Weblog - Rockwell Automation

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Rockwell Automation is a leading supplier of industrial automation products. The current management group under Keith Nosbusch has been trying to turn the company around to get beyond the original PLC-products leadership. Where is Rockwell headed? Will it soon be acquired by ABB, or someone else? The extracts from JimPinto.com eNews trace the news and developments at Rockwell Automation from 2001.
Automation Unplugged
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Whither Rockwell Automation?
updated Sept. 2003
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Weblog Comments - Rockwell Automation


Rockwell weblogs discontinued, effective immediately

These weblogs were initially started with some success, and I continued this as a service.

The "anonymous" weblogs have been an experiment - allowing company employees to vent, when management takes no notice. Unfortunately, apart from the occasional positive blog, this has deteriorated to a mostly negative tone. In some cases, it's clear that just a couple of individuals are contributing a majority of the negativity. I have often eliminated some 10-20% of the blogs due to inclusion of names and offensive content. I put in a lot of work and get nothing positive in return.

As someone suggested, "Negativity breeds negativity!". So, with very little in the way of positive results, I am stopping these automation company weblogs.

These are difficult economic times, and Rockwell is doing about as well as most other industrial companies, perhaps better than most. I wish the company and its employees continued success.

Please feel free to send me an email: jim@jimpinto.com

Sincerely:





Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Keith's handpicked man in Asia is a hatchet man. His proven track record is to minimize staffing while touting the short term financial gains to promote himself. If you follow his career within RA, you will see the pattern repeated. He does not stay long to deal with the after-effects. As far as his cultural insensitivity is concerned, he has always displayed a lack of sensitivity regardless of the culture. In that respect, he is consistent.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I agree with the last blogger. It is definitely a problem with the President and his boss. By the way, if you look at how much stock they cashed this year - $ 10 million between them - then you will understand why its ok to abuse us and act in an arrogant manner. To cap it all, he didn't and doesn't want to be in Asia and I would gladly buy him a ticket to return. Keith you were a damned fool to allow the previous President to leave. You have reaped what you sowed. We will not thank you . Maybe you should swallow your pride and ask him back before your obvious failure shows up in the stock price that you and your buddies rely on so much.


Monday, March 26, 2012

It is obvious to all that in Asia, the country teams which delivered good results over the past decade are becoming increasingly demotivated, dis-empowered and micro managed by the new regime. Overbearing and culturally insensitive president management style is the order of the day. This is obviously the way the company wants to run the region — as Keith is very aware of style of present leadership and personally handpicked him. So we look at performance — the only thing that has changed is the president - somebody please put two and two together!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

A lot of the current problems were created due to our bumbling executive operations people. One of them has a 30 year old mechanical engineering degree and a masters in business administration which anyone with half a brain can get in 18 months while going to school part time. All they can do is make bad decisions. Which, when the wisdom of such decisions are made clear, cannot say 'I was wrong, this was a dumb idea,' will not admit to it from fear of appearing stupid. If they were better educated, they would stand back and spout the company line and let the people who actually know what they were doing lead them to success instead of attempting to interfere to show they were 'involved'.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Question: How much turnover does a branch have to experience before Milwaukee takes notice?

Answer: It doesn't matter. Bring a young, inexperienced, aggressive manager in with a lack interpersonal and management skills and you will soon see a mass exodus, either by employee choice or manager pushing out the door.

It's happening right now and has been for the past several years.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

See comments below in response to the Rockwell Blogger

"Just negativity from the previous blogger."

Negativity, YOU BET! After promoting Allen Bradley for 15 years, the state of the company is negative! I previously worked for Rockwell before moving to a distributor for family reasons. At the time I left, Rockwell was on top of the world and leading the pack. I was proud to promote our products. When we made a mistake or had a defective product I went into overdrive to make it right for the customer.


"Firstly, no one will offer our Sales People twice the salary because they are already the highest paid."

That used to be true, but no longer. The Rockwell sales force NEVER knows what the pay plan of the year will be. They are paid right in line with other companies. Think another company won't pay more? Obviously you are not on the head hunter top-ten list. Have you researched why your co-workers left and how much of an increase they got?

You missed the point entirely. (typical of Rockwell marketing, listen for what you want to hear and answer something else) The point is this: If a competitor figures out a way to convert a majority of the distributors overnight, they wont need to buy Rockwell. Instead of paying several billion for the company, what if they used that money to acquire the best channel in the industry. It happened with a distributor out west. They were bought by a chain that Rockwell didn't approve of; Rockwell geared up another distributor to take on the line and hire all of the original distributor sales people. The chain had offered all of the sales people several thousand dollars each to stay with the original company. NONE of them would leave, Rockwell had to give the new chain the line.


"Secondly, the ones like you that are under pressure know you just don't perform and therefore maybe you should leave."

Pressure comes from customers, not from management. Rockwell's no longer the best in the eyes of the customer. The number of stop orders, safety recalls and just plain junk product has whittled away at the "Quality" meatball that USED to be on every box we shipped. Delivery issues, missed promise dates has killed our credibility. It is ROCKWELL that doesn't know how to perform, and your leap to this opinion is further confirmation of what is wrong with the company. If you don't conform and agree you must not be a capable worker.


"Thirdly, our distributors know what side the bread is buttered and that's why they stay loyal"

It's no longer butter; it's cheap high cholesterol margarine.


"The real fact is RA is where it is today because of great products designed and mostly built in America."

You are exactly correct.That is how they got where they are today. but NONE of those statements are now true!

    800T pushbuttons- Made in China
    Relays- China
    PLC modules- Taiwan
    Powerflex 70 and 700 drives- Mexico
    Powerflex 700H- Brand Label Vacon
    Medium voltage drives - Canada, soon to be South America
    Medium voltage starters - Canada, soon to be South America
    Powerflex 4 Series- China - the worst drive we ever promoted
    MCC's- Mexico- we can ship them right now, but if another drug war breaks out in Monterey look out
    SMC- Mexico
    Safety products - Europe


"It will continue that way and prosper on the revival of US manufacturing, with or without highly-paid, mediocre sales people."

Prosper maybe. Highly paid, no. Mediocre, absolutely!

If they prosper, it will be in spite of all of the wasteful service programs and grandiose ideas of how we can make money without doing any work or manufacture product. Take a look around. The competitors have noticed that there may be a revival at hand, they are recruiting Rockwell employees daily. ABB's motto is: ABB - we hire Allen-Bradleys Best.

I will hang out here in the cornfields, and watch what happens. No longer will I make excuses for these mid-level morons and their inability to tell upper management that they are making mistakes. Then, when the time is right I will take a job with Siemens, Schneider or ABB and, look out. I will have a strong desire to do a clean sweep of Rockwell, and I already know where the weaknesses are and how to expose them.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

OK all let's park all the negative stuff for a minute, I went to a retirement party for a manager that retired after a long distinguished (40+) career. People came in from all over country to be there. His employees loved him. 2 VP's were there. A real great guy, part of the great Allen Bradley, back when quality was on the logo, and people mattered. He always took care of customers and his team and he will be missed. He never strayed from his ideals about customers and quality focus. Good luck Steve!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Of course Rockwell makes most of its products and in USA too. Its got pride and makes a contribution to our great land. I hear the comment of Wigan; well, I don't see other big manufacturers staying in Wigan and I don't see Global competitors emerging from there. So, best you stay in your little English town where you can feel grand.

I guess my point is that Rockwell is an American icon, driven to succeed by Keith, John, Bob and Steve. They are the core and they are the reason for success. Not opinionated sales guys, not disgruntled foreigners and not distributors that have made fortunes. When all is said and done, these are the guys that drive us every year come what may.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Most of Rockwell's Industrial Controls Business components like Terminal Blocks, Circuit Breakers, Relays, Power Supplies, Signal-conditioners & others are all private-labeled by companies like Weidmuller, ETA, Finder, Sola & others. Having said that, Siemens, Eaton & Schneider do the same.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - Re: "great products designed and mostly built in America".

Might want to rethink that comment - Rockwell doesn't manufacture many of their products anymore, just brand labeling somebody else. There are strategic partnerships in place and rules of engagement, but most of the smart customers are able to figure out who's product they're really purchasing and then cut a better deal.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - Re:"Just negativity from the previous blogger!"

You had better come up for air before you drown in the Koolaid! I have worked for several of the companies included in this weblog and can easily say, the Rockwell management culture is the most repugnant of any of them.

If you keep repeating to yourself that you have the best product, eventually some one might believe you, or at least stop attempting to argue with you about it. This reminds me of the time I heard someone complain about the archaic Lotus Notes program that Rockwell was using for their E-mail service. A Regional Manager quickly retorted that there was nothing wrong with it and it was leading edge technology. Six months later, Rockwell migrated their e-mail server to Outlook.

Keep insulting your Sales People and thinking whatever you want. What goes around comes around!


Monday, March 19, 2012

RA once bought a company in Wigan in the UK. Its products were world class because it had a design team that could think out of the box. The design team left as the RA Policies contained their innovative spirit. The team started their own company and brought out innovative products again. RA eventually moved the Wigan facility overseas, the design team bought back the premises. Hard to keep good old fashioned innovators down.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Just negativity from the previous blogger. Firstly, no one will offer our Sales People twice the salary because they are already the highest paid. Secondly, the ones like you that are under pressure know you just don't perform and therefore maybe you should leave. Thirdly, our distributors know what side the bread is buttered and that's why they stay loyal . The real fact is RA is where it is today because of great products designed and mostly built in America. It will continue that way and prosper on the revival of US manufacturing, with or without highly-paid, mediocre sales people.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

The cutbacks at Rockwell will soon show up on the balance sheet. The sales offices are now bloated with do-nothing mangers, while the sales force they are meant to support are reduced. The channel distributors are tired of working long hours because of idiotic policy and procedures implemented by SAP software.

The original excuse was "we thought the economy would sink lower and rebound slower". Time is up guys! We are not going to kill ourselves any longer while you get millions in stock options. We don't care, the customer will just have to suffer. We will no longer spend hours to arrange a hot expedite uality issues because Mexico builds junk. We don't care, let the customer get mad.

The channel has value to offer, and at some point in the near future one of Rockwell's competitors is going to sign every major chain distributor Rockwell has, on the same day and POOF! Your stock price will be 50% overnight!

Think it can't be done? 50% of the Rockwell distributors already have Siemens for their switchgear line. What if they offered all of the Rockwell sales force (the few good ones) twice their existing salary? Not only would they leave, but the good guys already have a grudge because of the gross mismanagement.

If the boys in the Clock-tower don't wake up, the clock-tower will make a neat museum in Milwaukee for tourists to visit!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It makes you smile and cry at the same time. Whilst ABB buys $9 billion in acquisitions and GE probably more, the big brave Rockwell Automation buys a small, dinky shop in Middleton Wisconsin: SoftSwitching Technologies, a privately held industrial controls company started by a University of Wisconsin-Madison engineering professor. This was pocket change at best; hardly earth shattering technology. Maybe it's one of Keith's buddies. Show the extent of ambition.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Lucky to be in job where "funnel reviews" are rightly referred to as "pummel reviews." Poor management, nepotism in the branch, poor performance to plan and continued high- turnover are the only constants. My fellow comrades are thinking about revolt but they won't say anything. And Milwaukee shall keep their backs turned while the beatings only get worse.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Cease and desist your whining. You are lucky to be in a job. I have some sympathy with my US colleagues - after years of subsidizing the Europeans, we now have to subsidize the Chinese whilst they take our jobs. There is nothing we can do but to follow the direction of Keith who is our great visionary leader. Privately I think he would like to exit Asia and Europe but dare not do so. So expect more cracking of the whip. Stop whining, put your back into showing us what you can do.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

I doubt if RA is getting out of EMEA. The example of Austria is irrelevant; or should I say Austria is irrelevant. RA does not trust distributors -that's why it carves its territories into little pieces and so it can grab the morsels of the table if they misbehave. Also, the RA salesforce (as I see it outside USA) has no base understanding of what a distribution policy should be and sets out to destroy anything we build, which Senior Leaders don't mind because it stops a distributor getting too big or cocky.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

I am surprised that Rockwell can even stay in business the way the inner circle is running it. Are all of the facilities within Rockwell working longer hours, being harassed, with low morale, no respect and continually being beat down for trying to do the job the way they set it up in the first place? It's time some VP's, managers and supervisors get some backbone and learn how to shake their heads from left to right instead of up and down all the time. My head is just going in circles trying to figure out what they want me to do. Nothing pleases anybody.


Friday, March 9, 2012

The comments you make about Asia are true everywhere from where I can see. So called leaders that do not set a good example. They beat you with one hand and buy you a beer with the other. They tell you no-hiring, yet they waste thousands on jollies and seminars. They make us travel like cattle, yet sit in first class with their bubbles and canapes. I cannot see an end to this madness and the guy to blame is our one-and-only Mr. N. When will he act like a CEO who really cares?


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Incredible is how you describe how we run our business in Asia. Well, we all know that business is challenged (no growth). Keith has to sign off on every little investment. It is unbelievable that here in Australia the whole of the Asia management team including secretaries have flown in for a meeting. They have picked the most expensive location they could, they all fly business or first class and colleagues today worked out that the cost alone is around 100k dollars. It's a disgrace, considering we get cut after cut. And it's not even that the big man cares about Australia. When is this abuse and madness going to stop?


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In EMEA we have no real comments to make. We are so used to the beatings that we actually don't listen to much. The bosses here take all the glory. Good news is, though, it is difficult to lay us off so we can take more time off than most. Oh, we all yearn for the days when we had passion, belief and could kick the butt of any competitor. But not now. We missed our chance to put real leadership in here and so we must now accept our lot.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It seems Rockwell is leaving the European (EMEA) Market! The First customers in Austria have been transferred to a distributor. According to the Austrian management, Germany should follow and afterwards the rest of Europe.


Monday, March 5, 2012

I too applaud the comments that people are FREE to make on this weblog. I am in EMEA and boy we are restricted to what we can say, and you don't communicate with the few at the top because you know of certain retribution. We accept here that we are a niche player and fortunately we get price support and can be the cheapest. Actually we get good business from other parts of the world because we have a price advantage that keeps us going.

