & NZ distributorship change, basically the distributors are paying for price of wrong strategy on Rockwell's behalf. Now Rockwell pass the distributorship to one company - NHP, because it has distribution network across whole Aus. & NZ, but the reason that Rockwell's outgoing distributors couldn't grow bigger is just because they could only sell in their authorized regions and they couldn't sell anything that are in conflict with Rockwell's products. Rockwell, a typical irresponsible organization simply get others to pay for its own mistakes.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Regarding the "it should be better elsewhere" mentality, rest assured, it isn't. If you have a job, stay where you are and ride it out if you can tolerate it!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

I think the decision to suspend merit was far better than the alternatives (more headcount reductions). Add to this the fact that the company did payout Employee Incentive bonuses and got everyone thier cash before the holidays and you have a clear picture that the leadership team is doing everything they can, under the circumstances, to care for the employees during tough times. Other Fortune 100 companies I have worked for would have not even bothered to announce and explain the no-merit decision, they would have just done it, not paid the employee bonus, and still cut more heads. RA is a great company that is doing all it can for its people under very tough economic times.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Well, we only talking here about no merit increases which might be seen as why bother in future. No cost of living increases will be another story. Cost of living is going up rapidly, higher than the officials admit. If salaries do not keep in pace the people at the bottom of the ladder that do all the work will get disheartened very quickly and look elsewhere, right or wrong. With so much bad feeling at the moment the sense 'it should be better elsewhere' will prevail. Also with all those long servers just been kicked out, where is the loyalty. Anybody with any sense now will be monitoring the job vacancies ready to make the move themselves or for the next round of exports - it is not any pleasure here any more.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The writer who urges the previous blogger to 'get over themselves' is missing the point entirely or is a senior manager at Rockwell who got theirs. Of course people are happy to have a job. It is year after year of providing results so that the senior leadership get 20% of allot and huge options while the people who made it all happen are not sharing in the riches. Enough said?


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Regarding no merit increases - think of the alternative? Would you prefer to be without a job? Would you rather have a 5-7% workforce reduction? In times like these, shared sacrifice is necessary. Get over yourself.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Anouncement just came out: no merit increases this year. Well, just another example of Corporate American greed, and the downright robbery of the working people of the company. It's rolled out as a cost cutting measure; well yes indeed it is! I'll be curious to see what the big boys at the top are willing to give up to help with this cost cutting. Hey, I've got a suggestion, why not give up your bonuses and stock options?? Why not lead by example?


Monday, December 8, 2008

With regard to the question "What is happening to the distributors in Australia?" I can say that of the distributors in New Zealand, some of whom were set up mainly to promote Rockwell products. The owners of these businesses are now fighting for their survival, and the staff who helped run those businesses are scrambling for new employment close to Christmas. Some have already left, some are still looking for employment in 2009. It's a DAMN FINE CHRISTMAS PRESENT Rockwell has given everyone who works or worked in those businesses. And to cap it off, Rockwell expects the distributors and staff to "support them to the hilt" while all this goes on. To all the other distributors worldwide, WATCH YOUR BACKS!


Monday, December 8, 2008

20% increase on UK PLC List prices?? Can anybody explain this?


Monday, December 8, 2008

Regarding Rockwell's "convergence" vision, nothing could be further from the truth. It is a "pieces and parts" approach that will add to customer complexity, not reduce it. This is what happens when companies grow through acquisition and poorly considered partnerships (e.g. IBM). Many of the pieces aren't even Rockwell products.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

The key person who is driving this monumental disaster in Australia/NZ is a South African who has not been with RA long (he hasn't even been to NZ) and whose previous employer was.... yep you guessed it... NHP. Why this person with such a blatant conflict of interest has been allowed anywhere near this deal is beyond comprehension. But for some inexplicable reason the Asia Pacific VP is backing him. Everyone else in RA Aus/NZ is gutted by the decision, and the customer base is abandoning the company in droves. As a million dollar plus customer my emails to senior people are being ignored.

At some point soon it will occur to someone senior in NHP what a poisoned chalice they have been handed, and when RA's orders drop to nothing in the early new year the penny will drop to someone senior in the USA what a total clusterf... this is. By then it will be far too late to recover. (The local Scheider people have already called on me in a state of glee, they simply cannot believe their luck.)

RA in this part of the world is categorically finished. I state this in sorrow. I've been associated with this Rockwell for much of my adult life, and until a month ago could take some pride in that. Now all I feel is embarrassment.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Does anyone know what is happening to the current distributor in Australia? Should we expect these companies to vanish very soon? If so, it looks like Rockwell is quiet happy to sign death warrants for their distributors all around the world.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm in my 50s, in Australia as a distributor of a large company, not Rockwell or PLC related, and work 12 to 14 hrs a day supporting my customers, my supplier and my business. I know that this action by Rockwell, justified or unjust - no comment, has caused some questioning of what can happen in any distributor arrangement within Australia. We all work with some very powerfull overseas companies in Australia but keep in mind that this can happen to any localised distributor once a larger company sees your business area as theirs. No agreement will protect you however from the parent company thinking and you still have your customer good will, use it!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Given how Rockwell has treated it's distributors in Australia and New Zealand, I think there might be a big party at almost all the distributors if Rockwell closed their offices in both countries tomorrow. I just hope the liquor wholesalers still have a licence to sell beer, and have enough stock on hand for the sudden drain if it happened. Rockwell - Listing. Sink. Dissolve.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

As I understand it NHP are already moving into the Rockwell premises in Auckland NZ.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I am just curious if anyone has a time frame regarding when Rockwell will be closing down their offices in Australia. With NHP apparently holding large amounts of stock, and Rockwell themselves running theirs down, it is clear that it will not be necessary for both parties to operate at the same time.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

"Rockwell" in the Australia automation industry's dictionary now is another word for of betrayal, dishonesty, unreliable. "Mate, you're like a Rockwell!"


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mr. Nosbusch painted a fairly compelling picture this week in Nashville. But presentations are easy - let's see what they do with it now in terms of delivering on the promises! We're a big Rockwell shop and hoping they can make it real.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rockwell Automation's move to kill their Australasian distributor model is part of a multi-pronged long-term business plan to get more control over the entire sales channel (why - perhaps just to make up for the fact that hardware margins continue to shrink and the people making money like HP and IBM do it through their knowledge arms not through their hardware arms).

The first part is to move to a tighter model - with perhaps lower prices (ha, ha). Has anyone compared what an L61 cost in Australia compared with the USA. When you account for reasonable freight charges and exchange you see still many dollars that go somewhere - and the distributors say that they are not making massive profits. Back to the point though, Rockwell want tighter control over their distributors. Now they have one+one.

Secondly, Rockwell have been secretly lining up a few integrators to provide more engineering services through Rockwell itself (as well, perhaps, but this is conjecture, they have been aiming their corporate integration arm into the larger end users to bypass integrators all together - Fonterra in New Zealand springs to mind as a good target for Rockwell to get rid of the integrators all together).

So Rockwell will end up with the following (a) a less technical but perhaps cheaper and better stocked single point of sale (except for one little bit of Australia) for all Rockwell products (pity poor New Zealand who will end up seeing "ex.works Melbourne" etc. on everything and probably not see any cost savings). Also (b) more central engineering support perhaps through a few integrators but more likely in the long term through Rockwell itself.

I doubt that this is just an Australasian move. Europe, the Far East (yes, they did just purchase a large Chinese integrator) and of course North America are to follow. Being a VAR or SI just about anywhere is difficult enough right now. Rockwell are going to make it much more fun.


Monday, November 17, 2008

With regard to the HR issues in the UK. I think you will find that RA are operating a form of forced ranking with their appraisal system. This means that a % of employees MUST be given a below standard rating each year. These people are then to be replaced in the belief this will improve the quality of their staff overall. This pactice is illegal in other countries but not so in the US.


Monday, November 17, 2008

The recent postings about illegal, not to mention unethical, practices in the UK are a matter of doing business by senior management and HR at Rockwell. The last marketing 'Genuis' who left for St. Louis made it a regular practice to RIF people in the name of excellence, to post his people (his buddies) into existing and new jobs which were never posted. Go figure. This is the mild stuff going on at RA. HR is not a facilitator. They are a road block. They go along with what ever leadership says. The HR 'person' who handles marketing is the most inept, incapable, terse (on her best days) HR rep I have ever met. Apparently this is the true vision of an employee centric best in class organization.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Rockwell Automation's decision to overhaul its Australian distributor network has me rather puzzled. Over the last few years they have genuinely astounded me by finding more way to milk money out the system integrator community (tech support charges, exorbitant software renewals). They have now removed the one genuine advantage they had over their competitors, in the form of semi-knowledgeable distributors.

The new nation wide distributor (NHP) do some things very well, but selling and supporting Automation is not one of them. My experience of them is essentially as an electrical super market, and getting competent technical advice from them is sometimes problematic.

I am sure there is some good corporate reason for this change but I very much doubt if it will make the life of the Australian system integrator any easier or provide Rockwell with anything but declining automation sales in the next few years.


Friday, November 14, 2008

For what it's worth, I'm an ex-employee from RA here in the US. The comment about Rockwell's HR are also true here. I personally involved the US Department of Justice in my experience. I can assure you they are being investigated. I literally have been treated like I blew the whistle on the Mafia. These goons have been trying to make my life miserable for no less than 11 years. Every time I get another job,two mysterious "visitors" show up. There is usually some type of "problem" later. The feds then have to come in to clean it up, and they did. How a major public corporation can get away with these "mafia" tactics is beyond my comprehension. I'm glad they're being investigated in the UK as well. Rockwell needs to learn that when they're wrong, they're wrong. They don't have the right to "terrorize" people who have the moxy to point that out.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Referring to previous "fact" based blog, NHP has a long term, established relationship with RA & have distributed RA product for many years i.e. S&S. They have grown this product range far more aggressively & successfully then the existing under-performing bunch, ask anyone in the Industry. Competitors are nervous and rightly so! Great move.


Friday, November 14, 2008 - RE: HR practise in the UK:

It was not so long ago that Rockwell HR implemented this rule-bending when they themselves "moved out" the UK HR Manager, only for the person to be replaced almost immediately with another candidate doing the same job in all but name. A few months later, the same person got promoted without the job being advertised, internally or externally. The place is rotten to the core and stinks.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

These are the facts how Rockwell ditched the existing distributors in Australia and New Zealand:

  • Apart from Inaco, which is owned by Rexel, all other 25 distributors got ditched. These 25 distributors represent about 75% Rockwell sales in Aus. and NZ region. They are given 7 months to wind up Rockwell business.
  • Some of these distributors have committed to Rockwell since it started operation in the region. Between 60 to 80% of business of these distributors are based on Rockwell products, worth tens of millions of dollars.
  • All of these 25 distributors' Rockwell business is passed to NHP, who is not one of the current distributors.
  • Rockwell gave no reason at all to these guys for the termination.
  • Rockwell doesn't give one cent of compensation to these guys.
  • Like Inaco, some distributors purchased other distributors for great deal amounts of money, now the purchases worth nothing!
Rockwell the thief and barbarian!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

This type of practice is illegal, and Rockwell UK are being investigated. If found guilty there will be millions to pay and I expect the entire HR department may well find themselves being fired. Oh well, at least they will escape being made redundant!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

There is no 'borderline' about it. It is illegal. It'll take a brave soul to challenge it, however. Who?


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Agree with the last post. Its widely known that HR in general is a core incompetency at RA :) amazing they can pull something like this off


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Here's something I don't understand. Rockwell in the UK lays of a bunch of people because their positions become redundant. The people themselves are seen as victims of circumstance and given basic redundancy packages. This type of practice goes on all the time and is commonly accepted. However, the positions suddenly re-appear in a slightly different guise and other people get promoted into them. It's fairly obvious within the organisation that Rockwell are clearly bending the rules. What gets me is that HR facilitate this type of practice. Surely this must be borderline illegal.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No worry about support in the future. Customers will simply call the "World Class" help desk in Melbourne. That is assuming they have paid their "World Class" support fee up front, for the privilege.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

NHP and Rexel are now Rockwells support network. I wish any Rockwell customers good luck getting the level of service that the old distributor network provided. Competitors in the Australian market must be rubbing their hands together with this news.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

I have worked with NHP and Rexel find them world class distributors. I guess all the Oz distributors are ticked because their cash cow is milking elsewhere. Past performance doesnt seem to have been good and so what do they expect? Brave move Rockwell, and if I was a betting man I would say a good one. Sounds like RA Australia has had a total makeover and can provide much better service to its customer base.


Friday, November 7, 2008

While I'm certain that the channel changes in Oz will likely spawn huge resentment and most likely a chain of lawsuits, after the reality sets in, it is likely that many of the A-B experts currently in the employ of the distributors will indeed seek employment with the S&S distributors. The anger is probably well directed, but the reality is that people need to work.


Thursday, November 6, 2008 - Australia and New Zealand:

On Nov 5 All independent Australian Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley distributors were given notice that they were being terminated without cause. That termination was issued without any notice, discussion or consideration of the huge commitment made by distributors to Rockwell over the last twenty years.

On Nov 6 it was made known that NHP (the local Sprecher & Schuh distributor) would take over distribution of Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley across most of Australia. Inaco - a division of Rexel - retains Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane. This rumour had been circulating for months - but Rockwellclaims the decision was only made in the last few days - bullshit! NHP has been granted access from Nov 7! That is - distributors have been given ONE DAY'S notice that they are no lonoger exclusive or preferred.

What is happenning now in Australia and New Zealand will very likely an happen across the rest of the world. Distributors in all countries should now be demanding revised contracts and removal of the provisions that permit termination without cause - otherwise their days are numbered!

The distributor network has taken Rockwell from a niche supplier of PLC-2's and PLC-5's to a force to be reckoned with in the automation industry. In the words of a recent Schneider employee - the distributor network is "formidable - impossible to get past".

The industry in Australia is speechless and the support extended to distributors by Rockwell's competitors has been awesome. Rockwell distributors have lived and breathed Rockwell Automation for two decades and the reward they have got for the amazing commitment and loyalty is "thank you, you are sacked, go away quietly". This is typical of American corporate imperialism and symptomatic of the complete lack of principles and values in American corporations.

Rockwell is a very sick company. In Australia they will lose a lot of their staff who are horrified at the behaviour of the Asia Pacific president who has ordered this execution. They have already lost their best and brightest. The half dozen staff who have showed some loyalty to distributors are likely to be disposed of soon. The yes-men who thought that the distributors weren't worth standing up for will be surprised once retrenchments start - many of them will go because Rockwell with NHP won't need them. They won't have saved their own necks anyway.


Saturday, November 1, 2008 - comments responding to an earlier weblog - Wednesday, October 15, 2008:

"Recently heard from a friend in Rockwell that not only are the cuts over, but also they are looking forward to take on the challenge of the down economy and have a go at better performance, as they have done time and again in the past."

    Wrong - once Automation Fair is over, the Commercial Engineering guys are going to get their "3% workforce reduction".
"The comments were that senior leadership in Rockwell always have been providing very open communication to all employees about what is going on."
    Wrong - we heard an announcement on Monday, and on Wednesday people were being walked out the door.
"This is a very encouraging and comforting feeling for many employees."
    Wrong - everyone is on edge waiting for the next axe to fall.
"If this is the case, then Rockwell management is really taking better care of their employees compared to most of their peer companies. I have heard really bad stories on how some other companies senior leadership communicates (or lack of..) to their employees."
    Wrong - they're just like everybody else.


Sunday, October 26, 2008 - Re: Weblog dated Wednesday, October 15, 2008, asking "What do you think is going to happen to quality?"

Are you kidding? The "reliability" of products went down the tubes a long time before the VP was hired; more like when Nosbusch was elected in. Why does everyone think that when the VP was hired in he was going to "fix" quality?

"Continous Improvement" - what a joke. Just ask anyone who works in the areas of production. They have done away with quality and replaced it with speed. The products are being "reworked" more, tested less and sent to customer under the false pretenses that it was built right and tested the first time. While all of this is going on, the VP was building a huge Continous Improvment group that was doing, well, not so much, unless you count colored smocks, double ESD straps and pointing out dust under a table 'continuous improvement'.

Not to worry, the management staff and black belts hired from Ford (another great Nosbusch trade) will save the day. They are like Moses, come to save us all and lead us to the path of maniacal egotism & waste. Gosh, what ever did we do before they came? I am so grateful they came otherwise I would not know what real leadership is, like watching Ford's ship sink as they jumped off in time to jump in our boat. What ever did we do before the point system?

Who had the quality department under that VP? No one. It is as it was before he came, left to the operations managers. If ever there was an oxy-moron, this is it. Leaving all of the quality decesions to the operations management and staff. When ever they want to bypass quality for the sake of quantity, they do it and the quality group is told to shut up, and there's the door if you don't like it. The quality managers are puppets to the great Ford empire. Did I mention there is only one quality engineer supporting all of Twinsburg? The quality group used to be over 12 people at one time, supporting all of operations. Now there are 4 in the group. One engineer and 3 techs.

The recent blogs on this site have had a lot of sales this, software that. Wake up all of you. If we continue to sell the customer crap, he'll start buying elsewhere and your fretting over who is doing what in sales/software/support will not matter one lick. Only when a customer is physically or financially harmed and a lawsuit cripples us will Nosbusch & company sit up and take notice.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Just for the record I want to share my experience of working with Rockwell Automation. Having recently done projects in Asia, I have to tell you that they were awesome. We built plants in Singapore and China and were destined to use a competitors control as most of our machines came from European OEMs. They pitched for the work and we got assurances of support from the President of Asia and his key staff. They delivered on time and we started flawlessly. They continue to support us now that the projects are finished. Hats off to them and I'm sure this would be the same in other areas where Rockwell operates.

So, to the bloggers who are negative: It is people who deliver, not companies. We are proud to work with the folks we have known at Rockwell Automation: engineers, sales and executives. Keep up the good work!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Ralph Carter cutting heads will not be an option, as the software group needs to reduce costs more than any other part of the business, and has not yet been affected greatly by the recent cost cutting measures. Like the other person, I hope he cleans house of the deadwood.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rockwell Software has a new leader to replace Kevin Roach. Ralph Carther was recently announced as the VP of Rockwell Software. He will have his work cut out for him as he will need to weed out the "yes" men of Kevin Roach. While Kevin did have a vision and surrounded himself with people who could execute it, he also enjoyed getting his butt kissed by people and he would make room to surround himself with these useless folks. Let's see if Ralph has the stomach to weed out those butt kissers and move Rockwell Software forward. He could certainly make a great impression by knocking off this deadweight soon.

It will also be interesting to see how he fits into the Rockwell Automation culture. He needs to adjust from being a big fish in a little pond to now being a little fish in a big pond. I have confidence in Ralph if he shows over the next few months he has control of the situation and boots some of these "no ops" out of there.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rockwell in the UK have let a load of people go over the last few weeks. One thing I heard is that they went from three sales regions down to two. Basically the guys managing the central region were so incompetent that the sales director fired them both and has reduced the sales region to three. I guess that means good news for the rest of the UK team. It's always good to see some good decisions being made for a change.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rockwell just announced they are closing their Mancheaster NH plant, eliminating 168 jobs. More jobs to Mexico. ROCK-on


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ralph Carter has taken over the helm at Rockwell Software.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The cuts at Rockwell are most certainly NOT over. With the pending announcement of a new leader on the software side of the business, this unfortunate individual will likely be tasked with the unpleasant role of severe cost cutting.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Well morale is at an all time low in the software group. Kevin Roach and friends really left their mark; a gutted powerless group with no direction. The relics that control Rockwell have pillaged any software product that makes money and left the software group with no funding or direction.


Friday, October 17, 2008

I am approaching 2 years since I too worked for RA (Looks like there are more members of the "former Rockwell Automation" group that will be joining me). Since leaving, I work for an A/E and we have been growing at roughly 10% annually. I still use RA equipment (PLC, HMI, etc.) and do feel comfortable using it.

However, the sales person that was supposed to call on me had yet to visit my office (their sales office is 5 miles from mine) and then I heard that he was part of the 3% reduction. So far, no contact from the RA staff (maybe they are still figuring out who gets to service my account). I guess the distributor is who I'll be looking toward for my support. In reality I know the equipment quite well so it is not a big thing but what about my customers?

One question has occurred to me: How is RA going to explain their recent staffing moves at Automation Fair? There are way too many customers who will have questions that will be asked face to face at the Fair to just make something up. Talking points may work well for politicians but can a consistent message be relayed to the 100s of RA staff in Nashville? For the many friends that still are at RA, I hope the changes can be explained to thier customer's satification or this move may come back to haunt.

BTW, we consistently beat RA services in our marketplace and are happy with the mark-up we get. RA never knew how to set reasonable mark-up pricing when I was there and it still seems to be the case. Expetations don't match reality in my view.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Does anyone know what is happening with Rockwell in Australia at the moment? The distributor network is rife with rumours of major changes to the distribution model. Can anyone shed any light on this?


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Yes, Rockwell is loosing market share and basically in process industries. Today many more customers are asking for hybrid and integrated systems (PCS7 well prescribed by Siemens) and Profibus DP/PA, Hart and Foundation Fieldbus real integrated solutions for instruments. Rockwell cant deliver that in a perfect integrated solution. A more analytical end-user has an interpretation that a company that has Hart modules and Profibus modules coming from third party suppliers doesnt consider these technologies core, so, they translate that Rockwell doesnt consider process control as core where users prefer to go to the big guys.

Also some end users are doing partnerships with suppliers with process know-how in specifics domains strong enough to give recommendations for customer process improvements Rockwell is still far from that.

The Pavilion acquisition was basically tentative, to show that they touch Process Control; a decision driven by this identity problem.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Recently heard from a friend in Rockwell that not only are the cuts over, but also they are looking forward to take on the challenge of the down economy and have a go at better performance, as they have done time and again in the past. The comments were that senior leadership in Rockwell always have been providing very open communication to all employees about what is going on. This is a very encouraging and comforting feeling for many employees. If this is the case, then Rockwell management is really taking better care of their employees compared to most of their peer companies. I have heard really bad stories on how some other companies senior leadership communicates (or lack of..) to their employees.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What do you think is going to happen to quality from Rockwell Automation, now that they have fired the VP of Continuous Improvement - who had the quality department under him? My understanding is that there is no reliability department - is that why the products have had such problems?


Monday, October 13, 2008

I have worked on the factory floor of Allen Bradley...now called Rockwell Automation, for 24 years. The supervision on the factory floor is strictly paid for accounting attendance issues. And they pay these 'supervisors' $60,000+ just to do this, because they have no other accountable qualifications. You would think upper management would have realized this when their first shift went without supervision for more than two years. We, the so-called peons ran the lines perfectly. Their supervisors' motivation to do a good job, myself included, but no matter what they do to me it is in me to continue to do a good job because they have given this single mother a roof over my nhead, and my childrens' head, and food on our table, and I appreciate that.

Long story short.....single Mom....cars vandalized on a Saturdy morn...I walk out at 4:10 A.M. as vandalizers are robbing my cars. Have to be at work by 5:00 A.M. or I am going to get a half point. Actually thought for a second of going out to my car knowing the vandalizers were out there cuz I had to be at work on time so I wouldn't get my half point. Luckily, the total brainwashing didn't totally set in by this point, so I called police to come to my house knowing this would make me late to work. Long story short... thought my 'supervisor/attendance man would have some empathy on a single woman not wanting to walk outside as vandals were robbing her cars....shows how much I know.... My shift starts at 5:00 A.M With all this that went on, I made it to work at 5:07 and my 'supervisor ' said he "has to do what he has to do" regardless of what I had gone through. Long story short.... I get half point, whether its 30 seconds or 6 hours...half of my shift... So, I went home and slept for 6 hours of which the company paid me for. What sense does that make?? An employee ready to work and get paid for it but a supervisor who has no empathy for the employee and sends her home to get paid for sleeping 6 hours.


Monday, October 13, 2008

It's very interesting to read that people still think Rockwell is a leader in Automation and control products. Nearly 70% of their catalog is brand labeled from other vendors. They have limited resources overseas and their stock continues to go down. They recently hired many people for the new Aggressive Growth Sales Model, only to let some of the people go! There seems to be a lot of knee-jerking type business strategies going on. There are so many layers of management within the company, that no one knows what many of them do. Hence when issues arrise in the field, the issues are very well sheltered from upper management, especially sales engineers getting their commission sales correct. There are many sales engineers getting hurt fianancially that they are scraping by with nearly 30% less salary then they had last year, even though they are at or above 100% to plan on their quota. Sales management has turned a blind eye on help sales people get paid. It has been said their are less management layers in the US government than Rockwell Automation... Go figure.


Friday, October 10, 2008

I've had it with Rockwell. Time and time again I see people being promoted to their level of incompetence. It makes me furious. Just why are these decisions made. Rockwell, consider yourself sacked. I'm outta here!


Thursday, October 9, 2008

wah,wah,wah... I went over to the UK in the past. I'd think that some of you need to check yourselves I found field service more concerned about their own deal, rather than focus on customer. In the past my contact with UK service in general has been poor along with sales guys who are more interested in sales than customer issues. Always looking for the next sale rather than supporting customer installations and problems. Take care of you customer first, service, then yourself. Focus on customer and sales will follow.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Rockwell UK have just announced redundancies - about 20 in all. As predicted, incompetent managers have either got to keep their jobs or have had new roles created for them. Long term veterans of the organisation, and people on the front line have been given the boot. And we were hoping Rockwell would change the way they do things.....

You can draw some distinct parallels between what is going on here and the recent events in UK banks, where the people who made all the bad decisions in the first place got to keep their jobs, and those who did all the hard work got fired.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Was there a big layoff in the Rockwell Software organization? That is the buzz, but can someone on the "inside" confirm or deny?


Monday, October 6, 2008

It would be nice if some of these bloggers where more in touch with reality. Take a look at Automation growth in both Latin America and Asia; Rockwell has gained share considerably versus Siemens, Schneider, Omron and Mitsi. It's held its own in the Americas, albeit struggled in Europe. However where markets are growing it is winning and that may just have something to do with strategy, people (including management) and execution.


Monday, October 6, 2008

I don't see why management would be opposed to a takeover. Didn't you pack your golden parachutes?


Monday, October 6, 2008

Anyone who believes the "ccelerated Growth Model" is successful must not have been breathing at the time of implementation. Here are some questions they can not answer.

  1. How can a company hire more people that is struggling on revenue?
  2. How can a company implement a new sales model with no infrastructure to pay their personnel properly?
  3. How can managers say to sales people "Don't worry you will make more money on the new Aggressive Sales Model?" When sales people were not even getting paid properly? Management would turn a blind eye because they new it was mess and did not want to get involved to help get their people paid properly.
  4. When was Rockwell ever aggressive in the market place about anything other than letting people go?
  5. How can you be aggressive in the market when 70% of your products are brand labeled out side the USA?
  6. How many chiefs do you need, that have foo-foo positions in marketing and in management?
Rockwell finally is realizing that it does not need sales people anymore when they have a distribution network that does everything for the Rockwell sales force. Rockwell is slipping into a deep chasm that they will not be able to get out of, nor will they continue to grow internationally with out being purchased by a large international company, like ABB. Upper management is just looking to make it that day when they do sell out.

Is Rockwell product any better than anyone elses? I think not, they just have an excellent distribution model that is able to pick up for the short comings of direct Rockwell personnel. Rockwell wishes one day to wake up and be a large company, but will always be to narrow minded to be so. Remember the Titanic; all was lost in the end except for the captain.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Boy! That recent comment sure sounds like it's from one of the self-absorbed, do it or else, faultless, old boy sales network senior management. As one of their successful managers, the sales re-org is NOT successful, and is driving the company into the ground, as evidenced by the share price and performance. Emperors with no clothes...except when you tell them, they still refuse to look at themselves as the issue....Milwaukee-centric...some never having been out of a couple of states in the US. It's a joke. The collapse of Rockwell Automation as we know it, is here.


