In This Issue
Register for the 2014 CSIA Executive Conference
The online exchange is taking shape
CSIA Certification update
CSIA / Sandler Sales Training Solution Program
Boot Camp poll
CSIA Webinar Series
CSIA KPICS webinar.
Plan to attend the Automation Conference
Seeking award nominations
CSIA members make headlines
One method to ensure payment from new clients
Graybar Powersmart increases intelligence and production
How many leads do you need? Where do you find them?
Welcome new members

Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra

Cisco Systems, Inc
San Jose, CA

Complete Control Systems, Inc
Bloomsburg, PA

Controlnet Consulting
Johannesburg, GP
South Africa

Fusion Automation
Grand Forks, ND

Integhra B.V.

Intel Corporation
Chandler, AZ

River Consulting, LLC
Columbus, OH

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc
Pullman, WA

Signal.X Technologies LLC
Northville, MI

Silogic SRL
Buenos Aires

Softing North America
McMurray, PA,


Contact Us 

Leadership directory



Get Connected 


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Refer a new member!

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April 23-26, 2014

The CSIA e-newsletter is now available in Spanish. To be added to the mailing list, please contact Marsala Vallejo.
Quote of the Month
"If you focus on costs, quality will go down. If you focus on quality, costs will go down."
 - Hans van Sijk, Actemium, The Netherlands
 The go-to resource for control system integration.  

February 2014  
Strategy Session
CSIA Board members, staff and key industry leaders met in Atlanta last week to discuss global initiatives, organizational structure and growth strategies. Pictured (l to r) are Steve Goldberg, Don Ulrich, Eduardo Acosta, Ed Diehl, Jeff Miller, Bob Lowe, Sam Hoff, Lynda Patterson, Bob Zeigenfuse, PC Romano, Mike Miller, Greta Mattison and Jeanne Rosen.

Phenomenal number of registrations already in!
Breaking news! We've already received twice as many registrations as last year at this time. The CSIA Executive Conference is in its 20th year and continues to wow attendees and break records. Bring your key associates, sales people, marketing directors . . . and your family. We look forward to welcoming you!
Get ready! The online exchange is taking shape

Members - both integrators and partners - will soon have a new way to connect with each other and with prospective clients and customers for industrial automation solutions. As you've read in the December and January newsletters, CSIA is developing an online platform that will replace Find an Integrator and connect everyone involved with system integration - integrators, suppliers and end users - for the purpose of exchanging information and ideas. 


The planning and research phase of the new site is nearly complete, and the solution and graphic design phase is well underway. Joining the CSIA staff as digital community manager is Eric Huemmer. Eric will be the primary contact for members once the site is launched. In the meantime, he is working closely with the team at Diamax, the software as a service provider that is developing the new site.


CSIA already ranks highly in search engine results. By amassing both integrators (members and nonmembers), partners, suppliers and a warehouse of relevant content, we expect to attract more potential clients and customers for industrial automation products and services than any individual company could alone.


The new site will be rolled out in phases and be fully operational before the conference in April.

CSIA Certification: Revised logo and remote audits follow launch of new management system

by Bob Lowe, CSIA Executive Director


Check out these new CSIA Certification logos! Their bold look more easily differentiates them from the standard CSIA logos. Now, when end-user clients are reviewing web pages or documents, the CSIA Certified member will be more obvious.


The CSIA Certification Management System (CMS) is in full use. After being launched in September 2013, there were several agreements between members and auditors that had to be honored but most of those are complete. The primary difference between the past system and the new CMS is that CSIA is more in control of the process, a requirement as we grow globally. For details download the Member Manual in the Best Practices and Certification - Members Only library. Note that the first step in the process is to implement CSIA Best Practices, particularly those required for the audit. Then to become audited for certification, contact the CSIA office. Feel free to converse with an auditor during the preparation phase but the audit process officially begins by completing a Member Profile form available from the CSIA office.


Did you know that CSIA has developed a program for remote audits of Branch Offices? The audit takes place from the Head Office utilizing today's audio, video and Internet technology to communicate with personnel at the Branch Office. See the Best Practices and Certification - Members Only library for the Remote Audit Program document. The purpose is to eliminate the travel cost of an auditor, but realize that high quality infrastructure is required at both offices for remote audits to be possible.

Insurance agreement signed and sealed
CSIA President Lynda J. Patterson, FASAE, CAE, and Insurance Program Manager Paul Barnard ink the new insurance agreement to provide continued insurance offerings to CSIA members.


Introducing the CSIA/Sandler Sales Training
Solution Program
Engineering schools don't teach sales skills. But to run a successful system integration company, you need to generate leads and, more importantly, convert leads into actual sales. CSIA has teamed up with Sandler Sales Training to develop a new, members-only
CSIA/Sandler Sales Training program, designed specifically for system integrators. Registration is now open for the two Initial Training classes - April 22-23 (prior to the CSIA Executive Conference) or June 24-25. Don't procrastinate - class size is limited to 50.


