System Integrator Giants of 2014
Growing concern about the economy’s impact on system integration, challenges in finding and keeping quality engineers, finding new clients, and a strong belief in education and mentoring were among results from a larger group (by revenue) of system integrators in the 2014 System Integrator Giants report from Control Engineering and Plant Engineering, both part of CFE Media. In April 2014, the Control Engineering staff collected and analyzed data from more than 100 companies that perform system integration services and participated in the 2014 System Integrator Giants program. Some of the top system integrators worldwide submitted their company’s profile to the Control Engineering staff; however, not all system integration companies were willing or able to participate in this year’s System Integrator Giants survey. Rank is determined by what companies list for system integration revenue.
In 2014, more than 100 system integration companies provided their information for the System Integrator Giants program, with quite a few newcomers. Due to the amount of new companies to this year’s program, the 2014 data is not directly compared to data from previous years. Data and percentages in this report are based on the top 100 companies by system integration revenue that responded to the request for information from April to June 2014; the results do not fully represent the system integration market as whole. However, with nearly identical questions asked in 2013 and more than 100 system integrators participating this year, we present a qualified look of where the top system integration companies stand in 2014.
Fiscal year revenue
“System integration revenue” is defined as automation integration services, minus the cost of all off-the-shelf products—hardware, software, and equipment. The 2014 System Integrator Giants generated $31.58 billion in total gross revenue during the previous fiscal year and $1.63 billion in system integration revenue. Compared to 2013, this year’s System Integrator Giants have generated a staggering $24.48 billion more in total gross revenue and $396 million more in total system integration revenue (see Table 1). These jumps in revenue are due to 45 new firms included on the 2014 System Integrator Giants list, namely Larsen & Toubro, which took the No. 3 spot. Other newcomers within the top 25 include RedViking (No. 6), Leidos Engineering LLC (No. 9), Autopro Automation Consultants (No. 10), Cimation (No. 11), ProLeiT AG (No. 12), CEC Controls Company Inc. (No. 18), Grantek Systems Integration (No. 18), and Varec Inc. (No. 24).
Table 2 shows the top 10 companies based on system integration revenue (View the full ranking here), which is how the System Integrator Giants are ranked, as mentioned. Table 3 shows the top 10 System Integrator Giants companies based on total gross revenue. The complete table of rankings is provided at www.controleng.com/giants and on the poster provided in the August Control Engineering print edition. On average, 63% of all companies’ revenue is generated from system integration services, with average system integration revenue at $16.35 million per company.
While total revenue increased significantly over 2013 revenue, participants indicated that “the economy’s impact on the automation integrator market” was the greatest challenge (20%). Other struggles for the 2014 System Integrator Giants included staffing quality young engineers (17%) and identifying new prospective clients (16%).
The 2014 System Integrator Giants employ nearly 20,000 people, down from 26,000 in 2013 but up from 12,000 in 2012. Just more than half of the 2014 System Integrator Giants’ employees are engineers or technicians, with the average company having 107 engineers/technicians on staff. As supported by the data and the Control Engineering 2014 System Integration report, system integrators are having difficulty staffing quality engineers. The number of young engineers entering the field doesn’t seem to be keeping up with the number of retiring engineers.
In an effort to combat the skills gap, 75% of the 2014 System Integrator Giants feature formal or informal internal mentoring programs as well as paid training and testing for professional certifications. Ninety-one percent of companies offer paid attendance to conference and tradeshows, and another 86% attend webcasts, regularly, during business hours.
Industries and global reach
The average 2014 System Integrator Giant serves 14 industries, and more than 50% serve the following seven industries: food and beverage; chemicals and petrochemicals; bottling, canning, brewing, and distilling; energy; water and waste water; pharmaceuticals; and utilities. Of these top industries, six are process and one is hybrid.
Taking a global approach, several opportunities are open to System Integrator Giants outside of the United States and North America. For example, 43% of companies are providing system integration services in Europe, 35% in South America, and 33% in Central America. On average, a 2014 System Integrator Giant provides system integration services to three geographic regions of the world, including the one in which their headquarters is located (81% of which were in the U.S.).
Read about professional affiliations and engineering specialties, view additional graphs, and read about the 2014 System Integration Study on Page 2.
Affiliations and specialties
Compared to 2013 data, the list of professional and third-party affiliations of the 2014 System Integrator Giants has shuffled around. Affiliations with the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers have increased from 17% to 34%, bumping the National Fire Protection Association from the top five. The Control System Integrator Association, the International Society of Automation, Underwriters Laboratories, and the Project Management Institute continue to be popular connections for the System Integrator Giants.
When asked about their company’s engineering technology experience, the 2014 System Integrator Giants identified seven top specialties: programmable logic controllers (90%), project management (84%), process control (83%), control design (82%), general controls (81%), general automation (78%), and human machine interfaces (77%). Each of the 2014 companies cited 53 engineering specialties, on average.
Amanda McLeman is director of research and project manager of events and awards programs at Control Engineering, CFE Media, firstname.lastname@example.org. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media, email@example.com.
6 key findings from the 2014 System Integration report
- Hiring engineering talent for both system integration and industry expertise is a big challenge for system integrators.
- On average, system integrators work on 15 projects per year.
- HMI hardware/equipment, OI, control panels, alarms, annunciators, data acquisition equipment, and data recorders/plotters are the most frequently integrated devices.
- Engineering skills, knowledge of industry standards, and project management skills are the most valuable for quality system integration work.
- The average system integration project is valued at about $67,000.
- System integrators expect their companies to grow an average of 15% over the next few years.
Download the Control Engineering 2014 System Integration report and see more of the latest trends at www.controleng.com/2014SystemIntegration.