Monday, October 6, 2008

The Rockwell post (evidently a manager) dated from Sunday (assuming it is genuine of course) makes for some very interesting reading. No-one is suggesting that the growth is not impressive; but surely the whole team have worked together to deliver the end goal and everyone should take the due credit in delivering this performance.

The crunch is this ... Rockwell Automation as a global corporate organisation has no where to go - Jim Pinto makes some fair points to this effect. If someone wants to make an offer that the board are obliged to share with the owners of the company, do you really think they will turn around and say "No thank you, the UK Sales Organisation are doing such a great job and it would be such a shame given all their hard work." ? I don't think so.


Monday, October 6, 2008

I am surprised to see that such a positive Blog was written on Sunday 5th October - eviodently by a memeber of the Rockwell Management team. I am even more surprised that the 'Sales Process' is considered to be so successful. It would be interesting if surveyed how many frontline Sales Guys would agree with such comments. I'm guessing its just another case of Management being seriously out of touch with reality...more importantly their assets.


Monday, October 6, 2008

The person who wrote the Sunday, Oct. 5th weblog is completely outside of the real world.log. This is the typical good-old-boy talk.

Rockwell marketshare is slowly but surely declining, no matter if you see it from US, EMEA, Latin america or Asia Pacific. Is this due to big competitors? Probably not. Nevertheless this is reality. You may see it or refuse it but that's it.

If you look at the senior management turnover, well again you are part of the good-old-boys-family or you are out. The list is endless. It looks like the worse you are in doing your job, the more you are appreciated.

Is this the behaviour of a company that wants to grow? If you are not capable to analyze what's wrong inside your own orgnization, you are condemned to kill it; to shrink it and then destroy it...... but walking away with a bonus of 7 digits or more.

Le ROI Est Mort, Vive Le ROI. For the ones that remember history. But it seems it's not going to happen anytime soon.


Monday, October 6, 2008 - RE: "We have moved from strength to strength over the years "

What a self-deluded comment! Check the growth year over year, and then check the growth of the competition in the same period, in ANY of the global markets! The competition have and continue to outgrow Rockwell. Instead of self-congratulatory remarks about the sales processes and management, perhaps a more critical inward look is required?


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rockwell shareholders are bleeding and disgusted with current management. I speak as one of them. An ABB takeover would be salvation.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rockwell will never be acquired by ABB. End of story. We have moved from strength to strength over the years and are formidable competition to ABB.

Over the last year Rockwell has concentrated on the Sales Process, and the correct management of the process. The results speak volumes and we are enjoying growth like never before. This tradition is likely to continue over the next several years. In spite of all the recent emails criticising management, it is the sales management who have developed, driven, and delivered this increased performance. The thought of losing management personnel during this tough period would not be a very sensible move. However, I am convinced that this won't be the case. Oh, and as for managers being referred to as "spread-sheet monkeys" who can't sell, think again. The results achieved wouldn't be possible if managers didn't know how to sell.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

If Rockwell gets acquired by ABB, what are the chances that Processlogix survives? If history is any type of indicator (remember the fate of Elsag Bailey?), I'm thinking it gets killed in favor of the ABB platform.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Rockwell UK is a very scary place to be right now. In light of all that is going on, management have failed to alleviate the feelings of uncertainty within the workforce. Interestingly enough, a competitor had an unexpected vacancy two days ago and 11 sales guys from Rockwell UK applied for the job. I bet the majority probably don't even live in the right area. It is truly scary that people are feeling so jittery yet the management team are sitting back congratulating each other on what a great year they've had.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

As with a lot of American companies the more layers of management they put in place the easier it becomes to protect the guys further up the tree. This has led to a culture where middle managers are commonly treating their inferiors with no respect but making sure they are being perceived in the eyes of their superiors as "doing a good job". It's unfortunate that Rockwell has ended up in this situation, and doesn't change it's behaviour to address the problem.

So go on Rockwell, fire more of your sales guys, based of course on the recommendations of the incompetent middle managers you hired in the first place. Where will that leave you? Or more precisely, who will taht leave you with? I'll tell you - a bunch of spread sheet monkeys who couldn't sell if their lives depended on it.

Yep, and next year we'll be looking at another 5-10% redundancies.


Friday, October 3, 2008

In view of the recent cut backs at Rockwell, I didn't notice any of the "Black-Belts" and the top-heavy management team who hired them lose their jobs, of course I could be wrong. The Twinsburg facility itself was impacted by losing 10 people, 3 of which were re-assigned to jobs on the manufacturing floor; they had no choice, either take the move or go with NOTHING. At least the other 20+ yr. veterans who were sent packing were given severance. Some who were close to retiring were not even given the dignity to do so. While they were being ushered out the door, the "Black Belts" were laughing it up. Most with less than three years of service, who were hired to save the company money, and I bet they are.

The good-old-boy network lives on at Rockwell. They are greedy, looking to shine and pretend they are adding value and saving the company money. Will anybody at the upper levels realize how much they are being lied to?


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cutting costs is a core competency at Rockwell; they have an outstanding record of doing this to maintain margins; they have done it many times in the past. The dissapointing thing is they always fail in the area that is most important: Growth.

Take Europe (Which has been singled out in recent announcements as "softening") The core business has not outgrown the market at ALL in about ten years. The majority of the growth was coming from the services businesses but this was at lower margins and the oldboys didnt really like this so the guys behind this exited stage left. Solution from senior management; a sales growth plan (genius huh ?), they added sales heads (and cost) and low and behold growth started, but look hard. The growth was less than the market growth levels enjoyed by the competition.

Now the market has slowed the additional costs are a burden and so a reshuffle and costs are cut. They have to resolve the issue about lack of growth. In many peoples minds internally it is to embrace the market change, accept that custmers want wider scope of supply and more responsibility taken by suppliers. This means higher risk, more services and Im afraid to say lower margins in that value added business, but it will and does pull through the higher margin product business.

Get over the silo mentality that Logix has to be seen to grow as a seperate productline and embrace the market and Rockwell can and will grow again. Replace the tired oldguard with new blood and watch the Rockwell superior offerring outgrow the competition.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

I'm not familiar with organization outside U.S. but here Rockwell Regional VP's, District, Branch, Local Area(Product), Channel and various Market Segment Managers operate below VP Sales and above individual territory salespeople. Reorg in sales, services, district and branch office structure in 2006 realigned many but resulted in little head count reduction.

There appears to be about a 3:1 ratio in many markets between Rockwell salespeople and other automation suppliers Siemens, Schneider, CH, GE etc. salespeople operating in common trade areas calling on distributors, integrators, OEM and end user customers. ABB largely uses independent manufacturer rep agencies.

Rockwell augments their sales organization with mandated, by Automation Appointment, dedicated distributor salespeople determined by local market share, sales performance, and sales volume.

In general, within the U.S., competitive automation suppliers, some with much larger product portfolios, have leaner sales organizations with fewer layers and larger geographic assignments compared to Rockwell's current structure.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

The cuts are continuing the rest of this week. People that were just hired a year ago from other good companies are also being let go. There is no rhyme or reason for some of the releases of some of the people. Especially for the sales people that have been over plan all.

The aggressive growth model is a joke. They have been having issues on paying sales people all year long on getting the numbers right. The great quote has continued to be heard "With the new model you will not get hurt financially." Well that is not true there are alot of people make alot less money and having to fight for every penny along the way with no help from management to help resolve the issue.

A good company has turned into a club of good old boys that keeps everyone in the dark on what is going on. It may be the most ethical company they tell everyone, although they are some of the most back stabbing personnel, most irrogant company in the industry that does not make anything more, 70% of their products are brand labeled and marked up way to high because it has a two letter name on it. Go figure customers are starting to figure it out ever so slowly.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

There is a news in press about Rockwell cutting work force by 3%. It doesn't mention details about cuts in terms of country or job type. It seems Rockwell is taking this action in light of current economic conditions. It seems it's ahead of its competition in taking proactive measures to beef up earnings for next 2 years, while saving money to provide more equity to it's shareholders and many of it's VPs stock options.

Real question is - for $6 billion organization, how many chiefs are needed? What are the ratios of real sales people vs. managers/VPs etc in a "Truely Worldclass" organizations? What do the competition have in terms of number of management people vs. sales people?

Some of you industry pundits - please share your thoughts.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008 - Rockwell Automation to cut 600 jobs.

The Wall Street Journal(10/1)reports that "Rockwell Automation Inc. said it's cutting three percent of its global workforce in a restructuring plan that's expected to save the provider of industrial automation services about $85 million by 2010." The restructuring is expected to include "streamlining administrative and operations functions, realigning selling resources to the highest growth opportunities and consolidating business units." It "should save about $75 million in 2009, [and] will result in a fiscal fourth-quarter pretax charge of about $50 million that wasn't included in previous guidance."

Rockwell said that the estimated 600 "job cuts are the first layoffs that were induced by a slowing economy since 2002," according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (10/1)


Saturday, September 27, 2008

The reality is that Rockwell will do what it meeds to do, to survive in a Global market, not of its making. The reason it performs so well as a corporation is that it is conservative. The reality is that growth is in Asia. Are they doing enough to grab that growth? Anecdotally, they are doing good. Watch the region you could see stellar stuff.


Friday, September 26, 2008

The proposed UK re-org is hidden in a shroud of secrecy as we speak, and likely to be unveiled next week. Some predict big changes, while others think nothing will happen. It's up to European management. Hopefully the changes will be ones that will please the sales teams rather than a pure business-centric exercise. We will just have to wait and see. Times are tough in the UK and even though people talk about leaving if the right changes aren't made it's unlikely that they will given the current climate. However, if the right changes aren't made then sales figures will be affected due to lack of motivation, and the same people will end up leaving as soon as the marketplace improves. I'm unlikely to get affected (if the rumours are correct), as will be the case with many others, but if the whole team is happy then it will only be better for business.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

What is up with this ReOrg. We have seen resources reallocated to positions that they no nothing about. Meanwhile, the distribution channel is going through the Automation Appointment which is really a micro management of the distribution channel? What is going on here??


Thursday, September 25, 2008

What exactly was the "turnaround" of Rockwell Software? Sure as heck hasn't happened yet...and who is this messiah?


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

There is a key person on the Rockwell Software side who is a program management expert. He was instrumental in the turn around of Rockwell Software by driving changes. What Rockwell needs to do is get him over more of the product development so that he can work his magic on quality and delivery of the other products. If he can be the focus on operations and others can focus on getting the sales house in order, I think that Rockwell can turn it around.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Big reductions coming down the pipe. Some already know they are in the firing line and have contacted recruiters. Recruiters smell the potential, so then call around others to see if they are interested. It's easier to pitch a few than a single person and more lucrative for them. The bottom line is Europe isn't making the numbers. Keith has stated as much in financial analyst discussions. Although they blame the market, the fundamental issue is with poor management and lack of strategy.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Kevin Roach leaving is just "interesting"? It's not surprising, and it is probably the end of the line for Rockwell's long term prospects as a software company. The hardware-centric mentality and old boy network at Rockwell will never change, despite having spent a boatload of money to acquire a few software companies. Another one bites the dust.


Friday, September 19, 2008 - Rockwell UK again.

Everyone's expecting some big changes at the end of the month and speculation has gone mad. All we know is that unless a big change occurs (read that as a whole load of middle managers get fired) then approx 25% of folks are likely to leave anyway, based on conversations with a couple of recruiters. Let's hope some sensible decisions are made.

What do you think will happen? What do you want to happen? Has anyone got the guts to do it?


Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - Rockwell UK.

How many of the sales guys have been contacted by recruiters? Whatdo the recruiters know that that the Rockwell employees don't?


Friday, September 12, 2008

Kevin Roach will be leaving Rockwell and joining a small ERP/SCM company, Activant Solutions Inc. Interesting.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

So here we are in 2008, with Rockwell Automation trying really hard to prove they are a process company, not just an automation company. They are even bringing out a line of RTUs.

But, taking a step back and talking to my friends in the integration stream, Rockwell are taking a page from the Emerson-DeltaV book. And not a nice page. Emerson-DeltaV likes vertical integration. They don't care too much for integrators (yes they have some, and when you get on their good side you are OK - for $50K plus a year to boot). But, if you're a regular competent integrator and you have to bid on a job with DeltaV, it seems that the tortuous hoops you have to jump through with Emerson-DeltaV are too many to get a fair price on paper. Not to mention in many cases the local Emerson rep. is also an integrator and you get stabbed in the back.

Back to Rockwell though; their integration arm is the problem. It almost seems as if, when you call Rockwell technical support (if you can call it that) and mention the customer's name, that their integrator arm suddenly turns up the next day. I've spoken to a few people who make it a point of not mentioning their customer when talking to Rockwell.

In the "old days" Rockwell used to call integrators with sales opportunities. They were keen to push their brand and quite happy to stand back and let a few integrators go at it. Now, I rarely hear of anyone getting a sales tip from Rockwell. Their distributors are mostly good, and they suffer equally as they can often lose hardware sales (or their profit margin).

Now when you bid the job you find out that the larger customers get significantly better prices than you for the components. I understand that a small integrator pays $2 per widget and a large one pays $0.50 because of sales - that is life. But when Rockwell come in at a price their own people say isn't possible, say $0.25, then something is awry. On top of that it is difficult to get discounts on software, yet Rockwell manage something if they quote the job.

So in the end, what this does is shut out many integrators from the bidding. Is this intentional? I believe so. I think that Rockwell wants their integration arm to compete with a few large integrators - preferably with global reach - and with high overheads like Rockwell, so that they can be charging say $200 per hour for services that could quite easily be profitable in the $100 to $120 range. They are quite happy to lead on the smaller integrators (and medium sized ones) and let them snap away at the tiny jobs. This is part of the Rockwell recognition that the hardware and indeed the software is not really the profit centre - it is the services - and what have they been doing all these years letting tiny little integrators steal all that profit!

Meanwhile Schneider Automation and ABB come to the door of these integrators aggressively trying to expand their factory automation and/or process automation lines. They indeed have integration arms or services arms, but they come with the old Rockwell (Allen-Bradley actually) way of recommending projects and clients and then getting out of the way.

So, if Rockwell thinks this is a good business model, then more power to them. I don't quite agree, and think that their hardware prices are too high, software prices are way too high and their software is too buggy (e.g., FactoryTalk View). They need to work more closely with their distributors and integrators in existing markets to maintain their dominance. Go ahead and play dirty in a market where everyone uses Siemens. I don't think they want to end up like Emerson-DeltaV where people in the systems business actively avoid them.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

There is a critical leadership void at the Senior Management levels with too many chiefs unable to execute any creative innovative thought and thus the fractured verticals and poor product and services performance. The massive changes that are being attempted will not be successful with the current lack of innovation and the type of leadership required to truly being great.

The gamble of purchasing outside innovation at a premium acting as strategic catalysts cant hold up against the good-ole-boy succession culturewhich is leading a CEO with tunnel vision continuously to drink his own kool-aid. As a successful, but frustrated, middle manager I recognize that something is needed urgently to get out from underneath the thumbs of these bully, do-it-or-die, white bread, male, my way or the highway, senior managers.

Its getting really tough to have these folks continuously adjust compensation downward for their subordinates while they suffer no repercussions for their own inept actions and make more and more. This is especially the case for those in the do-nothing, negatively oriented, management-by-force top sales roles who make disproportionately more money than the rest of us for their ROS. Id say its time for a true assessment and purging of the senior leadership.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

I worked for Rockwell for two years and happily left just as the wheels were coming off. The managment knows it must become more than a parts and products company. They know that they must diversify their customers and fix their supply. They understand that their once dominant market share in N America is slowing and sliding, and yet the only thing that their out-of-touch chairman could tell analyts is that they are still looking for cost-cutting measures.

Talk to the workers who have been let go, and the workers still there, and ask them how long Rokwell has been and will continue to draw down costs, instead of looking for growth in new markets and emerging geographies.

If my memory serves me right, Rockwell is making the same grave mistakes that it is trying to help it's auto customers avoid. Long term, overpaid, incented, benefits-heavy workforce, with old technology, bloated good-old-boy culture, without a global supply-chain and channel strategy.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

With regard to the comment about someone buying up ABB. Who would have the inclination or clout to raise the appropriate funding to buy a $30B per annum company? To suggest that ABB would be a more credible aquisition without suggesting any potential bidders is simply ludicrous. Even with the the share price stagnant, at best I can't see why anyone would make an approach.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I agree that rumors have been floatimg around that someone will buy Rockwell. And pundits have been making all kinds of statements as to why someone will buy Rockwell. If you look really close, Rockwell has a solid track record of earnings and growing customer base. ABB has done very poorly in the past they have tried to buy companies and integrate, last major one almost got them into bankruptcy. Anyone with good business sense and money will spot right opportunity and can buy ABB, yes... they can suck $5B cash out, and it's more lucrative to buy them than Rockwell.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Seems that people have been buying stock in ABB or GE. One wonders why, in 10 yrs of rumors, they never they really made a move? I still struggle to understand what would ABB or GE get from buying Rockwell. ABB strenght is on Power and Services, and Rockwell can't bring much of that (or at least not much new to the plate). The low stock ROK has today has much to do with the volatility of the American stock market and the not very acurate growth expectations set at the beginning of the year. It will come back as soon as this effect dilutes.


Monday, July 28, 2008 7:04 AM

I agree with your thoughts that this news and the confirming statement by the interim CEO on Squakbox confirms that ABB is looking for an automation acquisition. Somehow though, I feel that the recently announced plan by GE to spin-off it's consumer & industrial division will factor into things somehow. Perhaps if nothing else GE may also put the GEFanuc component of the enterprise solutions division on the table.

There could also be a race to move on Rockwell. If GE finds a buyer for the appliance division they'll be cash rich (est. $4-6B from that sale), industrially focused and perhaps on the hunt for a major purchase to grow their organic base.


Monday, July 28, 2008

JimPinto.com eNews 28 July 08 includes analysis of ABB/Rockwell possibilities:

    A comparison of ABB and Rockwell stocks shows that conditions are VERY favorable for ABB to buy Rockwell. Rockwell stock is down, and ABB is strong, with plenty of cash to buy an ailing Rockwell if it chooses.

    Two weeks ago, ABB named Joseph Hogan, the head of GE Healthcare, as CEO. During his tenure at GE, Joseph Hogan spearheaded a number of large acquisitions including GE's biggest-ever acquisition. Now expect him to bring out ABB's big guns. Rockwell will roll.

Click here Read: ABB growth roars - new acquisition-orientated CEO


Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Rockwell UK have had an excellent year so far and look to be finishing 40% above plan, and all due to the sales management that has been put in place."

As a Rockwell sales employee it's concerning to hear those thoughts come from a person who claims to be a sales management individual. I can only hope that such thinking is concentrated to a region (UK) that is known for it's pompous and arrogant leadership throughout history (no offense to the majority of Brit's who are salt of the earth types). It's truly disgusting to think that one of our own has the audacity to suggest that making the number is only a result of the guidance offered by management and not anything to do with the efforts from the front line troops. I can only hope that should senior management read this entry they will take it upon themselves to utilize the keyboard-entry tracking-ools that exist on all Rockwell issued PC's and have the IT dept. root out this person so that they may hung, drawn and quartered!


Friday, July 18, 2008

So, let me get this straight. If Rockwell UK sales management are doing such a great job and country is going to finish up at 40% over target then why decide to lay off some sales guys? Certainly from the management posts that I've seen it looks as though there are going to be lay-offs come the end of the FY. Isn't it the sales guys who make the sales? Would laying them off improve sales? I don't mean to be simplistic here but duh....! If anyone should be fired then get rid of the moron who proposed the idea of firing sales guys. I'm so glad I don't work for Rockwell. Not with that level of ineptitude.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

The other big contradiction is that Rockwell tells its customers and prospects that it can be the "valued partner" in implementing a long strategic automation and data centric plan in order to raise OEE and compete in todays fast moving and lean economy. - Big words and requires a longer term strategic investment by both parties. Then internally it apperas to be managed by a product sales mentality which implements a short term target driven sales plan and measurement system and creates division within it's own ranks. If there is no co-operation internally then how can there be co-operation externally?

Product sales or engineering solution provider? The business models are different - which one please?


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Have been watching this blog for some time and the most recent blog quoting "all due to the sales management" really seems to sum up Rockwell UK sales management for me. If indeed Rockwell UK are indeed 40% over plan, for a sales management team to take all the credit and not even ackowledge that some the front-line sales guys (presumably RUK do like some of their sales guys) have not contributed to these figures in someway is nothing more than arrogant.

And finally i am not a Rockwell employee but a sales guy who puts lots and lots of hours and miles on the clock to get my sales figures.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm confused about the contradiction on the last couple of posts. If my maths is right, starting at a base level of 100 for sales for the previous year, then 30% down is 70. If this is 40% about the plan then the plan was for 50! So you aimed to half your sales revenue ( or order entry if that's what you measure)?? Glad I don't work for Rockwell!

To be honest, even as an outsider, it's easy to spot the management posts on the blog, and it doesn't endear you to others in the industry and is hardly an good advert for RA as a great employer when management won't take responsibility for their staff when things get tough. I look at the quality of the people who you took from my organisation (no loss in many cases) and I hope that ABB do the honourable thing and put you out of your misery for your customers' sake.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

40% above plan my **** ! The last blogger needs to go to an open mike spot at the local comedy club. I agree Sales management in the UK is not the problem; it's the European and Regional management who lumbered them with an unrealistic plan who are to blame.

Regarding the Proscon posts - I'll eat my shorts if that acquisition has achieved its targets. And now it'll be another burden on the UK management team. Give em a break.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rockwell UK have had an excellent year so far and look to be finishing 40% above plan, and all due to the sales management that has been put in place. It is a little known fact that less than a year ago the average number of customer visits made by account managers was less than 3 per week. Thanks to the sales process being rigorously enforced by the sales managers, this number is now up to over 7 visits per week. And the previous post was right - the big axe IS coming. Perhaps it's the sales guys that should be fearing it's effects because the sales management have done a great job.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rockwell UK is about to finish the year on a real downer. 30% below last year! Yikes. I see a big axe coming. The middle management are starting to sweat!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Proscon guys have just started getting their Rockwell business cards. After 18 months Rockwell has finally accepted them as part of the organisation!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What is the actual status at Proscon after 1.5 year, post February 2, 2007? Once the Proscon backlog is eaten up, ... into a two year earn out period, then once the guys who pushed it forward have taken their glory, the revenues will erode.


Friday, July 11, 2008

The time is nigh I'm afraid. Today, Rockwell closed at $41.65 - nearly half the price at this time last year, when ABB didn't pursue any "official" bid, presumably because that the price wasn't right. I'm not an expert by any means, but if ABB or someone else dosen't move in shortly, I'll eat my shorts.

What's that noise I hear... oh.. its the clock... tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.....


Friday, July 11, 2008

JimPinto.com eNews 11 July 08 includes Rockwell analysis:

    "This week Rockwell Automation stock price fell to a new low of about 42, triggering new rounds of rumors about buyout bids. Rockwell's revenue is about $5.5B. Market-cap is about $6.2B, down 45% from recent $10-11B. This is a price/sales ratio of less than 1.2 - eminently acquirable.

    If ABB or GE (or a Chinese or Indian company) offers a 60% premium over current stock-price, say $70/share, this would recover the stock to close to the April 2007 peak of $77/share, and most stockholders will likely fold.

Click here Read: Rockwell dangles within acquisition range


Friday, July 11, 2008

It's about time that another company takes over Rockwell Automation. This central driven, products company, has no serious future in the industrial automation world of today, where software and services become more and more important.

This is coming from an ex-RA employee who left RA (to some posters on this blog I am now a loser) voluntarily (without taking or asking for a getaway premium). The reasons why I left were twofold: 1/ after working so hard (which I really liked and still do) I found that my direct senior managers (VPs)had no knowledge whatsoever on what I was doing, and therefore could not really advise me nor manage me. 2/ The way that the people who actually do work in the field are taken for granted. The best engineers leave RA and start for themselves. The reason why they leave is all about how they are being managed.

PS: After I left RA I started my own company, which is now a "Phase 1 company" according to Jim Pinto. I work even harder than at RA, and it shows. Some advice to RA senior management: Implementing 2 new business systems (Peoplesoft, and now SAP) in a period of 6 years is not really solving anything.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What is going on at EJA, the Rockwell company in the UK, is nothing short of ridiculous. The decision by the bean-counters to move manufacturing to lower-cost countries was made a while ago. It's now being split between two other countries hundreds of miles apart. The suppliers are still in the UK meaning that parts are getting shipped across oceans and lead-times are going out of the window as a result. The engineers and their product know-how are still in the UK for these products, so any on-the-spot reaction to our manufacturing issues has disappeared faster than we manufacturing people at EJA are getting the bullet.

The timescale for these moves that has been organised (did I say organised?) is chaotic, leading to all kinds of problems. EJA use to be a great place to work; we made all the Guardmaster safety switches which were designed here by good engineers and built by a loyal workforce (remember loyalty do we?). Now these switches have gone to places who don't have any of our manufacturing know-how, purely to save money. This is completely false, as all the shipping costs will make these products far more expensive. Whoever made this decision needs to seriously recheck the finances. There's no way on this earth that these figures could support this commercial and logistic folly.

Who organised this? It could only be an extremely cunning plan by one of our competitors.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Well, the jelly-belly duo have finally taken the North American cash cow and milked it dry. With their HQ-centric driven, do-it-or else, micro-management style, along with a hard-headed, no turning back, crippling re-orginazation, there is no faith and no morale in the field. Parallel that by what will be a paralyzing SAP transition, the HQ "emperors" have no clothes and ought to get off the bus to nowhere themselves. Hopefully, I'll get off before it crashes.


Monday, July 7, 2008 - Whither Rockwell?

Not easy when your local (American) market is in a tailspin. I've seen Rockwell operate in several countries now - everywhere from Switzerland (where they don't seem to have a presence at all) to Australia (where they have a good market share).

What are they doing wrong? Problem number one is their software - it is weak and buggy. The whole FactoryTalk Directory, Security, Activation etc. is awful. Seasoned integrators struggle with having to use Vmware sessions of various packages because "they don't play nice". RSView ME, er I mean, FactoryTalk View ME is one particularly awful package. Worse yet is RSView SE or FTV SE. This package (now at version 5) has NEVER WORKED in larger installations. Imagine, perhaps, a large facility with scores of screens and tags and background scripts. It just does not work. I will say I was happy to hear about the deal with Pi as RSSQL/MSSQL never worked either. I've seen FTV SE put up against Wonderware etc. and it just is too buggy. RSBatch etc. - just as bad. Of course if you have ever had to suffer with Siemens SIMATIC PCS-7 then you might forgive Rockwell Automation!

What are they doing right? Their PLCs are top notch (I still think the Siemens S7-400 is the best piece of hardware I've ever used, but Step7 hurts my brain with all the weird tricks you have to remember). OK, the whole IEC 61131.3 thing is a big joke, but everyone else has the same problem. I don't care for structured text on ControlLogix but the traditional ladder logic is great. Even the RSLogix5000 software holds up quite well (yes, don't forget to save often as it does seem to crash quite badly once in a while). But there is FactoryTalk Activation.

Oh yes, and please can you guys just ALL start putting the popular industrial field buses into the core of your systems - that means NATIVE Foundation Fieldbus and PROFIBUS etc. support for ControlLogix. Just because Siemens like PROFIBUS does not mean Rockwell Automation has to ignore it - make the bold step and support it!

Can they beat ABB, Siemens etc.? I'm not sure about that. I don't get a good feel from Rockwell when discussing process automation versus "old fashioned" industrial automation. For example, I've worked on ABB systems - they need improvement too (especially on the software side), but when you sell the DCS, all the instruments and have great support, you've got the automation job - I don't see how Rockwell can beat them right now. Even tougher to beat ABB or Siemens with things like their power generation arms , water treatment people etc. Then there is DeltaV - whoa - just try to figure out the cost of the hardware and software - some kind of secret sauce. Plus Emerson don't play nice (how many integrators have had the local Emerson guys go behind their backs and quote a job directly? Hey, I'm your friend not your enemy!).