Keep up the good work on this blog.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

I applaud the comments made on this site. I think they bring to attention the views of many of the 19,000 employees and not just the view articulated by the top 50 managers of the company. Our ability to air our thoughts and issues are valuable to anyone that has the good sense to listen. I encourage all to keep the voice strong and appreciate this forum.


Thursday, March 1, 2012 - To the March 1st blogger.

Don't forget about the Midwest and the East coast. We could not agree with you more. For some reason we are being sent down a path that bashes and beats the employees down that are trying to make Rockwell successful. One has to wonder why Corporate continues to create and actually enjoy a destructive work environment.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

In response to the last post (and following up from my one prior) - I am not "Keith" nor am I in MKE. I am in the sales force - and all-in-all I am proud to work for Rockwell.

Am I 100% satisfied with the way things go down and the often less-than-clear communications to us employees? No. Does the constant change in our compensation frustrate me? Yes. Does the promotion of individuals based strongly upon their race/sex/age/etc seem discriminatory? Indeed it does; probably more so than any other.

I could go on - but I also duly realize that there are things I can control, and there are things I cannot. The frustration I have with fellow bloggers is the constant venom and lack of desire to institute change. There seems to be only the desire to complain about how things should change.

I do hope that senior leadership reads these blogs - and I am sure some do. But, rather than gripe and make these attacks personal, I challenge us all to offer suggestions in a constructive sense. And I equally challenge the leadership team to take our feedback into consideration.

Would you rather work at ABB, GE, Invensys, Siemens? If you are not happy with Rockwell - please do find another job which meets your expectations.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

For all those apparently from Rockwell who espouse nothing but venom.

Oh, please, who is the one that should get a life! Most experienced people at RA have seen history repeated many times e.g. poor leadership, bad decision making, the old school tie club and delusional self congratulatory management. Add the fact that many respected workers are simply shown the door and rif'd (at around 50 yrs of age) then how on earth do you expect those workers left at the coalface to react? Sorry, but for the majority all is not gold; especially when the echelon grab and sell their massive share options (but at whose expense?).


Thursday, March 1, 2012

The last blogger, we can be soundly assured, is either Keith, a Milwaukee leader or a person who goes around with their eyes shut and ears closed. I can tell you that we are not in a minority and many people in this company are tired of the way this company is running itself and its employees into the ground. Maybe the last blogger is at BAM and has had a feel good night fueled by Bud; but come round to speak to the attendees that matter and hear the true story. Or call Australia, India, China, West Coast, Europe and ask about morale. So don't have delusions and join the campaign for a better RA.


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

For all those apparently from Rockwell who espouse nothing but venom and disdain on this blog - please get a life! Please find someplace else to work! We do not need you - Rockwell will get by quite well without you; so please take your venom elsewhere. I strongly suspect you will complain wherever you go — but as an employee for OUR organization, I can strongly assure that you are in the minority.


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

To the expat, I comment that in China we need no teachings from foreigners. We do not need to see your new strength to beat us as you think like kings . We need encouragement and sincerity to help us grow. What is it we see from you today - excess, waste, two faced ..... need I say more? If you cant get job back in USA then ask, why they sent you out here? Maybe they did not want you after all. So when you come to Asia, be an Asian or stay at home.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I am tired of people popping at us Expats in Asia. How do you expect us to live? The attraction is the nice Condo, the maid, the drivers for our cars and good education for our kids. What you get in return is our experience and teachings. You get far more than we do because quite often we have no job when we go back. And be fair, the amount of wasted expense on drink and entertainment is huge in all of RA - it borders on abuse — and this company does not have my respect for allowing that to happen in our own back yard. So, despise me if you wish, but for these few years I am living large and living good.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I am still trying to find out who is replacing the ex-pat in China. Does anyone know? I did hear that he will come out of Milwaukee. Since I travel often to Asia, I would like to get in touch with him soon.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

There is no respect, no hatred - there is only disdain!


Monday, February 27, 2012

The expats in AP stay in company paid luxury condos, hop from party to party, drink up bottles of good wines, and bring the mixture of experiences, knowledge, arrogance and ignorance. They also gain the mixture of respect and hatred.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

I have been a reader of the blog for a while, but not a poster. I do feel RA has lost its way totally and probably lacks courageous people with skill to shape a business. I have been at RA a long time too and, you know, I too don't shape business.

I wanted to highlight a great example and that's this weeks RAIN page - the single window for all employees. The four highlighted stories:

  • Oil and Gas Summit: It's a non-starter; we won't invest and the industry is already set without us.
  • Revenue: M oderate, but nothing to make a fist at.
  • Life on the road: A retiring old timer is writing her own travelogue as she goes round the world for Customer Care, all at the company expense . Pity she didn't travel like that 10 years ago when she could have made a difference.
  • Organizational announcement: Newly created Director of Automotive. We have been in that business 100 years. Of course the new guy is a short-term expat, returned prematurely from China.
What happened to new industries like shale gas or bioscience?

Then the trusted video of our sales leader to tell us what we do. Unispiring and inaccurate, as dull as he is. Doesn't he have any words of excitement or the winning spirit?

The good news is - don't believe me, take a look at our messages to our employees and you may have sympathy for what is written in these blogs.

Got to go, as I have a weeks party in Orlando at the company expense. We will all drink, eat and whine. But you know the sun will shine and we will for a week like it here. That's why they call it BAM: Best Alternative to Milwaukee.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Yes, it's true. It's called the "middle kingdom complex" and it's prevalent.


Friday, February 24, 2012

The reason people post on this weblog is that they have a better chance of having senior leaders read it than hear from their own staff. The reason you see a lot of Asia comments is because a new regime has arrived, where dissenters and challengers are not tolerated. It may also be coincidental why the business has fallen. We are also at a time when new, very expensive expats have arrived. They suck up all our meagre resources to come on board with their families whilst denying real career opportunities to locals. We have forced those expats we don't like to localize and leave. We have cut all the nice things out of the conditions and next they will be asking us to pay for the air we breathe.

We need a blog like this. It would be good if we could collate all this data and give an ultimatum at the shareholders meeting. RA may be a good steward for money, but it has become a very poor personal employer and one which purely feeds the very few at the top.

I hope my opinion helps the misguided poster to spend their words pushing for improvement for all, rather than attacking fellow employees and asking them to leave and pursue other companies. That's a typical Milwaukee comment.


Friday, February 24, 2012 at 15:34:41 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Comments: Why beaten up on Chinese with popping comments like that . We speak to Mr Jims column because no body listen or care to us in China . We dont need to leave RA as we get a lot for doing a little because you too stupid to realise we have good heads to drive business our way . At least in China we have choices . The business here is run for benefit of few ,whilst we get to use little money ,a lot goes to feeding lifestyle of foreigners who live in their own compounds and think they better are than locals . Come live with me on the road in China for week and you will learn .Mr Tom wont or any other foreigner here Bye Bye as you say Have a nice day Friday, February 24, 2012

The Chinese commentators who continue to tell all that they have the upper hand are ridiculous. Instead of closet rebelling and using this forum to complain about the US based company, leave and go to work for a Chinese or other Global company willing to put up with your complacency and hallway undermining and pay you top wages. Oh that's, right there aren't any so shut up and work.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Greetings from RA China. We have a new expensive foreigner joining us to show us how to sell to Industry. He is a nice guy and very expensive. We think he is here to look upon Tom, who is not doing good this year. He is from Milwaukee and so considers himself very special. We will help him until it's time for him to leave. Last one lasted under month of six. We continue to do our thing. Just rely on foreigner for payrolls. China will not grow in this year because our distribution is not making enough monies because of new policy of control. But whatever, when we are ready we can go work for other companies who provide us with interesting challenge.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Seriously, is anyone kidding? Does anyone think that senior management is thinking of anyone but themselves? Has anyone looked at their earnings in 2011? They are not looking out for RA employees, they are definitely not looking our for shareholders.

Congratulations to our new employees (in China, Brazil, Mexico, Poland, etc.). Do thank us (Milwaukee, Richland Center, Cambridge, etc. ) for providing you with an excellent product. Do not expect that this product will be there for your children. After all, there will always be a cheaper labour force (India, Indonesia, etc. ).

Thank you Allen-Bradley for giving us a company that we were proud of. No thanks to the present Rockwell Automation senior mgt. for anything. May you enjoy your gross huge earnings/bonuses. The Bradley brothers would surely turn over in their graves at what you have made of their company.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

I have viewed this website for the past number of years and it is amazing, as about the he-said-she-said between employees & management. By absolutely no means am I endorsing this group (managers, supervisors). In October of this year 2012, I will be 10 years removed from RA after nearly 25 years of service, a position elimination I was told in 2002.

When Rockwell went into the selling & buying mode a number of years ago and, even recently, it failed & has failed to realize what its goals were, except for the shareholder's value. That same mindset exists today. That's what this company did & will do. Business-wise, this is correct. Anyone owning Rockwell stock over the years received Boeing, Conexant, Rockwell Collins, Meritor, Mindspeed, Skyworks spinoff stocks.

Yet, larger goals should have been to grow as a conglomerate. It surely could have, but short-sightedness, misuse of talented personnel & "good-ol-boys" attitudes by management have reduced a once mighty company to a now small player. As one of many examples, the purchase of Reliance Electric in 1995 was a complete debacle. Management failed to utilize and incorporate its strengths. Today, it is part of history.

Fifteen years ago, this was written, "Rockwell will be a global electronics company with leadership market positions in industrial automation, semiconductor systems and avionics and communications, with projected fiscal 1997 sales of approximately $8 billion and 44,000 employees." Today, it is $6 billion and 21,000 employees. There are no more companies to spin off. Reduce costs by reducing workforce.

To all discontented RA workers, proving one's worth EVERY day is essential, though no guarantee for the future. If you are that unhappy, seek out an alternative - though that's easier said than done in today's world. Management for the most part will be looking out for their own well-being and will be in a CMA (cover-my-ass) mode, except for a few of the really brave.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Heard that the top CEO'S are coming to Richland Center for a visit. It would be nice if they would come to the floor and talk with the people without the GM following them around.


Friday, February 10, 2012

I saw so many 'senior' people hanging around in the company, having hall-way chat about their house, car, and dog. They generally cannot finish any assigned tasks. What they know is how to suck up to the manager. That's why I saw the company hired so many contractors to finish the work assigned to seniors. What if the manager cannot deliver the project? Doesn't matter -- he has already jumped out of the boat before it is sunk. He left the failing project to manage another important project and continue killing it. I would say 80% of seniors fall into this category. If I was the owner of this company, I would keep the other hard-working 20% and let these 80% seniors go. This is a for-profit company. If anyone cannot make profit, that's the end. However, I have to work with all these seniors -- they are generally well-heard by management. Since I'm still young, I have decided to leave this company before I become one of these seniors.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Not sure if Milwaukee is paying attention at all. Serious situation out on the West Coast that they've neglected for the last five years. Or maybe they've had their head in the sand this whole time and quietly endorse what's going on?


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rockwell Automation Richland Center the Best Place to Work? Well most of us felt that way until lately. We all had a common goal to do a good job for the customer. Every department had its function and TOGETHER we worked to ship a good product.

Now its hard to get product out the door with all the extra work dumped on group-leaders and hourly workers. It's such a distraction from the reason we're here - to build products.

The word "respect" sounds like a great concept. We don't have it here. We couldn't feel more disrespected. Our SENIORITY, our years of service means nothing. Our management team needs to wake up before they destroy what it took us 40 years to build.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I would guess that the management in Milwaukee is well aware of the changes that were made in Richland Center with the policy's. I don't think much gets done without their okey dokey!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Respect and success is what we here at the Richland Center facility expect all the time. How can these two things happen if the plant manager continues to treat the employees with no respect?

Treating employees with no respect causes a company to not have success. Changing a 40 year old policy so drastically causes the employees to not have respect for the management team. Having 30+ years of service means absolutely nothing anymore at the Richland Center facility.

If a layoff occurs, someone with 30+ years of service will be laid off before someone that has days of service. This is due to a layoff being conducted by labor grade and not seniority. If upper management, above the Richland Center facility, cares they will do something about the changing of policies.

There are laws in place to protect workers who are treated badly and maybe the employees will have to stick together and pursue them. If upper management cares, they will do something before this happens.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The workers at the Richland Center Rockwell facility were introduced to the new employee handbook by the current plant manager.

It was very disappointing to see one of the last remaining foundation blocks of Allen Bradley, a family owned business, destroyed. The plant has always been considered a whole as far as seniority. It was announced that, going forward, the plant would be conducting permanent layoffs by department seniority lowest to highest. In this process it could consume total departments, continuous to the next labor grade until the layoff numbers needed were met.

Some of the employees who thought their jobs were secure with years of loyalty and service now have the worry of job security. Any new employee just hired into a entry level of labor 3 with only a week seniority will have the opportunity to retain their job, while a employee of 37 years at labor level 1 will be laid off.

One employee from the stock department stated the her job required many skills including fork truck driving, to which the response was: We can get a contract worker in here tomorrow to do your job.

It is a shame that the Allen Bradley name and logo are on this building, the respect and ethics that were in place at that era are gone. God help all of us. What is next?


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Under the Management at the Richland Center facility, one has to wonder where the company is going and why they are trying to ruffle the feathers of so many senior employees.


Monday, February 6, 2012

After 40 years at the Richland Center, Rockwell has decided to take away the our years of service. When there is a layoff, they have decided to start at the bottom labor grade no matter how long you have been there. So I could get laid off after 22 years and someone else who had only be there 1 day would keep their job . We have talked to the plant management but they don't care. I would hope upper management beyond our plant would have some say in this, but we seem to be unable to get any answers. We would like to hear from them. We are always told by management how years of service and experience are the reason they have been here for so long. Did they really mean what they said?


Monday, February 6, 2012

We haven't lost market share; we moved everything to the PLC Chassis. There was no magic in what you did and you had already lost the market. We just redefined and grew . Taking something worth x and making it 3x. Get a life and respect the brand of the world leader in Industrial Automation.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

I hear Rockwell has taken an ad out for Superbowl. Joint advertizing with Anheuser Busch. Did anyone see it?


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Rockwell has lost all the market share in the predictive maintenance business, and a lot of customers laugh when Rockwells name is brought up. "They are overpriced, arrogant, and lazy".

