NEWS

Recent News

  • Congratulations to these CSIA member companies who were recently featured in industry trade publications. Drive traffic to your website and, ultimately, business to your company when you participate in CSIA’s media relations program. Media opportunities are posted in the Connected Community’s Open Forum as they become available. Contact Kristin McGuine for more information. Concept Systems Preparing for growth in U.S. manufacturing Automation World

  • For system integrators or other companies falling within the umbrella of the Internet of Things (lOT), the “engineering gap” represents the most troubling of industry trends. For years, much attention has been given to the lack of qualified STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workers entering the American workforce. It has been estimated that the United States graduates about 70,000 engineers annually , a significant drop-off from the 600,000 or 350,000 that China and India add, respectively, to their workforces each year. If China graduates eight times as many engineers as the United States, how will STEM-dependent companies such as those in the fields of automation and system integration be able to compete with their foreign competitors? This decrease in the nation’s STEM labor force has already caught the attention of U.S. policymakers, with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology stating the need for approximately...

  • CSIA and Partner member alliantgroup will be hosting a CEO Roundtable on Thursday, October 13 at the alliantgroup headquarters in Houston, Texas. Similar in nature to the CSIA Executive Conference, we will address issues relevant to our members' system integration businesses. The forum will be led by alliantgroup’s economic, legislative and policy experts on the latest trends impacting the industry as well as the U.S. economy. We would like for this type of event to take place in a few other U.S. cities across the country in 2017. Please join me at these unique events.

  • Control system integrators have to know the A to Z of industrial applications and have to be the architects to zookeepers for the range of projects they manage. Because of this, it is important for system integrators to be able to rely on an association like CSIA to inform and advocate for their specific needs. In addition, they need to know where to turn for the specialized technical knowledge they need for their projects. In conjunction with CSIA, ODVA is another association that can be a key resource for the system integrator community. Founded in 1995, ODVA is a trade and standards development organization whose members comprise the world’s leading automation companies. ODVA’s mission is to advance open, interoperable information and communication technologies in industrial automation. ODVA recognizes its media independent network protocol, the Common Industrial Protocol or “CIP™” — and the network adaptations of CIP — EtherNet/IP™,...

  • The CSIA Legal Plan is an automatic benefit included with your CSIA membership which provides a bundle of free and discounted legal services oriented to the special needs of integrators. With this benefit, CSIA members are entitled to up to two free 30-minute legal consultations per quarter in English at no charge. For more information on the CSIA Legal Plan, including additional benefits available to you as a CSIA member, please visit www.faegrebd.com/csialegalplan . I am often asked what types of issues come up during these teleconferences. The answer? When there is a free benefit, you really hear all sorts of things. But here are some of the common issues that can be addressed during these free consultations: Developing a strategy for how to reach a finalized agreement with a new customer or for a significant new project. Gaining an understanding about what a particular provision in a proposed contract really means, and how it may differ from your company’s...

  • On August 30, CSIA conducted the fourth of its quarterly event series in Mexico City, sponsored this time by Rockwell Automation. 17 representatives from 14 companies attended. Gustavo Rojas, president of GERSA and one of our certified member companies in Mexico, gave a presentation on Financial Management. Ernesto López, general director of Lider & Control, shared his experiences selecting a customer relationship management, or CRM, system for his company. We also had a great introductory presentation on the state of the Mexican economy by Miguel Lopez Conde, general manager for Rockwell Automation Mexico. After the event in Mexico City, CSIA CEO Jose Rivera met in Monterrey with a group of local system integrators. Some of them were members, but others were prospects. The meeting took place at the offices of GERSA. Separately, Jose met with General Electric, who has an important presence in Monterrey and is interested in sponsoring CSIA activities in the near future....

  • On September 7 , Mitsubishi Electric hosted the Partner Committee's annual meeting at their North American headquarters in Vernon Hills, Illinois, outside of Chicago. We had 20 members, both SIs and Partners in attendance. CSIA CEO Jose Rivera provided an update on the various initiatives CSIA has been working on. One of these was the new approach to communications approach, which now includes LIVE! Webinars and Member Plug-In (printed newsletters) in addition to e-Newsletters. This new mix of communication channels is designed to cater to various communication preferences and improve the likelihood of important membership information reaching all members. CSIA staff members Lynda Patterson and Brittany Olson gave a brief presentation on the plans as they are shaping up for the 2017 Executive Conference. The Partner Committee was instrumental in making the decision to use pods at the 2016 Executive Conference. This minimized the logistical efforts by the Partners participating...

  • There has been some discussion within the insurance industry as to the effect of Brexit upon the rating of insurance carriers based in the United Kingdom (UK), including Lloyd's of London. Our market leading General and Professional Errors and Omissions Policy is placed with underwriters at Lloyd's and some concern has been voiced that one of the effects of the upcoming Brexit could be a downgrading of the Lloyd's rating. For those of you that do not follow events in the UK with the same interest as I, Brexit relates to the potential withdrawal by the UK from the European Union. To take effect, Article 50 of the EU constitution would need to be triggered by the UK after which there would ensue 24 months of negotiations. The UK is not at present showing any immediate desire to hit the trigger until at least some time in 2017. You can therefore see that nothing that could effect Lloyd's rating will occur prior to some point in 2019 and I see no immediate concerns. At this time,...

  • Let’s talk about how the Exchange is doing. What kind of traffic does it get? Will the Exchange send you qualified visitors? The two most important indicators of a website’s health are page views and the number of its visitors. In these two areas alone, the growth of the Exchange has been outstanding. Take a look at the graph. The Exchange is just 2 years old and there’s a definite growth trend. What kind of traffic does it get? The site was launched in 2014 with 67,000 hits. We’re only half-way through 2016 and conservative estimates are that we’ll see over 200,000 before the year is up. New features, like the CSIA Industrial Automation Blog , promise quality content to attract even more. Should you put marketing resources into the Exchange? That’s up to you. But here is some compelling evidence that you should not ignore: Visitor data analysis Don’t be lulled into thinking a subjectively high amount of traffic from any source is an absolute positive...

  • Last month, I shared my thoughts with you regarding the role end-user clients play in getting CSIA Certification commonly required in the marketplace. This month, I want to share my thoughts regarding inclusiveness for CSIA and why it is important for us to pursue. System integrators are a key element within a broad ecosystem of players. This ecosystem includes providers of automation hardware, software and services such as engineering, maintenance and consulting. It also includes the end-user clients, who benefit from the successful implementation of these automation solutions at their sites. The strategic objectives, or focus points, that help us deliver on our mission to advance the industry of control system integration, are the following: Help system integrators be more professional and build better businesses. Be a forum for all members to network, train, discuss common issues and share best practices. Influence the marketplace so that CSIA Certification...

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    We have a Pulse!

    Participation in the Pulse, CSIA’s business benchmarking program, has been steadily increasing and is to a point where are now seeing some industry trends. For example, last year, the number of backlog days was decreasing as members were busy working off contracts in-hand. Additionally, revenue per employee saw a healthy uptick as more material was being pushed through. We’ll take all the data we can get If you are interested in seeing these trends first-hand and as they happen, we encourage you to participate in the CSIA Pulse by signing up for the reporting option. If you are only interested in seeing how your company is doing relative to past performance, complete a provided workbook spreadsheet ( log in here to download ) and then upload to the Pulse survey site. (To log in, your username is your email address. If you have any trouble logging in use the “forgot password’ link or contact pulse@controlsys.org .) This is FREE and can help you keep your eye on the ball......