Finally there is Rockwell Automation's own integrator arm. This is a big beef with me and Emerson, Siemens, Rockwell etc. - I'm told I have the best price possible on a piece of hardware only to find out that my customer gets a better price (even funnier is comparing two customers' supposedly lowest possible pricing - always different) OR you're quoting the customer directly behind my back OR you're giving freebies away to the customer (subsidies aren't going to last, but you can't blame the customer for accepting them - even the OEMs have to make money indefinitely and using the DeltaV model of hiding high prices by obscurity won't work forever). Also, the dog and pony sales shows that promise things the software just does not deliver really don't help anyone. Stop telling lies (that goes for ALL automation companies).

So what next for Rockwell Automation? Perhaps the Invensys model of acquisition for themselves - er, proven not to work. Or get bought out ... but by whom? ABB (perhaps, they seem to have enough money, but could they swallow Rockwell - they are weak where Rockwell is strong)? GE (good idea, I think, their PLCs are awful), Siemens (no, the Siemens model of buy then kill would really hurt the Rockwell customer base)? Chinese company (I hope not, but then the software quality can only get better)? Japanese (they don't seem interested, remote?). I'll leave that prognostication to Jim Pinto.


Monday, July 7, 2008

I understand the gloom and doom on this board due to the excesses of management and their follies, but to some degree I think this is a plague that besets most American corporations due to our short term thinking and executive greed to get larger bonuses at whatever the cost.

I do see Rockwell's market share continuing to slip away, however, I do feel at the core that they produce a multitude of good solid products that have industry wide acceptance, and thus will not fade away to nothing.

There has been acquisition talk at Rockwell during my whole 20+ years and the old boys have been running the show since the day I started, though now we seem to be recruiting old boys from other malfunctioning corporations. Nonetheless, as a Rockwell shareholder things are scary, but I would still feel safe in continuing to sell and recommend Rockwell products with a clear conscience.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

The gentleman is correct in stating that Rockwell Automation should hire a third party investigator. At other companies similar in size to Rockwell, some Director level purchasing people were getting direct deposits of cash into their or their spouses checking accounts. The only way you find these things out is by doing a true investigation.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

The reality is that Rockwell Automation is a dying company. Slowly dying, but dying none the less. It tries to pose as a global company - with leadership that is best suited for the old days when North America was the growth engine of the manufacturing world, and when good ol' boys could play their game.

The further you get from Milwaukee, the less Rockwell understands what it's doing. Its management is weak, its product strategy is inept, its growth strategies are a hodge-podge of gobbly-gook that only a marketing weany would try to love, and, fatally, it is more focused on process than production.

In the minds of its customer-base, Rockwell Automation is being out-performed by its global competitors across the board, pure and simple. It should be sold off while it still has some value. Its day is done.

That said, I expect the current management will likely just ride it down until the stock reaches firesale levels, and then they will cash-out and fade away.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

In response to the guy who talks about the purchasing agent being cleared of any wrong doing by the ombudsman has to be joking. What Rockwell needs to do is hire a third party private investigator to do some real research into the unethical practices of these purchasing directors.

Do you think that if someone asks a person, "Hey are you stealing from the company?" they are going to say yes? give me a break! What Rockwell needs is to look deeper; 100million component spend and no one is getting favors? How about a real investigation? Stock price is in the tank, and purchasing directors on the take.


Monday, June 30, 2008

Rockwell Automation is an Old Boys Club. They still view the old timers as their assets, even if they have failed to perform in their current roles. A company can never grow if it can't fire leadership for not being responsible to meet goals. Check out most of the sales management in the company and you will see same trend over and over. Old timers are promoted and selected for management roles.


June 28, 2008

No, things are not 100% at Rockwell, and yes, they may have been over ambitious in their growth aspirations over the past couple of years. However, one of the things that current Rockwell employee's can be sure of - they work for an ethical Company that does business on the merits of its employees, products and services. Even the "ex Rockwell" bloggers on this site can't deny that. I know where I'd rather be at the moment.


Friday, June 27, 2008

I still see sales guys complaining about Rockwell Sales Management in the UK, and how the managers should be fired because they are driving the sales too hard and too fixated with the sales process.

Well, guess what? The sales process approach is the model of every successful sales company out there, and it is here to stay. The management team have been tasked with administering this policy and given the positive results we have seen so far there's no point in changing this model.

But you still complain. So, here's a suggestion: Either get with the programme or go and find a job that doesn't require hard work. Rockwell is all about making the effort and winning. There's no room for losers.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

The simple reason behind the stock price drop is the revised guidance issued on Wed, citing less than expected growth in US and Europe. Behind this however is the harsh reality that all the effort has been in pushing sales of Logix. Some recent UK-based weblog posts have bemoaned poor local management and that may well be the case. But, the Company has been chasing unrealistic sales target for Logix equipment sales Globally, resulting in very unhappy sales folk who know the hill is simply too steep.

A few years ago RA embarked upon pushing services. A few individuals leading this charge evangalised the fact that customers wanted more "total solutions", but the RA requirement for high-margin product sales and short-termism drove these people out. The solutions side continues to grow, but at lower margins. Nobody thought to tell wall street this! Now the wheels have come off and no amount of incremental sales people can force the customer base to turn back the clock and buy just hardware.

Logix is a great product with true Global appeal. But customers want more and RA needs to re-engage the reality of a services-based approach. Look at what's happening at the competition.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Just wanted to let you know that there was a comment that was posted on this blog that did not check out. Back in February 08, someone accussed a PA of being on the take accepting Super Bowl tickets. I had our internal Ombudsman look into it. Turns out there was not a shred of evidence to back up this false claim. Everyone seems to want to believe the worst in everybody. It's more fun to spread gossip than to seek the truth. Just wanted to clear the record.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Rockwell price drop is purely because of the fact that just weeks ago they affirmed guidance and now they drop it. They continue to show they are not in control of their business. They have to rotate their management team and bring in people who can be successful. Otherwise they will die, and the remaining stars (there are many) will jump ship. In reality, the CEO has surrounded himself with people not able to adapt to the new world. In particular, the place is littered with has-been VPs who are holding up real growth.

Just look at the facts:

  • Europe has gone nowhere in 10 years; yet the President remains in place. He has now been though 5 UK managers, 2 German, 1 French, 1 Italian and 2 rest-of-Europe. How many more scapegoates does he have? Yet his boss has presided over equally big disasters, Asia and USA.
  • lOGIX failed to hit expectations yet the leader remains and the product pipeline remains weak.
  • SAP roll out has stumbled, they struggle to make product, yet the VP of manufacturing promotes all his guys to VP.
  • Software business will never perform under the currnet leadership in RSI.
What Rockwell needs is someone who knows what they're doing to take charge. The era of the old school is gone. They shouldnt be removed - they should resign after the shocking performance of the past few months.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Problems? This is called having the same supply chain business model for to long, and not lookin at the true total cost of ownership for materials that go into our products. ie. electronic components......


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Regarding Rockwell's big drop today - I dont see ABB or Emerson cutting outlook. Rockwell's problems are Rockwell specific. As a shareholder, I think its time they considered a sale.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hey, let's not lose site of what's been said about RAUK Sales Management. Self-empowerment is a great thing and the comments are appreciated. However, there are a couple of sales managers in the UK organisation that, unless they are removed, will lead to increased demotivation and unrest. I'm all for empowerment, but when you put the wrong guy in charge of a highly skilled team there is only one solution, and that is to get rid of him straight away rather than wait for the situation to miraculously improve.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rockwell shgares down 11% to about 46 - mid-morning June 25, 08. Anyone got any thoughts on today's profit warning? Blaming slowing growth in US and Europe - nothing new there - but anyone got any deeper insight?


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I am an ex-Rockwell employee but do not work for competition. I sincerely believe that - whilst Rockwell UK sales are growing - they should be growing more because the products and portfolio are the best they have ever had. I note in the blogs that some people do not differentiate managing and leadership. Self-empowerment also goes only so far; teams win and have fun! Targets alone create the kind of situation we see in these blogs and is 90's style sales management. The last blog sounds better - sales guys ask your manager to take the lead in giving you Rockwell UK's objectives,(but not just targets!)and in helping you decide what is the best use of your time to meet the objectives.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

There does seem to be a lot of bitterness in these blogs as of late. As a current employee of RA-UK, it's hard to say if the posts are coming from current or former employees. I would say a mixture of the two.

I have to agree with the last message. There are plenty of opportunities within RA to be successful. It's the type of company that is driven by ambition, and if you are willing to work hard then you will get rewarded.

On the subject of management, I think it would be fair to say that the current sales management in the UK is rather inexperienced. The Sales Director is a seasoned professional and we look to him to make the right decisions in picking his team. Granted, he has a team of sales managers trying to do their job. But some of them aren't managing as well as others due to their inexperience, and yes there are some very upset and demotivated sales guys as a result. I don't think the solution to this problem is as simple as firing the sales managers. However, it would be worth gathering the thoughts of some of the guys on the ground in order to make a sensible decision on how the management team is performing.

Personally, I'm OK with my situation, but I have spoken to far too many unhappy people recently, and it's not doing anyone any good to let the situation continue this way.

My last company had an appraisal process that worked both ways, and an employee would influence his/her managers pay rise. I don't think this is the time to adopt this as a policy in RAUK, but it would provide a valuable insight if an exercise to see how everyone feels was to be taken.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

As I read the information in each of the blogs, I find it very curious that self empowerment and self direction is not very clear from people. The lack of self accoutability in most posts is striking. Rockwell Automation is a company that rewards indivuals that practice self motitivation, self direction, and personnal empowerment. The ex-employees of Rockwell Automation that have posted and left Rockwell Automation blame Rockwell Automation Management for their problems. Self analysis might be suggested.

As a long term employee of Rockwell Automation, I am reminded daily of the personnel of Rockwell Automation that drive professional and business growth for this company. For those people that support OUR pension, thanks. (And Yes, I will probably never get the pension but I have accepted that! I have the neccessary years but I also accept that I have certain finanical responsibilities that I must cover in my life also.)

With such bitterness towards management, current employees and ex-employees should only look to themselves as the issue because of their own shortcomings. Rockwell Automation supports its employees and its products with such support that it makes the competition look weak in comparision. This is why daily it nice to know that when I choose to make a difference I can. Sure you can find areas that all companies are weak and do not support employees or products, but at Rockwell Automation there are still plenty of people that realize their number one job is to support the customer.

For the ex-employees of Rockwell Automation, good luck making a difference where you are. If you keep the same self perspective you had while at RA, you will be finding another job soon.

For current employees of RA, reach out and expand your footprint. Management will support it. Good luck.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's always easy to spot the Rockwell management blogs. That last one was a complete lie and fairly typical of sales management in the UK. Come on John, come over here and get rid of these deadweights before it's too late.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Once again the "non-Rockwell" bloggers are on the Rockwell site spouting off with minimal information... Clearly they have nothing better to do! If they were still part of the Rockwell organisation, they would know the agenda that John McDermott will have whilst he is in the UK. The UK Sales Team do, because they will be meeting him. It would appear that the negative bloggers (obviously ex-Rockwell employees) are missing the team that is now stronger than it has been for a long time!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Global VP of Sales is indeed coming over next week. However, the previous blog is wrong in stating that he is coming over to sort out any perceived problems in the UK sales organisation.

Although he is making a courtesy visit, I don't think it would be a bad idea if he spends a bit of time in gathering input from the UK sales team members as to the types of problems they are facing. Rather than review the situation with the sales management team, he would be better off asking the sales guys themselves. Part of the problem in large organisations such as Rockwell is that the people further up the chain (ie middle management) feed their opinions upwards and ignore those of the people below them. This leads to the guys and girls on the ground feeling totally left out, and further highlights the incompetence of middle management as they try to cover their mistakes by presenting a rosy picture to senior management.

I'm sure the Global VP of Sales knows all of this very well, and perhaps has neglected the problems being faced in the UK. It's time for change.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Rockwell's Global VP of sales is coming over to the UK next week to sort out the abysmal situation the UK sales team have got themselves into. Hopefully he will see the faults of what the sales management team have been doing and effect a few changes.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Whilst all the mails seem to be from the UK, we shouldn't forget Rockwell is present in over 90 countries and seems to be growing faster than the respective economies. The UK will always feel blighted because that is a mature market and no longer the kings of the empire.

If the UK guys were any good, they would position themselves in new growing industries or geographies. If they don't want to do that, get ready for how companies treat mature and cash cow economies and that doesn't matter what company it is. Time to stop whining and face the reality that the UK market will never be the key pivot point for any of the major automation companies. Think East Europe, China, India, Brazi and Rockwell guys reflect how you are doing in those markets.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

To the Siemens Guy: It's easy to drop comments into a Weblog when its anonymous. But either way, welcome back to the Rockwell Weblog.

If it is so green on the "Dark Side", dont be shy. Why don't you tell your ex-colleagues at Rockwell who you are, and how well you are doing? It's always good to hear about someone being so successful!

Although coffee always tastes sweeter when you put an extra sugar in at the beginning, bitterness it seems does linger on! Lets hope you are getting, and continue to get the promised rewards at Siemens.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

To the weblogger who commented on the management team in the late 90s, as someone who was also around at the time it really was THE place to be! So maybe the solution is to get Coulton to give up his job in Asia and find out where Hardy is and persuade them both back. But lets get realistic, people move and so do organisations. What is needed is fresh blood with the same passion and leadership that Rockwell had at that time. And by the sound of it, it's needed fast!


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hey, it's me again. The guy who left Rockwell and went to Siemens. The grass is greener. The coffee tastes sweeter over here.


Friday, June 6, 2008 - with reference to the comments of said Rockwell manager:

I never knew anyone who left a job to work for a competitor for less money or indeed a lower achievable OTE. Who wants to be in the kitchen when the Chef has lost direction and focus, the food is past its sell-by date and all that's left has gone rotten.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Reading through these blogs over the last couple of weeks I have noted the following:-

  • Rockwell UK sets unrealistic or unachievable targets for its sales guys.
  • The management team attitude is to push the sales guys hard, and if they can't achieve and be part of the team then they should leave.
  • The management team are not of the right calibre to turn the situation around.
  • The competition are winning business because of this flawed sales model.
To summarise, based on the above points, unless there is a drastic change within RA UK sales then sales will continue to dip and employee morale will go down further, knowing that they can't possibly achieve target. The only other option is to go and join the competition, who will gladly take on RA employees, and targets are likely to be more achievable. We all want to work for the best companies, as Rockwell surely is one of them, but we want to be able to put dinner on our tables at the end of the day.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

I see all of the Rockwell UK Sales Organisation e-mails have started up again. As a former member of the UK sales team I can certainly sympathise with the people involved. It's common practice when a new sales manager is put in place that a few peoples noses are put out of joint. The UK organisation has a little too much pride though, and when they make a bad decision in hiring/promoting a new sales manager who upsets the sales guys, they leave him in place for far too long. They do usually end up rectifying the problem at a later date by getting rid of said manager, but it's too late by then as many of the team have either left, are looking for new jobs, or are too demotivated to care.

So, if anyone with some power and sense is reading this, then please avoid the repercussions of taking too long over rectifying a bad hiring/promotion decision. Rockwell has a good sales team and to lose them to the competition would be a big mistake in the present climate.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Any comments out there regarding Rockwell's acquisition of Incuity software?


Monday, June 2, 2008

It beggers belief to think that someone claiming to be from the Management organisation would have written that comment a few days back (Thursday, May 29).

This is exactly the sort of bullying behaviour and culture which is the inherant reason behind the problems. Given that his/her view is that everything is so rosy I am sure that the cut backs in expenses, the long term postponement of a major business system implementation, the ridiculous high staff turnover, the arrogance... oh the arrogance .. are completely indicative of the actions of a successfull business. I'd hate to see how they behaved if the company was not performing so fantastically well. I am surprised he could get his head out of the sand long enough to see what he actually wrote.

The writing is clear on the wall..Share price dropping , +ve swing in exchange rates between dollar and european currencies, cut backs on spending... Work the rest out yourself.


Sunday, June 1, 2008

As a near 20 years of service employee in the UK sales organisation, and an avid reader of this blog, I thought I should add some realism to the current comments on the UK.

We all know that the issues in our organisation didn't just start. We've not had a strong local management team since the late 90's and most of that team have now left the company. The current management team are good people and are trying hard, but they're just not the right calibre for what's needed to turn the business around.


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Compare two following statements:

Weblog: 29 May 08:
"...The UK organisation is experiencing unprecedented growth..."

SEC Filings ROK Form 10-Q on 25-Apr-2008:
"...the first six months of 2008 compared to prior year... Europe, Middle East and Africa, with an organic growth rate of 4 percent, experienced strong growth to OEM customers in Germany, offset by lower growth rates in other developed countries, including a decline in sales to customers in the United Kingdom..."


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Its been said many times before, but Management IS the number one issue at RA GLOBALLY!! RA grew predominantly in the US due to its Sales Model; in a good growing market, differentiated sales models and gung ho sales management will work. The world and the markets change however and now the US and European markets are not growing significantly. This means RA needs to grow by taking market share from competition. In the automation products area this needs a different approach and one where RA is failing miserably.

"Lets just get to it" "Get after the numbers" "Grab the ball and run with it", all phrases oft used in RA meetings.

"Why?" "How?", these questions are what customers ask when being asked to change to RA. They are also the questions used by employees to their managers in RA. If management simply answer with "If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen" then they are not answering. Hence RA's customers do not get the intelligent, rational answers they require either. Instead RA chases unrealistic sales targets and underachieves. The results: customers stick with what they have, RA grows at market rates and employees churn.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Hey all you Rockwell UK sales people, your manager's attitude sucks big time. Perhaps he's the one they should get rid of, if they have any sense. Just remember, you will outlast any idiot with that attitude. Sheesh! No wonder people are leaving.


Friday, May 30, 2008 - from an outside observer (unrelated company):

After reading the post by the manager at Rockwell Automation UK on 29MAY I understand why the employees are very unhappy. The manager's attitude certainly validates their complaints!


Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Rockwell UK management team take a very strong stance on some of the defamatory mails that have been surfacing on this web-site. The UK organisation is experiencing unprecedented growth and continues to do so, and there are a number of employees who just can't keep up with the pace. This is why everyone is being looked at so closely. It's time to separate the men from the boys.

Rather than complain that they are being hard done by management perhaps these employees should take a close look at themselves and decide how they can work more efficiently. Otherwise, they should seriously consider moving to one of our competitors where the reward potential is substantially lower and the workload a lot less.

All this whining needs to stop. Remember, if you can't take the heat...........


Friday, May 23, 2008

After reading the latest JimPinto.com eNews, I think a merger of Cooper and Rockwell would be a hoot. They could call it Cooper Rockwell Automation Products.


Friday, May 23, 2008

JimPinto.com eNews 23 May 08 includes Rockwell discussion: "At $5B annual revenue, Rockwell Automation made questionable UK acquisitions in an effort to grow, but itself is an acquisition target."

Click here Reshuffling the Automation Majors


Thursday, May 22, 2008

To really judge the effect of "chemistry" one must look at what Rockwell actually bought (Allen-Bradley). Once a great industry leader; long ago, no doubt. Now look at the facility improvements: the Cafeteria yes, Production, Engineering, and future vision Outsourced and Lean. Good luck convincing the Shareholders. Quality - it's not about you.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

I see all the Rockwell mails have started up again after a curiously long absence. The paranoid amongst us have even suggested that Rockwell complained to Jim Pinto and that's why the mails stopped. I don't think so. No one stops Jim Pinto from publishing.

Anyway, we are being led to believe that the market is going through a rough period and will remain to do so for perhaps another year. Rockwell UK, rather than treat it's employees with the respect they deserve, has instead resorted to big brother style micro-management techniques, and is setting up a close eye on all members of the sales team. What does this mean? Well. middle management have been tasked with the unpleasant job of administering and running this pointless and painful exercise (hey, don't feel sorry for them though, as some of these guys love to play school teacher and tell off all the naughty children).

It won't work though. People always vote with their feet, and Rockwell, instead of taking advantage of the situation, are about to lose a few more staff. The competition is just waiting to snap them up.

    Jim Pinto note: My apologies. Due to spam filters and other problems, the weblogs were blocked. The problem has been corrected, and your comments are now coming through. (Resumed May 12, 08). Please continue to send weblogs.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

I'm a Rockwell employee in the UK Central District Sales Team, and will be leaving within about a month. My time at Rockwell has been good, but the current direction is totally wrong. The UK lot keep claiming that they are being driven by Brussels; but I know that it's got more to do with ineptitude of the UK management team than with Brussels management.

If you are thinking of joining Rockwell, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

My time with Rockwell Automation in the UK was only brief; around 2 years or so. I decided to leave my previous company after 15 years following its acquisition by GE, and seeing many things, including customer service, declining rapidly.

A former colleague invited me to join him at Rockwell (he has now left), and all I can say is that it only took me maybe 3 or 4 months to see that it was never going to work. My role was a 'specialist' Account Manager within RA and not the core business.

Management is obsessed with short-term targets, with no interest in fixing the many long-term problems that I uncovered with customers on a regular basis. I attempted to form a strategy for longer-term commercial success - stressing to Management that there was no quick fix and that we needed to earn customer credibility before they would commit to us.

My Manager was clueless with respect to my area of expertise, and showed no interest in my ideas or suggestions. He did, however, threaten me with disciplinary action if I again failed to meet my montly sales targets, despite being aware of the many ongoing problems our existing customers were experiencing.

Anyone thinking of joining RA should be aware that I have never known such a large turnover of sales staff, and people on disciplinary action brought about by 'barrow-boy' Managers that I'm sure couldn't hold down a job anywhere else. I had no real problems in securing another position. Indeed I had my pick of two or three different jobs, and have now worked for around 18 months for a blue-chip Japanese corporation in a UK/European role. It couldn't be more different from the fiasco that was RA.

Anyone thinking of leaving, just do it - RA needs you far more than you'll ever need them.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I'm sad to see, after reading the blogs here, that things are declining even more at RA. I left Rockwell after many years selling what I thought were the best products for every customer. But Wonderware welcomed me with open arms... and forget the coffee... they've got cappucino machines! And I am back to selling the best products on the market and taking market share from Rockwell every day! My point is instead of bemoaning the situation, take control of your own fate and make a change.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

As a successful, long term Rockwell Automation employee myself, I have seen this company go from a truely great organization (which I was proud to part of) to a dollar-driven, self-serving company. Sadly, they have fogotten that Rockwell is just a name; it's the people behind the name that make the company.

The current management, and not just in Milwaukee, are nothing short of a group of self-serving parasites that feed off the legacy of great products (and they still are great products, for now) and the backs of the good workers (many of them long-term employees) who have to suffer the indignities of the organization as it now is, hoping they can hang in long enough to get a pension. Many are feaful of this, as there seems to be a game afoot to get rid of long term employees to save paying them a pension. How dishonourable! And they have the audacity to make everyone take an ethics exam every year. What a sham!

You think I'm just blowing smoke? Did they not recently change the retirement number of the US based employees from 75 to 85? This was for the good of the employees, right? Talent Retention, that's how they spun it. Indeed. Could it possibly be that they are just buying time until they ship production to low-cost centers, and save paying some of those longer term employees their well earned pensions?

As for new employees, and some that have higher aspirations (or simply can't take the bullshit any more), Rockwell is experiencing a 15% turnover. That's a pretty significant number. Maybe have some respect for your employees, pay them properly, and stop the bullying tactics, and you might entice people to stay.

Loyalty is now gone. This shouldn't be surprising; you get what you give. The Management team, if we can even call them that, are either too blind to see the disintegration of a great company, or simply don't care. Upper Management, please get your heads out of the trough long enough to see whats going on before it is too late! But I guess it doesn't matter to you. You'll get fat bonuses, while the real people of the company will be left to pick up the pieces of their broken lives due to your short-sightedness and unabashed greed.

Low-cost manufacturing is the new ticket i.e. Asia Manufacturing, Latin American is only a slight improvement). But they haven't realized that this comes at a cost - quality and customer satisfaction. If I have learned nothing else in all these years in business, there is one certainty; take care of your customers and provide them with good products and services at fair prices, and the business will take care of itself. "But the shareholders will run!!" Yes, initially, some shareholders may sell off some of the stock. But they will soon realize that the company is a good, stable investment with moderate to good year-over-year growth, a "blue chip" stock. And they will return. And I should know, I'm an investor too.

I guess in closing, I should mention that I am entertaining offers from other companies. This means I am walking away from a pension - truly a sad statement. But I also know that I am a good employee, with good skills, and that I can offer this to other companies and get fair value in return. This has been proven by the offers put forward to me already.

Most assuredly, if anyone at RA figures out who I am through my opinions stated in this blog, I will be terminated for pointing out what we on the inside know as the reality at Rockwell. Happy Hunting!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I have a question for Sr. Management. Why did the new management make changes to only a portion of the operations in Twinsburg?

It appears they changed the position of the plant manager in Twinsburg in order to improve production, but no changes were made in the purchasing organization. Is purchasing not part of operations? Why are the same directors in purchasing and sourcing allowed to have free reign and no accountability for their purchasing decisions?

Does management not see that if you allow a purchasing or sourcing director to stay in the same position for to long that they can form some unhealthy relationships with suppliers?, considering the millions of dollars we spend.

How objective can a person be when their suppliers have been wining, dinging, gifting and golfing with them for years and years? How object can you be when your supplier is your next door neighbor, and your children go to the same schools?

Are we really getting the best price and support from or electronic components supplier? When can we expect some changes in the purchasing organization? When is purchasing going to respect engineering and ask for our input when choosing suppliers?


    Monday, May 12, 2008

    My apologies. Due to spam filters and other reasons, the weblogs have been blocked. The problem has now been corrected, and your comments are now coming through. Please continue your weblogs.

    Jim Pinto


Friday, March 7, 2008

Why can/should/will Rockwell be acquired?

Rockwell Automation now has revenues of $5B, and is run by CEO Keith Nosbusch, an Engineer. With a strong, but declining N. American market share in PLCs and related products, and inability to generate organic growth in other geographies and markets, Rockwell is stuck.

Rockwell MUST pull-off a $1B+ acquisition to sustain growth. But, Keith Nosbusch just doesn't have the vision and management depth to buy anything bigger than about $100M. And the company is busy with band-aid strategies - alliances and partnerships - which won't generate any serious revenue growth. Sooner or later, Rockwell will be vulnerable to takeover. By ABB, or someone similar.

Read insights and analysis by Jim Pinto in the latest (7 March 08) issue of JimPinto.com eNews.

Click Why Rockwell is a primary acquisition target


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'm a former RA-UK employeee who now works for Siemens. I genuinely understand what the guys are going through, having faced it myself over a number of years. What I can say though is that it is a fairly common occurrence that cycles from time to time, and rather than jump straight away it's always worth riding out the wave for a bit. Senior management, although a bit slow on the uptake, does have a tendency to weed out the thistles when required.

RA-UK is a good place to work and has a lot of great folk. It's a shame that it gets ruined by a select few. On the other hand, life at Siemens are great, and if any RA-UK guys want to come over we'll welcome you with open arms! The coffee here tastes great.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Now that ABB CEO Fred Kindle has gone and the Board looks like it might take a more aggressive approach to acquisitions, who are the likely automation targets for ABB? Apparently they are most interested in acquiring product rich companies to stuff through their existing sales channels, who would be the best fit there?

    Pinto suggestion: Rockwell Automation is ripe.

Monday, February 25, 2008

It's a while since I checked out this site. I was surprised to see that things at RA UK are still in turmoil, or at least that's the message that comes across form recent posts. I guess I shouldn't be surprised though, Account Managers are no doubt still being micromanaged and left fighting for their bonus.