There is no leadership now, nor has there been for several years. The last comment there about RA buying up companies and taking their customers, they don't know how to keep the customers. They get rid of the "merged" companies employees since, in their arrogance, they believe they can do better than what the previous employees did. Within two years they have lost the game. So they buy someone else and start the cycle over. I feel sorry for the good folk that still work there. You're saddled to a loser.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

China Industry Sales Director is returning to the US for entirely personal reasons. Working in China requires living in China, and not every family can do that.


Monday, January 30, 2012

I was having a few drinks with our RA guy and asked about their future products. He stated, we let others build the market then buy them up and reap the profits; R&D is too expensive. RA expects 20% growth in a 2% growth market with no effort.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

President Obama mentioned Siemens about 3 times in his state of the union address regarding employing and training US citizens for jobs in the USA. Where was Rockwell? Sending jobs to Singapore, India, and Mexico?


Friday, January 27, 2012

The Rockwell failure in Asia isn't coincidence - isn't it strange they face problems exactly in that market they face "real-time" competition? The only markets that Rockwell go fine are those ones were they inherited 30 years ago thanks to the competition incompetence (US and Latin America)


Fri, 27 Jan 2012

Last week there was a major security event S4 was in Miami. Here are some of the findings from the Jan 20th Miami, FL. S4 Conference:

This morning, at our S4 Conference, Reid Wightman gave a detailed two-hour presentation on the Project Basecamp results. Project Basecamp had six great researchers looking for vulnerabilities in six different PLC’s / field devices, and the PLC’s took a beating. There were backdoors, weak credential storage, ability to change ladder logic and firmware, command line interface, overflows galore, TFTP for important files and so much more.

Digital Bond’s S4 has us flat out this week, but we will be blogging in detail on this next week, but here are some of the Basecamp basics.

The devices:

    Control Microsystems SCADAPack (bricked early on)
    General Electric D20ME
    Koyo / Direct LOGIC H4-ES
    Rockwell Automation / Allen-Bradley ControlLogix
    Rockwell Automation / Allen-Bradley MicroLogix
    Schneider Electric Modicon Quantum
    Schweitzer SEL-2032
    Global implications for Rockwell Automation and other manufacturers.
These devices control Power Production/Distribution, Oil/Gas, Pipeline, Pharma, Transportation, Industrial Automation and Critical Infrastructure.

Additional links:

Click here Documenting The Lost Decade - ICS Vuln Analysis

Click here PROJECT BASECAMP - ATTACKING CONTROLLOGIX

Click here Researchers Release Exploits for Critical Infrastructure Software

Click here ICS-CERT Publishes Five S4 Based Alerts Plus Two Other Alerts


Friday, January 27, 2012

Bring on the beatings, bring on austerity, bring anyone you like to reign over us, we will just see through yet another cycle. What you have to understand is that we work to live not live to work, and the easiest place in this whole Industry anywhere in the world is Rockwell. You only have to look at the leaders to understand, say yes, keep in the mainstream, don't be a rebel and hope you are not caught in any big Rifs - and you are safe. It's tough elsewhere man, and so I for one will stay put and just continue to do what I have always done, which I admit isn't hard. I for one hope the leaders stay because as long as they stay as dumb as they are I am safe.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Listening to the analyst call yesterday, it was very, very clear that Keith and his team are so disappointed in Asia Pacific. And so they should be. So much effort and focus has gone in there and yet stalling again. It really shows that our success is totally dependent on riding the growth wave of the region and therefore we don't actually make real sustainable market gains. However I was really disturbed that we can declare we do ok as a company but not ok in the most important region. Failure in Asia is Failure as an entity FULL STOP. It is definitely time for change at the top.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - To "we take the reins":

Are you admitting that you were asleep at the switch? You actually have no clue what is occurring in the field. This is a revelation in that the dismal performance and low quality is because Milwaukee was too engrossed in the party to pay attention to the business. If you do take the "reins", are you going to lead or just increase the beatings? Leadership has been lacking to this point. Beatings have been in abundance. What will you do in this pivotal moment?


Monday, January 23, 2012

Correction to the last blogger. The Industry sales Manager in China is returning early and maybe thats an early indication of the figures. They have had three leaders in that job in two years. I know that here in Australia we expect some chopping and so we are ready. We also know that we are not bad, so we do not fear for our long term futures even if it is outside. There are many companies hiring. As for SEA, they got rid of all their leaders last year and still are in decline and so there are rumours about a certain leader ending his assignment. How far have we fallen in two years. We have had the ooomph sucked out of us. We know who we want back at the helm but I doubt that will happen as he is having a great impact at another company. Keith you never know what you truly did when you let your petty minded henchmen loose.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

That's surprising news about Asia. Whatever happened to the Tigers roar? Sounds like it may be a mouse squeak. Changes are underway in many of the countries, announced already are the Industry. Sales Director returning back to USA early and I hear rumblings of major change in SEA and Australia. Mind you there is no point in being Glory boys as we know in the USA these leaders in Milwaukee only reward themselves and never the guys doing the work and if you challenge you are out. OK that's my input


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy Year of the Dragon to all my Friends in China. I can tell you Milwaukee is breathing fire about your first quarter results. Good job you can hide for the new year. In the booming economy of Asia we manage no growth, guys post scorn over this blog about lack of management engagement. Well, enjoy your new year because you will see us engage; we are pretty disappointed. Even Europe managed to grow in the heart of Siemens Time to take a cold, cold shower. Troops, it's time to learn and see what happens when we take the reins.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I agree with the last blogger. You reap what you sow. So much faith into the Milwaukee cronies. Two years ago Asia was flying high, the president loved being here, the region had respect - but bit by bit you ground it out of him and us. Now we are in disarray. More chiefs than Indians, no respect, no real prospects, if we don't perform we lose, if we perform we get nothing but higher targets. Our distributors are fed up, our SI's non-existent and our product is the lowest quality its ever been. It's not just the meeting in Thailand; we are all going to take it easy, just milk the herd from the Dairy state.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Are we really surprised by the predicament we presently find ourselves in AP? Keith, you reap what you sow. It is clear that the AP president does not want to be in the region. There is NO cultural awareness or sensitivity demonstrated. Morale & engagement in the developing regions is the lowest on record, and continues to rapidly fall. Outlook has become short-term focused with no vision. The beatings have escalated to all time high levels - but no solutions are offered of how to improve things. Product quality levels are unforgivable. Everyone is just waiting for the next axe to fall. The most talented people are now beginning to leave, see previous posts, they don't have to live with this embarrassing mess.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Always interesting to see the Rockwell arrogance continuing to shine bright here. High employee turnover in the wild west. Management is out of touch with the market and states they are "customer focused" when they're anything but. The channel has no respect for the current regime and is also experiencing high turnover. Interesting to note that when a sports team doesn't perform to expectations the manager takes the blame (right or wrong) - but at Rockwell it's quite the opposite: fire the team!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012 - To: "I am disgusted":

You cannot really blame the individual for his/her wanton behavior on company expense when the remainder of us are bombarded by lean initiatives. This individual is just aping the behavior of senior management. If there is to be a sense of disgust and a sincere change, then senior management needs to discard its wanton behavior. Automation Fair is a prime example of the behavior that you find disgusting. Instead of a customer event, it has become an expensive party that is more of a capital drain than serving the intended purpose. Alas, your final statement of resignation rings true; senior management is in attendance. Change is not foreseeable.


Monday, January 16, 2012

I am disgusted to hear that folks relish the fact that they can take expenses-paid vacations to seaside locations at the company expense. To brag about it in this forum is just not right. We get to go to meetings in the big Milwaukee HQ, we spend our dollars subsidizing non-US locations and actually have it pretty lean. I hope we do ensure this particular meeting is in the best interests of the company and that personal expenses are paid by the relevant individuals. It is about time our Senior Management woke up to this appalling behavior. Mind you, it wouldn't surprise me if they were in attendance.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Rockwell people in China need to lighten up. We give them good things. Some selected Chinese will come to our OEM meeting in Hua Hin in Thailand Golden Sands. Great Food and all you can drink. Company pays so its a great time You see we in the OEM group decided to reward ourselves despite what the hierarchy in Milwaukee say. We are an important group and we will do what we need to keep good application engineers on board. So my advice to my China colleagues: Play the game; don't get stressed; ride the wave on some grand initiative and you will get at least one good beach holiday a year. The guys in Milwaukee will think they have you beat.


Monday, January 2, 2012

People here in China are not pleased because Top Management are threatening reorganisation to cancel because we missed first quarter plan. We expect typical Western huff-and-puff and they should know we close down soon for Lunar Year. So much money they spend sending people to learn how to control us - better spent making better products. Product Manager for A and S left two days ago after lifetime of RA stress. China boss Tom too busy on personal agenda in Japanese, but we also know he does not run China anymore. If they cancel reorg, many of our loyalties will also go Happy Year of Dragon to our Milwaukee tormentors (meaning mentors).


Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - With regard to "Siemens and P&G Partnership":

P&G has used Siemens PLM software for decades and their Comos software for only a few years. Rockwell does not offer any PLM solution - so it's really not an accurate insight. Regardless - Siemens is a great organization - but Rockwell does maintain a very long term strategic relationship with P&G for many aspects of their manufacturing operations. It's like saying P&G is using GE lighbulbs while trying to knock Rockwell down a peg...


Monday, December 12, 2011 - Re: To "teach the Asians how it is done":

Apparently the old adage that "the beatings will continue until morale improves" lives strong in Milwaukee. At what point do you take some ownership and be part of the solution? If Asia is not buying the products, it is time to think about the product instead of beating on the messengers.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rockwell Asia is determined to pull itself back into line after a lackluster year. Since the departure of the President about a year ago Asia, and in particular China, has lost the momentum it had. In a determined bid to teach the Asians how it is done, a large Chinese contingent was invited to Automation Fair and this last week Senior Management visited both Singapore and China. The sole aim is to make it clear what is expected next year and to ensure that the folks embody one leadership. It is difficult to gauge when Asia will have the confidence of Milwaukee and we can start to invest again but I worry it will be quite a while. However setbacks are only to be expected in todays world.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

It is interesting seeing an extract of Rockwell Earnings and all seems to be conquering the world. What it belies is that RA is growing slower than its three main competitors, even in its own business. Asia is at the bottom of the growth table. However you can believe whatever figures you want except this week we say two large RA customers announce major new ventures with competitors. P and G announced continuing PARTNERSHIP with Siemes and AB/INBEV announced that GE had beaten Siemens and RA to modernize seven brewerie. So heap praise on Mr Nosbusch, but help him recognize what really goes on in the real world.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011. Extracts from Industrial Automation Insider - December 2011

Records all round for Rockwell Automation 2011

The Rockwell Automation financial results for the year to end September 2011 set record highs for sales, earnings per share and return on invested capital. Sales were $6B, up 24%, with earnings at $1027M, 17% of sales, up 43%, all giving a return on capital of 31.6%.

USA and Canada regional sales at $3314M represented 55% of sales, and EMEA at $1268M was 21%, with year on year growth of 28%. Highest growth, 38%, came from the Latin American region, with sales of $508m. Earnings per share grew 57% to $4.79.

Keith Nosbusch, Chairman and CEO, commented "Key growth accelerators hit on all cylinders. Logix sales increased 29%, reflecting the success of our plant-wide optimization strategy and continued growth both in process applications and with OEM customers. Emerging markets grew over 30% and now represent 22% of total sales. We invested in our best growth opportunities while improving operating margin by over 2 points."

Commenting on the outlook, Nosbusch added, "Despite an uncertain global economic picture and moderating growth rates, we are cautiously optimistic that market growth will continue in 2012. We enter the year with a sound strategy, a track record of success in our growth initiatives and a robust new product pipeline."


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Richland Center is great place to work. The only complaint I ever hear about constantly is that we really need to stop making so many changes. Our new leader is full of ambition and is constantly trying to improve but could we move a little bit slower on making new rule changes. We are messing with people's lives!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

I work at the Richland Center facility and as far as I know we can drink whatever we want at our benches. And with the new management came new rules. But even with these new policies and ways to adjust to, you won't find a better job in Richland Center. I think everyone was just used to being pampered and now they have to work and are upset. Work at some of the other factories for a while and then talk about how horrible it is. You won't cause its one of the most easy going places around to work at.(At an hourly stand point) Most places don't let you drink anything except on break. Speaking of break, most places give you one half hour lunch and if your lucky one ten minute break.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Sure? So when is dos, and symax coming back... don't need the pretty pictures, or over priced smart stuff with no service to keep America going. Rockwell, and all the other intellects need to get their hands out of their ash, and make it work again.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - To the Wednesday, November 23, 2011 comment:

Based on marketing research at the University of Richmond, gratitude motivates positive reciprocal behavior. If an employee believes that a business has his/her best an interest at heart, that employee is more inclined to develop a long-term positive relationship with the business. Gratitude is an effective tool largely because it is a precursor to develop trust. And trust itself is an extremely powerful driver for loyalty, no matter the type of relationship. Just the same, gratitude is only valuable when it comes across as genuine.

As opposed to showing appreciation one day a year -- at Thanksgiving or in an annual American Express Gift Certificate -- some businesses are building it into their daily and weekly plans and policies. And they are seeing the benefits to this approach: Workers are often more engaged when they feel appreciated. So, if you wish gratitude, then give it.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sitting at Sensus.

So, industry insiders, will it be ABB or GE that acquires Rockwell/Sensus?


Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - To the Wednesday, November 23, 2011 comment.

True, RA IS an American company. Not a multinational, but an American. Actually I would say the margins are derived abroad, considering the sheer number of factories outside the US. Additionally if you consider that end users buy machines with CLX in the US and the same machines with Micro on the rest of the world, I would say that you are still able (and that is great) to convince US companies to buy certain level of automation for US based factories; but this is not true for factories located abroad.

Your margins are good because you are almost working on a closed market. And that make us happy of course because we take benefits from this. Sometimes specs come outside US for orders, and this really helps.

About the safest bet, they buy your bond because they have a single, countrywide, objective: become the world leaders as you apparently are at the moment. You know it's always difficult to evaluate "productivity" but I see you have your mind totally clear. Good for you. I will not open this subject, too long discussion for a weblog. Let me just tell that I disagree on that.

