Emerson Forms Cold Chain Organization

Sept. 25, 2017
The organization will exist to support all types of temperature-sensitive and asset optimization solutions wherever commercial goods are moved, stored or sold.

St. Louis, September 25, 2017 — Following its acquisitions in cargo monitoring and building on its years of experience in food retail and foodservice, Emerson today announced a new cold chain organization focused on supporting all types of temperature-sensitive and asset optimization solutions wherever commercial goods are moved, stored or sold. Emerson’s cold chain organization will offer customers a total-channel approach to protect foods and other critical cargo every step along the cold chain — from grower and processor, to distributor and retailer.

As the cold chain has moved to the forefront in the fight to preserve food safety and freshness, Emerson has expanded its offering and taken a leading role in order to help its customers navigate these challenges. The stakes are high; $990 billion is lost in food waste globally each year and keeping food fresh is a $32 billion global investment in energy. Energy management and maintenance intensity are major concerns of operators from the standpoint of profitability as well as their carbon footprint. According to the Alexandria Engineering Journal, energy consumption in cold chains globally is only predicted to rise due to increasing population, with 40% of all foods requiring refrigeration and 15% of world fossil fuel energy used in food transport refrigeration.

“There are big challenges to solve with the amount of food wasted, revenues lost and energy consumed globally, and this is why we are expanding our role in safeguarding the cold chain,” said John Rhodes, newly named group president of cold chain for Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions. “Organizing our expertise and resources to focus on the cold chain and deliver unique solutions that help improve food quality, reduce energy use and optimize business effectiveness, will allow us to bring more value to our customers while making a positive impact on the environment.”

The new cold chain organization is led by a team of long-time Emerson executives, including Rhodes, who previously managed Emerson’s refrigeration business. Within the cold chain organization, there are now four market-focused teams to solve challenges and develop industry-specific offerings for food retail, foodservice, transportation and aftermarket distribution customers. These teams are led by Ed McKiernan in his new position of president of the cold chain business.

To accelerate development of new cold chain technologies and services, group president Mark Dunson, leads the company’s global Electronics & Solutions business. “The digital solutions and IoT approach Emerson brings to the industry are the next wave of tools that our customers can utilize to further enhance their brands, advance their management of food quality and waste, and boost their optimization of critical infrastructure,” Dunson said. “Our focus on connected controls and monitoring services, twenty-plus years of data-driven insights and recent investments in the cargo space make us an even stronger partner for customers looking to holistically manage and optimize their buildings, equipment and perishable inventory.”

Contractor Relevance

Contracting Business had two questions, which were answered by Bob Labbett, VP communications & channel marketing - ‎Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions:

Will this affect the role of the servicing/installing contractor (who can play a vital consultative role) in any way?
Refrigeration contractors don’t work on components – they work on systems. Our organization was component-driven in past and when the contractor needed support, they had to go to one or more different people. Now they can turn to one person in this single organization. We have more at stake in making sure we are responsive to our customers’ needs and help support their business and we can respond more broadly to their needs with more than the products we’re known for such as compressors, controls, etc.

Also, system architecture is changing dramatically – this new organization equips us better to understand shifts in technology and be able to offer electronics, compressors, etc. as part of an entire solution which brings more value to the contractor and their customer. This broader organization will be better equipped to understand the contractor's business and solve the issues they face. For Emerson…we gain better insight into needs of the customer, and in return can give more holistic support and response.

Are there areas in which Emerson sees that there will be a need to loop the contractor in to relevant discussion and decisions?
Contractors are a very important part of our business and we are going to continue to engage and find ways to make it easier for them to work with Emerson. We’ll continue to need the contractor to help us better understand how we can help the end–user.

For more information, visit Emerson.com/ColdChain.