Before writing this post I checked out Siemens, ABB, Emerson and Schneider blogs. Not a whisper from those guys regarding problems with management, sales guys, strategy etc. Maybe it really is time for RA Account Managers to "Wake up and smell the coffee"


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hmmmm... I thought this weblog had gone quiet from the UK after they changed the Sales Management. Is this a case of "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" ?


Saturday, February 23, 2008

With reference to the previous post, I'm always surprised that in large organisations such as Rockwell or Siemens certain individuals can ruin it for everyone else, and this isn't necessarily at a high level. When will Rockwell UK wake up and smell the coffee. (I'm sure this phrase is well known)

The automation market is buoyant, and hiring practices show that the big 4 automation companies are keen to hire employees away from one another. And when people get upset they vote with their feet. I don't personally condone this type of practice but surely Rockwell UK should realise that unless they change the Sales Organisation structure soon it will change anyway.

There is already very strong news circulating that unless there is a major change in the sales management structure in RAUK Central District by March 31st that no less than 3 of the sales team will resign!

C'mon Rockwell UK. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!!!!!


Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Rockwell Automation UK sales team has become so disjointed over the last year that they are in danger of losing business rather than gaining it. There are vertical specialists, product specialists, account managers, solution sales specialists, and customer support specialists. On paper this may look great and show that RA-UK have a streamlined sales process. Strip back the layers and the reality is a jumbled mess: account managers, who should be sole account owners, are fighting for commission against other teams; customers are being exposed to disjointed activities from the various sales teams, who don't seem to communicate amongst themselves; additional sales managers have been hired in order to streamline the sales management process, but are instead turning the sales game into a hugely time-consuming paperwork exercise.

At some point, all of this will come to a head and a decision will be forced rather than reached rationally. The sales team can, and should be allowed to look after themselves, with minimal supervision from so-called team leaders. Siemens have been successfully hiring away from RA-UK in recent times, and this is likely to increase dramatically over the next 12-18 months unless a change is put into place SOON!


Friday, February 22, 2008

I hear that the Director of Global purchasing in Twinsburg had two Super bowl tickets, weekend of golf, and hotel stay paid for by a certain distributor Arrow? I wonder how much a Super bowl weekend would cost in Phoenix? $5,000 or $10,000?? Now it makes sense why Rockwell Automation is so adamant about dealing with a certain distributor.

Management are you listening? Are there really any ETHICS policies at Rockwell?? I fear for my job and these purchasing managers enjoy the finer things in life? Wonder if the SEC would like to know that our purchasing guys are on the take?


Friday, February 8, 2008

I would like to comment on the purchasing practices at Rockwell. The gentleman that commented below, about measuring OEM supplies on delivery performance, when they are purchasing electronic parts through Arrow, seems go have a good grasp on the problem.

How can you fix, excess inventory, down time, and part shortages, by doing more of the same thing?? Arrow has been the preferred distributor at Rockwell for 8+ years, and you mean to tell me that in 8 years no one has looked at other supply chain options??

What if Rockwell did not change its design practices or change their product offering in 8+ years how competitive would our products be??

The in plant store is not the solution to part shortages and down time. Just ask the Genie Garage door company that just laid off 800 employees. When is this new management going to start asking the right questions of the purchasing management in Twinsburg and Mayfield Heights??

When is management going to ask what else is out there besides Arrow? When is management going to ask who is truly following our ethics policies???

Change is good, and more of the same Arrow strategy is not the answer. Black belts, Lean, etc., means nothing if you dont fix the logistics portion, and look for options other than the Arrow model

Who implemented the Arrow model at Rockwell? Who decided on the in Plant store? Maybe they should be asked to explain why they have not looked at other options. Maybe its time to change that persons role at Rockwell, in order to make real change?

    Signed Shareholder and Concerned Employee

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I am an entry level employee of Rockwell Automation responsing to the Tuesday, November 20, 2007 comments on salaries for the top people.

It is embarassing that our Senior V.P. salaries are less than a million. This talent needs to be properly compensated or they will jump ship. If our leadship is lost the rest of us would be adrift and our great company maybe dashed upon the rocks of a lee shore.

We could all do a bit more rowing and a lot less crying so the captains could focus on steering this mighty vessel. Put your backs into it, spare not in the face of our foes, for long and peaceful is our slumber in death, knowing that we pulled for our company.

Give them a raise!


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wow...I've been gone from Rockwell for a year and heard a rumor about ABB buying Rockwell and thought I'd check out Jim Pinto's blogs because they're always so informative. I didn't realize all the problems beyond where I came from within the Rockwell organization.

As a 20+ year employee with continued professional growth within a "boys club" environment, I finally decided to leave after seeing all the focus on internal metrics versus solving customer problems. It was very hard for me to leave because I enjoyed the opportunities I had within Rockwell over the 20 year period and have always thought of them as a great company with great products, but as many have stated here...poor management and leadership making bad decisions. It's a number game that makes them look better than they are, performance wise. I saw it first hand from a field sales position when it came to paying me.

I enjoyed a career in both the corporate environment and sales. I left while in a sales position. What I saw during the transition to internal focus was restructuring my account package everytime I grew 20-30% year over year, which the change always resulted in paying me less because I would end up with a lesser package and have to start from (almost) scratch at new accounts or territory base. I got frustrated and left on my own accord.

There is so much talent at Rockwell and so much opportunity for this talent outside of Rockwell if Rockwell's not willing to value their employees anymore. The hard part is the strength of the company because of the installed base everywhere and people sticking to what they're used to. The demographic is changing and this is an opportunity for aggressive competition.

Regarding their new sales structure...sounds like there is some confusion within Rockwell sales and with distributors and at customers. There are multiple sales folks calling on the same accounts, which makes it less efficient when trying to solve a customer problem, which may cross over the "complete solution" line and causing multiple resources to get involved, and causing confusion for distributors and customers - who do they call. Oh, and all RA Sales guys have to sell services so they internally fight over who gets the order if they're both in at an account. It sounds like the pay structure is punishment too. Do more, make less. This sales structure has not been implemented in every district YET, but I'm sure glad I left when I did.

Anyone know more about the ABB rumors?


on Friday, January 18, 2008

Reading my latest engineering magazines.... If I read one more time about the skills gap and lack of engineers my head will explode. Instead of providing a better career for engineers, companies throw their hands up and say "Skills shortage, the H-1B system is broken" or worse "Send manufacturing to China where the engineers are".

Granted in the present industry most work will be done by contractors like Rockwell Automation since few plants have engineering staff anymore, but you'd think Rockwell and other players would work harder to respect and take care of engineers rather than status quo - business leaders take all the income, cost cutting as much as possible, and golden parachutes for the leaders when acquisition companies come knocking.

The answer to the skills gap - make engineering a better profession! Do more for the remaining engineers and less lining the pockets of our mind numbing huge overhead of business executives. You want to attract talented young folks, make engineering the respected industry it was in the 1950s.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Heard on good authority that an official approach is imminent from ABB. tick....tock, tick...tock.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Just finished reading some of the blogs on this site. I too was a former employee at EJA in Wigan, UK. It's sad to see what the Americans have done to this industry - not only in the UK but world wide. Not suprised really - look at the idot who runs the country, he can't even string a sentence together. Does the management (I use that term lightly) actually know what they are doing to people? It is soul destroying; lots of roumours and hearsay. The site manager can't even look you in the eye when he speaks to you. Thats when he's there.... I wonder what golden handshake he will come out with at the end of all this? Then he can move on to his next victims... Who is it going to be next? Beware... At the end of the day we all are only clock numbers. We are not supposed to have feelings, opinions, thoughts etc. Good luck to you - all that are left at EJA. It's not going to get any better.

But there are better things out there. Just watch out that they are not owned by Rockwell Automation- or any Americans, come to think of it.........


Thursday, November 29, 2007

I am an employee at Rockwell Automation in Milwaukee and it appears that all this week there have been high level meetings in the purchasing organization. From what I can gather Sr. management has requested that 20 of the worst on-time delivery electronic component OEM suppliers come in and explain how they intend to improve their on-time delivery to Rockwell.

One thing that does not make sense is, why are the OEM suppliers being questioned about on-time delivery, when Rockwell does not buy direct from the OEM supplier..?? Rockwell buys electronic components from distribution not on a direct basis, and the preferred distributor is Arrow Electronics. So if youre buying the parts through Arrow wouldnt Arrow be the company responsible for on-time delivery and stocking the products for Rockwell to reduce component lead times??

Why is Arrow Electronics, not in Milwaukee explaining to Sr. management how they intend to improve their on-time delivery rather than the OEM suppliers? Why is Arrow Electronics not held accountable for their performance since they are the supply chain and logistics partner? That would be like blaming Sony, for Wal-Mart not having LCD televisions on their store shelves.. Wal-Mart is a distributor for Sony right? You dont go to Sony to buy and LCD television, you go to a distributor Wal-Mart, Best Buys, Circuit City. Just like Arrow is a distributor for these 20 OEM semiconductor suppliers.

If Arrow is not going to deliver the parts on time then why pay them the mark up to basically do nothing? Cut Arrow out and save Rockwell money and buy the parts direct from the manufacturer since they are the ones being measured for delivery performance??

Any comments would be greatly appreciated on this topic.


Monday, November 26, 2007

I would agree. Rockwell's products are not "crappy." They are (by my experience as an integrator) reliable and dependable. I also think that they are doing the right thing by staying away from bleeding edge technology. Let someone else deal with the blood bath associated with new technology releases and then companies like Rockwell can acquire them after the techology is tried and true. Speaking of which, ObjectAutomation went through this with their object-based control system in the late 80s / early 90s. I hear they have picked up momentum recently. Rockwell should look into acquiring them. It would be a nice addition to their product portfolio.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Reference the last message. Rockwell Automation may have turned into an evil American Corporation (to it employees). But crappy products?? The individual products may not be the absolute best or at the 'bleeding ' edge of technology, but the way Logix 5000 strings every thing together seamlessly is pretty dam good. I speak as an engineer in an OEM. Yes I'm sure some poxy company did this 40 years ago and nothing is really new blah blah blah, but like Rockwell or not (and I don't like American bullies) they have one of the best integrated packages available at the moment (unless you are a total geek who has too much time to play with bits from different companies, in which case your OEM will not be around much longer!!)


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

One of the previous post stated that Rockwell has the best technology. Ok, you can wake up now and stop dreaming. What Rockwell has is great marketing to make crappy products look good.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

According to Yahoo Financial Profile, here are the salaries of key Rockwell Automation officers:

    Mr. Keith D. Nosbusch , 56, Chairman, Chief Exec. Officer and Pres. - $ 2.35M
    Mr. Theodore D. Crandall , 52, Chief Financial Officer and Sr. VP - $ 863.00K
    Mr. Douglas M. Hagerman , 46, Sr. VP, Sec. and Gen. Counsel - $ 840.00K
    Mr. Steven A. Eisenbrown , 54, Sr. VP of Architecture and Software - $ 746.00K
    Mr. James V. Gelly , 47, Adviser - $ 920.00K
So, in the event of a takeover, these guys will each walk away with a couple million $$ apiece. And who know how much in stock-options.....

This preparation does make it seem that a takeover is likely.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Well, looks like the head office has been given their golden parachutes.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Form 8-K for ROCKWELL AUTOMATION INC, 15-Nov-2007:
Change in Directors or Principal Officers, Financial Statements and Exhib

Item 5.02. Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors;
Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers.

On November 9, 2007, the Company entered into change of control agreements with Keith D. Nosbusch, Theodore D. Crandall, Steven A. Eisenbrown and Douglas M. Hagerman (the "Agreements"). The Agreements become effective if there is a change of control of the Company by September 30, 2010. The Agreements provide for continuing employment of the executives for two years after a change of control on conditions no less favorable than those in effect before the change of control. If the executive's employment is terminated during that two year period without cause or if the executive terminates his employment for good reason during that period, the executive is entitled to the following severance benefits: (i) a lump sum payment equal to two times (three times for Mr. Nosbusch) annual compensation, including salary and bonus, (ii) a prorated annual bonus, (iii) continued participation in medical, welfare and other benefit plans and programs and perquisites for two years (three years for Mr. Nosbusch), (iv) outplacement services, and (v) an additional payment, if necessary, to compensate for any excise tax imposed on these change of control payments. In addition, under the Agreements the executives agreed to certain confidentiality provisions. The terms "change of control", "good reason" and "cause" as used above are defined in the Agreements.


Friday, November 16, 2007

The sub contracting to one-man-bands without appropriate knowledge comes about because the Rockwell sales channel rewards geographical sales. This may work for commodity items, but does not work for systems which require experience. Rockwell end customers do not get the best suppliers recommended to them - only the ones where the Area Manager gets the best commission. Sure, the products are not perfect, but the same goes for the competition - its the channels to market for the range of products and the actual value the product/solution adds to customers which needs review and managing. This is the era of mass-customisation - one size does not fit all!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm not sure I recognise the UK company that people mention here; but then I 've only been around for a short time.

Biggest problem - stupid accounting practices enforced by bean counters. Second biggest probelm - get MPS out from under PM's who only inderstand cost saving; and who take responsibility for the completed job. This would stop them contracting out critical parts of the job to one man bands who don't do documentation or support; or fixing the cr** job they were allowed to do in the first place.

I came from a DCS company; that was truely in freefall; salesmen leave - engineers leave - this how we get the pay rise we deserve; ALL corporate companes over pay/reward their top management and sales staff and underpay the techies & engineers; society will eventually learn the stupidity of the current business model


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Regarding some of the recent positive comments on Rockwell UK; these are either by "middle management" or field sales people close to the exit door that are relieved that with so many leaving, they will survive another 12 months. Come on guys, about 10 Integrated Architecture sales guys have left in the last 6 months. These sales people are good guys, each with an average of 10 years service and within them a branch manager and former Ted Schaller award winner.

The management team needs to wake up and smell the coffee; the UK is in freefall and changing the puppet without changing the puppet master only fixes half the problem.


Monday, November 12, 2007

I currently work for EJA and am planning an escape route as soon as possible. The senior management are all being controlled from Chelmsford and have effectively been emasculated since Rockwell took control. Despite the high integrity that safety product needs to be, they are eager to send our products to low cost manufacturing sites and then start to wonder why the quality has started to suffer. Now they are over a year overdue closing the Wigan site, they have unveiled a new ambitious plan to close us by July 2008, despite also looking to role out SAP in the UK over this time (apparently they have learnt everything that they need to know with the US disaster to ensure a smooth transition!). With every announcement about the future of the company, the bleaker the outlook. The more I learn about Rockwell policies and they way they treat their staff, the more it inspires me to leave. Reading this blog it is looking like Rockwell is probably a good company to work for if you are involved in corporate activities, but pretty bad if you are a manufacturer assimilated into the growing empire.


Monday, November 12, 2007 - In reply to the "long term field person" - 6 Nov. 07 weblog:

I can't believe what I have read. You must be dreaming.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

I am a recently unemployed, former hardware design engineer. I worked nearly 20 years at Rockwell, and was tossed aside without a thank you. I would like to share my experience and hopefully some of you remaining engineers will question the system in place, before you to find yourself without a job.

I recall working on a cost reduction project. I identified a $100K annual savings on a design, by merely substituting one manufacturers part for another. I was shocked to find out, that the cost reduction would not be approved by Strategic Sourcing (SSO), because It was not an Arrow Electronics supplied OEM device. It appears that Rockwell is bound by a contract to purchase components from Arrow Electronics, because they are a preferred distributor. I was shocked, and disappointed, and feel that my job loss is directly related to the unhealthy relationship with Arrow Electronics.

Is SSO more concerned about Arrow's profits or the profits and cost savings for Rockwell Automation?? Why has no one in upper management ever questioned this contract with Arrow? Why would any company sign a contract that forces it to pay more for electronic components, eliminates healthy competition, and halts ingenuity?

The heart of any technology company is the engineers, and when you bind the engineers minds with contracts youre destined to become obsolete....


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Trust me, many of the comments made on this board are also being talked about with management, HR etc etc. Most of us believe that RA have the best products and services available, that is not the issue, its the fact that we could be achieving so much more with some good leadership and appropriate risk taking.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I used to be a major Rockwell vendor and I have a suggestion for those who are unhappy with your job situation at Rockwell. You can try to resolve these issues by discussing these problems with your supervisor, HR, the Rockwell ombudsman -- or polish up your resume and find another position with a company you will be happy with. You probably won't change what is happening; so for your sake and the company's, either treat your job as just a way to make money, or head on down the road.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

At last we see some balanced views on this board ... although I'm not sure if the recent posts are provided with a hint of sarcasm or not. All this turmoil ensures that there is always a healthy job opportunity market out there for anyone employed in Sales, which can't be a bad thing.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A senior Rockwell Software exec is also apparently leaving to join the Wonderware "dream team" as well. I "wonder" what is up there?


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

As a longtime Rockwell Automation field person, I could not be happier with the path we are on! The customers love our products and it is a pleasure to be associated with a quality company. The recent aquistions of ICS and Pavilion are excellent choices that will strengthen our postion in the process industries.

Keep up the good work and thanks for the opportunity to be part of a this wonderful company. I look forward to the continuation of our quality tradition that will support me in my retirement years.


Monday, November 5, 2007

No doubt the Automation labour market in the UK is in a state of flux. But to suggest that it is all one way traffic and that Siemens & ABB are giggling is far from the truth.

Siemens have disenfranchised their workforce by removing final salary pension schemes, and by radically changing sales guys job with little consultation i.e. geographic roles to vertical industry roles. 3 Siemens guys have joined Rockwell UK in the past 3 months. Seems they're not happy either! No doubt Rockwell, Siemens & ABB are all world class organisations. Perhaps job rotation has just begun to cross company borders.


Friday, November 2, 2007

It seems really funny to me that Rockwell constantly state they want to reduce costs. Yet to do this, surely they need to keep the good people and get rid of the wasters. Instead it is the other way round, the good ones are going, whether it be through redundancy or resignation. Come on, you're not telling me that the management can't see this happening. The company is in demise. Too many dead legs, clinging on to nothing and not enough good management that have got the guts to make real decision. I wonder how the "jobsworth's" feel now, knowing that they too are on the redundancy list, with no-one to help them find another job because they've made too many enemies along their way!


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It seems as if all management within Rockwell don't know what they are doing! Here at EJA we have so many secrets going on that it takes a leaked email to tell us we are to be made redundant, to make the management eventually let us know! Are we going to be told on a Friday not to come in on Monday? Is this how they are going to treat their loyal employees? By the state of the Redundancy Package we will receive, and the "resonable reason" as to why we should get a top-up payment from the Rockwell "redundancy fund", I don't have much hope of being here at Christmas. It's rediculous that such a high-profile company is treating its staff like this. My advice: If rockwell is to take over the company you work for, get a Union quick! What's the worst that could happen? They shut it down? Well, they will do that anyway.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It seems that the Rockwell Automation UK "soap opera" continues with a change of leadership. Taking the Dallas theme a bit further, it seems that Bobby Ewing just got shot when we all know it should have been JR (RJ)!


Monday, October 29, 2007

I could certainly post my own grief about the pains of my position in Rockwell. But I wanted instead to send a positive note out to the folks in purchasing and manufacturing.

Most of us in the field think the horrific problems we are having with parts is due to poor management, not the skills or dedication of the hands-on workers. I know purchasing has been all over the place in reorg (at the end of the year when we are most busy, what MBA idiot thought that reorg schedule up?) and they are still working as hard as possible to get us parts. Meanwhile management thinks getting us parts in 8 weeks from order is going to let us keep customers from going to other suppliers, just by telling them we are switching to SAP.

We have hoped for a couple years that senior management would reshuffle and get rid of the deadweight failures that they took from other corporations; but we're getting tired of waiting. The middle management we work with have their hands tied by those deadweight people who manage by spreadsheet and have never gotten their hands dirty.

Anyway, I hope it helps your personal mindsets at least to know that most people in the field do know where the blame lays.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Rockwell Automation UK lost two more talented sales guys this week. Not since the cold war has defection been so prominent. Siemens, ABB & Invensys must be having a right good giggle at us now. Senior management really don't seem to want to nip this in the bud. But, why would they? These sales guys didn't share the same ideas as management. Seems I need to update my CV too.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Rockwell UK management seem to have come up with a solution regarding the talent that is fast leaving the organisation - they are hiring people that they made redundant from the UK organisation a few years ago! Being here is like being part of a soap opera, but you just could not write this stuff as people would not believe it. Maybe the guy coming back never really left, maybe it was just a dream, like Bobby Ewing and Dallas.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Rockwell Automation in the UK is in freefall. We have lost and continue to lose the best talent we have for all the reasons mentioned in previous blogs: lack of leadership, locally (UK), regionally (EMEA) and Globally. It seems incredible to us that senior management cannot see the issues. Siemens and ABB continue to outgrow us and now they pick up the dis-illusioned employees to fuel that growth. Recently we have won the biggest single order in the Companies history, and yet no-one wants to congratulate the services team because that would be harking back to the team that truly made the UK grow.

Get back the leaders who managed to inspire us (if you can ). Or find some new talent fast before it really is too late. The products and services are the best in the business. The current leaders are probably the worst !


Friday, October 26, 2007

So with the VP of Standard Drives moving to global sales, and the man in charge of Drive Systems moving to Cleveland to be the new VP for the Logix group, could the Drives business be up for sale?


Friday, October 26, 2007

As a long term employee of Rockwell Automation UK, it saddens me to hear that two more good sales guys have quit this week. Siemens and ABB can take their pick of our better guys and we are seeing people leave almost every week. Nothing seems to be happening to stem the bleeding, so I guess I had better update my CV too.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rockwell continue to remove cost from their operations without actually having anywhere to go to grow their business. If they really are intent on long term growth they should be investing in creating a culture of trust and honesty throughout the organisation. The CEO is gearing up to collect his pension and share options before he moves on to life on the golf course. His legacy and continued destruction of the company morale is a disgrace to the legacy of the A-B brand.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Well it seems to me that if Rockwell management wants to build more product in Twinsburg, why don't they take that Arrow in-plant store out and replace it with manufacturing equipment? Is Twinsburg a manufacturing facility, or an electronics parts storage facility? Those Ford execs should know, the in-plant store concept was introduced in the early 1900's by Henry Ford himself. Why is Rockwell using a concept that is over 100 years old today, when we are supposed to be so high tech? You mean we have men standing in a cage to fetch parts so we can build product? Why are we always line-down if the Arrow store has all the parts we need? It does not make any sense. What are all these black belts doing? Do they not understand "supply chain"? Why build a plant in Mexico when we have manufacturing space in Twinsburg being used to house our suppliers inventory of parts?


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We feel for our brothers & sisters in England. No matter where you are, or what language you speak, we all share the same hopes and dreams...to provide for ourselves and our families, to hopfully give a better life to our children. It seems so unfair that the rich get richer off of our backs and out of our pockets. Our fellow employees in Twinsburg, Mequon, the DR and Dublin will all experience what you are feeling, and that is the plant closing and moving to cheap labor in third world countries. We will also be handed less than acceptable severance packages. But the stock holders will be happy. To all of you stock analyst blood-suckers out there, keep your eyes on this web site, you'll make a fortune.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Hey...Jim Pinto ...why have you not commented on any of this?

    Note: Jim Pinto does not include any personal views and/or comments in these Weblogs.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 - Referring to the 12 October comments:

Rockwell should be shot for what they've done to EJA Engineering in England. EJA was a thriving business, with employees that were completely committed to seeing it do well. Then Rockwell took over and told us that everything was going to be OK; and why should they change a company that works well and is making profit? It was written into the buyout contract that it wasn't to be touched for 5 years after purchase. They did leave us alone, but as soon as the 5 years was up - wham! bam! The axe fell, and they began stipping the place of anything good - sucked out the lifeblood. They left employees feeling deflated and wanting to leave. And now this - we all expected it eventually, but Rockwell has left me with a sour taste in my mouth, bitter about the way they treat people, whilst smiling when they're face to face with you. Like someone else has already said - shaking your hand whilst holding a knife in the other.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Rockwell factory at EJA in England is closing and production moving to DR and Poland. The employees, some of who have been here over 25 years are being treated shamefully. Rockwell is actually paying them 1 ($2) over the Government minimum of 310 ($620) for every year worked. Just shows what a very rich international company thinks about their workers who have built the company up. Never mind, you may be next.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Why build in Mexico? Because it will cost Rockwell much less to build it there, that's why. We charge the customer the same price (if not more), we pay the labor $6 an hour vs the $10 to $12 they are paying you. The Mexican workers will not get any kind of pention plan or benefits equaling what you get...more cost savings...even higher profits for Rockwell, which translates into big revenues for the stock holders.

You just don't get it, do you? The new management is not there to make your lives better in Twinsburg, they are there to clean house. They will do what ever is necessary to optimize operations then move it out of town, to warmer places Mexico, and the shareholders will be thrilled. Start looking for a new job now. The Ford fellows will move on, you will need to do the same.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Well it seems to me that if Rockwell management wants to build more product in Twinsburg, why don't they take that Arrow in-plant store out and replace it with manufacturing equipment.

What a joke. Is Twinsburg a manufacturing facility, or an electronics parts storage facility? Those Ford execs should know, the in plant store concept was introduced in the early 1900's by Henry Ford himself. Why is Rockwell using a concept that is over 100 years old today, when we are supposed to be so high tech? You mean we have men standing in a cage to fetch parts so we can build product? Why are we always line down if the Arrow store has all the parts we need? It does not make any sense. What are all these black belts doing? Do they not understand "supply chain"?

Why build a plan in Mexico when we have usable space in Twinsburg being used to house our suppliers inventory?


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

As a new blogger here (from the UK) I share some of the views expressed by current and ex Rockwell Automation employees. The biggest problem is one of management by fear and of compliance. Non-compliance will not be tolerated and recent management placements throughout the company reflect this. All the leaders have gone.

I knew it was time to leave when a manager said to me that you have to learn to live with giving messages to the employees that you don't agree with yourself! Best thing that can happen to Rockwell is that they finally get acquired for their PLC business and Allen Bradley brand - nothing else they have is worth anything.


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Westerville and Eden Prairie facilities are closing while opening new manufacturing in Mexico. The new management in Twinsburg continues to push "customer satisfaction" by getting less than average quality products in their hands faster, they make no mention about manufacturing staying in Twinsburg. Oh sure, they may claim the investment of capital equipment as showing their commitment to Twinsburg, but machines along with people can be moved out the door. Has anyone noticed all of the salary-laden black belts focusing all of their attention to PCB through-put? The volumes of boards they are pushing now have A LOT of hidden cost due to rework and repair, but you dont see them trying to stop any of that; and the Ford boys know it. The only thing that matters now is making the throughput numbers high, so that they can sell us off.

Top management should be ashamed to show their face to the people who they stabbing in the back. You have three hands: one shaking mine, one with a knife, and the other in your very fat bank account. How do you sleep at night?


Saturday, October 6, 2007

All Rockwell manufacturing will be done in low cost countries in a few years. Start looking for a new job people.


Monday, October 1, 2007

I have heard some industry "rumblings" regarding possible changes in sales force responsibilities for Rockwell's people namely, dividing sales responsibility between systems-only and components-only individuals, similar to others in the industry - could be good for Rockwell in the long run - anyone else hear of such changes and what they are comprised of?


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

From a Society of Manufacturing Engineers release, June 8, 2005: "Plant Tour - Ford Motor Company's Cleveland Engine Plant #2 in Brook Park, Ohio is one of the most successful and enduring examples of lean manufacturing in the United States."

Odd isn't it? They claim it was successful and enduring. Yet two years later it and the others are closed. This inspiring leader is now is charge of 3 of Rockwell's facilities. Well, make that 2. They've already announced the closing of one of them. Hmmm. Maybe "lean" means fewer, by elimination?


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Seems like everything is changing, except for the purchasing practices at Rockwell. Our component supplier can be late and shut down production, time after time, but yet they are not held accountable.

