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    Schneider Electric South Africa - Leadership Team

    Ernie Smith - VP Partner Business Southern Africa

    Areas of Expertise

    • Business improvementand growth
    • Strategy development and alignment with customer needs and market trends
    • Optimising industrial / supply chain operations and business processes
    • Product and solution offer creation
    • Developing people skills/ competencies and strong teams

    As the business leader for Partner business including Eco & Buildings, Ernie has senior management responsibility for developing and executing the business units’ strategies. This entails increasing the geographic presence and coverage of the business units’ solutions in the southern Africa region, as well as developing the sales channels, whilst maximising the value proposition to customers in the targeted end-user segments. Ernie underpins this responsibility with a strong focus on entrenching a customer centric culture in the organisation as a basis for competitive advantage.

    Ernie’s role is focused, in particular, on creating demand for the low voltage offering, whilst supporting panel builders, original equipment manufacturers, and engineering procurement and construction channel partners. His Eco & Buildings focus is mainly on growing energy management-, network connectivity-, lighting/ room control-, and building automation products and solutions through system integrator channel partners.

    Ernie started his career at Schneider Electric in 2007 as the Director of its supply chain, responsible for manufacturing, logistics and purchasing. During his three years in this role, he led the transformation of the supply chain operations to become a basis for sustainable competitive advantage. From 2011 to 2012, Ernie was based at Schneider Electric’s head office in France and held the position of Vice President for Power Control and Automation Manufacturing, looking after 10 global manufacturing entities.

    He returned to South Africa in 2013 to establish a Solutions and Services Execution organisation for Southern Africa, which is a collective footprint of capabilities across all business units to execute customer projects and services, before being appointed in his current business role. Prior to joining Schneider, Ernie held various senior management positions in multinational organisations. Ernie holds a Bachelors Degree in Industrial Engineering from the Durban University of Technology and completed a Management Development Programme through Harvard Business School.

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