In my opinion this is the most important consideration of this message. Here comes your biggest mistake into the whole discussion: we are talking business. The "good old boy" attitude that you are helping other countries to live better and the world own you gratitude it's totally out of the game. Gratitude is for someone that helps without interest. If you make business, gratitude it's a ridiculous word. The Company pays us for what we bring, not because it's a Salvation Army.

Man, you should know a little better the rest of the world and try to put things in the right perspective.


Monday, November 28, 2011

China missed its plan again this month, showing the bosses that it is us and us alone that will drives success in the Region. We are the strategists and workers to good execution and recent comments do not please us in that.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - To the Simply astonishing comment:

Let me remind you that RA is an American company. The Chinese and others get to play because of margins we derive in America. One hopes they get to contribute before they kill us with their low prices and frankly their lack of productivity. But don't kid yourself - you are here because of America. As for the Chinese owning US debt - thats because its worth more than their own debt. They are not doing us any favors - just ensuring they have more insurance. And who happens to be the the safest bet? The good ole USA. It's about time more people stood up for what we bring to the world, how we enable the "emerging countries" to emerge. It's our generosity that allows most of the world to function and so don't lecture us on how we don't value the foreigners. We give you all we have and a bit of gratitude would be welcome.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's simply astonishing to see the attitude of our fellow Americans toward Chinese, and generally speaking, the rest of the world. Peoples that may not be able to find a country on the world map rise and preach...

You don't have much to teach on selling without the political power behind your back. Folks, you really need to wake up. China already owns a large part of US debt. You are doing business within the automation market (and not only) mainly for political reasons and End Users are no longer so happy to pay you premium fees. Be careful, the world is changing quickly and you may discover soon that you need to learn from scratch how to do business.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanks for this blog. It was all the talk at Automation Fair. The Senior guys read it and dismiss it as not being factual, but deep down they know. They also know the day of reckoning is coming. Even Keith made mention to weblog contents and so this is becoming a household name at Rockwell. Keep up the work and don't let them grind this down. It's great to have a real outlet for honest comments!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Automation Fair is gone. Nothing dramatically different - same old guys saying they are leaving, same old senior leaders suffering from the effects of too much alcohol. It's interesting, the same old customers, not may new big names. All in all, we now can relax at Thanksgiving, take some good time off and then wind down for Christmas. Bonus is secured for this year and so at least in the American households we will have a good holiday season. Happy Holidays and Thank you RA. Keep doing great events for the staff like AF.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

We are pleased to see a large contingent of Chinese to Automation Fair this year. Welcome to America and Welcome to the great city of Chicago! We hope you get the opportunity to observe. It's been a tough year for you and unfortunately Q4 didn't prove exceptional, but take the week to embrace our culture.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What a blast Automation Fair is! The senior leadership were on fine form last night. I didn't believe the comments made on the blog previously because I made decisions for my company to standardize on RA .However, after last night I know my price is high because I fuel the party and they really don't like people who have left. I had a lot of respect for and people who helped me despite being hampered by their leadership. I felt humbled because I think I know a little better what the dissidents on your blog are saying - they just want to serve the customers and do a good job. The partying at the Partner Network event just turned my stomach and I need to re-look at who my choice of supplier is.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Automation Fair is a great opportunity to network and interface with management. Of course, the interfacing needs to be timed to be effective. The level of inebriation is high from 3 PM forward. The after effects are still in play until noon the next day. So, the window of opportunity is very limited for making an impression; you have to be careful since the surly attitude can work against you. If this is in error, then the outrageous bar bills must be fabrications, though I doubt it. As a worker bee, I am too busy with labs and presentations to enjoy the wining and dining and am too scrutinized to charge an expensive meal.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

I would be considered a new hire in R.C. having only been employed there for a few years. I have worked in several other factories and R.C is by far the best. One of the bloggers mentioned that, "the last straw was they could only have water at their work station". And this type of thought is what I have noticed the most for R.C. People have worked there and only there and really do complain about such trivial matters. The blogger complains about our plant manager - I don't get that part either. She seems very personable and is always trying to improve processes, our environment and our benefits... Some people JUST don't like change and that is the problem in R.C.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Astoundingly, if you look at the charts for the Rockwell full-year, Asia is at the bottom of the growth curve. The bull run of the last four years seems well and truly over and if you can't grow faster in these markets it does not bode well for the future. I have read all the blogs on Asia for the past year and they seem to say: you have reaped what you sow. It's a sad day when the region that used to stand above the rest is now below. I am a loyal Asia employee and regardless of what Keith says, this is a black day caused by his mismanagement and lack of investment.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Roll up! Roll up! Just one week away from the biggest Automation Party in the world. I hope to see you all in Chicago for this year's Automation Fair. Eat and Drink as much as you like; bring a friend, its all free. No purchase necessary. See our Senior leaders in splendid technicolor, proving they can stay out all night and party as they are whisked around the city in all-expense-paid limousines. Oh, did I forget to tell you there are Automation Products on some stands. But no need to attend, because its the same old stuff you have seen before. RA is a great business model: Overpriced mediocre products. Take 2% of the profit and throw a big party for all that bought them and include your own staff to buy loyalty. Great Thinking from a Milwaukee scholar.


Friday, November 4, 2011

So, is it possible that there are two Rockwell Richland Center plants? Because I work in the Richland Center, Wisconsin facility where we have coffee and juice and even soda at our benches. In the Wisconsin facility I have never known anyone to be "written up" unless they truly deserved it, and quite frankly it is about time certain individuals are held accountable for their un-business-like practices. And just one little piece of advice: don't bother to waste your time organizing a union, which you may get lucky to have a handful to jump on your bandwagon. Spend that extra effort locating yourself a new job - go out and try a new adventure. You may find that the grass is truly NOT greener on the other side!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Seriously, Richland Center can have water at their work stations. We have to walk to the water fountain and drink out of a paper cup!


Friday, November 4, 2011

I am appalled by the idiot that keeps on taunting the Asian Employees. I am a westerner working in Asia and frankly I would rate them far more capable that the American Sales force. They work harder, they are smarter and much less egotistical. So the person, who is clearly in the management suite, should cease their sarcastic rants and get their own nose to the grindwheel.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Whoa! Richland Center whiner, don't even begin to say you are a majority with your way of thinking. The issue is that Richland center has been run like a Country Club in the past and finally your membership has been canceled! Rockwell employs us to come to work and do our jobs. They DO pay us for doing so - or have you NOT been receiving your check? I would guess that with your sense of entitlement, maybe you should not be receiving one at all! It is clearly refreshing to have a manager with eyes wide open and truly engaged in Richland Center, who I bet even knows your name with out looking at your name tag!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

I think that was a poor comment on the Senior Leadership tour of China. I don't think our Senior leaders were as impressed with this visit as they have been in the past. If the comments the blogger made were reflective of our China employees, I think it just reinforces that we still have a way to go. However we are here to persevere, teach and we will get there. But lets start with a little bit more acknowledgment of the good we bring to you. China is not a lost cause.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I find it informative that once the leadership has left for the grand tour of China, the negative demoralizing rants have desisted. This is a clear indictment that leadership is only capable of inciting discontent as opposed to leading. It speaks loudly of the character of the leadership. As long as there is an opportunity to imbibe and party, there is no concern. Once work needs to be accomplished on the eighth floor, there are acrimonious statements of baseless superiority. The "let them eat cake" attitude is all too obvious.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Well, lets see if the critics are dumbfounded when RA announces full-year earnings. We expect them to be mixed. USA and Canada on Plan, EMEA ahead, but against low comparables China misses in Q4; India possibly slowing; Australia and South East Asia Well off the mark.

The other dynamic to listen for is how SSB is doing on Revenue not orders. I think you will find it is struggling to deliver to customer satisfaction. All this matter because the day RA consistently (two quarters ) fails to take share in Emerging markets, it is time to really give up hope and we are one quarter down. It shouldn't be about the cash. It should be about profitable growth of our products and that will make us the cash.

Anyone got other insights? Either way, listen to the analysts call. At least you can hear how charismatic Keith is - not.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thanks to the Global Account Manager who recognizes the role of the Asian Employee. The Global Account Program is one that RA really excels at, even though it is under pressure now through cost, and leadership that doesn't really understand its value. In Asia we are fortunate that the SEA leader is an ex GAM and the ex President started the program many years ago . We in the region find it a useful focus and rallying point and the GAMs are always welcome in the SEA region.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

At end of China Sales meetings, most employees boycotted the team building exercise as we said we would do. It shows we won't waste monies on such bad meaning things. The event was flat anyway, and as usual Tom brought whole family to impress. Wonder who paid for it? It really not good in China branch right now.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

We have been working on organizing a union at the Rockwell RICHLAND CENTER plant. The majority of us are so disillusioned at how the current manager is treating us. We have no other choice but to organize. That means UNION! We are so afraid of speaking up or saying what we feel, because people have been let go or written up to set an example for others to shut up.

The latest straw is that now we cannot even have coffee or fruit juice near where we work. It has to be only water and it has to be in a clear plastic bottle! (Well, vodka is clear._ How demoralizing! This has created such a hostile atmosphere. Why have so many salaried people left the facility? Doesn't anyone see a pattern here? Arab spring - Rockwell winter?


Friday, October 28, 2011 - RE: As the old saying goes, if you're not taking care of your customers, someone else will be more than happy to do it.

WELL SAID! Right on point! If you didn't see the post about "The Corporation" you MUST watch this documentary: www.thecorporation.com

This is the reason we are going through the "Occupy Movement" in America. We are all fed up by the GREED.


Thursday, October 27, 2011 - Richland Center Facility:

I have finally decided to speak for the dozens and dozens of workers at RA-RC who have shared their hatred and utter disgust for the manager of this factory. She appears to be more concerned about her own promotion and status by cutting corners to boost profits on paper at the emotional and financial (benefits) expense of the workers. I have witnessed tears and fists and frustration over being deathly afraid to say anything for fear of being "written up", demoted or finding some other reason to be walked out the door. I speak for many of my friends who share these frustrations. Many of us used to enjoy coming to work and felt a certain amount of pride in our work; but now our morale is so poor, so low, that you can almost feel it as you walk in the door. People say, "I just don't care anymore. Why should I? She is not to be trusted with any complaints we may have. I give up, just don't speak up."

There is no place to turn for help. Forget the ombudsmen; they are in bed with the HQ and not to be trusted. Further, in years past, the few times that they were called upon to help work out situations, they were ineffectual. It is the pent-up frustration that will reach some kind of climax in this plant if the pressure that this manager has created is not relieved. Even outside of work, some in the community have talked about her in unflattering ways.

She can call employee meetings and talk about how great the company is, how great the numbers are, that there are no lost work days. Well, regarding that last part, that is because now in order to get relief from our daily aches and pains we now have to declare that it has to be work-related and that it has to have happened on the day we report it. How absurd! So now we just shut up, grin and bear it. Wait till someone really gets hurt because they cannot afford to get help because our deductibles just keep getting bigger and bigger. But, oh, the company is making money!

She will walk within 2 feet of you and not even say hello, or smile, or make eye contact. I am not the only one noticing this. Can't anyone at HQ see the exodus of all the highly experienced workers, supervisors and other salaried people who have left since she started? The remaining sups and engineers are so overloaded, you can see it in their faces. Some days they are so stressed that you don't even want to talk with them because you know the pressure they are under.

Would this pattern not be enough of an alarm to show that if this manager is not removed, Richland Center Rockwell Automation may go elsewhere, sooner or later? Where is your humanity? Or is it just the bottom line and who cares about us?


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mandated overtime which becomes a 12 hr. day due to dynamic scheduling and being forced to make up work at the end of the shift before you can go home is unacceptable. Being forced to come in at 3:15 am or staying until 3:15 am (depending on what shift you are on) is unacceptable. Having managers who do not listen to their employees is unacceptable. Twinsburg employees have a choice to make. If the so-called internal employee communication committee members cannot resolve these issues for us, then we need to bring in external groups that can deal with this management. In talking with union members and their legal staff there are things we can negotiate for. Time we take a stand. Lets put an end to all the negativity in this plant.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

To quote a movie, "What we have here is a failure to communicate". There has been a constant message that the leadership needs to wake up but does not seem to be received. Let's break it down to simple terms. Those leaders who lack the focus and attention to detail needed to apply leverage and resources in an aggressive and committed fashion will perish. If a leader doesn't understand the concept of "service above self' they will not engender the trust, confidence, and loyalty of those they lead. Any leader is only as good as his or her team's desire to be led by them. Real leaders are accountable. They don't blame others, don't claim credit for the success of their team, but always accept responsibility. Finally, leaders not attuned to the needs of the market will fail. As the old saying goes, if you're not taking care of your customers, someone else will be more than happy to do it. For clarity, a customer is the person buying the product; not the stockholder.


Monday, October 24, 2011

As a Global Account Manager, I frequently spend time in Asia. I can honestly say that I am appreciative of my RA counterparts in China, India, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Korea. Your job is hard. You are expected to conduct business (often technical) in a language that is not native to you. You also have to deal with an American culture that is much different from yours. RA is trying to become a truly Global company and they are much better than even 3 years ago. The key managers do respect your effort and appreciate your work. Yes, they are hard on their people. Believe me, they were hard on their people back here in the US. I've worked with Asian managers who are also hard on their Asian employees. As an American living in America, I can only say, "Thank you" to my friends overseas at RA. Together, we can make a difference going against the real competitors such as Siemens.


Monday, October 24, 2011

The only hope for RA survival can be found in the new recruits from RA competitors who bring real world experience and technical savvy. Progress cannot be achieved as old internal habits are slow to be abandoned.


Sunday, October 23, 2011 - RA Finance takeover:

The finance leaders at RA are using SOX as a well play move to control the entire company and taking all financial decisions out of the managers in the trenches who know their customers the best. Eventually you will need a VP of finance's permission to flush the toilet. Wake up finance, SOX is about accurate reporting NOT total control of every decision.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Don't know if guy posting messages about the Chinese is a manager in Milwaukee, but he is upsetting lot of people in China. Even if not real, he tells it how the big bosses think and that was apparent a kickoff at China this week. Lots of Mandarin talk about how not involved we are and lot of talk about how we can leave and not for western competitor.