We are still in need of volunteers to provide input on the selling challenges you face in the industries in which you provide services. The time invested is minor but is a major help in designing the program. Can you give us a few minutes? Seriously, just a few minutes. Send Bob Lowe an email to volunteer. Bob says he doesn't typically grovel but will if he must. The purpose is support the customization of the Initial Training and the online Reinforcement Package.


Check out the welcome video from Sandler.
Check out the welcome video from Sandler.


Poll: Help us plan . . .

webinar series

Tremendous response for webinar series!

We've been thrilled to see record attendance at just about every webinar in this series leading up to the 2014 Executive Conference.  

Be sure to join us for the last few webinars in the series.



Feb. 26, 2014
Performance management program for technical professionals

Gina Coleal


March 26, 2014
J-curve management

Nick Setchell


Just added!

April 9, 2014

Integrated business systems 

SixSPartners, in collaboration with Epicor 



All webinars will be at 11 a.m., Eastern Time US (New York), and are hosted on WebEx by Software Toolbox, a CSIA Partner member.



Jan. 29, 2014
People: hiring, leading, coaching and evaluating

Ken Edmundson


Nov. 20, 2013 
Developing a professional project management team for systems integration

Jeff Miller


Oct. 23, 2013

24-month rolling plan
Nick Setchell
Sept. 25, 2013 
Organizational culture: Methods for improving performance

Ken Edmundson


Aug. 28, 2013

Holistic overview of proactive management
Nick Setchell 




Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 11 am EST (New York)

Many of you are familiar with our KPICs statistics program. For existing users, this 30-minute webinar will introduce you to the newly updated KPICs user interface. For first time users, be sure to attend to learn how joining the KPICs program could benefit your company. Another 30-minute webinar will be scheduled in April that will explain some of the recent KPICs survey feedback findings on KPICs usage and reports. We are also expecting to spend some time on how the data is interpreted and what it means to your company.

Speakers: Jim Campbell, Viewpoint Systems; Chris Smith, iLumen; Bob Lowe, CSIA

  Register Now

Plan to attend the Automation Conference

Since our system integrators work exclusively with industrial automation products and technologies, The Automation Conference (TAC) on May 20-21 in Chicago is an event that is a perfect fit for our members. Now in its third year, TAC offers two days of education and networking for professionals in the discrete manufacturing, continuous and batch processing and packaging fields.


More than 20 sessions will be offered, featuring presentations by General Motors, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Sherwin Williams, Bosch Automotive, 3M, MeadWestvaco and other well-known technology end-users and industry experts, including some of our own CSIA members:

  • Luigi De Bernardini of Autoware in Italy
  • Ed Diehl of Concept Systems in Oregon
  • Stephen Blank of Loman Control Systems in Pennsylvania

These members were recruited because of being regular Automation World (AW) magazine bloggers and AW/Summit Media Group is hosting the conference. Their presentation and panel discussion is titled "System Integrators - Filling the Expertise Gap."


Plan to attend and meet end-user clients, automation vendors and other system integrators.


Seeking award nominations

by Steve GoldbergCSIA Past Chair, Nominations Committee Chair


As an organization we have a lot of exciting projects that continue to keep the board and staff very busy. One area that takes some time to prepare for are the nominations, selection and award of the various accolades that make up part of our awards program at each conference. 


This request is for nominations for our three awards: the Charlie Bergman "Remember Me" award, Rising Star award, and Partner award. The awards nomination form is available online.


We really want your input on this. The form is pretty self-explanatory, but if you have questions don't hesitate to ask. As always I am happy to help.

CSIA members make headlines
in the headlines Members that have been featured in industry media recently include:



Energy Use: The Critical Ingredient in Manufacturing Success
Automation World

Avid Solutions
Why Experts Are Bullish On Automation in 2014
Industry Today

Avid Solutions
Face to Face: Automation Trends (video interview)
Manufacturing Business Technology

Concept Systems
Adding Senses to Robots Multiplies Manufacturing Value
Automation World

Interstates Controls
Data Visibility Increases Pastry Maker's Production
Automation World

Loman Controls
Why Your Mission Statement Defines Your Company's Purpose
Automation World

Breaking down the benefits of CSIA
Gear Solutions   

"I don't know you, but I would like your business"
One method to ensure payment from new clients
by Brian P. Clifford, CSIA Attorney

Participants in the control system industry are increasingly crossing borders - both national and international - to do work for clients in need of their unique expertise. I am often asked what steps can be taken to ensure payment by a client that has not yet established a credit history with an integration firm, especially when the potential new client is a startup company or is headquartered far from the integrator's offices.

