CSIA 2010: Growth, change
The Control Engineering System Integrators of the Year for 2011 have something in common: All three are Certified Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) members. While this well-deserved recognition is all theirs, we can’t help but feel proud. We know that the diligent effort these members put into becoming CSIA certified is an investment that yields excellent returns. The end of the year is a time to recognize CSIA’s success as well.
- Membership has grown steadily in the past year, despite challenging economic times. This growth includes:
- More associate members, system integrators who have recognized the value of professional development and associating with industry thought leaders;
- More industry partner members— 22% more, to be exact. Many industry partners have incorporated CSIA’s best practices in their system integrator programs; some now require certification at the highest level of their program;
- More international members, attesting to the value of best practices globally. The number of international members doubled in 2010, due in part to a strategic alliance with a European association and to a special outreach to Asia;
- Attendance at the CSIA Annual Executive Conference jumped 11% from the previous year. More than 350 integrators and partners met in Seattle for three days of educational seminars and networking. Even more participants joined by live video stream;
- CSIA networking doesn’t end with the conference. In 2010, CSIA introduced its Connected Community, a members-only social networking site. Since its debut in January, more than 300 individuals have created profiles, posted discussions, and written blogs;
- Helping members connect with prospective end users took a giant leap forward with the introduction of the new Find an Integrator feature. Prospective clients have the ability to enter their search criteria and find the right integrator to meet their specific needs. More than 5,000 pages were viewed in the first two months;
- Monthly CSIA webinars were introduced this year. These webinars bring the best speakers on a variety of topics to the desktops and laptops of our members, at no cost. Additionally, CSIA hosts online sales training for sales professionals and engineers, as well as project management training specifically for CSI companies;
- Best practices for control system integrators are CSIA’s key deliverable. The Best Practices Manual sets the standard for CSIs who want to achieve their highest potential; it is the roadmap to certification. As the old saying goes, we can never rest until our better is best. To that end, CSIA’s Best Practices group is working on version 4.0 of the manual, due out in May 2012;
- You can’t talk about best practices without mentioning benchmarking. In fall 2010, CSIA introduced an innovative benchmarking service called KPICs—key productivity indicators for control system integrators. KPICs replaces the annual CSIA financial survey with monthly automated data upload process, more accurate data, powerful analysis tools, and enhanced reporting capability. KPICs is a powerful tool for CSIs who want to grow their businesses; and
- Speaking of key statistics, CSIA regularly surveys members to keep a finger on the pulse of the membership. This helps those of us in association management make sure we are meeting members’ needs. Many of the developments described above are direct results of needs our members identified.
As we reflect on the past year, we need to pause and thank the dedicated members and staff who are responsible for the tremendous growth and change in our association. Our success is a reflection of our members’ success, so congratulations to all CSIA members!
CSIA Executive Director Robert Lowe may be reached at execdir(at)controlsys.org. CSIA President Lynda J. Patterson, CAE, may be reached at lpatterson(at)controlsys.org. More information about CSIA is available at www.controlsys.org.