Mr Tom, you did not defend as you should this week. Mr McD, we like you, but you are past date-of-sell for China. Mr Bob, please learn our culture; it's not Ohio and you are not flying a plane. Good Luck: Your colleagues of China.


Thursday, October 20, 2011 - To the guy who said the blog used to be entertaining:

If you don't like it, stop reading it. It is a forum for great comment about a dying icon. People like you make their choice; People like us make a stand with our comments and hope to lead to action to make RA a better place. A place for all proud Americans. Helping the emerging economies out of poverty, helping educate the Asian communities and reaping rewards for our great country. The comments that come back from my Asian colleagues are noted and understood and we will stick with you as the path is long.


Thursday, October 20, 2011 - Re: "We Americans understand Asia perfectly, and probably better than Siemens, Schneider and ABB"

Wake up, man! - these companies are from 5 to 20 times bigger than Rockwell and much more global than Rockwell - RA is a single product company that is a department for those guys.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

This blog used to be entertaining. Now it's a bunch of whining. If RA is treating you badly or you think it's a horribly run company, do what I did: LEAVE. The best time to look for new job is while you still have one. Quit your whining. Get off your butt look for something better. If you don't, you're just admitting that RA isn't that bad (it isn't) and that you'd rather stay where you are than make a change for your own good.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

It is you Western people who criticize Chinese, so please do not now say we are all equal. Show we are equal; show you have more respect for what we do. After all, it is Chinese workers that will save your jobs at the end of the day.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The comment made to the Chinese blogger that "this company is all you can qualify for" is impressive. You clearly do not think much of the Chinese staff. What is more, you apparently feel that RA standards are low and anyone breathing will qualify. If this is RA style leadership, are you really that confused as to why there is dissension and lack of willingness to follow you? Assertiveness is not the same as aggressiveness. Along with assertiveness comes the responsibility to clearly understand what followers expect from their leader.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Chinese employees on this blog are hypocritical. Lets see who avoids kickoffs. You know you will all be there eating and drinking just like everyone else. Instead of complaining all the time, move to a better company. Maybe you don't have the skills and this company is all you can qualify for. If not, leave. I for one am tired of the us-versus-them Chinese mentality. We are all global employees who face issues stated here in the blog. If you have the skills, move on. If not, sharpen them. But stop the blog protests. We all know you are powerless to change by not showing up for a kickoff. No one cares.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I am sure RA Senior Management and some individuals would wish this blog to go away. I think it's a good way to send messages to a regime that doesn't allow you to be open without retribution. Our customers and suppliers should be encouraged to have their say also.

Rockwell may think anonymous comments are unfair, but as a publicly-traded company they have a responsibility to shareholders to be transparent about how they operate, both financially and socially. Our shareholders may not chose this stock if they knew about some management practices. The whole point of social media is to give us a collective voice. Yes Keith we are voting on certain members of your protected staff and you as our leader, and the servants of our shareholders need to listen. If you cannot cope with that level of accountability, you should resign. Many of us Globally hope you do so, very soon.


Monday, October 17, 2011

I have read this blog for years and I know a lot of my colleagues who read and probably contribute. Senior management are unwise to continue to ignore their positioning with the workers, which has cost them growth. The difference in the past year is that one can force change when a CEO or his leadership begin to listen. We will force the change, because you are not going to force us to abandon much more important things like our customers and our need to live a healthy productive life. I know the readership of this blog is booming, and who knows we may become the Industrial Automation Arab spring, or the Occupy-South-Second-Street, to ensure that we are heard. We can all win if the leadership was bright enough to listen; but alas, we all know its not.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - To the greener grass guy:

There is always greener grass. If you are so dependent on RA that you won't leave, you are in for a pretty rough time. You may as well be a slave. Just count the ticks and the tocks, because if you don't control your destiny it just a matter of time. UK, USA, ASIA ,Latin America - you always have a choice.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I agree with blogger with Asia. Confusion, disrespect and no function - that is what goes on here . I think the Chinese employees should not turn out to kick off to show Foreigners we will not be pushed and disrespected. It is a sad time in RA China, and we must make our voice heard, loud and clear.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

You need to resend your blog to the 8th floor in two weeks because they are all focussed on kick-off season - aka party time. So at great expense, delegations are flying to China next week where McD will hold court and indulge with his staff and the two previously mentioned Presidents. The MD of China will decide later in the day whether to just play along or over indulge, and we take bets to guarantee it's the latter. He often won't turn up for that last day of the meeting. The locals will be told to cut down spending as the expats party into the early hours. What a life!

Then it's to other kick offs and culminating in the biggest RA party of the year, which is Automation Fair. The point here is: Don't talk about responsibility, because no one has any.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - RE: We are a publicly traded company and our responsibility is to the shareholders:

Steve Jobs believed that if you take care of the customer, higher stock prices are the result. Look at the price of Apple stock if you don't believe it.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

If these blogs are reaching anyone on the eighth floor, then here is something of interest. Speaking the truth is not in anyone's best interest at RA. The fear of retaliation is the most important driver. How many careers have been destroyed by the egos? This behavior is seen and emulated down the chain of command. If you feel that this is just an opinion consider a recent study by Corporate Executive Board.

  • Companies whose employees were afraid to speak up suffered 5.8% lower total shareholder return than those with cultures that encouraged open communications.
  • Where fear was more prevalent, fraud and misconduct were higher.
  • 59% of companies surveyed said that $1 million worth of harm would have to be at stake for employees to share honest negative feedback (29% said $10 million). I fear the dollar level at RA is higher.
It is time to make amends because it will affect the bottom line that is so cherished.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

If the UK job statistics are a barometer of the world recession, the following stats may reflect most of the RAC based countries. The UK Office for National Statistics on Wednesday 12th october stated that 2.57 million people were out of work over the June to August period, the highest since the autumn of 1994. There were almost 1 million unemployed young people.

Statistics :- Unemployed: 2.566 mn (2.510 mn). Inactive - wants a job: 2.288 mn (2.348 mn). Total wanting work (4.854 mn) (4.858 mn). Vacancies 0.461 mn (0.454 mn). People per vacancy 10.53 (10.70).

Smell the coffee folks. Those in employment, no matter whats going on in your jobs, please realize you are fortunate to have a one. Instead of looking out the rear view mirror, I would recommend in these tough times to concentrate on looking forward and do your best to do a good job every day. Just look at all of company weblogs, theres no greener grass to go to.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - Re: We are a publicly traded company and our responsibility is to the shareholders:

Isn't this the problem? Shouldn't we be responsible to our customers? Maybe if we stopped working for the shareholders and started working for our customers, business might improve. Just a thought.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In Asia things go from bad to worse. We have two presidents. Nobody knows who is boss, but it seems as if one of them has a better handle on the region and is displaying & adding real value, while the other is barely coherent most of the time. Asia pacific finance director is using the obvious vacuum and confusion to grow her insidious power base.Do you think we are fools? What a circus.


Monday, October 10, 2011

The heritage of RA is irrelevant. We are a publicly traded company and our responsibility is to the shareholders. It is the board of directors who should read these comments and respond. It is they who should hold Keith responsible. It is also they who approve senior level remuneration and clearly they choose not to act. Look at what they get paid for being directors and how much it's increased. You cannot blame them for keeping quiet.


Monday, October 10, 2011 - Re: "We Americans understand Asia perfectly":

You must be in management! Stop drinking the koolaid and give your head a shake. You don't even understand the North American market with your internally-focused arrogance. When you start listening to your customers, internally & externally, only then will you understand. Do you know what an internal customer is? Thought so...


Sunday, October 9, 2011

I agree that the Bradley brothers are rolling over in their graves that their building is almost empty, and the company they founded is generating huge profits for only a few managers at the top, a few east cost financial firms and is almost gone from the Milwaukee scene. I wish the Pettit family would comment on this state of affairs.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Message to the guy who advocated going to the Ombudsman: Take the advice and don't.The track record of even investigating complaints is poor; not necessarily fairly, but just ignoring them.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

We Americans understand Asia perfectly and probably better than Siemens, Schneider and ABB. RA is the largest single-focussed automation company in the world and there is a reason we are so. We don't need to travel to China, India or anywhere else for you to understand our message. We have our expats in place and thats what they do - they teach you. If you can't handle the teaching and wish to work for our inferior European competition, go ahead. But don't blame it on us. We invest millions to teach you, and in time you will thank us.


Saturday, October 8, 2011 - To the "nice" Wisconsin Guy:

You are leading the dispute to working for an American company or working for local automation company. This is wrong. Hope you understanding that RA is not the only choice if you want to work for a western (either American or Europe or Japan ) and is small player in the market.

Here, what we are talking is whether the so-called 8th-floor people really understand Asia. If they don't, the competitor will do. The competitor is not only China local companies, but also the giants like SIEMENS, MITSU, Schneider, etc. Have you ever been out of Wisconsin, or been to Asia?


Friday, October 7, 2011

The eighth floor at RA are not leaders - that is very obvious They alienate the most willing servants, starve those who need and scoff and indulge in full view. You only need to look at the decor on their floor compared to the rest. Why doesn't the board vote to change? Well, look on Yahoo at the stock they received this month. Is it remuneration, or hush money? Eventually it will be just them and their cronies and the end will come. They talk about this blog all the time, but haven't got the conviction to respond.


Friday, October 7, 2011

I find it comical that the eighth floor gang claim to be leaders. Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. There is open revolt in Asia. The Global Managers are on a party junket every quarter, with little to show for their conspicuous consumption. The strategy of growth through acquisition continues even though it is a defunct 80's business model. Influence and inspiration are absent at the top. Lest you need a reminder, leadership is dependent on the people in the trenches following willingly.


Friday, October 7, 2011

I bet the blogger from China has never been to Wisconsin. They should visit to know that we are nice people. We know the Chinese have their specific ways, but they work for an American company and we do it our way. No compromise. As far as Chinese competition for automation, I don't think so and we know people don't leave for local companies. Best way forward is: Respect us, Listen to us and Learn from us. That way you will always have rice on your table. Good luck to the East!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Here in China we unconcerned for you to send us Foreigners. They will never understand the Chinese way and we will tell them what they want to know. The success of RA China will depend only on how we convince customers, not on any foreign policy. Many Chinese automation companies now getting very powerful and we all know when will be good for us to cross the line. The person who thinks he is doing favors to Chinese has probably never been out of Wisconsin and should keep comments to himself. The funniest is that we, as a nation, like foreigners. Doesn't seem the other way round. But we are also proud and capable and don't need too much help.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I have been reading this blog for all of the automation companies for many years. I find it comical that the people in the trenches know more about how to lead billion dollar companies than the top executives.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My recent blog illustrating how Asia is lucky to have our guidance drew some criticism. However, whether you want to believe it or not, the next announcement on the way is "Another expat heads to Asia " in a multi million dollar cost. This time for new HR Director. Apparently the eighth floor is worried the Chinese are getting out of hand and so they will send a US person to get them into line. She needs the position to develop herself whilst ensuring that the line is towed in these difficult times. We allowed the Asians to find their own HR Director and they couldn't; Not to worry, we will provide support again. It feels good to help those in the emerging economies.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The quarter is closed and I wonder how RA fared versus its bullish statements just a quarter ago. Remember, Keith was very bullish compared to his peers and so lets see if RA was in a bubble outside of the economic world we all see. Did China get back to 20% plus? Did India continue to be the star? Did EMEA perform considering new comparable? Anyone got input? What we do know is that, despite the bullishness, the company did not vote with investment dollars, probably to ensure Keith can tell a good story to the analysts. Lets see what the public statements are.


Monday, October 3, 2011

It's a sign of the times. Allen Bradley was a privately owned company from Wisconsin. Priorities were: employees, distributors, customers, civic pride. Why is there a Bradley Center and no Rockwell Center?

Rockwell International, Rockwell Aerospace, Rockwell NA Aviation, government contracts (tax dollars) in defense and aerospace. Project overruns, change orders, engineering blunders, just charge the taxpayers more.

Want to turn a good company bad? Sell out & go public. The Bradley brothers are rolling in their graves.


Monday, October 3, 2011

There is a saying among management: promotion to the eighth floor is predicated on being over 6 ft and having a full head of hair. The less commented and more insidious qualification is white fraternity male. The global manager post is a clear example that making connections and being part of the fraternity is more important than being knowledgeable or having a strategic vision. Group think rules at the expense of leadership. Groupthink seems to occur most often when a leader with an inflated ego is present, inspiring members to agree with his opinion. Going against Keith and McD decisions or ways of doing things results in severe recriminations and demise, as the previous bloggers have noted.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

A lot is said about expat costs and expats. To replace expat positions with other expats just illustrates what a poor job is done in developing the bench talent. In the case of RA Asia, it is a sign that senior leadership does not believe in the capability of the current leaders in place. Considering the senior leadership doesn't have international experience. its like the blind leading the blind. The real danger is that the talent you judge as poor will question your logic and if they really are ready the market will have a habit of offering them the position they seek. If this doesn't happen, then Leadership is likely to incur even more costs to bribe them to stay with the hope of development, which in RA history rarely happens. Of course, all the talent at lower levels will read that promotion and advancement is limited and will make the same choices. This is just the vicious circle that is solved easily by taking chances with people and genuinely being a people-driven company .


Saturday, October 1, 2011

I heard from a very good source that Rockwell Automation is trying to buy Prosoft-Technology. Word is that Siemens and Rockwell both want this company.


Friday, September 30, 2011

The company doesn't appreciate anything it doesn't think of first. The investment dilemma you feel in Australia is the same as China, Brazil, Eastern Europe. It is always the same - do more with less. But in the past few years it has become noticeable about the excesses of the leadership. I think Keith is just unbelievably naive to have all this money wasted on preretirement jollies for mangers that have not brought anything real in all their years at RA. Its a disgrace, and to hear of the parties etc. on a public blog is nothing short of shocking. We all knew it went on, and much more, but to be proud of the fact is laughable. I only hope the one of Keith's cronies alerts him and the straight-lace is applied to the abusers. Lets try and have a meaningful and technical automation fair. McD, I know you read this blog; get up and defend yourself or silence makes its own ruling. RA is more than you,so lets hear you - anonymous if you like.


