System Integrator of the Year: Malisko Engineering
Malisko Engineering is the 2015 System Integrator of the Year in the small system integrator category.
Stephen J. Malyszko is president and CEO of Malisko Engineering Inc. of St. Louis. The family-owned business is ranked 56th in CFE Media's SI Giants rankings with revenues of just over $7 million in 2014.
Malyszko talked to CFE Media (CFE) about the industry trends and how company needs to focus on specific markets to better serve his customer base:
CFE: Does specializing in a particular vertical market change the way you do business?
Malyszko: Yes. First, it provides clarity for our clients regarding what we do best. Second, we realized years ago that we cannot be all things to all people. Malisko made business and commercial decisions years ago to specialize in process industries: pharmaceutical, life sciences, dairy, specialty chemicals, food and beverage and brewing. Malisko also made the decision to specialize in process controls-including utilities-and computer system validation to meet regulatory compliance.
The result is that we do turn away opportunities in other vertical markets such as pulp and paper or mining because those industries, like our own, require a unique domain expertise and industry knowledge that goes beyond just being a provider of automation.
CFE: Talk about a recent project your company has worked on that is indicative of how you work to understand and solve customer integration issues.
Malyszko: Many clients have seen significant reductions in their available internal resource pool requiring them to take on many more responsibilities in their assigned projects. In too many cases a project manager might not have had prior experience with facilitating automation-related projects and therefore is looking for guidance or even help with asking the right questions.
We have one project currently where the plant's director of operations is serving as the project manager and Malisko has been proactive in prompting this project manager on what steps to take and when along with who needs to be involved and when during the various stages of the project. The project manager has been very receptive to our recommendations as he is trying to keep the plant running on a daily basis while attempting to keep the project progressing to completion.
CFE: Which emerging technologies should manufacturers pay attention to? What should manufacturers except from this technology?
Malyszko: Physical and logical network infrastructure and security within the manufacturing space. Secure and reliable data flow within manufacturing and to the front office and corporate office is getting more intense. No longer will it be practical to add on to ad hoc Ethernet networks and assure reliability.
Manufacturers can put in place a robust information backbone by engaging a qualified integrator to help design and specify their network infrastructure.
Then there is mobile access. You need extreme flexibility to view manufacturing operations without physical ties to a person's location or proximity to the manufacturing operations. Great power comes with this, but it requires a qualified integrator resource to properly design and specify this technology to address current needs, security, and future growth.
CFE: What three things do you believe manufacturers should focus on that they don't always keep at the top of mind?
- A good preventative maintenance and calibration program for instrumentation.
- Retention of their existing pool of technical support resources.
- Getting their partner integrator involved in scoping and costing projects during the budgeting process.
Malisko Engineering offers their clients a multi-disciplined, collaborative team of "problem solvers" to design and implement automated production systems. The company has completed hundreds of projects in a wide range of industries, including food & beverage, brewing, specialty chemicals, dairy, adult/infant nutritionals, pharmaceutical, and life sciences.
Judge Shari Worthington points out that Malisko is "doing what they should in the areas of business and quality management", as evidenced by their CSIA certification. She also notes that Malisko's technical skills are not limited to what their well-trained technical staff share with each other. "They share their expertise through many industry presentations, not only at vendor conferences, but at broader industry events like ARC."
Worthington was also impressed with Malisko's steady financial growth over the years, as was judge Steve Rourke. He adds that a 90% repeat business rate, zero layoffs, and a dedicated marketing effort distinguish Malisko from run-of-the-mill integrators. "They've done a nice job in upgrading their website and updating some of their marketing materials, even though their revenues took a hit last year." Both also commented on Malisko's commitment to their community through support for a wide variety of causes from the American Cancer Society to Wings of Hope.
"There is no replacement for the experience of a good integrator. The Malisko group consistently executes projects professionally from a programming and process point of view within our factories. The process experience within the group adds a critical dimension to project execution. Programming without process knowledge fails to meet project objectives. Malisko Engineering executes projects professionally with effective results in both traditional upfront defined projects as well as fast track, just in time projects."
View the System Integrator Hall of Fame to learn about past winners.
Also view the Global System Integrator Database to learn more about the winners and other system integrator companies.
See what the other System Integrator of the Year winners had to say about their industry and manufacturing as a whole below.
Click here to watch a video interview conducted by CFE Media with Malyszko.
Learn more about Malisko Engineering process engineering capabilities.
Malisko is a CSIA member as of 3/5/2015