CEDA member profile: Siemens



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Jürgen Schneider, Regional General Manager, Siemens

What does Siemens do?

We're a global technology company with solutions in the areas of energy, health care, industry and infrastructure and cities. In a nutshell, our technology helps businesses become more economically sustainable and more environmentally sustainable. We've been operating for 165 years, have businesses in 190 countries, and have been in Australia for 140 years working on some of the most iconic and exciting projects and helping thousands of Australian companies.

What are Siemens top priorities for the year?

We balance our priorities between customers, employees and shareholders to ensure we have a sustainable approach to business. Being part of a company with such a great heritage means that we also have a great responsibility to ensure we have good business for another 165 years and more.

Put simply, our priorities fall into four key areas: people, brand, growth and productivity.

Having an engaged, capable and safe workforce is critical to our business success and important to being an employer of choice. When it comes to brand, our challenge isn't about recognition, it's more about being known for what we do so that customers look to Siemens to help them create sustainable business through technology. For instance, a lot of people know the Siemens brand but they may not know that we've been number one of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for five years' running.

We also focus on sustainable growth by doing things like building deeper and stronger relationships with key customers and stakeholders. We have to be excellent in everything we do and make sure we have programs in place to continually improve our efficiencies and effectiveness.

A lot of my focus is on really putting robust and strategic process around the way we manage and build customer relationships. This comes down to having a deep understanding of our customers' businesses and their challenges. We also have to understand the bigger picture challenges for Australia and New Zealand so we can add value to our customers. We can then look to become trusted technology advisers - ultimately helping our customers and at the same time growing opportunities for Siemens.

How does CEDA assist Siemens achieve its agenda?

We've had a close and ongoing relationship with CEDA for over a decade. Some of the work CEDA has done in understanding the most significant challenges for Australian businesses has really helped form our own agenda - especially in areas where Siemens expertise is closely aligned. Some of these include major reform around health, productivity, energy, water, and transportation. In fact we've done our own research into these areas and the role of technology in helping address these common challenges to create a sustainable Australia.

Throughout your experience with CEDA what have you enjoyed the most?

What I really enjoy about being part of CEDA is that I get to hear first-hand from some of the best talents Australia has to offer. The calibre of speakers is second to none and CEDA's thought leading and provoking topics help set the agenda for Australia. The events provide great opportunities to build collaborative and trusting relationships.

What has been your favourite CEDA event?

I've been to many CEDA events. What I like about them the most is that there hasn't been a single event over many years where I haven't walked away with a contact that I've called upon or has called upon me at some later stage. But I guess these opportunities are really what you make of them. I'd encourage everyone to speak to someone they don't know at a CEDA event. You'd be amazed at the opportunities to collaborate - something that Australian business could be doing more of to ensure our competitiveness on a global stage.

What avenues do you use to engage with CEDA?

We attend events and bring customers. We sometimes provide interesting speakers in areas where we can deliver true thought leadership such as with the CEDA energy series, productivity series or water series. In fact, our CEO, Jeff Connolly, will be speaking in May (2013) on the Future of Energy.

Being an avid tweeter I enjoy being updated with the CEDA Tweets.

In addition to that I'm actually a CEDA-nominated Trustee for Siemens, which means I'm part of a privileged group of people who provide input into CEDA's agenda and program.