Friday, September 30, 2011

Colleagues here in Australia sat down this week and reviewed the management plans for the Region in 2012. We actually worked out that RA will increase it's expat costs in Asia more than it will increase investment in growing areas here. The increase in expat investment will no doubt be focused on telling us how poor we are and how we don't grow. The only real light at the table is that we have a distributor who will invest as they see the market potential. I hope the company appreciates where it really puts it's money


Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's not about honesty. These are real good events that shows Rockwell cares about it's image. Where else would senior leaders like Mcd network all night with you, and show you how to have a really good time at no expense to you? From what I know, this is the same globally. You have to appreciate there is more to a career than work, there is networking, securing your place in the land of plenty. That's what we do, and long may it last!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - To "Global Manager":

Thank you for your honesty. It is not about globalization or cost containment. It is about making a lot for doing little. As one of the down-trodden, I am envious that you get a lot for nothing and are comfortable with it. Keith and McDermott really are clueless.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

You have to be fair to RA. They actually do try to do the right thing. Two things get in the way: The first is capability - they just don't have world class leaders on the eighth floor. They wouldn't survive against their good peer companies ABB or GE. They are paid as high class - and that leads to problem two: They will destroy anyone that may be different who enters the eighth floor and threatens their cozy world. You can list the people for whom they have engineered downfalls. The result is, when economic pressure is on it just leads to misery being meted out to the minions below. The answer is simple, but it will never happen.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Just had our annual kick off which is now becoming an annual party in Chicago for all the Global Managers. It's a great social event, not much technical or business content. Nosbusch was his usual, "We will proceed slowly as we can't predict the future." McDermott was his usual talking about past leaders behind their backs, as though his mission is to slay the dragon.

I think I will keep my head down because the next big party is on the horizon - which is Automation Fair and then bonus time in December. You can't knock it; it beats the pressure of real work and you know anyone can move faster than Keith, so even performing is easy. The only problem I have with RA is that I keep on putting on weight at all these meetings. But I guess it's a small sacrifice for the life I lead.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Repeatedly, RA shows it has no allegiance to any country or its particular business centres. Actions are driven by cold financial decisions (however un-clever) and pure greed; behaving very much like a commercial locust but in an irrational and slow motion manner. There are no sentiments. It cares not for the future, only the present. As long as the upper echelon can amplify their annual personal wealth at their own desired rate then the Nosbusch gang does not give a damn about the workforce. The only period for when employees were correctly valued was systematically destroyed when Allen Bradley morphed into its current android identity under the name of Rockwell Automation. Ah well, as by name as by nature.


Monday, September 26, 2011

I didn't hear any Chinese criticize Americans just Americans dictating to Asians However, if you feel the need to express the number of US enterprises then that is fine. You needed that many to hide the financial mismanagement of past years. Count them each week, is it increasing or decreasing. No need answer; the world knows it. You should also know Chinese owns USA and so don't need to criticize you. As our possessions, we can make you as we want. As they say, "Have a nice day!"


Monday, September 26, 2011 - To the Chinese complaining about Americans telling them what to do:

Go to work for a Chinese run, Chinese managed fortune 500 company. Good luck finding more than a handful. Stop complaining and offer solutions. Or vote with your feet. But the fact is American Companies expanding in Asia are the reason capitalism and industrialism is expanding. So flip through the internet and find all of the large multinational Chinese companies you can work for, be paid a premium and be trained at.


Monday, September 26, 2011

You are right about RA losing a visionary. We also see his activities in the mining and Petrochem space in Latin America. He has attracted some great people and they are going to succeed for sure. RA loses a lot of people like this because Keith does not know how to handle leaders and prefers instead to have yes-men whose only creativity is the colors on a powerpoint slide


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Whilst RA Asia continues to the infighting, I was pleased and saddened to catch up with what previous Asia President is doing at GE. It was prompted by me seeing the press release here in Asia about GE strategic tie up with AB Inbev ; GE is doing well now. They have entered new space in Metals, Petrochem, Mining and Oil & Gas, and have hired some impressive people from the Industry and have built centers in China, SEA, Australia and Korea. The organizations are taking business, and more will be revealed when we publish the full article. The thing that pleased me was the passion still for the Industry from Keiran Counton; the thing that saddened me is that RA is lost without his leadership and vision and that is leading to this vented frustration.

Who else will begin to fill the RA void? My message to RA as a long term admirer is - you are not looking after what you have got. It's all about people.


Sunday, September 25, 2011 - To the previous blogger from China:

I'm also Chinese. RA is an American company, by the American and for the American. It has all the rights to appoint any American to manage any of its branches around the world, in any possible way. There is no need to complain about its leadership here. Either you take it, or you leave it.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

You are right. We don't need American advice. We should be left to determine our future ourselves. There is much frustration around the China company as we have no credible leadership and read in press everyday how our competitors of expand and invest. We are asked to do much more than before, with no thank you and no benefit. The new organization will benefit few and will lead to many of the people to leave, and we become much less trusting of foreign bosses. They are always behind doors closed and talks to us at times as though we are stupid. Our culture is much older than America and much wiser.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I don't think the Chinese need advice from disgruntled and misplaced Americans. The Asians, and in particular the Chinese, know exactly what they are doing. The bigger question is to whether leadership that is meant to fight for the local agenda is ineffective and is merely a puppet of a Milwaukee regime that doesn't really understand Asia.

I don't see many signs of bravado from any of the expats. We know the last president voted with his feet because Milwaukee wouldn't listen. But the new one, or the country leadership are hardly likely to do so.

I think all bloggers point to the very sobering and true fact that RA is not what it was and has not moved with the times. The automation industry is changing with new players and new segments and RA may fit none of them.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

As a customer and partner of RA, it is not strange to see these comments on the blog. We see this everyday, acted out in the interface with RA. It's a company that is definitely in decline and, whilst we have only used RA when we need complex help for meaty systems, we can see this expertise disappearing. We have had many interface with some great people globally and unfortunately most have left.

RA is not in the small plc/drive business, they cant be competitive nor have an attractive proposition. In the large end, we always get to the lowest price but why is it so difficult and why do you spend so much time in internal meeting working out how to charge me for the most basic of services?

It is time for change. The guys at the top have served well, but its time to go. You need creativity and innovation, and your competitors are hurting you.


Monday, September 19, 2011

To my fellow workers in China.(I am an American) - RA has thrown the American worker (us/me) under the bus for profits. They will do the same to you. Don't make the same mistake we made. You have no more value to them than we did: Profits. They say that they want to partner with the Chinese, they only want the Yen. We are suffering now, but they are finding out that their strategy was wrong.

RA is losing market share in the US because of their arrogance. Build the better mousetrap in China, work for your own good and the good of the Chinese people, and prove them wrong. There are many strong Chinese companies, with talented and loyal employees. It is your time to show the world that you can design and produce the right products for use in China and the rest of the world without being exploited.


Monday, September 19, 2011

The frustration and the rhetoric going about in Asia is actually not that different than the talk in our branches here. Another year of nothingness at RA USA . No investment, more with less yet the sickening reports of senior leaders exercising their stock options. Our regional VP's are gutless, won't fight for anything and probably because they cant go elsewhere. Like Asia and Europe we have lost most of our bright talent and will lose more. How can such a great icon become so transparent to the world of growth? Cheers Keith, Ted and John - for nothing.


Sunday, September 18, 2011 - To the frustrated China guy:

You won't leave because you get good money for doing what the bosses want. You ought to be pleased they are sending a co-president, because you and your colleagues have slackened down on the growth and they will help correct your direction and your results.

I read with interest the blog that said that there was internal restructure in China to districts and branches. It's great to see you adopting a good American model. After all we have done for you in the past years, does anyone in China have anything good to say about Milwaukee? Let's just get on with the task of beating our competitors the American way.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

    First they moved manufacturing to China
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't in manufacturing.

    Then they moved software to India
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't in software.

    Then they came for the Marketing
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't in Marketing.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

I am a long term RA China employee. The team in China is frustrated; too much pressure and too little appreciation. Now we are under a new AP president that knows nothing about China or AP. Now I hear he has a new counterpart, co-president or something, that knows even less. This is a joke - sending two useless retirees to run the most important region. I will soon leave this joke.


Friday, September 16, 2011

In China we do not trust in foreigners, or even foreigners in Chinese skin. Take the secret top program that they have been meeting to discuss new organization. Will mean new layer created so two sales leaders can have easier time and pretend to make some branchee manager in two districts. So the workers will now have an extra level and those selected for new step will be the ones who have trained in Milwaukee. They think we don't know, but details are circulating around Shanghai and very a lot of unhappy peoples. Mr. foreigner, the Chinese, do not keep secret from Chinese; please always remember that when you think you are secreting


Friday, September 16, 2011

While working at Rockwell, the Regional VP's, Directors & District Manglers reminded me of a children's book by Hans Christian Anderson that re-written into Rockwell Culture goes something like this:

"Nosbusch, who cares for nothing but his own appearance and attire, hires two tailors who promise him the finest suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or who are "just hopelessly stupid". Nosbusch cannot see the cloth himself, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing unfit for his position; his manglers do the same. When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and Nosbusch then marches in procession before his manglers, who play along with the pretense. Suddenly, a hard working - customer-facing employee, too honest to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that Nosbusch is wearing absolutely nothing at all. Nosbusch cringes, suspecting the assertion may be true but holds himself up proudly and continues the procession."


Thursday, September 15, 2011

The "bigoted American" is right. We tried Globalization by other means - our PLC prices went from good to desperate in Germany, the Chinese lowered them even further and created a grey market that took food off our table. So now the only good that the Chinese and Indians and the up-and-comers are to Rockwell is good cheap labor that will do what we want them to do where we want them to do it. I hope we never end up with the pricing levels they propose, or it is goodbye to USA. So lets get back to putting USA first and ensure we have a good healthy business that the world can draw its food from.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

The "bigoted American" probably doesn't understand Globalization and he is probably a manager in Milwaukee. The blogs actually paint a pretty good picture. Here in Australia we are back to the lack of investment, the lashes meted out by our Finance guru in Hong Kong and overall after a good few years we are in the dumpster. It is about leaders and people and unfortunately the good guys and girls get in the lifeboat leaving those with potential to drift under new leaders who themselves at at Rockwell because no one else will hire them. Could you see Nosbusch or Mcdermott survive at a real company? Rockwell is their only hope for riches, unfortunately at our expense. The good news is though, in 10 years they will retire so our children's future is brighter.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

To bigoted American: read your own words for definition of ignorant bigot. Your arguments are a clear indication that "globalization" is a lie. It is about cheap labor.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I am from Asia Pacific Region of Rockwell and I am glad people are surfacing some of the cultural differences. It is very evident that the HQ does not want to see powerful local leaders who are not "Milwaukee". They send us their expats who take three years to learn and then leave and always leave us worse than when they started. We have lost all our local leadership in SEA, and the US leader continues to bang the table about us being no good, when he should look in the mirror and see how the real demon looks. We are fortunate in Asia; plenty of jobs elsewhere and when we are ready we will go.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

To the finance people who are discouraged in Milwaukee. If you haven't figured it out yet, THE CLOCK TOWER IS CLOSING DOWN. They would rather discourage you with demotions and poor reviews to get you to leave on your own, rather than lay off/fire you which would cost in severance and unemployment payments. I would suggest if you are targeted, do the minimum until the day comes, accept the severance and unemployment and move on.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I too and from China and I think the blogger before got it right about Hengsheng. They did not treat us like the Shanghai RA peoples and even for them Chinese mixing with foreigner they are treated of a lower class than RA Asia Pacific peoples. The American have still killed us having pride in us and will always do so until leadership change happens. We thought we made progress under BIG BOSS KC, but now, less than a year later, we are back in pit of beyond-hope.

I am Chinese, proud, and know to win this game.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I am not a bigoted American, I just see things as they are portrayed or acted out. It doesn't matter if I am management or not, but RA is my company and the management here in Milwaukee and people I listen to and look up to. This is an American company which is using its money to better the third world and emerging economies like China and India. I know that seems insensitive and I am grateful for the low cost you bring us.

As for Chinese Technology advances, or do you mean copies, why do you think we manufacture products in Singapore that are of a high value? I know I won't make many friends in Asia, but I do trust the leadership which is all American to help you benefit from our continued investment and generosity. I wish you well.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - To the September 12th blogger,

Your statements of "they will be grateful" and "unwavering support and obedience" smacks of turn-of-the-century colonialism. This is a clear statement that the Chinese are ignorant and need to kowtow to your omnipotent and benevolent wisdom. You must have forgotten the Chinese technological accomplishments of the past and the economic dragon that has now awoken. You need to retake the RA cultural sensitivity training since you apparently did not learn anything.

To my Chinese brethren, beware of the gwailo and his promises. He has already made his own people redundant and dismissed them as too expensive. He will turn on you the moment he finds a cheaper worker and will throw you to the curb with impunity. He is banking on being untouchable by Chinese law.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I am from China. I am shocked to see the previous blog. "I don't think the Hengsheng blogger was linked to the past owner."

Look like this guy does not understand AP/China at all. Also, very his self-esteem - the worst thing is if these words are the senior management team.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

So Americans think they can do better than Chinese. Well, why are we kicking your butt in growth? And why are we leading world with the biggest growth? It's not because of our leader; it's because we give you what you not get yourself.

Maybe RA become a Chinese company; but Chinese would not pay for such low quality of people. Even Milwaukee need China basketball player to win. Observe you and remember.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I wish the exodus of finance people would extend to Asia. It's nice to see the finance guys are not immune to the crap we have had elsewhere for as long as we can remember.


Monday, September 12, 2011

The same Hengsheng story will happen again, this time may not be in China, but in Asia Pacific - the guy who bought Hengsheng, left RA soon after, joined again, but in AP HQ.

This could only happen in RA. I feel no regret to leave, with even less pay now - I'd rather be a poor(er) guy standing on the ground, than a rich man on the Titanic.


Monday, September 12, 2011

I don't think the Hengsheng blogger was linked to the past owner. The Chinese industry knows we are using our funds to make them better and they will grateful. They have a long way to go in all aspects, but we are doing many things by making them better salespeople, better engineers and better citizens. Our China organization is making progress and with their unwavering support and obedience we can make it a great business. They will find us a better friend than competitor, I am sure.