Who ever heard of having a supplier put their products in your facility like Arrow does?? What about a true Kan Ban supply chain system, are these Ford guys not looking at that aspect of the business or does all the pressure fall on us production guys?

Purchasing management gets the perks! What ever happend to ETHICS? Seems like a lot of back scratching going on between purchasing management and the suppliers.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Don't kid yourself...Steve was not there to thank any of the hard working people who have been putting in twevle hours day, six days a week. He was there to give the "Ford" boys a pat on the back for doing such a good job. Twinsburg had the largest number of shipments ever. It did not matter that poor quality is at an all time high, it only matters that we had the largest production "numbers" posted.

How nice it will be for the Ford boys...they will be getting a nice bonus for getting those numbers up while quality goes down. The people who are being forced to post those numbers will not receive any bonus this year as the CSMIP stands at a negative number. Only a few months ago the CSMIP was up around 3; now its not, I wonder who is doing the creative financing? We have the largest through-put ever but the bonus for the factory workers is in the negative....hmmm. It should be noted that other departments like human resources will enjoy a nice big fat bonus as their CSMIP stands over 5....more creative financing. What ever happened to ethics & Sarbanes Oxely?


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Steve Eisenbrown paid Twinsburg a visit. Could have been a regularly scheduled one, or it could be in response to all the complaints that have been going on. Not sure. But he went around thanking employees for their dedication and all the overtime they have been putting in lately. However, if anyone would have wanted to voice their opinion on anything, it would have been very difficult to do considering the fact that he had the New Plant manager on his heels along with our New Director of Operations along side as well. I would imagine they were there in case someone would have said anything derogatory against them, considering they are the ones everyone has been complaining about - the "Ford" guys coming in and disrupting the whole business. Oh, by the way, Westerville is closing - hence, another "Ford" plant being shut down by the same guy that was involved in 4 Ford plant closings. Now he's making his mark at Rockwell.


Friday, September 14, 2007

This is becoming a place for people to rant, and that truly is a sad state of affairs. Regardless of the need for change, global mindsets, shifting economies, competitive landscapes, blah blah blah, the bottom line is that Rockwell have very poor senior management. The factors previously mentioned are prevalent in any business; it is management's job to figure out how to navigate them in a way that inspires employees and gets the best return on that human capital.

Rockwell continue's to fool themselves on how well they are doing. Sure, look at the growth in Europe, but check out the European manufacturing economy and how Siemens and Schneider are doing (Much better than RA actually).

What about those fantastic acquistitions they have made that have virtually dissapeared, their revenues dimished significantly, or struggling with integration into Rockwell culture? What about the Industry focus that has virtually been dismantled as it failed?

This is a Company that is chasing the need for continued share price performance by concentrating on operational improvements and a wafer-thin veneer of spin marketing. For the sake of a very loyal workforce, PLEASE:

  1. Recognise the reality, take a break from chasing share price performance for a few quarters and do what is truly needed to grow the business.
  2. Try and get back the truly good inspirational leaders who have left, or get new ones who can truly lead and challenge the status-quo.
  3. Lose the yes-men and the hangers-on who nod and follow.


Thursday, September 13, 2007 - comments on previous blog - "impressed by Rockwell focus on performance, customers, employees, etc.":

Which Rockwell are you talking about. It's is not the same one. Commitment to customers means giving them a high quality product, which does not come out of Twinsburg. Commitment to their employees cannot mean keeping them on 12 hour shifts until they get sick or quit - like over a dozen have done so far.

If you have "little or no connection with any manufacturing divisions in Rockwell" then please don't comment at all, especially about manufacturing operations which you obviously know nothing about. But if you were from Ford (and not Siemens) that would make you an expert.

What you saw was "very professional leadership, respect and acknowledgement for human and intellectual capital and a desire to be a global leader". What?? What Rockwell management wants is to be leaders of the universe, not leaders of people. They have NO RESPECT for their human capital (spoken like a true Ford manager). Their idea of respect is having me get my kids out of bed at 2am, get them to a sitter that I have to pay extra now for their 'inconvenience', then get to work by 3am. When I get home after a 12 hour day, I see my children looking like zombies because they are not able to sleep a whole night through. They are tired, their school is calling me to say they are not turning in assignments or paying attention in class. These were good students at one time; so what happened? Ford happened, that's what - and our senior VP is allowing it. I should also mention that I was going to school while I worked full time as getting my degree was important to me, but not to our management. I was told I had to make a choice between work or school. So I chose work because my "human capital" kids had to eat.

You continue, "Remember, as we get more global and as the world gets more competitive, we are all faced with a very different set of realities, etc." Wow, what a load of crap! Once again, spoken like a true idiot manager who was told to say something like that by the higher-ups. Change is not easy? Really? NO KIDDING! What about changing the way you address your "human capital"? How about lifting their spirits and rally the team with true vision instead of an insincere handshake and a slice of pizza? Change also means acknowledging that you made a mistake and are willing to fix some of the bad decisions you made. "Professional" leadership would do that.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Question to person who posted previous blog: You came from Siemens to Rockwell. Why did you leave after 2 years?


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hi folks - this is my first time here and after reading the responses on this blog I thought of sharing my two cents.

I joined Rockwell from Siemens and was with them for two years. During this time, I saw of lot of Rockwell and was impressed. Impressed by their focus on performance, focus and committment to their customers and employees. I will confess that I had little to no connection with any manufacturing divisions in Rockwell and so cannot comment on that. What I saw was, very professional leadership, respect and acknowledgement for human and intellectual capital and a desire to be a global leader. I left the company for another opportunity but sometimes still wonder...

I am sure there are negatives too, as so many of you cannot be wrong, but I did want to let you all know of some of the positives that I saw during my two years with Rockwell. Also, what you might see in Rockwell on the manufacturing front may not be any different from any other large manufacturing operations. Remember, as we get more global and as the world gets more competitive, we are all faced with a very different set of realities and challenges and thus changes are imperative. I would urge you all to keep that in mind. Change is never easy, but is necessary for continued viability and growth of the company.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

On a nice summer's day, when purchasing in Twinsburg is stressing and working under great pressure to bring SAP up live in the Twinsburg plant, our Director of Global purchasing and Director of Strategic sourcing are on the golf course all day, with Arrow and the OEM reps winning big prizes, eating steak dinners, and winning expensive gifts. How fair is that to the rest of us employees (in purchasing) who are down in the trenches, working hard to make Rockwell successful?

What ever happend to ethics? Big Biz = Big Favors it seems. Any gifts for us little guys at the bottom?


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A good business decision to close the Westerville plant? Gee. Didn't they say it was a good business decision when they moved some product lines down to Westerville from Twinsburg last year. Hmmmm...maybe it's a better business decision to move it all back to Twinsburg now. Aha! That's it! It's one of Ford's better ideas!


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It was announced on Monday that the Westerville facility will be closing its doors by 2008. Products manufactured and repaired there will be moving back into the Twinsburg facility. They called this a "good business decision", but the employees in Westerville who are losing their jobs would beg to difffer. Stay tuned........


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Oh No! Do you mean that there are other companies are like Rockwell? Gosh, I am just a pinhead who works in the factory and thought the grass was greener somewhere else. How silly of me. Brand labeling, what is that?? Gosh, now that is the first time I have heard of that in the 20+ years I've worked here. R&D? Wow, have we been cutting that back too? And what is Offshore? Gee, us factoreee folk ain't as smarter as you un's trin' to figger' out BIG biznez....


Sunday, September 9, 2007

The comment about setting up another blog was not meant to upset anyone but I really believe you will get more "hits" have a specific site just for that...just my opinion. Again, It's terrible when companies do not treat their employees well. However, do you really believe things are that different at many other companies, including the automation competitors to A-B/Rockwell? I can answer that, they are not. Most are outsourcing everything or moving production to offshore facilities...it's just the way big business is these days.

The big difference I see from Rockwell is that they are giving up on their R&D to a large extent in some of their key areas and instead just brand labelling products.


Saturday, September 8, 2007

The word Quality on the AB logo should just be changed to Quantity. It would be a subtle change and Quantity would reflect the current vision and goals of management. It could really be a boon for tech support as well. "I'm sorry your controller doesn't work sir, but have you read our logo lately?" ;)


Saturday, September 8, 2007 - To the person that wrote, "I feel badly for all of the people who work for Rockwell in the manufacturing side of things.I would like to get people's opinion on the actual automation business.":

You want an opinion on the automation business? What do you think will happen to the Rockwell business if the largest manufacturing facility (which is also their biggest money maker) closes down? Do you not realize that you are getting inside information from these people that you are telling to "go write a blog?" Do you now, or have you ever, worked at Ford because you certainly sound liked that.


Thursday, September 6, 2007 - In response to the Sept. 5th posting:

Newsflashwithout the manufacturing plant in Twinsburg the business of delivering products to customers (as it stands today) would seriously impact the business you mention. You want discussion to go a different way? You want opinions? Well here are a few:

Customers who are unhappy due to the lack of the quality they expect OR timely receipt of the product promised will go elsewhere to buy. Should the Twinsburg facility continue on the path it is on today, the business will suffer as customers shop elsewhere for innovation.

How long can Twinsburg stay this course? Who knowsat the moment they are focused on pushing as much product out the door as they can, quality is taking a back seat. The new leadership proclaims they want both quantity & quality but their actions speak to quantity only as they seek to cut every corner possible while hoping to stay under the radar of customer dissatisfaction. Ford & Chrysler suffered the same problemspoor quality & lack of innovation.

By the way, some of the new leadership in Twinsburg that came from Ford closed down several of their facilities before coming to Rockwell Automation. Perhaps history will repeat itself as they drive away their experienced employees and customers. They continue to move more products manufactured in Twinsburg and Dublin to the Singapore facility. Much of the AB brand products are manufactured and brand labeled by other smaller companies.

Should Rockwell turn into a software company onlyGod help us all. I deal with their software everyday, and everyday I am looking for a patch to help me do my job. The Twinsburg manufacturing facility is partially automated with AB products & software. How ironic that an automation company has what they call a World Class manufacturing operation but they cannot fully implement it in their largest manufacturing plant. Why? Because it is too costly to purchase and maintain.

Like many of the other blogs posted here, I am an internal employee and we have started a blog.HERE. Pay attention to the thread being communicated here. The direction of the business winds blowing through Twinsburg at the moment will impact the rumors of ABB, GE, & XYZ as management drags us down the drain.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

Actually, Rockwell also owns the market in Australia and New Zealand. I work for a company that supplies components to both Rockwell and Siemens Energy and Automation and I have a understanding of both companies. Siemens customer base in North America usually tends to be the big OEM machine builders who sell to customers globally. The reason being is that Siemens tends to have more sales and technical support offices around the world- which equals better support globally overall for the customer. Also Rockwell tends to be more of a "brand labeling" company than Siemens. They brand quite a bit of their core and non core products. Siemens tends to take the attitude that they make every thing from the micro chip to the dishwasher, thus large scales of economies when it comes to being able to draw upon different technologies and resources.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I feel badly for all of the people who work for Rockwell in the manufacturing side of things. It seems that there are two parts to this thread: one about the business side of Rockwell and another about internal manufacturing issues. I would suggest one of the internal employees should start a blog...

I would like to get people's opinion on the actual automation business:

  • How is Rockwell competing against Siemens in the US? Rockwell really is only strong in USA/Canada. In the other regions of the world it's another story (they have successes but do not have the marketshare they enjoy in N. America)
  • Most of A-B's products these days seem pretty straight forward with little innovation(I am thinking hardware such as drives and servo systems, not software). Do you share this opinion? I see the Europeans like B&R, Beckoff, Siemens, SEW, etc... coming up with much more innovation
  • Any thoughts on the rumour of ABB buying Rockwell?
  • Do you think Rockwell will turn into a a software only company if bought by ABB?
Just trying to get the discussion going in a different way.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

As a Twinsburg employee that has been there for over 10 years, I have seen the rise and fall of the AB logo and what it stood for. I have witnessed several elders get "cut due to financial status of the company" within two years of retiring. I have seen too many good workers - hard workers who believed in their job - finally give up and find a better job elsewhere. Worse yet, I am currently seeing people who are struggling to make it financially, physically and mentally for themselves and their families while trying to walk the Twinsburg red line. I feel like the Jews waiting their turn to be slaughtered. It's just a matter of time before I look at someone wrong, take too long in the bathroom, say the wrong thing, or - god forbid - don't address the upper management with the utmost respect and glory that they feel is deserved and not earned in their possition.

What is sad is that my family depends on this job and they know it, and hold no reverence back about throwing in our faces about how many Ford employees are just chomping at the bit to get my job. I am tired of the arrogant, self rightious, self centerred, overbearing, and over all ignorant Ford boys. They walk in and openly demand "order and respect" like they are on God's front steps. They still dont have an idea of what we do here, or the full process.

On top of all of that, you have a head HR rep that uses personal opinion to make her final judgement call over whether or not your excuse for not doing mandatory overtime is acceptable or not. And let me add that all the people that I know of that have gone to this HR person have been flat out without further reason been given a "no" for legitimate reasons that should not be passed by.

So much for the family oriented company that AB originally stood for. How many people are going to leave before Rockwell International realizes that this was a big mistake? How many children are going to school or getting home from school with out their parents or grandparents to greet them, because of mandatory overtime with no notice? How many of them are going to be forced to go to a sitter that the parents aren't comfortable about leaving them with, but have to? And how many elderly parents are going to be forced to be with a sitter that they don't know, or god forbid, have to go into a home?

My final question is how much of these children and elders are going to experience abuses that could have been avoided with an ounce of compassion from Rockwell? I'm glad that I dont have to face your self-rightious God at the end of this day. How about you?


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

In response to the Aug. 27th (Twinsburg) weblog...you forgot to mention the great improvements made by the "Quality" department...smocks.

Many years back everyone had to wear a smock that didn't do anything except cause safety concerns so they got rid of them and it was probably a great cost savings too. Each employee had to have 3, and there were approximatly 400 employees.

Enter stage left the latest, greatest quality idea, hey lets get smocks again! The new quality guru they hired for big bucks made his first executive decision. Not sure if the Ford fellows were just kowtowing or they just didn't know any better when they should have stood up and said NO! They won't add any value to the product but we'll look really good for when tours come through. I wonder how much these things will cost the company? Enough to give one executive a nice raise and bonus.

The concept of quality does not exist in Twinsburg, only a dog and pony show. While they cut costs by taking away employee benefits, they do not reinvest it in their people or their product. The word "Quality" that appears under the AB logo is a joke and will soon pass into history.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It is true that Keith Noshbush has basically put us on the map as far as Industrial Automation is concerned. But the latest step he has taken as far as hiring an ex-Ford plant manager to be his Director of Operations for his manufacturing facilities was a dire mistake. This man has been a part of 4 Ford plant closings. He has come into Rockwell swinging, but only to cause a lot of tension, anger and animosity among the employees. Several good employees have left due to his flurry of changes. Without any regard for his employees or their families, he institued mandatory overtime (changing daily), brought in other ex-Ford employees from failed facilities, and basically has his cronies give off this personna that: "if you don't like it, don't let the door hit you in the ass. We ARE NOT A UNION FACILITY, so we can treat you how we wish."

They basically change the rules on a daily basis. They have thrown people onto shifts that they have no desire to be on, have taken away money from these people and expect them to smile and take the beating.

Keith, if you want to save your facilities and reap the rewards that you have been gaining for the past few year, I suggest you get your butt down to Twinsburg and see what's really going on. Talk to the PEOPLE whose lives are being turned upside down. You've lost a lot of good people with your poor decisions of late. If you want to keep seeing your stock rise and customers knocking down the doors, you need to nip this in the butt before it's too late.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - Referring to the weblog below (Twinsburg facility unrest):

I worked for a UK facility and all the same things are happening there. Our production people tried to bring in the unions, only to be told by Rockwell that they would close us down if they didn't "stop this nonsense". If we'd have know then what we know now, we would have realised that it didn't make a scrap of difference, as the facility will be closed shortly anyway. Maybe we would have come out with a better redundancy package?

Ah, the redundancy package. I was a long-serving employee there a long time before Rockwell got their grubby little mits on the place and sucked all the life blood out of it over the last 5 - 6 years. A lot of the experience has gone - redundant - and all that is left are a bunch of idiots who have no clue as to what they're doing. It makes me sick to see a good company go to waste. Temps training temps, people constantly coming and going under suspicious circumstances, managers who are thick and bully their employees into doing things that aren't ETHICALLY correct, and that's just from the top of my head.

I couldn't wait to get out in the end but I wasn't leaving without the money, however. Why I waited, I don't know - the package was an abolute insult.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Thank you for this weblog. You are correct when you say that this blog may be the only place to safely vent.

I too am a long time employee in the Twinsburg facility that has been beaten down in spirit as we witness the "necessary" changes taking place. The changes listed in previous weblogs are all true.

Keith Nosbusch should start by giving the"lowest" level employees a raise. We stand on our feet for 12 hours a day and it would go a long way to compensate us. We realize that we are the "employee" and must take orders from management, but what the heck do you think FORD is doing? Come now. Do you think we are really motivated when we are told to "do it, or there's the door"...or..."we can replace you"? Eight employees have quit in the last two weeks...good employees...people that were trainined. It is so productive when your "full time" employees quit and are replaced with untrained temps that will save the day. Good, skilled machine operators need many months of training to be productive, but they don't care. We'll just keep going as we have been, temps start training other temps in just a few days! QUALITY!

Our outgoing quality has been steadily getting worse for the past four years, but I can see with FORD's most recent demands on us, it will greatly improve.

How unfortunate for this country as a whole as we follow in the footsteps of other companies like ENRON. The greedy SOB's at the top...while you keep cutting costs on the lower levels, you continue to hire upper level managers...and black belts. Did I hear someone mention "UNION" lately?

Twinsburg brings in 60% profit on the automation side of the business, but for how long? Why should management care...their stock options will keep them fat and happy for a lllllong time.

I may not have money, but at least I have a clear conscience. Management may laugh at this, but remember...what goes around comes around. I hope they can buy a lot of happiness with all of the money they save.

UNION...Now there's that word again....


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The simple fact is that Rockwell is a good company but it has very very poor management. The people that had the vision have gone, either hounded out or they just gave up trying to conform. This is now a place that to succeed you have to salute and do what is expected without question.

Cost cutting is NOT the issue its the fact that this is taking place without consultation and with poor leadership.

Bottom line is this is a one trick pony, the Company has tried many times to diversify but it always gives up whenever the PLC business may be impacted, the result is a culture of fear and conformatism.

New leadership is required and calculated risks need to be taken and this Company can be great.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Rockwell Automation is known as "COCKWELL" among the employees at the Twinsburg, Ohio Facility. Why? They have been screwed so many time in the last ten years by the money grubbers. The question isn't when will they do it again - it's what will they do next? The benefits cuts have been many, from pay raises to insurance and EVERYTHING in between.

The long term employees see 0-1% raises. Why? So new hires can catch up. I have spent 28 years with this company and had to earn insurance (Vision, Dental, Health, Mental, Drug Abuse, Short Term and Long Term Leave, to name some), vacation, call-in absence privileges. Now new hires get benefits handed to them after 90 days. Long Term employees have seen cuts of Vision, Dental, a weeks vacation was lost, pay raises, harassment to get back to work during medical leave. Twinsburg has a doctor on retainer who will sign a return-to-work slip when he/she has never seen the patient or spoke to the person's own doctor. That person returns or loses their job. Why haven't I left this organization? Because of my age. I pray that the younger people get the hell out while they are young enough to find better working conditions.


Thursday, August 16, 2007 at 13:07:15 - Responding to the weblog Tuesday, July 31, 2007, "In light of the predominantly negative views on this blog, let me add a different perspective."

I have no idea who this person might be but they do not work in the manufacturing area. They are probably a part of the sales force that enjoys doughnuts and coffee delivered to them every day for free while others are working their mandatory 7 day weeks. This person also thinks that Keith is doing a great job. Well, I don't. He has allowed mid management to hire a couple of people who ran the Ford plants they were in charge of into the ground and put them in charge here in Ohio. In my opinion, I think the 19% raise that Keith got last year is entirely out of line with his performance, especially since the rest of us got 2%.

I've heard people say that they are glad they didn't work here when it was Allen Bradley because they would have hated to see the decline of Allen Bradly as it morphed into Rockwell Automation. Stolen pensions, "performance" raises that don't keep up with inflation, and shabby treatment of employees are only parts of the problem. The mandatory overtime was implemented as kids were getting out of school for the summer. Family vacations had to be cancelled but management's response was, get another job.

It's as if their grand plan is to demand mandatory overtime which will lead to a drop in quality due to fatigue and then they will have the excuse that American workers just can't cut it anymore, let's move it to Singapore.

Keith and the boys will all be fat cats by then if they aren't already and won't care at all. And the little salesman who wanted to give a different perspective back in July will one day wonder why there aren't as many cars in the parking lot. Maybe he'll ask some one over his morning cup of coffee,and find out the manufacturing facility went the way of the Ford plant and closed.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

If you feel a strong breeze or hear a loud whirrling noise, it is Allen and Bradley spinning in their graves. Rockwell Automation has destroyed the great company they started. Our management today has jerked us around since they came over(former Ford executives at a now closed down facility). They have inmplemented MANDATORY 7 day weeks with less than 24 hours notice. A few weeks later they eliminated 3rd shift and created a 4th shift (2 shifts worked 4 ten hour days and 2 shifts worked 3 12 hour days. Now they are forcing the 4 tens to be 4 twelves and to have to cover for the understaffed weekend shifts. We have had numerous SKILLED machine operators quit,and a number of others ready to quit.

These people have NO concern for the people who had made Allen Bradley what it was. They stole a years vacation from us a few years back, and recently stole the retirement benefits promised to us many years ago. After giving over 25 years of dedicated service to a company, and then have them pull what you had worked all those years toward, was totally insensitive and shows the respect that they have for their employees. To have to increase your bottom line by screwing the people that have made you what you are is WRONG.

I have received an EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS on my review for the last eight years and have NOT received a raise in this time period. Lump sum compensation in lieu of a raise doesn't cut it. I will ride this coaster until the doors close and our equipment is sent to SINGAPORE, like our sister facility in Dublin, Georgia is doing at this time. Unfortunately for me, I have spent my life and carrer working for a company now being decimated by management. At my age, I have no choice but to ride it out.


Thursday, August 2, 2007 - from Rockwell recent Ex-Employee:

I am a very recent ex-employee of RA. I was located in the NE Ohio region. I had a decade of service with RA.

What I have experienced is a management staff fixated on "the numbers". They have slowly lost touch (and more rapidly now) with their greatest asset other then Brand recognition - their People. The drain of top performers has been enormous. The rate I documented from my division was one person leaving every 1.5 weeks for one year. A Management staff of blind followers is too afraid to speak out, and those that do are soon no longer around. The result? Inferior quality and unresolved product and service issues. I was very angry and sad to leave, but now I once again have a future.


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

In light of the predominantly negative views on this blog, let me add a different perspective.

I've been in this space for several decades, and have had the privilege of working for or closely with RA, Siemens, GE Fanuc as well as some other smaller software startups (I'm currently employed by RA). The transformation/leaning-out that Rockwell has been muddling its way through for the past 4 - 6 years has not by-passed their competitors. In fact, most of their competitors started from a 'leaner' place and are currently resourced at a FAR lower level than RA still is.

Change is tough, particularly when you see or experience those 'cuts' first-hand, but in the context of the larger automation world we live in, RA is still a good place to work. Our share performance is strong, and whether through luck or skill, Keith continues to balance the rabid requirements of Wall Street on one hand - with a large contingent of employees that want to go to work every day, enjoy what they do and see a great American company succeed. I wish him all the best!


Monday, July 30, 2007

Things seem to be changing at Rockwell in other regions as well. In South Africa where some good people have recently retired or seen a dim light in the future. It will be interesting to see what happens with the new regime that seems to be taking over. YES it was a great place to work. But times are changing and only time will tell what the future will bring - maybe with ABB.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Rockwell Automation has been playing "how much can we take away and still have you work here" with their professional staff for at least 5 years with changes to commission, bonus and health plan. The health plan changes every 2 years with increases of 20-60%. On top of that most raises are low single digit supported with threats of moving entire business groups to Asia. Most are finding their compensation is flat or declining.

On top of that, the only people getting promoted are the blind followers. We all know the type--probably ADHD and typically ethically challenged. They are needed to do the dirty work, like reducing the population of older employees or moving the unwanted to groups soon to be closed or moved. So much for ethics.

Young professionals take note!


Friday, June 15, 2007

In reading this post it seems everyone hates Rockwell and wants to see them go down in flames, why is that?

    Jim Pinto responds:

    Perhaps because the people who want to speak have no other way to make themselves heard within Rockwell. I have invited Rockwell people to post positive responses. No response.....


Thursday, May 24, 2007

The ICS acquisition by Rockwell is the final act in the long running ICS saga. Alchemy purchased troubled ICS in 2000, and didn't do too bad a job (British understatement) bearing in mind that they paid just 1.7M for the whole lot including Transmitton (sold to Siemens last year) and Max Controls (sold to Metso a month after they bought it) in September 2000. Certainly seems like "alchemy"....


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Rockwell Automation To Acquire ICS Triplex (extract from Rockwell press release:

Rockwell Automation will acquire ICS Triplex for 110M ($220M) in cash. ICS Triplex annual revenues are projected to be approximately 70M ($ 140M) for fiscal year ended May 31, 2007. Rockwell Automation expects the transaction to be slightly dilutive to earnings per share in the first full fiscal year and accretive thereafter.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I had predicted the departure of Gelly a year ago. There is only so much you can cut to show good numbers quarter after quarter. Unfortunatelly, the cutting has been done right into the bone. It will be hard to lift the top line sales when there is no capable sales team or leadership left. For those who think that Gelly was pushed out, I have news for you. He is smarter than that he is leaving before the boat sinks!


Monday, April 9, 2007

Regarding the weblog comment, "anyone who thinks Rockwell would shell out $20 million for an SI is living is dreamland" - this person must have a short memory...remember Interwave?


Friday, April 6, 2007

I think Gelly has done all he can do. There is only so much you can do with book to bill ratios, inventories, cash flows, tax credits etc. before you need top line sales to make any further progress. Thats where ROK is today - weak capex, due to the automotive situation, its customer production moving overseas, competition from Siemens and others is crimping sales.


Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Rockwell stock message board is going crazy. Some predicting a fall of below 45. Others predicting a climb over 90. What is going on??


Thursday, April 5, 2007

Did you hear the cheers from all the Rockwell Automation locations around the world? Keith Nosbush finally got around to doing something he should have done at least a year ago. James Gelly is gone and they can start cleaning up the mess he left behind. Besides being know for not "playing well with others", many of Gelly's initiatives were poorly implemented and short sighted. Now the company will be able to work to build long term shareholder value, not short term bull to make the stock manipulators happy.

I own the stock as a long term investment, not as a day trader, or someone who makes money getting people to pay commisions on stock trades. This is good news!


Thursday, April 5, 2007

James Gelly has resigned from his position as the company's senior vice president and chief financial officer 'to pursue new challenges and opportunities'.

Gelly is the latest "outsider" to be pushed out. Another example of the old guard's immune system kicking out the new blood. The problem here is while his manner and ideas may not have been liked, they were effective at driving profit and keep Wall St happy. Hold tight for a downward stock slide folks.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Interesting previous post on Rockwell Automation going through change and lacking leadership. From the inside I can tell you that the changes reffered to simply have NOT been succesfull. If they had then maybe RA would be seeing stronger growth. The reality is down to the last posters comments about leadership. the exec management of the Company have been around for a long time and grown up in the Company together where PLC hardware sales via distribution was a succesfull formula. They see the need for change but when they embark upon a path of change and it gets difficult they try and revert to to formula they know and feel safe with. the result is a stagnant Company.

