Automation and Controls Specialist

Date: Nov 21, 2023

Location: Tulsa, OK, US, 74146-6503

Company: Sonepar

Your next career opportunity

At Irby, a leader in electrical and utility distribution, successful associates drive and promote our mindset of Adapt, Dare and Learn. Do you enjoy a good challenge?  Great, because we value bold thinkers who are excited to take on challenging tasks.  We strive to be the best and we share our success with our associates, customers, suppliers and shareholders.  We are always looking to expand our teams to continue to serve our customers and to grow our business.  Ready to join us?  Find what opportunities are waiting for you at Irby!


Job Summary

The Automation & Controls Specialist is responsible for driving the business strategy to accelerate growth in Automation related businesses including programmable controllers, I/O, safety, industrial computers, system network design, design software, operations software, and plant maintenance software. This position will provide technical, marketing, and commercial leadership for sales growth, be responsible for supporting the commercial plan for this business segment and take a lead role in developing a competency plan to ensure that support functions (inside/outside sales) are adequately prepared to maximize share gain for this business in the assigned territory.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • The Automation Specialist must be able to articulate the value of Schneider Electric’s portfolio of Automation products and services and utilize outcome-based selling strategies at all customer levels.
  • Serve as the key driver and business leader of their portfolio offerings.
  • Responsible for annual planning, forecasting, and driving the business strategy to accelerate business growth and sales performance in the assigned geography.
  • Lead the commercial introduction of new products and services including:
    • Set business goals,
    • Identify customer targets,
    • Drive marketing efforts, and
    • Coordinating sales engagement
  • Provide technical, application, and industry training to distributor account managers for core products.
  • Consult and advise customers on proposals and pricing strategies.
  • Guide customers on the proper installation and configuration of core products, modernizations, and conversion to upgraded technology.
  • Collaborate with Irby and Schneider Electric Automation sales, specialists, and domain experts to sell core products.
  • Provide pre-sale and post-sale support.
  • Understand market trends, business drivers, KPIs, and competing forces and translate them into customer solutions.
  • Build and maintain trusted customer relationships, while understanding the different personas within the customer (e.g., buyer vs influencer) as well as their business drivers.
  • Develop, create, and implement account and territory plans, campaigns, and commercial programs for new and existing business.
  • Act as a trusted partner to the aligned Schneider Electric (Square D) Automation Business Units (BUs), providing local market intelligence and constructive customer feedback.
  • Interface with Schneider Electric’s Business Leaders and Technical Consultants to facilitate the resolution of quality and delivery issues when necessary and provide feedback to the appropriate Schneider Electric Specialist team relative to product or service gaps, as well as opportunities.
  • Develop marketing and sales collateral on their products, services, and solutions relevant to their market for internal, partner, and customer use.
  • Serve as a domain expert for this portfolio of products and services, maintaining and building technical and sales competency thru both formal and informal training, as well as regular product updates and team meetings.
  • Lead and support customer-facing technical events.
  • Respond in a timely manner to customer and sales requests, including outside of normal business hours.
  • Travel as required within assigned geography including overnight, and to training and other events nationally for up to two weeks annually.
  • Acknowledge and maintain compliance with applicable Sonepar, Irby, and Schneider Electric Focused Vendor policies.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Required relocation to Tulsa, OK.
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering or equivalent combination skills, experience, or education.
  • 5 years' experience with Schneider Electric (Square D) Automation’s products and applications or equivalent experience with competitive products and solutions. (For Senior level; 1.5 to 5 years for Level II; 1 year for Level I)
  • Ability to create professional proposals from customer specifications, follow process and approval procedures.
  • Good technical writing, presentation, and communications skills with the ability to present topics to groups of customers and internal peers in English. Ability to converse in additional languages, especially Spanish, would be very desirable.
  • Ability to determine data trends and utilize the information in the decision-making process.
  • Demonstrates professional selling skills, e.g., prospecting, negotiation techniques, preparing for professional meetings, handling customer objections, gaining committed customer relationships.
  • Ability to identify and understand market trends and conditions, competitive forces, sales opportunities, and growth through strategic business planning.
  • Willing to continuously learn and improve technical competency.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Outcome-based sales experience with an understanding of the important business drivers (key factors and activities that drive the operational and financial results) for industrial customers.
  • Deep technical knowledge of programmable controllers, I/O, safety, industrial computers, system network design, design software, operations software, and plant maintenance software and able to articulate core product capabilities to customers in a way that is relevant to customer's industry and applications.


Why work for Irby?

At Irby, we are unique and embrace the Power of Difference*.  Associates who work for us can grow and become active in different areas of the business such as leadership, operations, HR, outside sales and many more.  One can expect to earn a wage that is competitive and provides a reliable/steady paycheck.  Come join the Irby Family and learn what we are all about! 


Our Competitive Benefits? 

401K Plan, Competitive Medical Plans (medical, dental, and vision), Paid Vacation, Paid Sick, Paid Personal, Paid Holidays, Flexible Spending Accounts (Health and Dependent Care), Employee Assistance Program, Tuition Reimbursement, Employee Discounts, Long-term and Short-term Disability, Life Insurance and a Definitive Career Path.


About Irby

Irby was a pioneer in the early days of the electrical business, founded in 1926, we continue to be an industry leader in philanthropic involvement and community activity. We are one of the ten largest electrical distribution companies in the United States, with over $1 Billion in annual sales and over 1000 employees across more than 60 branches in 27 states.  Irby has experienced incredible growth over the past 5 years. As part of the Sonepar family of operating companies, we unite with a group of the finest locally managed electrical and industrial distributors throughout the United States.  Sonepar is the world leader in electrical distribution.


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Equal Employment Opportunity Statement 
Sonepar is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer encouraging diversity in the workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship status, ancestry, sex, age, physical or mental disability unrelated to ability, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, transgender, sex stereotyping, order of protection status, protected veteran or military status, or an unfavorable discharge from military service, and other categories protected by federal, state or local law. 
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