Monday, September 12, 2011

I agree with the Hensheng moments noticed. Do the western guys think we be idiots? We are the ones laughing at the bank. We can trade as many faces and the stupid management doesn't uncover and not even local leading men know. Cheers Rockwell!


Monday, September 12, 2011

There has been a mass exodus of the finance people in Milwaukee. We are losing great talent every week: senior analysts, managers, directors are leaving almost on a weekly basis now, for better positions outside the company. Finance is trying to "simplify" - meaning there are no promotions to higher positions. Myself and other colleagues have been told we have to find other positions within finance, that we have hit the wall in our current positions. I wonder if "simplify" is just another term for "functional excellence". How many years later and we finance folks are no better off.

In the end I think the powers that be will get their wish, as more and more good talent walks out the door. What were once Director positions are now posted as Manager positions, and what were once Manager positions are now Senior Analyst positions. Managers and Directors with 10+ years are choosing to leave the company since there is no career path. I hope the powers that be wake up. We talk of engagement and work life balance. It's hard to be engaged when you have been told there is no career path for you and work/life balance is a joke. As these people are leaving, those that are left are expected to do more. I'm hoping there are headhunters out there reading these forums. There is still some great talent in the Finance Department who just wanted to be appreciated and rewarded for doing a good job.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Yes, I am a Chinese - which can be identified easily by my poor English.

You are right. Actually I am not sure whether the SSB leadership are proud of the decision or not. Maybe they don't even think that is a mistake at all. Maybe they only believe the digit in reports, and even don't realize what had happened. I am not US person and certainly know nothing about RA high levels. But I am a Chinese and know more about China.

If I were the guy who sold Hengsheng to RA, I would wake up laughing everyday. I make a killing to sell a shell company and I can set up a new one and bring my customers and my core engineering and operation teams away with me. The company reputation in the industry? No one in China will believe in that. I would continue to make a fortune and cooperate with my old customer friends. Even after I resign from Hengsheng CEO, my wife could be the Hengsheng's director...

You know,thousands of boss of China are jealous of my story.I also hope RA can acquire more companies in China. Maybe I can sell my present one again to RA... Hoho...

China labor cost is increasing so I understand the necessity of a low-cost engineering centre, but it is not a good idea to buy any integrator in China. It is a better way to hire cheaper engineers in west China to counteract the higher labor cost in east China, and keep the excellent engineers in SSB. However, more and more SSB experienced engineers and project managers are voting with their feet for they cannot get any fair pay increase and cannot see any bright SSB future. No one know where SSB China will go under the lady control who even did not have any real project manager experiences.

Even the Hengsheng employees are not happy because some of them even earn less because they have to pay tax according to China law. You know, many China companies, and even those government public servants are evading taxes. Now they earn almost the same, or less than before just because of FCPA.

Can you believe the Siemens engineering team will based in Xi'an? Or any other ABB, Schneider, Mitsubishi engineering team will transfer to Xi'an? If you want to pay less, you have to accept the reality that the standard cannot meet... Of course, SB in Shanghai cannot meet with the global champion either...

How to lower the cost? I think it is a good idea to cut some SSB manager positions. When planning of a project, you will find many many managers will participated in the meeting. When execution, only one engineer is drawing and coding. Managers are fighting with each others other than Siemens or Mitsubishi.

I heard the stories from my RA friends. I hope the words above are only the complaints from one guy.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Thanks for the info on the ombudsman. Did not fully believe that it would be impartial. We have over 85 people who wish to take a stand. We are organizing and planning a protest.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

The last comment regarding Hengsheng was obviously not written by any one in the know, and obviously not by a US person. The SSB leadership are very proud in turning a backwater engineering company in China into a good low-cost center for a Global champion. Why else would Rockwell have bought such an enterprise?

It will still take time for Hengsheng to be at our standard, but the cost advantage is worth the pain. This is a key SSB strategy and the only way we can compete against our systems integrators whilst maintaining our margin and standards.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011 - Re: XiAn Hengsheng?

The acquisition is absolutely a very big joke in China automation industry. Only the stupid RA high level would had decided to buy it because they know nothing about China. They are trying their best to cover the stupid failure and truth by moving the orders from SSB China to Hengsheng to make the reports look better. Another number game.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - To Richland Center blogger:

Do NOT go to the Ombudsman! The Ombudsman is a front for management attention and is not under any circumstance impartial. If you do request RA Ombudsman intervention, expect only retribution. You will get no response, your name will be added to the list for reduction and your performance reviews will start to get poor. I have seen this result with a co-worker. Regardless of the advertising, the RA Ombudsman is not a place to raise ethical concerns.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

I hear your pain in the Richland Center. You can go to the Ombudsman who is meant to be impartial and so should take an employee advocate view . Unfortunately the hierarchy at RA breeds this type of behavior because it is fear of being unemployed that is the currency of Senior Management, no matter where you work in the world .


Friday, September 2, 2011

RA in Richland Center, WI. needs better management! Especially a plant manager who doesn't pretend to care about the workers. All suggestions are dismissed as if not important, or workers are treated as if they are ignorant. Large group of workers are fed up and ready to protest, quit, or other alternatives. They don't know where to turn for help. Obviously can't turn to management that doesn't care. They need to remember their large salaries are paid because of the workers.

Who can the hourly workers turn to? This used to be a great place to work. Our current plant manager changed it all with dictatorship and fake promises!


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It is with great sadness one continues to read of the people dilemmas at Rockwell Automation. It has been a constant topic for many years and whilst the company makes a lot of noise about being people-friendly, it clearly is not convincing some. We also know that this blog is now widely read at RA, and so one can't say its a small minority. Quite often organizations smell their own fumes and think they are doing things they are not actually doing.

RA needs to take a good look at the things that are easy to measure: retention, losing really good talent that thrives elsewhere, commitment to promises. I think they will find the reality is way below the expectation and until they look in the mirror and accept that they will get no better. Once more they have to change the old guard; they are not being fair in enabling talent that will build a future for them

Just my input as I see us get beaten daily by people-enabled competitors, and by people that used to work for us.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I've just been having a discussion about life at Rockwell Automation. It's interesting that we all feel the company gives us a warm feeling about value and how well they feel that we as individuals are doing. We can all remember though, when the same person dismisses that praise as superfluous and that happens generally when you ask how do we get promoted. Its a very superficial and almost dishonest place to work, yet the leadership genuinely believes they are doing the right thing. How can they get so delusional. I have seen many people give a lifetime and get rewarded with insensitive actions that cost them dearly. I see arrogance in leaders who discuss the demise of ex-superstars in public; don't they understand that they engineered the demise, and the masses see through.

These are just thoughts from a low level employee who doesn't care anymore and who says to Keith, "You are as complicit as the rest."


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The August 29 blogger dangles the "the next few years one of them will be the President" carrot. It is amazing how the bait-and switch-routine is so common place that it continues with all sincerity. There will never, repeat never, be anyone within the ranks who will become president. To be upper management, you must do an extensive tour of duty under the watchful eye of Keith and gang in Milwaukee. This is reflection of not what you know but who you know. In the true spirit of Louis XIV: if you are not in the presence of the king, your accomplishments are for naught.


Monday, August 29, 2011

The previous blogger was not quite right in describing the new Addition to the Asia team. The appointed person will help drive the growth strategy and has done a similar job in Europe. He is needed because it would appear to be stalling at least in China and SEA. As far as sending a message to other leaders in Asia, I see it as a period when any one of them can shine through if they are capable, and so in the next few years one of them will be the President. This is not that unusual after a very successful period and after being run by a very accomplished leader. These are difficult jobs and it is better to be cautious before plunging in and making a mistake, and our Asia business is key to our company future.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Incredible things are happening here in Asia. We were doing ok for past few years and then we hit people turmoil. The new President, who is probably more expensive and now has the power acknowledge that he isn't up to the mark, and so they are drafting in another veteran to help him with strategy. Even more expensive. Wouldn't it have been just easier to promote the guys who had got winning results for the past four years? Are we intent on sending them a message that they are not good enough? Or does Milwaukee think it was them who drove the growth in the Region?

I am afraid that we are heading into one of those down cycles which are so familiar to the long-termers. Maybe the real answer is to give Keith a helper so he can get the strategy piece right. Also, I am sure Schneider or Siemens can provide one. Mind you, with another playmate for the new President of Asia, maybe the Finance Director will reassume her place as the regional bookkeeper and leave the real job to the real management team. Alas the fun continues.


Friday, August 26, 2011

And how does the "half-full" person come to that conclusion? The facts are: Lower growth than competitors, especially in Emerging Market, Share price decline faster than competitors. No real promotion for leaders that have contributed. It's only half-full if your retired in place and don't want to be dynamic, or you someone who has already milked the system. These guys of course need to survive until the stock price recovers and so get ready for more tightening globally. Stay half-full, at least you will not feel the pain of reality.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Maybe I am just a "half-full" person surrounded by a "half-empty" crowd, but I believe RA has turned the corner, and with any help at all from the economy will continue to produce excellent results. Management seems to have us pointed in the right direction.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The last comment on Credibility is really reinforced by a couple of public statements and documents. First of all the filings of second quarter results showed Asia to be about 13% organic. Keith acknowledged that China was in the mid-teens. Keith said he expected that China would revert to 20% - its historic average for past few years.

Ruff on Bloomberg said 30% in line with previous quarters. So who is right and who is just giving the press a non-existent rise. Maybe the same guy that said the company in 2009 completed the takeover of closely held Xi-An Hengsheng Science & Technology Co. The deal boosted access to Chinese utilities companies and expanded Rockwell's pool of engineers with local expertise, Ruff said. Maybe Mr Ruff can tell us what benefit we got fiscally by acquiring Hengsheng. What extra access it gave us.

I guess Bob, we accept you as our President but don't hoodwink either our employees or our shareholders and get to work on real growth strategies. As the previous blogger commented, Siemens and Schneider beat your results and that should be your target.

We need to be doers in Asia - it won't happen by itself


Friday, July 29, 2011

I don't think the analysts put much credibility in what they hear from RA leadership They are thankful for the growth but are stymied by the fact that the real trend is counter to the markets report by Emerson and Siemens The stock is falling at the same rate as others, totally discounting the bullish notion of Keith.

Now here are the real shockers: Siemens and Schneider beat RA performance. However in RA's case, the star was Europe, which is not good; China rate slowed again; India did well, but it's small and the stuff on the call: Re OEM - was all to do with machinery volumes in EMEA. Remember also RA reports in Dollars and so significant gains were had here. And Keith, what will you do with all the cash?Pension or buyback? That's real growth talk. Ugh!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

I agree, the S&P is flat over the last 10 days but RA is down 10% even after a good quarter. Does the market finally see through the smoke & mirrors? You can't buy growth; it has to come from within. They seem to buy just enough business to show growth but can't grow the CORE business.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

3Q results are so strong, but stock price is going down so fast! Any explanations?


Thursday, July 28, 2011 - In The News: BOSTON, July 28 (Reuters)

Rockwell Automation Inc said on Thursday profit rose 50 percent, topping analysts' expectations, on solid demand for its systems to help factories run more smoothly, and it raised its 2011 earnings forecast.

It sounded a starkly different tone on the state of the economy from that offered by rival Emerson Electric Co, which warned a day earlier that U.S. and European economies had entered a soft patch in the past two months, spooking investors and sending industrial shares down.

Rockwell now expects to record fiscal 2011 earnings per share of $4.55 to $4.65, which it said would represent growth of about 50 percent from 2010. In April it had forecast earnings of $4.40 per share to $4.60 per share, and Wall Street expects $4.58.

"We have capitalized on the ongoing economic recovery," said Chief Executive Keith Nosbusch, in a statement.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

RIFs are a mechanism at RA to align the economics of the company. They normally target what Ted and Keith see as fat in the organization. Of course, there is not much of that left and the only real target now is the cost-of-sales. We can't cut margin anymore to the channel who are our only successful salesforce and so we now hack at death by a thousand cuts, by starvation of investment.

When you see ALL competitors acquiring and growing, it makes you feel sick at the opportunity we have missed and will never ever the best in the world again. It is purely a matter of when. Pity the industry doesn't do mercy-killing; Rockwell would be a candidate.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's time somebody displayed some courage and leadership and had a close look at what's going on within the finance function in Asia Pacific. The finance director demands absolute submission and has created an environment of mistrust and zero collaboration within her team and the wider Rockwell community. The culture is one of inconsistency and "witch" hunting. This author cannot recall a higher turnover in any function in Asia pacific - has anyone asked the question? All that's in doubt is whether she is running the region-as she did with previous AP president. Maybe it's time the region spat out this jaded, domineering expat?


Sunday, July 10, 2011

I have been at RA for over 22 years and have never been exposed to any other company. Maybe I am just ignorant, but I could not see myself working for any other company. RA has always been fair to me and I feel a sense of loyalty working here.

That's exactly how I felt after over 18 years - then came the RIF. Stay smug - you'll be happier in the mean time.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

I went to a presentation in Asia last week where the speaker was the former Asia President of Rockwell who was featured on this blog many times in December. The presentation about GE bringing value to Industry was well given and articulated in a good way. The reason for stating it in this blog is that I got to have a long chat with the presenter who actually thinks Rockwell as a partner not a competitor and it makes you wonder why these two great icons could not join together as it is clear RA is not big enough to duel with Siemens ABB or Mitsi and in Process Automation GE would need to acquire. I read this blog many times and would say that here is an example of a person growing beyond Rockwell and so all their employees should know they have their own choices and the company doesn't have to be bad to leave. The person has to want to grow.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

If it was your money, would you continue to manufacture products for Latin America in Canada? If you were a Brazil customer, would you like to buy overpriced products from Canada? So thats you answer. The same will happen (does happen) in China and probably will happen in India.

As Schneider just bought China leader Harvest Power, RA falls even further down the survival list in a key growth area such as MV drive technology. At least making a move to low-cost countries will help us get better economics on aging technology products.


Friday, July 8, 2011

So, there is news about new plant in Brazil and them building MV Drives? What could that mean for plant in Cambridge, Ontario? Anything official yet?