Sure there is growth but compare that growth with that of their major competitors and you will see that they are NOT beating the competition and winning market share. Thats why the funnctional programs (cost cutting / lean etc) will continue in order to drive earnings up in a dissapointing revenue environment.

RA has become risk averse, the guys they had who could challenge have gone, either pushed out because they opposed the regime, or gone because they were fed up of banging their heads against the wall. This is a good solid Company that could be great with some Entrepreneurial leadership


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Interesting to read the comments over the past 2-3 years...ROK is a firm that being re-shaped by competitive and global forces. It seems to be changing in multiple dimnesions: from product orientation to market orientation; from business unit structure to functional structure; from regional to global; from layered to flat; and most notably, from hardware & manufacturing to software & services. This is a lot of change for a company - no wonder that employees struggle to see a vision for the future. Heck, I don't think that executive staff can see (or accept) what is happening. They're preoccupied with protecting their turf in the midst of change.

Rockwell has a lot going for it, but either they are going to pull off the transformation, or die trying. It would help to have ANY leadership from the CEO. In the absence of leadership, execs spend all their time negotiating with eachother while competition steals share. I expect a second quarter of very disappointing top-line results; could be evidence of a trend. Maybe if there is enough bad news, a depressed stock will invite a change of ownership - and leadership.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Seems like many issues being covered, although interrelated.

Didn't hear any feedback from my earlier blog regarding possible reasons for Jim Smith's departure from ANORAD and what it means to future of ANORAD and of course the backing of ANORAD Israel. Rockwell seems to spend more on coffee than the revenue generated. Is it time for a change?


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Any clown who believes that Rockwell would shell out $20m on a systems-integrator is living in dreamland. Think about it - if you buy a SI, you buy the order book (12 months work and the losses?) and the resources. Why buy expensive resources when they are available in abundance at a fraction the rate elsewhere?

SI's like Proscon, ONG, SIM etc have no I.P. or products, and are generally living from hand to mouth, project to project. It would be far cheaper to headhunt the resources and setup an RA office. Scratch the surface a bit and the real reason for the so called purchase might become more apparent. Looks like the Murphia are out spinning for themselves again - next we'll have to listen about how high they can piss. How many SI's will survive a downturn in the economy when they have to compete with the larger global players?


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

In response to the post on +MMI, I was around when this product was developed. After millions of dollars and years of development, the original design was scraped in about 2002. An outside vendor was paid handsomely to re-do everything and deliver within 12 months. The reason things are still no better is that the same leadership is in place.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Rockwell is making yet another 'focus' and 'go-to-market' change! Will their partners win by taking the lead on sales & implementation of products? Or not?


Saturday, March 10, 2007

What is going on with Rockwell? It used to be a company with great culture. It seems that management more and more does not value the people that made Rockwell what it is today. Just look at functional excellence and the way it was and still being handled. This is not coming from a disgruntled employee. It is from one who left on his own after 10 years and still holds Rockwell near and dear to his heart.


Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Heard Jim Smith, President of Anorad left a few weeks ago. Have consitently heard rumors about them being on the block for sale, given the the recent departures of Chris Stohlberger. Any ideas of what's going on here?


Monday, February 26, 2007

I cannot find any strategic or monetary reason in any press release or document on why Rockwell Automation would buy Proscon? Was it a friend-of-a-friend purchase? Or does the leadership of Rockwell need an excuse to play golf in Ireland to go with their buyback of inflated stock options?


Friday, February 9, 2007

Rockwell products are good. and I have been appreciating the quality - till the launch of + series MMIs. All automation companies are equally hard to work with for the endusers, unless reqular business is being given. We are supplying the RA products to a global pharma major where the globle standardisation is on some other make. It is the support that matters most in this kind of business. I think RA needs to orient the products and the prices to satisfy the market needs and not dictate the terms as the word is closer and more knowledgeable.


Friday, February 2, 2007 - regarding Rockwell acquisition of Proscon:

Proscon are a good company and I am sure this is a great move by the Proscon owners. Acquisitions of System Integrators are rarely succesfull. The best Independant Integrators are succesfull because of their independance, otherwise an end user would choose to use the manufacturer.

Once the Proscon backlog is eaten up, the bulk of the revenues based on non-Rockwell platforms In the case of Proscon predominantly Emerson) will diminish quite rapidly and it will encumbent on Rockwell sales force and the integrated Proscon team to find Rockwell based work. My guess is the backlog and current opportunity pipeline will probably see the acquisition well into a two year earn out period, then once the guys who pushed it forward have taken their glory, the revenues will erode. This smacks of an acquisition for glory rather than business logic.


Thursday, February 1, 2007 - from Eoin Riain [readout@iol.ie]:

Proscon is a systems integrator headquartered in Cork, Ireland, with an office in Dublin. As of 31st January 2007, Proscon are now a part of Rockwell. A source mentioned that they had heard a figure of 20m (Euros or Sterling or Dollars?).

I think that a number of noses will be tweaked by this - Emerson who used to be represented by Proscon years ago; Hanley Controls who represent Allan Bradley and who have quite an active relationship with Rockwell - the Rockwell University show which came here last year waas largely organised with Hanley; Siemens who recently supplied Proscon with a large order for Pfizers and ONG Automation who may have a problem as they have been in close co-operation with Rockwell too. Those who will be happy will include companies like Zenith and Project Management which maintain their "independence" - whatever that means!


Thursday, February 1, 2007

Has anyone any comments on the new management team at Rockwell for the Package Controls Product division (PCP)? What about the functionally excellent Materials group? It seems steam rolling over long term employees and managers is the new competency for this team.


Thursday, December 7, 2006

If the news (ABB buys AB) becomes true, will the new name for this new company be: ABBAB? :)


Thursday, December 7, 2006

The background story here is that while Siemens, GE ABB etc. have a large enough global presence to take advantage of the markets in Asia and Latin America. Rockwell never really had a foothold anywhere else in the World. Its core customers are moving their manufacturing out of North America.


Monday, December 4, 2006

Anyone heard the news floating around that ABB is eyeing AB (Allen-Bradley)?


Thursday, November 23, 2006

The layoffs and "functional excellence" initiatves are said to generate funding for additional general and vertical selling resources. They started this in Europe over a year ago. Has it worked? Have we seen stellar growth in the vertical industries? have we grown our market share in the largest market for automation products? When will the poor management of these areas be addressed. It is long long overdue !


Wednesday, November 22, 2006 - Item (extract) from JimPinto.com eNews:

My predictions that Rockwell Automation was ailing and would be acquired have long since proved wrong. Under Chairman and CEO Keith Nosbusch, the company is moving ahead strongly. Revenues for FY2006 (Sept 06) were up 11% at $5.5B, and operating earnings were $1B, up 19%.

Clearly Rockwell is focusing on high-tech control products and software. The clear sign of this shift is that Rockwell recently sold off its Reliance power systems division to Baldor Electric for $1.75B in cash and about $50 million in stock.

Click Rockwell sells Reliance, focus on computers/software


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'm surprised that there are no comments from former MPS employees who were laid-off on November 9. I heard that there were 150 in total. Count me as one of them. Fortunately, there seems to be interest in an ex-RA person in the SI world. Maybe the experence "inside" RA is worth something.

I'll probably be off until the first of the year and then with a much smaller firm (about 600 people). Doubt I'll ever work for a BIG company again, there are just too many things that impact you that you have no control over. I am concerned that my colleagues are going to be in my boat in the next year or two. RA just can't be competitive against smaller firms that have lower overheads.


Thursday, November 9, 2006 - from an ex-temp-employee:

I was working at the West Allis location until I found out yesterday that I was laid off. It would have been nice if Rockwell cared enough about human beings to give us a little bit of notice. It was just reported that Rockwell was making record profits. I don't think it would have hurt to give the temps a little bit of preparation time. Struggling to survive on $9/hour is hard enough. Now I have to figure out how I am going to pay rent. Thanks a lot! At least I would have given you 2 weeks notice if I was looking for a new position. I thought you would have been considerate enough to do the same. They sent us home and told me that they "just found out". Yeah right!


Tuesday, November 7, 2006 - from Baldor website - http://baldor.com :

Baldor To Acquire the Power Systems Business of Rockwell Automation

Baldor Electric Company markets, designs, and manufactures industrial electric motors, drives and generators and is based in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Today Baldor announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Reliance Electric Company and certain of its affiliated companies (the Power Systems business ) of Rockwell Automation.

Baldor will purchase 100% of the equity interest in the Power Systems business for $1.8 billion, comprised of $1.75 billion in cash and approximately 1.6 million shares of Baldor common stock, with a market value of $50 million. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2007 and is subject to customary closing conditions and necessary regulatory approvals.


Saturday, November 4, 2006

FactoryTalk, RSView SE 3, awful. FactoryTalk, RSView SE 4, better. The future?


Saturday, November 4, 2006

Any comments on the stability issues with RSSQL? Why no redundancy after all these years?


Friday, October 27, 2006 - Re - Questions on Datasweep:

Looks like just 11 months after the acquisition Rockwell Software has both increased the user base of the product by 3,000 new users and integrated the product into the FactoryTalk Suite. The new integrated reolease was announced and demonstrated at Automation Fair as FactoryTalk Production Centre. It looks like they are getting the Plant Wide Information Suite built out and are being very successful with the acquisition.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Any news on the closure of the Dublin Georgia plant and the move of small controllers and distributed I/O to Singapore?


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

GMS was effectively killed off last October; they put Software into the ACIG Group and Customer Support (CSM) and Engineering Projects (MPS) into sales. Now a year later they are taking CSM and MPS away from sales and putting them into CPAG.

Seems they dont know what to do. Or, maybe I'm being cynical but, perhaps they want to hide poor MPS numbers under a wider CPAG business unit. If they really dont know what they are doing then I would be worried about the future of MPS. If they are hiding bad numbers then maybe they are giving MPS more time to make a profit


Monday, October 9, 2006: What happened to GMS?

I am working for MPS(Manufacturing and Process Solutions). The offical news is that MPS and CSM will join(Merge) with CPAG, so the GMS will die; how about the future of MPS?


Sunday, October 8, 2006

Well it appears that Rockwell is not only trying to shed there Powersystems business but they may also be trying to trim their workforce. Word has it that after making sure all employees participated in overtime to close the fiscal year books, their reward was letters threatening termination for one charge or another.


Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Interesting stuff going on here. Rockwell is sheding the Power Systems business (Reliance and Dodge) and not transfering equity to a new entity like they did with Meritor, etc. to create additional shareholder value. Like GE, that is also trying to shed their motor business, they must feel that the long-term growth and return-on-investment potential in these market arenas must not be significant enough.

Potenial buyers? Timken, Reliance and Dodge are both customers and there is a Timken representative on the Rockwell board. Plus Timken needs some insulation from their large automotive segment.

ABB is another, fills a gap and leverages the strong Reliance/Dodge distribution channel.

Of course, there's Regal Beloit, the scavengers of motor brands (i.e., Lincoln, Marathon, etc.).

And out there in the wings are the Japanese drive manufacturers without a strong motor line and distribution channels. Remember, the Reliance drive business isn't a part of the package.

I wonder about the end game here. Rockwell has not invested in a significant new product, nor made an important new business purchase in years (the one they did, Reliance Electric, they totally screwed it up). Focus has been on cost-cutting and shedding low margin business to make the bottom line look good.

Could GE and Rockwell have something in mind together? Time will tell.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Who are the possible buyers of Power Systems? Any new ideas? Can it be ABB or Siemens?


Friday, September 22, 2006

Can anyone fill us in on what the effect of the "Functional Excellence" program is going to be? What departments or areas are going to be hit with the layoffs that are coming next week? Doesn't Rockwell realize how difficult it is to go to work everyday and put in your best effort when you're under the stress of working for a company that is always cutting heads? We should be growing the company in a fiscally responsible way that doesn't send so many of our good employee's jobs overseas. We would appreciate any insight into what departments will be hardest hit next week.


Thursday, September 21, 2006 - regarding Rockwell Powersystems:

8 companies are placing bids for Powersystems. These companies have until October the 16 to place their final bids. Then Rockwell will decide who they will sell to (if any of the bids are what they want). The transition should be complete by January the 1st 2007.


Friday, September 1, 2006

Nobody seems to either know the answers or want to answer the Datasweep queries. Isn't that a bit strange? Wanna bet that if we asked a question about A-B quality or delivery, we would get some form of response? Or is this blog dead?


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Does anyone have any further input on what has happened with Datasweep? Is Rockwell finally doing something right?


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I think Rockwell is trying to expand both their business and technology. Does anyone with news on the most recently aquisition on Datasweep, the No 1 (maybe No 2 or 3) MES player. What will happen to datasweep market share next? Hope Rockwell will do a good job on this.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Is Rockwell still purchasing smaller companies for growth potential and or technology expansion? Are they looking to dump any of there aquisitions that have not give the returns expected from years ago? (i.e. Anorad. A Long Island NY company that has been bleeding for years even with their new facility and "Lean" initiatives???)


Saturday, July 15, 2006 - pending sale of Power Systems:

The rumors are increasing as employee's keep hearing of any companies looking at Power Systems. They are keeping this one under wraps. What about Emerson and Roth? Anyone with news?


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

There are a couple of internal rumors going around. One is that ABB is the buyer, another is that Parker Hannifin is the buyer, and last but not least is that Joe Swann (current president of the division being sold) is going to attempt a leveraged buy out. I assume from the way that it was presented to the employees that there was already a buyer when it was announced. We where told that "the transition will be complete by January 1st"....Anyone know anything further?


Thursday, July 6, 2006

Rockwell's intended sale of the Power Systems business could have been seen coming a mile off! This is a company that is concentrating on its high margin businesses and simply cannot tolerate any broadening of the portfolio. Show me a single acquisition of even internal initiative to broaden the scope that has succeeded?

RA is a great company if you are a shareholder, but not so great if you are a customer or employee. The reality is if you measure market share, I bet they are not showing improvement anywhere. Its going to be real interesting to see what happens when the competitors launch their new and probably better products. What is in the RA pipeline I wonder?


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Rockwell is after a buyer for their Reliance and Dodge units. This is at a time when Siemens have merged with Flender. Any comments?


Friday, June 23, 2006

To put this into context I just went to RSTechEd last week. This is the training for Rockwell Softwares sales force and distributors. It also includes a few lucky system integrators like me and some lucky customers. It is very advanced training and not for newbies. It had just under 2,000 attendees.

The Network is the Computer. The Network is the Computer. The Network is the Computer. This is the mantra for Sun Computer by its founder Scott McNealy.

For Rockwell Software is could be: The Network is the PLC. The Network is the PLC. The Network is the PLC.

An interesting thing about mantras and chants is after you say it enough times you really start to believe it. This is one reason they have been popular with religions for 1000s of years. This chant was started by RA sales years ago. As a customer it had little meaning beyond the smoke and mirrors of marketing. I was so tired of hearing it that I mentally shut down every time I heard it again. Still after awhile when RS and RA project managers were sleeping at night they started to dream about it and pushed their troops the next day. The programmers in different projects at 3AM sucking down Jolt Colas all hung up in the idea even talked to other programmers in different projects to make it work.

Maybe I am a dense customer or an inherent skeptic but to me this year things really came into focus. One of RAs strengths has always been communications. This year communications strengths with a cohesive systems model was more apparent than any other. All the pieces are there or very very close to being there. A few things are a little rough but are getting there. The next 2 years should be especially exciting. I am not sure when it happened but FactoryTalk is REAL. There will be some product name changes and you may be forced to chant it also. I started to chant FactoryTalk this year without being forced.

FactoryTalk. FactoryTalk. FactoryTalk.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Rockwell has yet to make a dent outside of North America. With the world getting smaller, OEM's like my company self are shipping more and more machines overseas. There, endusers say "Rockwell who? We want Siemens." Rockwell will always be on the defensive, and larger manufacturers like Siemens will continue to chip away their business. Just check out the Rockwell; finanacials - they are down year after year.


Saturday, May 6, 2006

When considering cost you must look at much more that just what you pay the vendor. First there this cost of acquisition. This includes ease of ordering threw a distributor, credit terms, delivery time, expediting, and shipping cost. I find RA (Rockwell Automation) and my distributor do a superior job of holding down these costs.

After the purchase price there is cost of ownership. This includes development time, support, and reliability. Recently I have been doing mostly custom high end systems and no one is even close to keeping the development costs as low as RA.

For support RA is better than most but not as good as some. Low end products are easer to support than high end so again you must consider market segment. Low end products are often supported by the distributor and this varies greatly. High end support is more direct from the manufacturer. Overall the quality of RA support has noticeably declined but still it is better than most.

For reliability I find very little difference. Almost all hardware uses the same modern technologies and QC methods and suffer the same problems. Software quality varies more than hardware. There are some very, very poor programming packages but most are about the same. For software there is an inverse relationship between features and reliability. RA or maybe I should say Rockwell Software by far has the largest feature set and is still able to keep there quality at the same level and sometimes higher than lesser products.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

We have changed from Rockwell to Siemens due to their software and support, and their worldwide exceptance. I was tired of Rockwell nickel and diming my company for everything. End-users would really be better off checking out the competition to save money, get better support and ease of use.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

We too have changed from the Rockwell platform. As an OEM we always need to put quality first, price second. Although we had zero issues with Rockwell's quality the pricing was becoming out of hand We decided to do a very thurough test of various manufacturers products. We tested Fanuc, Siemens, Omron, Toshiba and Idec. In the end we went with Idec. Although our systems are small (100 i/o and under) we still needed something that we felt we could support in-house 99% of the time. The Idec software had some bugs but the support we recieved was fantastic. Another reason for the move to Idec was that their local SE gave us a "sneak peak" at their new PLC and software. The platform is amazingly easy on the software side and the hardware is, to say the least, amazing... very forward thinking and very fast. The analog and ethernet connectivity on the new platform is what sold us.


Monday, April 24, 2006

We have also found out the same moving from GE to AB. We have now moved to Siemens do to the superior technology and great local support. Rockwell's loss is Siemens gain.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

We were long time GE Fanuc users, and only the deterioration of their technical support drove us to look for alternatives. We went with A-B, figuring we'd get increased customer acceptance by going with the market leader. But, we don't find their products technically superior at all. Plus the prices are much higher and always going higher.

So what other manufacturers are you considering?


Friday, April 14, 2006

The shutdown of the Tech Forums is just another way of Rockwell to suck more money away from their customers which they already gouge beyond belief. Customers are no longer going to take it anymore. We have already started to convert away from Rockwell since their sales personnel are not able to sell against the competition and are order takers only, hence useless SE's. By converting to the competition we will be able to save alot. Only we as cusotmers are able to push the end customers to move away from Rockwell, due to all their charges for every little phone call or question. Apparently Rockwell has no clue what is going on in the market place.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

There are two very good forums at www.plc's.net and www.mrplc.com . These forums are quicker for replies and have good moderators who have good AB experience.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I am also disappointed by the removal of the forum. The Logix platform has been the core of Rockwell's product for a number of years and has continued to develop to a point where it must have many thousands of loyal and dedicated users many of whom need to know the answer to something application specific and detailed. These answers are often not known by Tech Support people (they can't be expected to know everything) and are more often answered in forums by developers or users.


Sunday, April 9, 2006

I too was disappointed to find that Rockwell has shut down their discussion forums.

I think most manufacturers benefit from these forums. Typically, they're frequented by knowledgable users who give lots of free, sound guidance to users with questions. Sure, there is some bad-mouthing of the manufacturer sometimes, but I think the good far outweighs the bad.

Maybe Rockwell's intent was not so much to silence the bad-mouthing, but to silence the free support, thus increasing paid support revenues...

So has the RA discussion forum community found a home somewhere else?


Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Rockwell Tech Support is in trouble. They are losing good people left and right. It has become so bad that 20-30 minute hold times are not unheard of. Furthermore, they had to institue a 90-120 day holding period for those who want to move to another part of the organization. That policy has caused people to start looking outside of RA for employment. Other departments will not even consider support employees for hire due to the opressive wait.


Saturday, April 1, 2006

As an engineer that has done motion control for more than 7 years, I would not touch it with a 10 ft pole until the bugs (which more than likely are there) are worked out of it. Does anyone want to be the test bed for it? Sounds like employment suicide.


Saturday, April 1, 2006

Are there any thought regarding the recently announced new "Motion Control Business"?


Thursday, March 30, 2006

I am confused by the comment from the Denver office. Rockwell has an ombudsman process which can be used if the situation is serious.


Thursday, March 30, 2006

In some parts of Rockwell Automation, management is allowed to treat employees without any respect. And if they have a medical situation, they treat them even worse. There are great people in the Denver office, but there is no process of an open door policy, to stop harassment.


Monday, March 27, 2006

I've noticed others mentioning this issue, but am curious to know if anyone out there thinks it strange that RA stock prices continue such unrealistic steady growth. I feel we are getting over inflated and that a correction could cause stock prices to drop suddenly.


Monday, March 27, 2006 - from Michael Barb - Rockwell Software forums canceled:

The ultimate method of censorship has struck. Rockwell Software has cancelled their forums. It looks like they want to kill the free flow of information between customers. But, there is another way. Go to Control.com.

In some ways it would not be so bad if the search engine for the knowledge base worked well. I often used their forum just to find a knowledge-base article.


Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A lot of noise down at the ARC forum in Orlando last week about Rockwell Automations's Industry initiatives. The reality is they have chopped the old Global Accounts program into segments and added some new VPs and more sales folks. No sign of any significant industry domain knowledge or real industry applications yet. I just cannot believe that the customers are drinking the coolade on this program. It will be interesting to see what happens when the revenues dont meet the expectations.

On the European posts and Mark Hardy's situation. Good luck to him. From what I have heard of the guy, RA will miss him more than he will miss RA.


Monday, February 27, 2006 - View from a "Past" Manager:

Whilst RA stock is "doing great", there is a clear problem in the one area that the company has identified as their Growth potential over the next 5 years: i.e., Europe.

Whilst Mark (Hardy) doesn't want to be a topic for a weblog, unfortunately when Senior Directors of his experience, drive and forward thinking leave the Company people are bound to ask why.

Mark's departure (in answer to the weblog on the 17th Feb) was not sudden, and has been on the cards for the last 6 months. He has effectively been working his notice. The bottom line is that unless you subscribe and agree to the current European Strategy, you move on!

Without this sounding too much like an Obituary, Mark was a Leader who created a very strong Team who were empowered to grow their businesses (unlike the current incumbent at the top in Europe). The fact that key players in the Management Team from the Services Group and also a number of Senior Sales Managers have recently left Rockwell in the UK says a lot about the current morale across the pond.


Monday, February 27, 2006

I can't believe what i'm reading here. I understand that the dead are always "saints", but please have some shame.

The fact that Mark Hardy was with the Company for 10 years doesn't make him automatically a "great (or even decent) manager". In my opinion this is one of the "volunteered exits" that not many believes in. By the way, it's NOT sudden. It's very interesting that it looks like a forced, but smooth, transition out. Not many rumors; quiet; what companies like for top managers layoffs.

About the Global vision of the Company: It's just another game to show, internally and perhaps to specific customers, that Rockwell Automation is a Global supplier. Just a politically needed step.

The European organization has received a very bad hit with the reorganization last fall. It will be very hard to recover trust from the operational people. I don't know how many people accept the fact that we sell only when the final product has to be shipped. It's sad and may also make you not feel skilled enough (if you are living life everyday in front of the customer). But it's the truth and we have to live with it.


Monday, February 20, 2006 - From someone considering a position at Rockwell:

Having designed systems using Rockwell, Schneider, and Siemens PLC backbones, I can't figure out why anyone would specify Schneider or Siemens over Rockwell (at least in the USA). On what basis are Schneider and Siemens growing in North America? They cerainly don't have better products - at least not from a programmers perspective.


Monday, February 20, 2006 - from Mark Hardy [mhardy@ra.rockwell.com]:

I would really rather not be a topic for this weblog. If anybody within RA has any questions related to my situation please just pick up the phone and give me a call. Thanks.


Saturday, February 18, 2006 - from: "a humbe person working at RA for the last 9 years":

Where is the diversity in Rockwell? They say it's a global company, but it's sad to see hardly any Asians and Latin Americns in the Corporate Rockwell. Often times, I feel RA is talking global, but still thinking local.

It's quite frustrating and stressfull to associate with people who have no clue on the culture/behaviour and values of people from other regions. They need to go a long way to think and act like a true global company.

Except Keith Nosbusch's frequent visits to India, personally I have not seen any Sr VP's or VP's visiting Asia, particulary to China and India.


Friday, February 17, 2006

I dont think Mark Hardy's departure is "sudden" at all. Europe is in a mess right now, with multiple initiatives all taking place at once. Hardy is probably the most charismatic and well respected leader at a European level, but he has been notably absent from some recent key events / meetings. This has inevitably gottten the rumor mill working. The formal announcement about his departure was probably initiated to try and kill off speculation. In any case the announcement was awful and it has probably caused more rumblings.

Incidentally it is also interesting (and probably not co-incidental) to note that one of Mark Hardys key management team has also announced that he will be leaving. Seems kind of strange to be losing some of the best management talent just when its needed the most.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Well another Rockwell manager "Bites the dust." Rockwell is trying to enter the European market where Siemens and Schneider are strong - it's like "fighting superman with a whoopie cushion". Rockwell now knows how hard it is to sell their product when it is not specified, like it is in the US. All of the European manufacturers are growing worldwide, why not Rockwell?


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Mark Hardy - previously a senior leader within the solutions (GMS) business in Europe, has now decided to part ways with Rockwell Automation. Is this because the Global strategy for Services is less appealing or less relavent ? Is it due a different view regaridng how the European business should grow? Or is it simply that Rockwell no longer values the Services development in the same way as it did in the heyday of Ron Wichter et-al ?

Why would someone who has been there for ~10years and in a seriously well paid role suddenly (and it is sudden) decide to go?


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Although Rockwell Automation may or may not doing well, they continue to lose good talent. For instance losing their sales manager from Indianapolis to Siemens. Still sounds like a steady exodus continues.


Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Rockwell continues to be successful. Maybe the description of this weblog should change to reflect that.

Jim Pinto note: You're right. It's been changed.


Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I find it very interesting that there have not been any posts regarding RA in light of their rapid stock increase. Any thoughts?


Sunday, November 27, 2005

With Siemens and Telemechanique (Schneider) competition knocking at there door and taking business away on a daily basis, Rockwell has found no other choice other than expand overseas. All of the larger global players did this years ago. It's a little late for Rockwell. This move will not expand their business overseas, because no one knows who Rockwell is - other than in the US and Canada. This is a move to increase profits, since sales year after year are getting eaten into by the bIG TWO (Siemens and Schneider). Stock holders will not tolerate lack of profits anymore. This looks like a move to bring up profits and possibly find a buyer for Rockwell again.

Rockwell will always have a strong base of business in the USA; globally they have little chance to expand their business. This is mainly due to their lack of international marketing, and not being diverse enough of a company.


Friday, November 4, 2005

Recent announcement below from Rockwell on the move of US businesses to Singapore should raise a lot of questions within our industry. Looks like a cost move to increase profits and less to do with developing new products. Also says "initially" so sounds like more may be in consideration. It's one thing to say that you are adding global regional development and manufacturing facilities to complement your US business, but to gut the US teams sends a different message. Would be interesting to hear peoples opinions on this significant move.

The Center will initially be comprised of several business segments that are in demand in Asia, and highly strategic to the company's global growth. They include: Small PLC Platforms, Distributed Input/Output, Component Operator Displays and Component Drives. In addition, a product development center will be established there along with coordination of associated design and manufacturing partners.


Thursday, October 6, 2005

Actually, the only thing that has been outsourced is internal IT support. The email addresses are RA email addresses, but include CONTRACT in them to differentiate them from actualy employees. Customers/Distributors would have no reason to contact them anyways since it is internal to RA only.