While there are many techniques that can be used, I often ask if a letter of credit can be posted at the start of a new relationship. Letters of credit are widely available from banking institutions worldwide, have relatively low maintenance costs to the client, and can provide payment security to the integrator as the parties work together to establish other long-term credit arrangements.

Here are a few key terms you should look for in any letter of credit:

Irrevocable: As the name implies, an irrevocable letter of credit (or "ILOC") cannot be cancelled or revised without the consent of the beneficiary (i.e., the company extending credit to the client that is providing the letter of credit from its bank). Such a term gives comfort to the beneficiary that payments will be made even if the client experiences financial difficulty and has other banking products (such as a commercial line of credit) restricted or terminated.

Term: Even though the letter of credit is irrevocable, it generally will still have a defined expiration date. A beneficiary should check to be sure that all payment obligations are satisfied by the client before the end of such term - or that the ILOC is renewed or replaced prior to expiration date if there is still work to be performed, items to be delivered or payments to be made.

At Sight Instrument: This is a term of art used with letters of credit. Essentially, it means that the beneficiary is entitled to payment from the bank that issued the letter of credit by merely presenting a written demand for payment (or other similar documentation stated in the ILOC). The issuing bank generally is not permitted to dispute whether or not its client actually owes the sought-after payment to the beneficiary. For example, the bank generally cannot refuse payment by alleging that the work was incorrectly performed or that the goods that were delivered had defects.

Amount: All letters of credit have a maximum payment limit. A beneficiary should ensure that the amount of the letter of credit is sufficient to cover the expected aggregate amount of all payments that may be outstanding with its client at any given time. If "net 30" payment terms are used with the client, this may be the value of two to three months of average invoices (assuming the beneficiary suspends performance and deliveries if the outstanding balance grows too large or too delinquent).

With the added security of a letter of credit, you may be able to safely expand your client base into new markets. Good luck!

Brian Clifford is a member of the automation practice at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP. He can be reached at +1.260.460.1687 or

Graybar Powersmart increases intelligence and production, saves energy

Platinum Sponsor of the 2013 CSIA Executive Conference


Graybar Let a Graybar Powersmart professional help as you prepare for control system installations or upgrades. Graybar Powersmart pairs thousands of high quality, innovative products from Graybar's vast network of suppliers with the solutions and services that make Graybar an essential link in the supply chain. From working to upgrade a production line to automating parts of an operation that are still being done manually, Graybar can help you meet your clients' goals of increasing intelligence and production while decreasing energy usage.


To support your clients' energy costs and environmental impact reduction strategies, knowing when, where and how they consume energy is vital. Graybar can come to the facility with you to help assess various opportunities to improve energy efficiency. The assessment can begin as a simple and informal walk-through or develop into a fully documented energy audit. Graybar will then work with you to design a solution to fit your customers' budget and time frame.


Finally, Graybar can provide a complete financial analysis for the proposed solution that utilizes all applicable rebates and tax incentives - and will even provide the environmental impact statement to help support the end user's sustainability goals. Consider Graybar Financial Services for project financing for your clients' budget needs as well.

Graybar's quality network of suppliers and proven expertise will make your job easier. So, while we have the automation and control, industrial Ethernet and wireless products you need, we also provide energy savings solutions for you to integrate into your industrial clients' applications. That's how Graybar works to your advantage.


To learn more, call 1-800-GRAYBAR or visit



See Covey and Geier at the 2014 Executive Conference

How many leads do you need? Where do you find them?
How are you doing your marketing today? Do you have a solid foundation and defined strategy? Do you know how many leads you need to achieve your sales goals? And do you know how to effectively find and convert those leads to keep your sales engineers busy?

If you seek answers to these questions, and more, join TREW Marketing co-founders Wendy Covey and Rebecca Geier for their presentation at the CSIA Executive Conference, Create Marketing That Engineers Love. Recognized by the Wall Street Journal for their innovative, entrepreneurial approach and with more than 40 years combined experience marketing to engineers and scientists, Covey and Geier will share their proven marketing approach to getting found, converting leads, and segmenting and nurturing your database to drive opportunities. 

Based on their recently released ebook,
Smart Marketing for Engineers: Lead Generation (available free for download), topics will include:
* Developing personas
* Auditing and planning content
* Measuring ROI
* Creating a marketing-sales funnel model
* Comparing and contrasting marketing staffing approaches

Covey and Geier will be joined by CSIA member and past board leader, Jim Campbell, president of Viewpoint Systems, who will share his first-hand experience building Viewpoint's marketing foundation and his ongoing journey to drive awareness, leads and sales.

Visit TREW Marketing online to learn more about the company, its founders, and its extensive free marketing resources, including the agency's blog and ebook series, Smart Marketing for Engineers. To read more about Viewpoint's marketing success, read the full case study here.