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I am glad we have been saved by an Ex-GE guy who has dragged us out of the stone age in five years. I don't know what blog he meant to adress, but its not the RA one. In five years, our decline has accelerated; we still have the same integrated architecture, made little progress in the real process world, wasted millions on software. We employ less and, to add insult to injury, our franchise has lost value with the distributors, and our customer service and quality have been appalling. So which part did he/she modernize and bring up to date? And what qualifies him to have a voice being ex-GE? They don't have a track record in Automation, and so perhaps he sees RA going the same way. As for all the new people with ideas: Look at the rate of keeping these folks - pretty slim.

By the way, the reason us sad people blog on this site is that it's the only way to voice an opinion in a free world and we do know that Senior leadership monitors and circulates the comments. Another gem I found out at a bar with one of our great leaders.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - to the GE castoff:

Your concept of product innovation is ironic since the current RA strategy is based on a not-nvented -here position. Anything "new" in the past five years has been through acquisitions. The sale of Reliance now makes all the more sense since it is the GE-way to carve up a company for short term profit and lack of long term strategy. As far as internal innovation is concerned, how can there be any claims when FactoryTalk still cannot meet industry standards for reliability. You may be new, but your ideas are questionable at best. They appear more like turn-of-the-century mismanagement.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

It is so ironic that current RA employees wring their hands and whine about small difficulties in their personal work areas. As a former GE member who joined Rockwell in 2005, I have witnessed and contributed to the massive overhaul and upgrade that pulled the former Allen Bradley/Reliance organization into the 21st century. The former lack of product innovation has been turned around, and the chase-your-tail management model has been streamlined and focused upon strategic opportunities. The infusion of new people with new ideas and high expectations has paid dividends. Be proud to be on a winning team.


Monday, July 4, 2011

I agree with the last poster (Wed. June 29). Actually, we have definitely lost a lot of great talent and been left with the guys that can't move or them that have it so sweet won't move. I am fortunate that I am in the club for now and so I get paid well, take most Friday afternoons off, and when the going gets really tough I know exactly what strings to pull to remain safe, or what drinks to buy. I admit I am not the most conscientious person, nor can I tell you what results I have brought. I know my world will end one day, but until then I will continue to milk the Wisconsin herd. Happy 4 July!


Monday, July 4, 2011

I quit Rockwell in 2005 due to it's underwhelming effort to promote the product of the company I was working for when Rockwell "assimilated" us. They bought the company (Entek/IRD) solely for the software (Odyssey) and have let the predictive maintenance industry die on the vine. The 2500 is a joke. It is good for data collection and not much else. Emerson (CSI) has eaten Rockwell's lunch in the industry.

The problem I saw with Rockwell was it's desire to live in the short term. I suppose that is what happens when a company is ran by bean counters instead of managers. Many of the people with experience were let go, and some (such as help-line) were replaced with foreign accented young, inexperienced folk who no one can understand and who have no experience whatsoever in the industry. Their main answer was check the knowledge-base. That is getting better, but in no way can replace the "good" feeling a customer gets when interacting with real folk with personality.

I now work for myself, doing what I was doing with IRD, then Entek, and then Rockwell. I still see a lot of customers in the region. Most will laugh when Rockwell is mentioned and shake their head. Most comments are about "arrogant *****" and overpriced. Allen Bradley still has a good name. Reliance Electric (what genius decided to sell that business off?)" had a good name.

Living in the moment and not the future has killed Rockwell, and I don't think they will ever be what they could have been.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why do the insiders here always assume that the only way to leave RA is if you are no good and Rifd. Statistically more people chose to leave; statistically most people leave for lack of opportunity and relationship with the boss. Take a look at RA retention figures and they are worrisome. New people don't stay, and now we have a Global deluge of really good talent leaving especially out of the sales and commercial organizations in all geographies. A lot of these people take with them their key relationships and in-depth knowledge of RA vulnerability. Most will succeed and will never look back.

In the past few years I have observed, this is the sickening thought - that the commercial leadership at the top of my company has remained static. No new ideas, no new blood, no challenge. And we tolerate it. Maybe we that stay are just too afraid to make the jump and so we reap what we sow.


Monday, June 27, 2011

I love the last point where the justification for marketing is that we have done advertising for a 100 years. A real challenge at RA is we don't know the difference between marketing and adverts, and we don't do quality marketing so we advertise round pegs to go in square holes. Siemens and ABB have targeted advertising as a result of good marketing and segmentation, and that's why they are the world leaders.


Monday, June 27, 2011 - To: "You are correct in noting the noise from the outside."

Quick clarification: I'm not clear on what 'prideful ignorance' means, but my intent was not to be dismissive. Look, everyone knows that there will always be positive and negative things about ANY company at ANY given time.

As far as RA not being built on marketing, I beg to differ. RA (and AB prior) has and always will have a marketing group. I can show you advertisements that are 100+ years old. It's funny, because some people criticize RA for not marketing enough compared to Siemens. The point is there will always be critics within our organization who have a better way of doing things. I respect the good suggestions and smart co-workers that I am surrounded by. Every week, I interface with RA people I am proud to be associated with. Heck, you might even be one of them. However, I am still a huge believer in the famous H.L. Mencken quote: "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."


Monday, June 27, 2011

Wow, what an announcement out of RA last week: New VP of HR for A & S. It shows how you can go from doing a poor job in Europe to then getting such a position after not even doing 6 months in Asia. Is it that RA now find it impossible to recruit from the outside - the Asia job has now been open over a year.

Clearly there is something wrong with this picture. Also, why do they promote someone with such a poor track record (according to my leaders in RA Milwaukee) to a VP, while many loyal, serving and capable Sales Managers get passed-over for promotions. Instead, we put in people ready to retire who can bring no continuity. What a strange misguided company this has become. Is Keith still the CEO? Or, has he too been functionalized?


Friday, June 24, 2011 - To "What I find interesting":

You are correct in noting the noise from the outside. However, not all the passionate criticism is external. There is internal dissatisfaction that you are blissfully ignoring. I would think that a 22 year veteran would give the criticism consideration prior to dismissing it as whining.

Trumpeting about being the best without substantial infrastructure is pure marketing. RA was not built on marketing. There is a changing of the times, as well as the changing of the guard, that needs to be carefully considered if RA is to move forward. These blogs should be considered as a means of self examination and potential correction. Outright dismissal displays prideful ignorance.


Friday, June 24, 2011

All is not quiet on the Rockwell Asia front. Looks like China is now feeling the pinch and so we will announce a new organization structure next week in Suzhou. It's likely that we will upset many employees and further put pressure on this already overworked organization. We will also announce new SSB leader and, as thought, US guy just liked the rest - short-term assignment, little Asia experience except for a very short assignment. Oh well, I'll just keep my head down and draw the checks. Seen it all before.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

What I find interesting is that some of the people who were RIF'd or fired still have a need to hang out on this Blog and tell the rest of us content employees how blind we are for not leaving RA. Really?

As for me, I guess I am naive, since I am satisfied working for what I believe is a fantastic company. Of course, what do I know? I have been at RA for over 22 years and have never been exposed to any other company. Maybe I am just ignorant, but I could not see myself working for any other company. RA has always been fair to me and I feel a sense of loyalty working here.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Any company is not perfect, and it wont suit all employees all the time. Rockwell Automation can only be accused of being schizophrenic in not really being able to show how it will deliver on its vision. Employees need to work out if they want to work in that environment, bearing in mind that RA has not got the pressure on results or execution that is present at many of its competitors.

I do think that RA will be forced to decide if its a product company versus a systems integrator (not solutions) company. It should be a product company but I fear it has neither the technical excellence or the smarts to operate as a world class technology provider. Its platforms are old, expensive and it has alienated the key integrators that made it successful by competing with them.

I also believe it is losing its key anchor - and that is the loyalty of limited distribution. Simply, the distributors cannot make enough money with the franchise and Rockwell cannot offer more margin because its sales cost is already huge and its margin declining.

So, if you have late career, stay put and hope the demise takes longer than time to retirement (what RA leadership is doing ). If you have career potential, my advice would be consider if you want to play on a winning team or a team always struggling to prevent relegation to a lower status.

I have significant, work, personal and financial interests in Rockwell and that is why I share my opinion. It is purely meant to give an honest viewpoint of who will make the grade in manufacturing solutions. By the way my top 5 would be: Siemens, Emerson, ABB, GE and Schneider, and not necessarily in that order. Some of us remember when RA was bigger than all of them.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Alas, this disquiet from employees at RA. We are a great company, Sales are good, morale is high, stock keeps going up and life is good. Yes I am one of believers - they treat me well, I get good pay, options for stock, great time mixing with the very open senior leadership. I am in Milwaukee where I want to be and the pressure is almost non-existent. Yes we shout a lot of demands but no one gets fired; there are RIFs but they are easy to avoid if you know how to navigate the organization. So, all in all, Rockwell is a good place to be.


Friday, June 17, 2011

You are correct - I am Ex-Rockwell and I keep in touch with many colleagues . I don't meet many people who would go back; I do meet a lot of people that miss their colleagues. I also am in awe of some of the positions that ex-Rockwell people win and hold down; they really do progress when they see the light.

A comment that I got from a leading recruiter was: "We don't normally look at Rockwell people for senior positions because all the life and creativity has been sucked out of them."

The last time I looked the world is still free. You can work for whoever you chose and there are more choices than the narrow minded people in leadership in Milwaukee and Cleveland.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Our team/department got a global Survey from Architecture & Software and a separate survey from Marketing in September 2010. It was about our thoughts on the business unit and how to improve it. We got no feedback and results were not published on the global meeting. December 2010 they decide to close down our department and make us all redundant.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

People who have left miss working at Rockwell? Bull.

I was RIF'd after nearly 20 years along with several hundred others in the same month. The one thing we agree on most is that it was the best thing that could have happened to us. I didn't realize just how miserable I was until I was given this freedom. Unfortunately, many of my friends are stuck with the golden handcuffs today: they would love to leave but have so many years with the company that they would lose too much in the process.

I don't miss the expectation that I'll be available 24x7 for conference calls with whoever in wherever country they've decided to focus on this week. I don't miss being stripped of benefits and told to be glad for what I've got. I don't miss doing the work of three people, then four, then five, and then leaving involuntarily so that someone else can do the work of six.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

o*pin*ion - [uh-pin-yuhn] - noun

  1. A belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
  2. A personal view, attitude, or appraisal.
Don't see where it says "3. a belief provided by someone with GLOBAL experience and perspective."

Please focus on the intent of this forum without flaming someone for sharing their perspective.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - To the 20-year sales engineer:

I do not want to be disrespectful, but as a person of your tenure do you think RA actually cares about you? It's the inexperienced young guns they put into Boston and one day your face won't fit and no one will value all your years. I guess also you have no international experience, so you have no clue how over 50% of your business is drives. You probably don't understand how India or China works. I guess my real point is - don't offer an opinion about a global company when you really haven't the experience or gravitas to make that opinion credible.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I am one of those who was caught in a RIF, almost 5 years ago. Honestly, it was the best thing for me. I am working at a comparable wage, enjoying what I do and have the support of management in decisions I make. That could not be said for my time at RA. PM work had me holding most of the responsibility but no real control over anyone except my direct reports. Now I have control and will take my lumps if something goes wrong, but I do have the opportunity to have success.

Equipment supply has been a problem with what I specify from RA. MCCs taking 3 months for a simple dual CB unit is par for the course. IT seems that many positions have been replaced with less paid and less qualified staff making the balance sheet look good but negatively impacting the customer such as me. Second and third suppliers are being looked at by my end users. It may take several more years, but I believe that RA may have its market share head down. I know that Siemens is doing some significant marketing to me and many other customers and they will probably have more opportunities to show the US market what they can do. RAs customers are ripe for a change.


Friday, June 3, 2011

I am flattered that you feel I am a pay-grade above you; however, I am a Sales Engineer with 20 years experience with Rockwell and the Rockwell distribution channel. Your vernacular is quite impressive as well and I greatly respect a well written and sound point of view.

Fact is I, in some aspects, understand and even agree with your perspective. But I guess I just take a less cynical approach. I enjoy what I do, I am firmly employed in challenging economic times, and I recognize that, despite frustrations, Rockwell IS a great place to work. Maybe I am fortunate to have had strong and supportive leadership within my district; maybe others have not had this support.

Changes in pay are frustrating. Relocation of manufacturing to Monterrey was short-sighted and purely financial driven; it is creating more harm than good. "Inclusion" (aside from being discriminatory) is placing under-qualified and inexperienced people in leadership positions. From what I have heard, the Boston district just hired two 28 year olds (aka 5 years experience) for sales management positions. SAP has been a bear and just as it does with any company who overhauls the way they do business; it will likely payoff in the long run.

But if we consider people who have left (voluntarily or part of RIF) and ended up at a competitor, most of them miss working for Rockwell. I have been hearing people on this blog rant about the demise of Rockwell for years. Look back through the posts; even Jim Pinto has (on several occasions) underestimated the organization.

Personally I am having a great year and my paycheck is reflecting this fact. In all seriousness, would you rather work for someone else? If so who would this be? There are many people who would jump at the chance to work for Rockwell. You refer to Rockwell as "...this company..." - which doesn't demonstrate any appreciation for who cuts your check every two weeks.

Ethics: Have you ever done a google search on several of our major competitors and tacked on the work "bribery" lately? Please do yourself a favor and give it a shot. Then do the same thing with "Rockwell". What did you find? And do you feel these results are in any way indicative of ethical vs unethical?

Do you possess the ability to articulate any positive perspective on Rockwell? I am anxious to hear your positive response.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Interesting dynamics that you see - general comments of serious morale and leadership issues at Rockwell, yet they increase the dividend by 21% . This is also at a time when any sane company attached to manufacturing would see that a softening or even a dip is on the horizon.

This is how I read this: The leadership has decided that neither employees, nor customers are that important to please. After all, RA has underwhelmed customers for years and kept their share and this blog is testament they don't care about employees, and so the effort is to use their cash to please the institutional shareholders who would revolt if they voted purely on outlook and balance sheet.

This is a short term gain and neither RA or it's staff will emerge victorious. Better to reduce the dividend and invest in what is really important to weather a downturn and that is innovation and people. It doesn't surprise anyone who is knowledgeable about RA to know they just are not that smart.


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