Friday, August 26, 2005

Interesting news for the Support Organization, it appears that the fears of outsourcing technical support is becoming to be a reality. Since the re-organization of the technical support process that is being effected later on this year, it seems that the management has decided to give the support center another cause for concern. Apperently Compucom of Austin Texas is now been contracted as a 3rd party to perform support on Rockwell Products, replacing the normal spport channel. Their employees even have RA email addresses so as to be transperent to the customers. It will be interseting to see where this goes.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - re: weblog about GMS being "dead":

That's probably not a bad thing given the reality that GMS was competing more & more with A-B's own SI's and creating division where none existed before. There have been cases where the GMS effort pushed those same SI's to align with competitive solutions that in a few select cases resulted in A-B losing out not only the integration work but also the hardware biz. Having them fall under sales should allow them to prosper on service related opportunities when it doesn't compromise selling hardware which at the end of the day is the core competency for ROK that can't be overlooked.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Big announcements last week. GMS is dead. Services now report to Sales - just like the old days of CSC again! I guess the old adage of 'what goes around comes around' rings true again.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

It's highly unlikely that Rockwell Automation truly has the drive, people, or innovation ability to be "great". They will deliver "good" financial performance for a few more years, but will be assaulted on many fronts by Siemens and GE Fanuc, chipping away at their previously impenetrable position atop the leaderboard in North America. After the dust settles, RA will be what it has always been - a hardware company, and will suffer the pain of the margins associated with that business after global competition has truly arrived to North America.


Friday, May 20, 2005

MPS had a webcast yesterday showing a re-organization with a few less managers, hopefully actually implementing a flater organization. This places a proposal group with sales on one side with a Project Managment execution group on the other.

Of course, the devil is in the details but it seems to be responding to the needed improvment in PM execution and higher proposal costs than is expected for a company this size. The phrase is "Good to Great" making the company the best rather than simply good enough to be a player.

I've got at least 10 more years before retirement (probably more like 20) and believe it or not, I would like it to be all with RA. That is a tall order in today's business climate but this may be a way to have that happen. I wait with interest to see how this will play out.


Thursday, May 19, 2005 - Roy Harry [roy@mediaii.com]:

Like Bob (previous weblog), I'm amazed by the comments on this blog and others. When a company is going through tough times, everyone seems to want to pile on and vent about management. But, when times are good, silence. Look at the number of recent comments when the economy is ruinnin' on all eight versus the ones since 2001.

Also look at Rockwell's sales, earnings, dividends, plus those of the spin-offs over time. Rockwell has been managed very well for each and every shareholder over the long haul which is the name of the game unless you're a day trader.

It has weathered tough economic times and has had to make tough decisons to survive. Yes, employees were let go and costs cut.I'm a vendor, I saw the latter. But, I would really like to see someone out there give some credit for what management has provided: a good return for long-term shareholders, good compensation and benefits for employees, a safe work environment, fair practices for vendors, and good corporate citizenship.

How about some good news for a change instead of all the bitchin' and moaning? Dedicated employees at Rockwell and the other companies on this site are working their butts off to do good work. All of the negativity on these pages with scant few suggestions does a disservice to their had work. Sure their are problems, it's part of growth, you learn and go on.

My vote is for a new awareness. Valuable constructive comments, not crabbing and celebrating accomplishments.


Saturday, March 05, 2005 - From Bob McIntyre [MHOUHUABOB@aol.com] a former Rockwell Field service Engineer:

I am always baffled by most of the blogs here. I started with Reliance Electric and in the "Old Days" we did everything from HMI's to Drives to Advanced Automation during a StartUp. The Controls Engineers did an excellent job most of the time delivering what the Customer contracted but they always want more for less money. That is where we excelled. We always gave more for less.

Presently, as a private consultant, let me give you the current perspective from my customers' point of view.

WonderWare is the best HMI for small to large scale projects bar none because it has most of the products that they want and are the easiest to learn and deploy even to the Technicians level. Rockwell's RSView in the ME and SE editions is a mess and their own service people can't work with it very well.

The Drives Area is wide open although GE has been doing some interesting work with Toshiba and their Innovation/PAC system to achieve a novel approach to bring Drive Systems into the Controller.

The Controlller area will get a lot more interesting in the next few years. It will become like Computers about connectivity and ease of use. That is when Proprietary Systems like ControlLogix will die. In the Automax days we only required ONE software package to do Drives and Automation. ControlLogix requires 2,3,4 different software systems or more depending on how many Networks or kinds of Drives you want or need!! The Customer's don't stand a chance of making personal changes to THEIR system.

I can tell you that a lot of Customers/Integrators for many years have been fed up with Rockwell's strongarm tactics of telling them who they have to buy product from and at what price. Most of them have been using tricks to buy product out of state and in some cases out of country to get the best price and Rockwell be damned. But that still doesn't help them much when it comes to someone to make it work. They still need a guy.

Rockwell and a lot of other companies and customers operate from the standpoint that "He's a Drives Guy, or He's an HMI guy, or He's an Automation guy".

They are all without a clue. A System is an Entity. If you want it to work as seamless as possible you don't need a Vendor whose products are attempted to be designed to all work together. This will never happen. What you need is a Startup Professional who has been through the Product Wars and knows how to tie the Best Products from various Vendors together.

Without battle hardened Field Service personnel a Company's Startup Group like LDS or GDS or whatever they choose to call themselves nowadays will never get the really MAJOR projects/startups beacause NO ONE will take a chance on a bunch of amateurs.


Friday, February 25, 2005 - extracts from JimPinto.com eNews #175:

Several people have asked why we have not made too many comments about Rockwell Automation recently. I had indeed predicted that the company would be acquired sooner or later. But now, with their stock trading up near $60, more than 4x what it was when they spun off Rockwell Collins, they seem to be doing fairly well.

Rockwell Automation went through a long string of debilitating reductions and re-structuring over the past couple of years, and now seems to have emerged from that turmoil. Now, under Keith Nosbusch, the company seems to be doing well. With their stock at $60, this gives the company a market-cap of $11 billion, which makes them almost impossible to acquire - unless someone wants them really badly.

I compliment CEO Keith Nosbusch and Rockwell Automation on the progress. I admit that I was wrong about the company being acquired.

Click Rockwell Automation doing well under Keith Nosbusch


Thursday, February 24, 2005 - Regarding the previous comment on Rockwell's revenue-per-head ratio:

It doesn't matter a bit. What matters is *profitability* and margin. If GE has more "hard goods" content and less human content, it will naturally have a higher ratio. That has nothing at all to do with profitability or economic performance. Rockwell posted very impressive numbers in 2004 and seems on track to continue this performance into 2005. GE runs a tight ship, no doubt, but blanket comparisons of two VERY different businesses are meaningless.


Monday, February 14, 2005 - re-previous weblog on GE-Fanuc:

Does the previous weblog writer actually think GE is doing anything creative or innovative these days? Hardly. Rebundling the "same old same old" with the same name isn't innovation. Look at the destruction that they've done to their channel, as well. And ultimately, this may backfire when they realize they've lost customer relationships as a result. GE is succeeding in terms of bottom line performance, but only by slashing costs, stopping new investment and reaching into channel margin. Most of the components of the Proficy One "suite" are far from "leaders" in their categories. Bundling and creating a "perception" of integration was the only option. Do not count Siemens out. Doing so would be a big mistake.


Friday, February 11, 2005 - commentary on the Software business:

I notice no mention whatsoever of Invensys/Wonderware in this weblog analysis. Rightfully so. As a former Irvinian, I became embarassed by what Wonderware had become. Career industrial politicians, software jocks with no understand at all of manufacturing, and a rehire/retreading of the most useless sales and marketing people in history - they all convinced me enough was enough. Now I watch as the most envied brand in industrial software is reduced to almost nothing. Archestra. Puhleeze. The emperor's (Haythornthwaite's) new clothes. Now the company has become a conflagration of yes-men, do-nothings, and technophiles. That's a long distance from the Dennis Morin and Phil days of glory.

Then you look at what GE has done to Intellution. Slapped the meatball on the brand and got sauce all over the place. No product strategy other than a common name. Dysfunctional channel looking for a way out. Drive cost out, margin up.

Siemens is a mysterious lady. Hard to figure her out. Just when you think she's a businesslike frau from Deutschland, she peels off her faux skin and becomes a jet setter from Cali intent on software world domination. Don't bet against that kind of size and power.

Rockwell, however, is as consistent as the sun rising. Making money, owning their key markets, and a strong hardware solution set. Always work from a position of strength, and theirs is the stratospherically high pile of PLC 5's out there.

Siemens has the full court press on to try to dunk over the head of Nosbusch at the Bradley Center. North America is on their radar and they're prepared to use a blitzkrieg if needed.

My bet would be on Rockwell to rule North America, split the rest of the Americas, Siemens to advance in Western Europe, and a fair fight in Rest-of-World.

The winner on the software side will be the one that makes a step change/disruptive move like WonderWare did in the 80's. Most of these guys are fighting a 21st century war with muskets. They need to make like Taco Bell and think outside the bun.


Tuesday, February 8, 2005

If you think that 3 or 4 folks leaving a GE business constitutes a mass exodus, think again. I personally know 8 or 9 people that left Rockwell to go to GE. Not Kevin Roach's level, but certainly the rest are comparable.

I agree with one of the previous weblog comments - I don't think that talent from within either GE or Siemens or Rockwell can take any of these organizations where they need to go. It will take a revolution to transform businesses that began as HMI/SCADA software vendors into successful Production Management software vendors. The kind of knowledge required to pull that off doesn't reside inside those companies. At least I see GE going outside to look for that talent.

Why do you think Rich Ryan didn't succeed in pulling it off? Why did Kevin not succeed at GE? Why is Siemens struggling in this space? And why does anyone think that Kevin would succeed at Rockwell when, aside from his charisma, the only thing he can point to as success is acquiring an HMI/SCADA company that had a pseudo-MES product inextricably tied to it? I'm afraid the only point to be made here is simply that he left GE and joined Rockwell for the same reason that most of us do similar things - a better title and more money. Period.

Rockwell's challenges lie in 2 areas - they don't have a channel to market that can sell Production Management software, and they don't have a product portfolio that the right channel would require to develop a viable, profitable business model. It's almost a catch-22. Of course, they could go out and acquire more products (which is what put them in this mess in the first place) but that would further exacerbate their current problems. Kevin's got his work cut out for him.

There are no silver bullets that will guarantee success. It will always be about having a clear understanding of what customers need and are willing to buy - which, when combined with the right vision, the right domain expertise, and the balls to execute - not to mention a lot of hard work - will result in success. Those with any clue in this business will know that we all - GE, Rockwell and Siemens, anklebiters, etc. - need to succeed so we can collectively create the value in this marketplace.


Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - responding to the previous weblog:

Rockwell continues to cut jobs because their ratio of topline revenue to people is way too high. In other words, GE's sales revenue-per-person is almost 2 times higher. The analysts have been pounding Rockwell on this for a couple of years now, and Rockwell has been slow to respond. Look for more of the same for years to come.


Monday, February 7, 2005

Rockwell Automation 2005 first quarter earnings are out. Rockwell is showing growth. Business is looking good, says Keith Nosbusch. But then, why are they still cutting jobs? More people have been added to the layoff list.


Monday, January 17, 2005

Actually, Rich Ryan is a very smart and politically saavy guy. He would be a good person for Kevin Roach to ally with, to learn how to get things done at Rockwell Automation.


Thursday, December 23, 2004

Kevin Roach is NOT off to the right start at Rockwell. He is associating with the RSI "old guard" including the likes of Rich Ryan, and is perhaps listening for guidance too much to the techies, who have an interest in preserving the status quo.

We have what amounts to a couple good products, a couple iffy ones, and a couple losers, but a loyal customer base, good financials, and a fairly capable implementation organization.

Kevin Roach should be sizing up the current team members and should shoot at least half them that are responsible for the current mess in the software side. Be brave and bold, Mr. Roach!


Saturday, December 18, 2004

I find it interesting that there's as much (if not more) about GE Fanuc than Rockwell on the Rockwell blog! It proves 1) how screwed up GE Fanuc is and 2) the mass-defection that is taking place from GE Fanuc to Rockwell.

Ultimate success is determined by the people in the positions that develop the products and sell the solutions. Looks like Rockwell is loading up on both fronts. If they can execute, they have a chance.

At least the Rockwell group has a somewhat satisfied hardware customer base to sell software into. GE Fanuc simply lacks when it comes to being innovative and creative.

Finally, to the earlier comment regarding the 'gentlemen's rule about going to the competitor,' GE Fanuc brought it on themselves for the best and brightest to break that rule. Anyone involved with GE Fanuc right now knows the house of cards is falling in.

    Jim Pinto Note:
    This weblog is a "self-inflicted" job. I have not started a GE-Fanuc weblog simply because there has not (yet) been enough input. If the need does arise, you'll see a separate GE-Fanuc weblog.


Thursday, December 2, 2004

It's official now - Nosbusch is the boss man. Now let's see if he can do something bold.

Click CEO Keith Nosbusch to Become Chairman, Don Davis to Retire


Tuesday, November 30, 2004

GE certainly screwed up Intellution, Mountain Systems, and their channel strategy. The "one box fits all" product strategy is laughable. They are all "me-too" or 2nd tier solutions, bundled together. A few sucker customers are buying the spiel, and those responsible will be polishing their resumes a year from now.


Thursday, November 25, 2004

After working with GE Fanuc Automation for over 8 years, in my opinion they really have made a mess with their distribution channel and reps. With the aquisition of Intellution I thought they would take advantage in keeping things separate, software channel does good software solutions and the same for the hardware channel. In my opinion GE Fanuc has confused their customers, distribution and representatives and in the end have lost alot of good people. Now they don't even have a leader for the company...


Friday, November 5, 2004

I must disagree with the disgruntled ex-GE person's assessment of Kevin Roach. Kevin is a very capable guy who inherited a difficult product rationalization challenge at GE Fanuc "post Intellution". He received bad advice from some of his direct reports whom he trusted a bit too much (marketing and technical advisors). The whole "Proficy One" thing is a complete farce, but was really the only viable option. None of those products fit together well at all. Plus, there has been a massive "brain drain" since the GE-fication of Intellution.

Also, Kevin came to GE from TCP, of which SensorPulse was but one component. If he gets some good people around him at Rockwell (which may require him to go outside Rockwell Software), he can pull it off. He has a good vision of the market opportunity; but now it will come down to how much latitude he has to execute on that vision. I wish him the best.


Wednesday, November 4, 2004 - from a former GE Fanuc employee on Kevin Roach:

Kevin Roach started at GE Fanuc about 6 years ago, when GE Fanuc bought his tiny company Sensor-Pulse. GE Fanuc never did anything with that product.

Kevin took the vacancy to promote Cimplicity (HMI), that was boosted by his successors. He had one dream, and that was to become No. 1 in the Software business. After he had convinced his management to split the company between Hardware and Software, he then tried to split the company in such a way that all the software business would be managed by him.

Emerson offered GE Intellution iFix. For Kevin, it was all about ego and not about a smart move for GE Fanuc. Customer asked what HMI product was the one for the future, and Kevin promised that Cimplicity and iFix would merge.

Kevin Roach is running away for the issues he created. Anyhow, a lot of people are very disappointed in him. Within GE we have always had an unwritten and unspoken gentleman-guideline: "You never move to the direct competition!"

Kevin only wants to be No. 1, and forgets about all the people that helped him to build his position.


Sunday, October 31, 2004

This change is really good for Rockwell Software. About time. The mood at Automation Fair was very very positive on this change. It also says a lot about how messed up GE Fanuc is. The talent exodus from Intellution is almost complete. A year from now, Rockwell Software will have better products, focus, and profitability.


Thursday, October 28, 2004

Big changes at Rockwell Software! Kevin Roach, VP at GE Fanuc has left to take over Rockwell Software and GMS!


Monday, October 18, 2004

Rockwell is riding a brief blip in capital spending, and will be left holding a real mess when it fades. The software and solutions side is completely in the dumper. Nosbusch seems to have misled Wall Street with his intentions for the company in 2004. Actions speak louder than words!


Thursday, October 14, 2004

News that Anorad Motion Control Division has let a few people go (quietly). Now they are preparing for a big one after production moves to China. Wonder how many people Rockwell will have anyone working in the US soon?


Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Hear that there are 50 being layed off in Milwaukee. Guards are being outsourced (people with 28 years eliminated). About 5 IT folks gone - HELP desk outsourcing to India? Don't know who the rest are, or how accurate the total is. Increased profit, with cutbacks.


Saturday, September 25, 2004 - Rockwell global outsourcing:

I have worked at Rockwell Automation for 6+ years. The company is in major trouble only because Don Davis (who is still the driving force) keeps promising more than anyone can deliver in this economy.

RA is moving ahead strongly withy global outsourcing. The help desk function will move to India, most likely before the end of this year. They are currently trying to move ALL development to India and once they feel the quality of their applications are at suitable levels this will happen. A meeting was held early Aug 2004, where it was announced that 25% of IT would be moved to India. A friend in management told me the number given by a director was 35%.

Manufacturing is also looking to move the shop overseas. China, Korea and others locations are being considered. Quality is again an issue. Plants across North America (US, Canada, Mexico) will suffer. Mexico will most likely be affected the least. This is Don Davis's answer to reduce overhead: reducing the number of job in this country, as well as reducing the requirement to pay employee benefits. In overseas jobs, they do not pay for benefits at the manufacturing associate level. This alone saves them a LOT of money.


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

GMS isn't in as bad a shape as the previous weblog described. There are a number of loyal accounts and quite a few talented people. The software side, however, is indeed in poor shape.


Saturday, August 7, 2004 - for the person who asked advice on Rockwell GMS:

Run, don't walk, AWAY from GMS. Talk to the people at Interwave about the climate. Working for a small SI versus working for an SI embedded in a HARDWARE company is a HUGE difference. Hardware is delivering the results at Rockwell right now, and thus gets all the attention. Rockwell talks "solutions" but is a PLC and pushbutton company. The Rockwell channel is of no value developing business for GMS, and the Rockwell strategic account guys are more interesting in hitting their hardware numbers.

Risk-taking is something no Rockwell leadership has the courage to do. Once the pent-up capital spending bubble ebbs, Rockwell will be left in a no-growth position. Nosbusch must have been telling fibs to Wall Street as he and his lieutenants (all Rockwell lifers) have done nothing to deliver on that vision.

Not only is GMS a mess, but Rockwell Software has its own massive list of problems. Poor product quality, angry customers, misdirected focus, minimal innovation, extremely fat organization, and so on. Rockwell needs some outsiders injected into leadership positions if they truly want to prepare the company for the next decade.


Friday, August 6, 2004

I work for an SI, using Rockwell and Siemens controls based on customer specification. I have an opportunity to join RA GMS, and I am considering an offer.

I would like to know if other SI's are buying into the GMS plan and game? How about distributors? Is GMS a good place to work now that all the layoffs are slowing and they are hiring again? Is there a bright future in GMS that values innovation? Is GMS respected by sales? How are GMS employees regarded?


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Rockwell Automation Power Systems group had a big shakekup at the VP Marketing level recently. Opinion is that Control systems is taking over and the last regime is over at Power Systems. Employee morale is low and should mean open season for the competition. Strong opinions that Joe Swann will finally retire. Unfortunately he has had a management team of yes-men with no leadership skills to carry on.


Monday, July 12, 2004 - RA Tech Support:

VP of Customer Support was recently and suddenly replaced. This is just after a trip to Asia and India. It seems that the Replacement will "Outsource" Tech Support to India. Can anyone comment on this?


Monday, June 28, 2004

There is also much ugliness going on at Rockwell's recently acquired Interwave subsidiary.


Sunday, June 27, 2004

Saw that Rockwell announced the closing of its Eau Claire, WI assembly facility - but no comment on moving some of the work to off-shore facilities.

Also heard that they are closing their motion engineering unit in New Hampshire and trying to move some people to Cleveland. They lost some good people due to this.

Sounds like more cost cutting and facility consolidation going on, and less regard to people, or customers.


Monday, June 7, 2004 - from a retired A-B Field Engineer:

1201 S 2nd certainly has a "coolness factor" that West Allis does not. Whether the creative culture of software development will be enhanced or suffer depends on the people moving. Long term, success at the clocktower for software depends on these factors:

  • Management must value and rely on the people writing the code. These are the real assets. Give the coders some exceptional perks - don't equate them with the rest of the cube population.
  • The coders must be customer sensitive. They need to head out to the field once in awhile to see how customers use automation software. Managment must encourage and support this.

Friday, June 4, 2004

The first wave of West Allis Rockwell Software employees have begun to move into the Allen-Bradley clocktower in downtown Milwaukee. Remaining employees will move over the next few weeks.

The good : After the cost of the move, they won't have the expense of a leased property.

The long term question : Will their software campus be able to retain a creative culture while inhabiting a plain of cubicles inside A-B's facility?


Wednesday, May 12, 2004 - someone asked:

Haven't seen any entries, on the Rockwell weblog for a long while. Is the weblog still up and running?

Jim Pinto response:
Yes, the weblog is still running. For whatever reason, there have been no Rockwell weblogs recently.
Many questions (not included on weblog) relating to whether or not Rockwell still "for sale"?
Quick answer : Yes.


Wednesday, January 14, 2004 - MSN Money Central - Stock Rating Summary for ROK (Rockwell Automation):

PRO

  • Earnings growth in the past year has accelerated moderately compared to earnings growth in the past three years. Positive
  • The StockScouter measure of relative price change and consistency is very high. Very positive
  • Previous day's closing price for ROK was slightly above its 50-day moving average. Positive
CON
  • Two or more executives, board directors or major shareholders - including one high-level executive - sold a large number of shares recently. Extremely negative
Any comments or insights?


Tuesday, January 6, 2004 - from : [rokeurope@yahoo.com]:

I think it's time to comment on some of the recent JimPinto.com commentary. To be clear, I am an employee based in Europe; so my views may be different to the majority of people who read this. But, I do think I have a fairly good insight into the comings and goings at Rockwell.

With regard to JimPinto's recent comments (eNews 30 Dec. 2003):

  • Don Davis: There is no doubt that Don was not "hands on", but lets be fair - he had a management team under him to do that. Keith is a very hands-on sort of executive and has handled that side of things for Don very well. Don has been the "face" for Rockwell to the outside community, together with the finance guy who has recently left and they did a great job in selling Rockwell to the outside investors.

  • Keith Nosbusch: I agree with Jim Pinto's comments, he does lack "charisma" but to date he has not really needed to show that side of himself. He has little choice now he is thrust into the top job, and with Don's guidance he should transition into this role well. Yes - he does seem to manage "by the numbers", but is this not what the investors want and doesn't this make the company succssesful? There is no doubt that a lot of "cronies" remain in senior management; but shouldn't we give Keith the benefit of the doubt, that he will make the right decisions and clear some of these out?

  • Rockwell's service business: I disagree that it is a mistake. The Company has little option. The markets for PLC and automation components (including drives) are changing, looking at all these products as commodities. The differentiators are difficult to see. Also the price per unit has dropped significantly. The problem is that the service business does not generate the same margins as the components do; hence the supposed "drain". The other big mistake made was the hiring of the evil Wichter to head up GMS. His vision was good but his implementation stunk very badly and cost the company many, many dollars. The big fear is that they will now play too safe in services and not get the culture change that Wichter was pushing for. McDermot (Wichter's replacement)is one of the old school (maybe a cronie?)but from the numbers I get to see, at least here in Europe, Services is the only area that is really growing.

  • Manufacturing: I am sorry, but to avoid the issue of offshore manufacturing is to bury your head in the sand and hope cheaper capacity will go away. It won't, and Rockwell's competitors will it to force prices down and render Rockwell non-competitive. Get real on this point, please!
After my defense of Rockwell management, let me be a little critical. Jim Pinto hit the nail right on the head when he commented about not enough risk takers. In Keith's strategy he talks about "prudent risk taking". This IS needed, but the current managers are not the right ones to balance the risks with financial prudence. The company needs growth now, not cost cuts. To do this a few very senior people need to be replaced.

In Europe this is our biggest problem. We now have a new (???) sales strategy that we must implement. Many think the solution is not to stratgize but to simply sell, and to do what we are good at. The current president is not the person to lead us forward in this; and if they think the solution is to send another American over like they did in the UK a year or so ago, then that would also be a mistake.

Hopefully Keith, if you are reading this, you will make just a few small changes. I, and many others, think you will be amazed at the results!


Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - what will Keith Nosbusch do as Rockwell CEO?

So, how will Keith Nosbusch do as CEO? The commentary in JimPinto.com eNews, 30 Dec. 2003, has been culled from discussions with current and ex-Rockwell employees and industry observers.

Click Read Pinto's Prognostications - eNews 30 Dec. 2003


Wednesday, December 17, 2003 - about why Rockwell stock has gone up:

Wall St is probably looking more to the 2005 consensus EPS number of 1.8, which puts the shares at a PE of less than 20. If it is looking at PE ratios (and it might be using other valuation methods) then the expectation may well be that earnings will grow faster going forwards, or that there is potential for Rockwell to surprise on the high side of estimates on the back of an economic pick-up.


Tuesday, December 16, 2003

As long as guys like Rich Ryan are running the software organization, the old ways of thinking will persist and Rockwell will continue to be a second-tier solution supplier. Maybe with Don Davis' departure, the necessary shakeups will happen. But I doubt it. Keith Nosbusch is a very "anal"-ytical guy, and we shouldn't expect any bold moves.


Monday, December 15, 2003

Guess I don't understand Wall St. Why would anyone value Rockwell at $35 per share when it's earnings in 2003 were around $1.20 and 2004 projection is around $1.35? That's a PE ratio of about 25. This is for a company that has only been able to make any profit by cutting people, and R&D, plus some exchange rate gains. The top line has been pretty flat. Does anybody have any knowledge of why the stock is being talked up so much? Could it be there is an acquisition brewing?


Friday, December 12, 2003

As an ex-Rockwell employee and retiree with more than 20 years of service, I would say that the December 10th posting hits on many of the key issues limiting Rockwell's performance. But, it fails to mention one that is well-known, often-discussed, but never dealt with effectively.

Rockwell continues to operate primarily as a hardware distribution business. They have failed effectively to adjust the distribution model, sales organization, incentive systems, and executive thinking to deal with the reality of the information age, and instead cling to a business model rooted in the "good old boy" network that should have been shed about 1990.


Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - regarding the last weblog entry:

Although I agree with the last statements, how about the 20 long term careers that were ruined? For a corporation, doing the "right thing" is not something that they do unless they are forced - either as a result of a lawsuit, or a major news organization knocking on their door. There are some pretty disgruntled ex-employees of Rockwell, and the companies they acquired and runied.


Wednesday, December 10, 2003

I totally agree with most of what has been said below. Rockwell Automation has all the potential to be a truly dynamic company BUT it has failed to achieve this because it's senior leadership has been driven by short-term thinking.

Specifically this has manifested as:

  1. A lack of non-Americans at the most senior level. 50% of the numbers come from "International" business, but nothing like 50% of VP's and above are represented from the global organisation.
  2. A Marketing agenda that still takes precedence over the need for Engineering leadership. Frankly the R&D resources have delivered quality, but at the expense of speed. Far too many excellent products that arrive on the market as "me too's", simply because they took 2-3 three times longer to deliver than planned.
  3. Failure to monitor the real performance of key executives. One VP I am thinking of wrecked at least 20 long term careers that I know of before his erratic and bullying behaviour was finally dealt with. Individuals like this are NOT common within Rockwell but they seem to be allowed to cause immense havoc before they are finally stopped.
  4. Although there are finally signs that Rockwell may be learning the lesson, why has it taken SO LONG to begin successfully gaining value from it's acquisitions? A long string of dubious purchases, or potentially excellent ones that have been allowed to fail disastrously...are a mute testament to an endemic and sustained failure of leadership.
  5. An American Sales organisation that is a byword for ARROGANCE throughout the industry. Too many fatcats guarding their bonuses, and too much lip service to fine ideals of customer service and partnerships.
Truly if Rockwell had performed to it's potential, then over the period of the past ten years it should have grown to be a genuine global player, of equal rank to Seimens (Industrial Automation), ABB and Schneider and turning over more than $10b. Instead it remains on the second tier.

