May we have your vote?

Are you any better off now than you were four years ago? One might expect a question such as that from the many politicians who were up for election. But it seems out of place in this, a technical business publication. Before we dismiss it entirely, however, let’s define exactly who we mean by “you.
By Norm O’Leary, Executive Director December 15, 2008

Are you any better off now than you were four years ago? One might expect a question such as that from the many politicians who were up for election. But it seems out of place in this, a technical business publication. Before we dismiss it entirely, however, let’s define exactly who we mean by “you.”

The “you” could refer to CSIA Associates, the control system integration companies (CSIs) who belong to our association, or to our partners, who manufacture the automation equipment used by our associates. Or, it might refer to the end users, who rely on CSIs to provide them with proven, reliable, and beneficial automation solutions for their manufacturing processes. If such were the case, then our answer would be a resounding “yes.”

In fact, we could go back eight years or even a decade to show that CSIA has indeed made a big difference, for the better, in these companies overall performance and to their bottom lines. How so, you might ask? Good question. Our answer lies within our value proposition, namely:

“CSIA is committed to the business development of control system integration companies and their implementation of best practices in order to provide a healthy, low-risk channel for the application of technology to their industrial clients.”

Since our inception, we have encouraged our CSI members to improve their operational performance and their effectiveness by implementing our “Best Practices & Benchmarks” throughout their organization. Striving for continuous improvement, we seek to raise the performance bar, so to speak, as shown by the latest version 3.0 of this outstanding document.

The benefits to our members speak for themselves. Every one of our “Certified Members” has a story to tell as to how their operations have significantly improved. Our vendor partners think so highly of these best practices, that all of the major players suggest or insist that their premium system integrators be CSIA “Certified Members.”

But perhaps the most benefits are shared by the end users themselves, who end up with automation solutions they can justify and use to increase their productivity, quality, and manufacturing efficiency.

Yes, I think we can say that CSIA has made a significant contribution to systems integration in the past decade, and we predict the best is yet to come. Give us your vote.

ONLINE extra

Three winners offer advice. Click any of the following to learn more, with a link to a free podcast.

More need for outside engineering expertise, says HiTech Control Systems

: Control Engineering System Integrator of the Year winner.

How system integration goals influence future: JMP Engineering

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How to overcome the economy, grow with technology: Brock Solutions

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Also see other articles in the 2009 print edition of the Automation Integrator guide .

Author Information
Norm O’Leary can be reached at 800-661-4914, or at execdir@controlsys.org . To find out more about CSIA membership and activities, visit:

News and Events

The Control System Integrators Association continued to expand its base during 2008 as integrators and automation product and service suppliers worldwide joined the organization at a record pace. CSIA membership now stands at more than 325 companies.

At its 15th annual executive conference in Savannah, GA, in May, the association named Ed Diehl as its new chairperson, replacing Bob Zeigenfuse. Diehl is co-founder and executive director of Albany, OR-based Concept Systems Inc., a CSIA Certified Member. Diehl is also a former winner of Control Engineering ’s System Integrator of the Year competition.

Joining Diehl as members of the association’s executive board for the 2008-2009 year are:

Brian Beaufeaux, Industrial Automation Engineering Inc., Ham Lake, MN

Jim Campbell, Viewpoint Systems Inc., Rochester, NY

Steve Goldberg, Matrix Technologies Inc., Maumee, OH

John Justus, Bay-Tec Engineering Inc., Napa, CA

Dean Streck, VI Engineering Inc., Farmington Hills, MI.