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Digital tools improve collaboration, speed and productivity

Dave Perkon

Emerson is transforming how its customers work through the personalized digital experience called MyEmerson. "Expectations are changing, and digital is enabling those expectations,” said Brad Budde, vice president of digital customer experience with Emerson’s Automation Solutions business, during Emerson Global Users Exchange in Nashville, Tennessee. “U.S. households are spending more than six hours a day with digital media, and the same kind of trend is happening in e-commerce. The consumer expects speed and a wide range of options and choices, and they don't have time to run errands. Those expectations, personally at home, are being brought to work."

Speed and preferences to use a self-service, personalized tool to complete tasks and conduct business are important, especially to engineers, said Budde. Emerson identified three key personas getting value out of these digital capabilities. These include engineers working with CAD drawing downloads and engineering tools who are digitalizing to size and select products; procurement managers and departments looking for digitalization to create operational efficiencies; and plant technicians digitalizing the way they do work to be more informed when they go on-site and use mobile tools, digital processes and workflows to execute their work.

"Improved collaboration, speed and productivity are realized by moving historically off-line work processes online using digital tools." Emerson's Brad Budde announces MyEmerson as a personalized online user experience at Emerson Global Users Exchange in Nashville, Tennessee.

"Improved collaboration, speed and productivity are realized by moving historically off-line work processes online using digital tools," said Budde. "In reaction to that, Emerson has announced MyEmerson as a personalized online user experience. We have had this capability for a few months now and are rolling it out publicly.” It currently has more than 7,000 active users.

MyEmerson has been a seamless experience for customers, and has several key capabilities. It includes MyWorkspace, where engineers can size and configure products, create drawings and collaborate. The MyTransactions component allows information to then be shared with the procurement department for price, quotes, planning and order history. The resulting information is moved to MyAssets to view asset records, access product documents, maintain assets and schedule service. MySoftware provides "front-door" access to download and manage licensed software. MyTraining lists training records and relevant training courses. And, finally, MyPreferences lets the user tailor the experience.

"MyEmerson provides a customer a single place to do work," said Budde. "For example, the digital experience may include specific content for a flow asset based on its serial number. However, it's more than just a singular personal experience. It's also important to collaborate with your peers."

An example of how that would work may start with the installation of a wireless pressure gauge for pump-seal monitoring. "Once the ROI is proven, the reliability supervisor may decide to scale it across the enterprise," said Budde. "Using the digital experience, supervisors can look at MyAssets to understand how the original solution was implemented. That information can seamlessly be used in the MyWorkspace environment, where they can collaborate with engineers and change any specification needed to localize it as needed. They can then pass the information on to the procurement manager, who can help plan delivery in MyTransactions based on lead times, delivery dates and order histories. The procurement manager then coordinates and communicates with the plant technician to ensure successful delivery. The technician can then install the device and the operations team updates the workflows and applies analytics to realize the ROI at scale. This whole loop brings together operations and all the other people who work together using these digital tools in the MyEmerson collaboration environment, meeting the digital expectations in the workspace."

MyEmerson is significantly faster than the traditional off-line methods of the past, said Budde. "For example, compared to the off-line method of creating CAD drawings based on the information found in catalogs, the new digital capabilities of simply downloading a drawing and importing it into the CAD system is 93% faster, saving several hours," said Budde. "Digital engineering tools show a similar time savings. Building the part configuration using a visual configurator is very fast. Digital procurement tools are fast, as well. Instead of passing several emails to get all the information and quotes needed to get a part ordered, it can be done immediately online."

The digital experience can help plant technicians, too. "In the old way, the technician would find the serial number and go to the manufacturer to try to get the history of the device," said Budde. "In the new way, the technician can look up the serial number in MyEmerson and receive the content immediately."

The field-service tools already deployed have helped technicians get the right information, the right processes and the right training in advance of executing that service, continued Budde. "What we found is, in the old way, our first-time fix rate was 75%,” he said. "With the new digital tools in MyEmerson, the first-time fix rate went up to 85%. We are better executing service using digital tools."