Rockwell does not have these problems on its own. American corporate ethics and values are under scrutiny everywhere. Compared to WorldComm and Enron, Rockwell has been a model of probity, but this does not shelter it's senior executives from some honest self examination and a critical appraisal of RA's future.

If I sound angry, it is the anger and frustration of the loyal fan, watching his home team never playing to their potential, making stupid rookie errors and choking whenver they look like they had a chance. I just WISH they would make some REAL changes at RA, dump the politics and gameplaying and just get on with becoming the true global supplier they should be.


Friday, December 5, 2003

Surprised there's been no commentary on this year's 100th Anniversary Celebration / Rockwell Automation Fair. Is this a successful event for them? Are they getting their money's worth (sure looks like it must cost a lot). Was their anything new or exciting at the show this year?


Thursday, December 4, 2003 - Keith Nosbusch is New CEO:

Rockwell Automation board of directors has elected Keith Nosbusch as president and chief executive, to take effect after the company's annual meeting on Feb. 4. Nosbusch, 52, is to succeed Don Davis in both posts. Davis, who will be 64 later this month, will remain chairman. Nosbusch was most recently president of the Rockwell Automation Control Systems unit and will remain president of that unit.

Click Rockwell Automation names Nosbusch as CEO


Tuesday, December 2, 2003

Lower stock prices have no direct connection to the real value of a company. It's a percieved value based on market and/or investor opinions.

Too many times I've heard the term "perception" is everything. It's way too easy to distort the perception. One of the previous weblog mentions better reporting to the shareholders would be one of the solutions.

Of course the other is better management. Remember "think outside the box?" At Rockwell, those who were brave enough to actually do that were usually shown the door.

Hopefully everyone has learned a lot from these last few years and will quit playing numbers games, and get back to building better products again. I've been noticing that the best products have been coming from other countries, and those products are not cheaper. Most are more expensive, but do a better job. Probably because they focus on making a better product, not crunching numbers.


Saturday, November 29, 2003

Maybe this is the wrong forum, but, can anyone describe what effect lower stock prices have on the real value of a company? It seems to me that the last few years should have taught everyone that stock values are extremely ethereal quantities, having nothing to do with the real value of any company. Any CEO worth his/her salary should know by now that only habitual gamblers care about the day-day or even year-year fluctuations.


Friday, November 28, 2003

The previous weblog raises a good point and a problem with today's corporations/markets. Some shareholders - many are large organizations - are concerned only with day-to-day share prices, and not the long-term. As a result, naive corporate management reacts with short-term fixes to keep share prices up. But, you cannot save your way to prosperity by slashing businesses, people or marketing and R&D budgets.

This is the trap that Rockwell has fallen into. There is no real plan forward, nothing to get analysts excited about, just keep bailing and tossing people and gear overboard for the short-term and hope that the rising economy will refloat the sinking ship.

I think that if you carefully analyze Rockwell's numbers, you'll find that its stock prices are floating on cuts, rather than real growth. At the same time, look at Baldor's numbers. Similar tough markets, better management, better growth for the near- and long-term.

And, no. Outlawing one company to acquire another is really a bad idea. Enacting better reporting to shareholders is a better idea.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - comment on the last weblog:

Shareholders are probably not upset, because the shareholder is only concerned with their investment growth - not actual business growth. Aquisitions almost always fail because the corporate mindset is on "percieved" growth - meaning the price of the stock. Unfortunately, since that appears to be the only focus, it leaves behind much carnage.

I've often thought that it would be interesting to get some business leaders and lawmakers together to discuss making it impossible (illegal) for any company to aquire another company. Kick the idea around to see if that would make any sense. There are a lot of businesses that would still be around and larger if that were the case.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - Regarding Rick Sansonis comments about Rockwell driving Intecolor into the ground:

That is peanuts compared to what the company has done to Reliance Electric. In 1993, Reliance sales were $1,172 million with earnings of $92 million (excluding the Comm/Tec business that was spun off by Rockwell). In 2003, that same business reported sales of $705 million with earnings of $54 million. In ten years, Rockwells stewardship of Reliance Electric resulted in a loss of $467 million in sales. I think the folks a Baldor (the competitor) say, "Thank you very much!".

Why arent shareholders outraged by Rockwell Automations inability to profitably grow acquisitions like Intecolor and Reliance Electric? Current earnings are only the result of just closing businesses, laying people off and reducing benefits. Wheres the growth?


Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - from Rick Sansoni [ricksansoni@hotmail.com] :

I'm an ex-Rockwell Automation employee who has an outstanding claim aginst Rockwell Milwalkee. 6 years and still going strong.

Rockwell Automation bought a company I worked for, Intecolor, in Duluth GA. We were a highly successful $30M, industrial monitor and systems integration company. 4 or 5 years later it closed up shop.

How do you take a successful "asset" like Intecolor and drive it in to the ground? Arrogance, and fire key employees. For the record, the CFO who just quit was VP of corporate development and planning when I was fired, in 1997.

I didn't "choose" to be a "corporate whistleblower" - but the individual who so correctly stated "you go against Rockwell" is certainly correct. My personal experience is living proof of that.


Monday, November 10, 2003 - re: PLC invention:

Without detracting from either comment below, it is my understanding from my own time spent with Odo Strueger, that his AB team were competing on the same project that GM had initiated, and ultimately they won the GM business because they were the first to develop ladder logic as a GUI.(Graphical User Interface.)

In his words..."The moment I showed those GM engineers our first primitive ladder logic terminal, I saw their eyes light up and I knew we had a winner!"

Of course this takes nothing away from Dick's prior accomplishment. My attitude is that both teams contributed equally critical elements to the beginnings of the success story that is the now ubiquitous PLC.


Wednesday, November 5, 2003

In your book, you mention Dick Morley with the title "Inventor of the PLC" I have been told for years that the late Odo Strueger of Rockwell (Allen-Bradly back then) led a team of scientists that developed the first PLC. Please give me some background on this man's claim.

Jim Pinto response:

    Dick Morley is generally recognized as the "father of the PLC", from his days at Bedford Associates, affiliated with Modicon. Odo Strueger himself (now deceased, I had met him myself previously) recognized Dick Morley's "prior art" in the development of the PLC. Morley's first PLC now resides in the SmithsonianInstitute. You are referred to these websites:

    Click History of the PLC

    Click Dick Morley at his Barn.org


Friday, September 26, 2003

Company wide layoffs in order to restructure today.


Thursday, September 25, 2003

The latest rumor on the Eaton / ROK merger, as it will be called in the press, is that environmental matters and/or concerns are being dealt with and that they represent some of the final steps in the deal.


Monday, September 22, 2003 - someone asked:

Jim Pinto had predicted Rockwell Automation sell-off by early 2003, Allen Bradleys centenary year. Do you now want to retract that prediction?

Jim Pinto response: Not yet.


Thursday, September 11, 2003

Respectfully, I believe you edited out the most important piece of the RA press release:

    "...But the movement globally is to connect the factory floor with e-marketing and have systems that connect manufacturing to other parts of an enterprise. We are aware of these trends and are developing solutions that are modular and scalable and can be layered on to production systems already in place," Mr Summerville said.
This indicates that RA is undertaking a major development effort with global applicability offshore. What impact will this have on Rockwell Software people?


Wednesday, September 10, 2003

I find it curious that the following press release has not been posted on the RA website.

Rockwell plans to set up e-manufacturing facility
Financial Times Information Limited - Asia Africa Intelligence Wire
New Delhi, Sept. 3. 2003

ROCKWELL Automation has firmed up plans to set up a new e-manufacturing software development and integration facility in Bangalore, India. Rockwell, which logged close to $28 million in sales of automation equipment and services in India last year, already has an applications lab in Bangalore that develops solutions for the company's operations globally.

The new facility was aimed at taking advantage of the technical knowhow available in the country to develop e-manufacturing software for the company, according to Rockwell Automation's President (Asia Pacific), Mr Scott L. Summerville. Rockwell, he said, was focused on helping organisations to modernise, upgrade or retrofit in order to "wring out more productivity" in an environment where the stress was on best utilisation of an organisation's assets.


Thursday, August 28, 2003

Another strange move by Rockwell Automation management. VP for the legacy control business (PLC,SLC and DI/O) is moving to Korea to run Rockwell Korea and also manage the SLC Business from there. No word on how PLC and DI/O units will be split up. Looks like more manufacturing going offshore, probably Rockwell Samsung JV.


Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - Rockwell CFO quits:

Rockwell Automation's chief financial officer announced his surprise resignation, adding to the management turnover expected in the coming year in Rockwell's highest echelons.

Michael A. Bless, 38, will leave as soon as Rockwell hires a replacement. This could portend new faces in both the No. 1 and No. 2 executive jobs at Rockwell, which this year celebrates the centennial anniversary of its main division, the Allen-Bradley Co. CEO Don Davis, who turns 64 in December, has made clear that he doesn't expect to work full time by the time he's 65. Davis is expected to announce soon who will replace him.

Finance chief at Rockwell resigns


Thursday, August 21, 2003 - Regarding the Anorad post:

The $60M is what has been mentioned by some senior ex-Anorad people (and there are many). If Rockwell reported $45M then the discrepancy can be due to patents, side pay-offs etc. or simply that the $60M is incorect.

But, what difference does it make when Anorad has been bleeding since RA bought it. The company has inept leadership, including replacing real tech-talent with yes boss "buddies" that have no clue about the core technology; and it has steadily lost market share in all its areas - the linear motor biz is almost non-existent, except for internal consumption. Also, Rockwell was hoodwinked by the previous owner(s) because all the problems were there even before Rockwell bought it. All of this seems common knowledge in the precision motion industry and on Long Island. Only Rockwell seems not to know or care what is going on.

Then Rockwell gets suckered into building Anorad a brand new $17M facility that sits very under utilized EVEN before all the layoffs occured. Basically a building sized to do $200M biz actualy doing mid-$20m. The info was all there on Anorad's web site. Go figure.

Now that Allen-Bradley motion has washed its hands of Anorad, let's see what the lucky new corporate "leadershp" will do with it.


Saturday, August 16, 2003 - getting back to some Anorad questions:

I'm not suprised the company is faltering. Wasn't its founder/ceo the driving force that put Anorad on the map? Has that relationship totally eroded? As for what one previous weblog has suggested as a purchase price of $60 million, how is that reconciled with the $45 million RA reported? Were the patents part of the deal or separate?


Saturday, July 26, 2003 - from Philip Wilkie [philip@ipower.co.nz]

The executive response (below) illustrates the difficulties of operating a global corporation in a world in which individual economies do not not align easily.

At first blush, what we are being told here is that the need to protect margins and cash flow from a handful of global accounts and US corporate customers takes first place in management thinking. In other words, Rockwell is not a truly global entity. Rather it is a US-centric multinational with subsiduary offices in "foreign climes". This is in contrast to its European competitors who, although far from perfect themselves, have more consciously met the challlenge of "acting locally and thinking globally".

On the other hand, I accept that the need to send the right incentives to the product divisions, to create truly internationally comeptitive products, was long overdue. The drives division, for example, drove us all mad with a technically excellent product (1336), but packaged and priced in a way that made it inefficient to sell outside of the American NEMA based markets. (Powerflex is the answer, but 10 years too late.)

Whether it was a deliberate choice or not however, the move to matrix management had the result of firmly returning corporate power back into the US. The example given, of preventing OEMs buying cheap in Vietnam, meant that the corporate people could protect the US list prices, elaborate discount structures and bonuses for the US sales force, but at the expense of growth in Vietnam.

Worse still, by reducing country managers to "local sales managers" with strictly limited control over their headcount, pricing, marketing and more recently not even line responsibility for technical support, the net effect is to emasculate them. Who respects a boss who isn't allowed to make the important decisions? And the real decision makers are never seen or even known by the troops in the local offices. This is partly what I mean by the destruction of leadership.

Certainly Rockwell has posted good growth figures in Asia Pacific, but typically off very low base numbers. It would be the norm for Rockwell to be less than 5% of the automation market in many of the economies of Asia that are the current engines of growth in the world. The effect of matrix management has been to maximise short term profits in the US, but at the expense of long-term development in the global economy. Now the US is in slow-down; guess why they are hurting now.

Underlying this discussion is a profound debate regarding the nature of the global economy. In terms of communications, transport, commerce and the flow of money, we have become a single human race. But, we have failed to equally develop systems of global governance and regulation with that might, with time, bring equity to business affairs between nations and the creation of wealth for all peoples. The current system has been conceived to benefit a handful of rich nations and a cabal of multinational corporates able to manipulate governments. The result now is a US economy that is overstretched and brittle, recording domestic unemployment and the accelerating "export" not of just low-skilled, but now skilled and white collar jobs, to India and Asia. Plus recently the Fed is fretting publicly about the threat of a round of "beggar thy neighbour" devaluations and deflation worldwide, plus worrying that that their classic tool for controlling the US economy, interest rates, stops working at zero, because you cannot have negative interest.

These are issues that are much larger than Rockwell. But, but as a typical US corporation, its future is intimately bound up with it. Unless it's senior leadership opens up its ranks to non-Americans, and commits to becoming a true global corporation like Seimens or Schneider, it will ultimately be swallowed up and dissapear like Texas Instruments and others.


Thursday, July 24, 2003 - regarding matrix management.

Having been an executive in the product businesses during the 90s, the country managers were operating in ways that did not take into account the world wide position of OEMs and selected global end users. They created country specific pricing strategies that would have allowed global companies like Goodyear buy all their North American product needs in Vietnam. Customized products engineered in Germany would show up undocumented in OEM equipment in Detroit.

The change that acknowledged that the country managers were really territorial sales managers, with the addition of the legal responsibilities of each entity, was long overdue. This change also provided the global incentive back to the product groups, to think about world wide requirements rather then just the US markets. This was based on the revenue recognition system that historically caused non-US sales to be recognized as a loss for product divisions based on the transfer price revenue recognition method.


Monday, July 21, 2003 - from an ex-Rockwell person:

I left voluntarily to form my own business. In my opinion it was the decision (in the mid-90's) to implement a "matrix management" structure that has greatly weakened Rockwell and held it back. Country managers lost their ability to control P&L. It destroyed natural decision making and personal accountability; and it opened the door for rampant "politics".

Although I love the products, and have a lot of respect for most the individuals I met over the years, there is a certain class of "executive surfers" who, with nothing more than their own self interest in mind, flick from one slot to another in the "senior executive" matrix without ever contributing much. And all the while, they are sucking down absurd salaries, perks and expenses. Matrix management theory looks good on paper; but in reality it merely empowers these ambitious types to wreak their selfish havoc. In the meantime, the people who do all the real work are cut off from any meaningful decision making. At one time I counted NINE in-line management layers between me and CEO Don Davis. And that's without attempting to navigate the labyrinth of the product managers and marketing people.

Far too often the end result is burnt-off customers. who perceive Rockwell as arrogant (as demonstrated by the arrogant weblog of 19 July, 2003). Meanwhile sadly, most of the hard-working folk within the company are just doing their personal level-best to make the whole thing work.

Fortunately for Rockwell, most of it's competitors are not much better most of the time. But the lack of growth in what should have been a solidly successful company can only be blamed on a leadership structure that has failed.

Personally I think it is not too late to turn Rockwell around. But Don Davis (I always respected him) seems to be playing King Log; and Keith Nosbusch, although a very decent guy, seems powerless to unite the company.

At the end of the day it is all about leadership. And "matrix management" has destroyed leadership at every level of the Rockwell organization.


Monday, July 21, 2003 - responding to the weblog of July 19, 2003:

I haven't seen such blind allegiance to leadership since the Nixon White House!


Monday, July 21, 2003 - responding to the weblog of July 19, 2003:

This person must not be allowed to get away with their supercilious and condescending "amusement".

Jobs at Rockwell have been lost by people who simply questioned the logic of some of the moves made by middle and upper management. Many of the so-called "C" players who were fired probably did more to minimize the effects of some of the disasters caused by people that still occupy positions at Rockwell, than anything this person has probably ever done. And this was done at the personal cost of doing the job vs. posturing and setting oneself up to take the credit at the end. Challenging anything Rockwell does, or even questioning motives, can be a career-ending move. Good people get fired simply because they do not fit some "vision mold" that has nothing to do with competency on the job.

Former managers have reported that they have had to fire some of their best workers, strictly because of some formula to achieve some kind of balance within the corporation. Also, people get on the "let go" list in order to bury evidence of problems that can be exposed. Many times, their ideas become next years "to do" list. Besides, when with the level of outsourcing at Rockwell, someone has to go.

So, to say that the people that were let go were "disgruntled low level employees who don't matter much anyway" only exemplifies the kind of backstabbing that slinks through the halls at this formerly great (now greatly outsourced) corporation.

I hope this person can have the chance to be the "ultimate team player" by being given the opportunity to be let go. It will probably never happen though, because they are probably entrenched with upper management.


Saturday, July 19, 2003

I have read all of these web logs with amusement. It is apparent that the majority of the people are disgruntled low level employees who don't matter much anyway. Companies like Rockwell in tough economic times need to use the opportunity to clean out the C players and slackers. As for those "customers" who are grumbling about paying for support and C-Logix issues ought to finally think about getting some training rather than relying on technical support. The cost of support is nothing compared to what IT departments pay their vendors. Tried getting support from Siemens lately? There is not a competitor of Rockwell's that can come close to the current platform, visualization,network strategies, distribution with tech support, or their direct support.

As far as the Eaton "aquisition", if it happens so what? It is particularly amusing to read the conspiracy theories about the ex-AB executives over there. Carson screwed up the Reliance aquisition, Vanarsdale's a C player, and Gross leaving Danaher was not voluntary.

The Solaia thing's a joke and any PLC vendor using OPC can be affected.

Go get a life people or for that matter, go get a job! You Omron lovers go right ahead. It'll be part of Rockwell soon enough anyway.


Wednesday, July 2, 2003

What's with all the silence on the Rockwell / Solaia / Schneider patent mess? For a while, there was an update every month. Now, there's been virtually no public stories / news in months. Have the lawsuits been settled? Are end users still being "notified" by Solaia? Start magazine hasn't said a word since April.

Has any customer challenged the patent in court or have they all settled out of court?


Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - from the Rockwell customer who originally posted this weblog thread on pricing:

Our utility has paid license fees for all of our software every year. We just have one engineers working off of one copy of programming software. Rockwell's pricing model shouldn't penalize customers for their own weak copy protection.

My objection is that now Rockwell is asking for money for hardware support, and acting like customers are getting value-add from that. I paid a premium price for the equipment up front with the understanding that part of that cost was for ongoing support. In the two years, I probably have used Allen-Bradley phone support less than 6 hours (until this year we had 9 PLC-5's and 9 SLC-500's).

In the PowerPoint slides (I was shown but didn't get to keep), it looked like I could pay $3000/yr. to get business-hours phone service (the level I had before this). That's pretty steep for even 6 hours per year, and that's just for controllers. I also have VFD's, SMC's, PMII's, etc. each with an annual support cost.

As far as whether we will save money, I still don't have a quote from my distributor, so it remains to be seen...


Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - from a Rockwell Distributor
RE: OEM and A Customer Support

Most of the OEM's and A Customers who in the past have seen the value in maintaining support and proper licensing of their software will probably not pay anymore than they did in the past for the transition. Many will see a cost reduction. Thus the transition to a site based model will not be a negative experience for most customers. Also customers for years have been asking for a site based model.

The negative impact will be on those customers that have chosen to ignore the license agreement and support 12 Engineers using one (1) license of programming software for all.


Thursday, June 12, 2003 - regarding RA hardware support:

Does anyone know if AB will be enforcing this program with their key OEM's and A accounts? Or is this just a way to squeeze more from their B and C accounts. How do they expect their A accounts to accept this charge for hardware support?


Tuesday, June 10, 2003 - from a Rockwell insider:

For RA, GMS (the big experiment in RA going for SERVICES) has caused more lost $ and tempers than all the university science projects put together!

The so called Multi Capability Model seemingly has evaded them - they have "closed down" quite a number of them in favour of old Engineering/Process business units. Consulting, Manufacturing Business Solutions (Software Consulting @ the EAI later) has won almost no projects hence the people were re-deployed - some of them out of RA.

What does this mean ? Well probably that they should stick to the knitting pattern they know so well.


Friday, June 6, 2003 - about the new distributor pricing:

I don't think the program was a surprise to the distributor, but the fact that the salesman came with the RA district rep to explain pricing led me to believe that the distributor was still sorting out the pricing model. Or, alternatively, they were playing good cop/bad cop ie: "Don't blame me (the distributor) for having to pay for hardware support you never used to be charged for--it's those meanies at RA."


Tuesday, June 3, 2003 - responding to the weblog Monday, June 2, 2003, that Rockwell "sprung" new support pricing model on their distributor:

I cant imagine this was a suprise to a distributor. They knew it was coming, and it even had an article in Control Engineering, January 20, 2003:

Rockwell Automation unveils three-tiered customer support program
Mayfield Heights, OH - Rockwell Automation has introduced TechConnect, a support program designed to give Allen-Bradley and Rockwell Software customers real-time access to technical phone support, online resources, and software updates. The three-tiered TechConnect program allows customers to select the level of service (PriorityConnect, DirectConnect, or eConnect) that is most appropriate for their application and business requirements.


Monday, June 2, 2003

A team of four Rockwell field persons were pouring over existing product lines with clipboards counting every processor and I/O card. This appeared to be an inventory of every Rockwell/AB component in a facility of significant size. When asked the purpose, there were stammers followed by statements of being able to rid the plant of equipment no longer required or possibly obsolete. What's up?


Monday, June 2, 2003

Off of the current line of discussion, but I'm curious as to what others are experiencing with Rockwell's new support model. We're a municipal water utility in a medium-sized Midwest city, and our Rockwell Software support on View, Linx, Logix and RSSql expired April 10. We still don't have a quote from our distributor for renewal. Additionally, Rockwell wants to charge an annual fee for hardware support based on controller processor and drive count. Again, no quote on that, just general numbers from a printout of a PowerPoint presentation.

It appears that RA "sprung" this new support pricing model on our distributor, and I was interested in finding out how others were dealing with this.


Friday, May 30, 2003

I agree with the comments regarding MCC business. It is generally project driven and not tied to motors which are typically associated with equipment supplied. My comments were more directed to the everyday motor control products needed by motor vendors as they assemble working systems. It's those products that create an installed base from which you can build and in the case of A-B if you're perceived to be more of a competitior than supplier you're putting that business at risk. If you look at the C-H / Westinghouse business under the ETN umbrella they have a fairly loyal following with motor vendors that ETN has been careful not to jeopardize by adding marginal business (i.e motors) that would compete with those customers. Hence my belief they (ROK or ETN) may elect to exit that business. However, the potential for motor upgrades with the advent of super-conductor type products may present an interesting opportunity for the future.

Hypothectically, with the motor business out of the fold, ETN would be left with a mechanical business (Dodge) that may fit well into either the the Automotive, Fluid Power or Truck Components divisions of ETN.


Wednesday, May 28, 2003

I don't think that the realtionship between motor controls products/business and motor business is a factor in who has been successful pairing them, or who will acquire anyone. Perhaps Rockwell (A-B) thought there was a synergy with these products. However, in the vast majority of cases, motor control centers are not sold to motor mfgr's, and they are not solicted for purchase through the same paths to market. On project business, they are just one of the baskets that are to be purchased, and they are rarely combined in a package offer - unless heavyweights like GE are financing the whole deal.

Rockwell has only been moderatly successful trying to package motors with control products. Some success has occured with and continues with drives. But because of the separation of the motor business from the control business (no management / organizational linkage until CEO Davis), combined with the totally different distribution strategies between the two sides of the business, the major synergies and anticipated growth have failed.

It would be very interesting if it was Reliance that Eaton really wanted. If it happened, it would be very interesting to see if they make the same mistakes Rockwell did in attempting to merge the businesses together. In any case, it's about time for Reliance to be harvested again. Going back to the Exxon buyout, followed by LBO, IPO, Rockwell buyout and through the current Dodge occupation, Reliance has been sliced, diced and mis-managed for so long that another starry-eyed owner is likely. Hopefully, it will happen in time to salvage any remaining Reliance heritage. Next year is the 100th anniversery of Reliance, or what's left of it.


Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Now I hear the Sr. Vice President and General Auditor has left (was shown the door?). Something here we don't know about?


Wednesday, May 28, 2003

The marriage of motors (the lion's share of Reliance's business) and industrial controls, as they tried it at Rockwell, didn't deliver the expected results originally projected. Many believe that it's been more of a competitive distraction for A-B motor control sales that weren't tied to any one motor vendor prior to the Reliance acquisition.

Not sure if Eaton could do anything different to change that situation if they were to purchase ROK. Eaton, with no competitive motor offering, has traditionally worked with most motors vendors for motor control sales. That impartiality towards any one motor vendor has allowed them to have good working relations with most motor manufacturers. I'd be surprised if they (Eaton) would think any different today about that sort of arrangement.

Also, there's continued consolidation in the motor market that may allow ROK (or ETN) to gracefully exit that business by selling it to Johnson Electric or Toshiba. It looks like GE is also preparing to exit that business which may tell you something. By doing so that would leave them with the Dodge component that could be offered up separately or retained by ROK (or ETN).


Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Latest news is that Eaton is interested in the Reliance part of Rockwell - Rockwell would like to sell it. Any feedback or comments are welcome.


Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Just came back from the NAED Annual meeting. Rockwell (Allen-Bradley) distributors felt AB was getting more aggressive on the pricing side to retain business/gain some share. Much concern about national accounts business. AB has lost share there to Square D. National accounts primarily affects the MRO opportunities for the AB distributors (while also reducing their margins).

AB is spending much effort on the GMS effort (with John McDermott leading it) - expect could represent 25% of revenue. McDermott wants to push as much as possible through distribution (he is supportive of distribution). Rockwell is very concerned about the Rexel sale and how that will affect them in the US (who gets what locations??) as Rockwell only wants to work with distributors who it has current relationships with. They believe they can influence Rexel's worldwide divestiture strategy ($400MM of Rockwell business at Rexel locations in US and Canada).


Wednesday, May 21, 2003

I am not an expert on Anorad. But as a part of the Rockwell acquisition of Reliance Electric several years ago I do not find it surprising that Anorad is failing. Rockwell acquisitions cause confusion internally and with customers. There is no clear direction. Focus changes frequently and changes are made for the sake of change. Bureaucracy and archaic, patched together MRP and Order entry systems only make it harder to be assimilated into Rockwell and adds to the confusion. Add to that a weak management in the company being acquired and success is highly unlikely.


Sunday, May 18, 2003 - regarding the Anorad Disaster (previous weblog).

There were a few discrepancies in the points mentioned, but for the most part it was on the right path. May 22nd is a big Rockwell day for Anorad Corp. Nosbusch and friends, and maybe even the Governor of NY will visit the new facility. I can list specifics of some of the management decisions, but will avoid the headaches. You are not far off.


Friday, May 16, 2003 - from "industry insider":

The Rockwell/AB/Anorad marriage has certainly been a disaster from acquisition day 1. In fact, RA paid approx. $60M (from what I hear) for this dysfunctional company. RA recently OKd a new $17M leased facility for Anorad that is maybe 1/3 utilized. This, as Anorads main customer base (semiconductor) in a major slump; and signs of mismanagement everywhere. It seems that RA is the last to figure out that both AB and Anorad management is a big part of the reason. RA/AB has no clue about precision motion. Anorad has no clue about the importance of diversification.

The blunders are many:

  • Anorad had major flaws when RA bought it: bad mgmt, fuzzy relationships with overseas branches and vendors, bad mfg, strong mechanical but lousy in electrical controls and sw, sales and mktg.
  • RA appoints 4 presidents in 5 years, each progressively worse. Current one e