In This Issue
We're excited to unveil the Exchange in San Diego!
The countdown begins
Attending the conference for the first time?
Grow your top and bottom line
J.P. Morgan and CSIA join forces to survey SI industry
CSIA Webinar Series
New developments for Statistics Committee
Insurance update
ARC Advisory Group and CSIA survey clients
Successful negotiations, like successful plays, need great lines
ISA Survival Training Series for automation engineers and system integrators
Save $300 on MESA International-IndustryWeek conference
PI North America offers educational opportunities
Plan to attend the Automation Conference
CSIA members make headlines
Welcome new members

Nashville, TN
Elbit Systems of America

Merrimack, NH

ILS Technology
Boca Raton, FL

Magswitch Technology Worldwide

Westminister, CO



Mayer Electric Supply
Charlotte, NC


mFactor Engineering, Inc.

Denver, CO



Contact Us 

Leadership directory



Get Connected 


Facebook Twitter




Apply Now  


Refer a new member!

Tell your colleagues about CSIA. Find member benefits and an application at




Did you receive this issue from a colleague? Get your own copy! Register to receive the CSIA Newsletter on a regular basis here

April 23-26, 2014

The CSIA e-newsletter is now available in Spanish. To be added to the mailing list, please contact Marsala Vallejo.
Automation Index now available
The Q4 2013 ARC Automation Index is now available in the ARC Automation Index library in the CSIA Connected Community. This ARC Advisory Service delivers ongoing coverage of manufacturing and enterprise issues, trends, and technology, and provides a valuable unbiased assessment of the impact on your organization. The Automation Index is a report of data collected from major automation vendors. CSIA members receive insightful analysis that will help enhance your value premise, improve your go-to-market strategy, and attain competitive advantage.


 The go-to resource for control system integration.  

April 2014  

Industrial Automation Exchange will soon
be unveiled!

The Industrial Automation Exchange, CSIA's all-new online digital marketplace, will be released in beta form this week, with full rollout expected just before the Executive Conference later this month. As regular newsletter readers know, the Industrial Automation Exchange - "the Exchange" - will replace Find an Integrator with an all new platform for Find an Integrator, Find a Product, and Find an Answer.

The Exchange offers both integrator and partner members three levels of profiles, each with more features and capabilities and higher rankings in search results. Current integrator members will be grandfathered in at the bronze level for one year. Or, they can choose to upgrade to silver or gold level profiles. Nonmembers will be eligible for a basic listing, with pricing set so nonmembers will have an incentive to join CSIA and enjoy all the benefits of membership.


During the month of April, Exchange Community Manager Eric Huemmer will host a series of online demonstrations to help members learn how to build their profiles and use the Exchange. Those who attend the Executive Conference will have multiple opportunities to learn more, including a presentation by Derek Rector, president of Diamax, the company that is developing and hosting the Exchange. Staff members will be on hand to answer questions and assist members in creating profiles.


CSIA members have been asking for more dynamic ways to connect with prospective clients. Using the collective resources of the association, CSIA is delighted to introduce the Exchange as a springboard to our members' websites and contact people.

Watch the Connected Community and your email for more information or contact Eric Huemmer to get started. See you on the Exchange! 


The countdown begins . . .

Just a few weeks before we set out to San Diego and we have so much to look forward to!

  • Watch for a more dynamic mobile app. We'll send all registrants a notification when it's ready to download to Apple and Android devices. You'll want to update your profile on the app before the conference.
  • We're excited to unveil the brand new Industrial Automation Exchange at the conference. Learn what this powerful tool, with its new find-an-integrator search platform, engaging profiles and resource library, can do for your company's growth. Staff will be onhand throughout the conference to answer your questions about the features of the Exchange and help you get signed up.
  • Conference sponsorship is at an all-time high. Please thank the sponsors when you see them at the conference and in all your business connections with these generous companies. 
  • Our exhibit program is sold out
Don't wait any longer - Register today!
Attending the conference for the first time?
On Tuesday, April 15 at 11 a.m. EDT CSIA will be holding a special webinar to help acquaint first-time attendees with conference offerings to maximize their time in San Diego. Watch for an invitation coming soon.
Grow your top and bottom line

The new Sandler Sales Training program that you've been asking for is here. It's been promoted heavily for the last few months so you likely know about it. But did you notice that the first Initial Training session is growing near? If you missed registering for the April 22-23 program, there's another program held in Dallas, June 24-25.


Notice that Initial Training is capitalized. That's because it is a proper name and serves to start your journey of becoming the best sales or business development person you can be. Learning to be a sales professional doesn't happen at a seminar or by reading a book - or worse yet, trial-and-error learning. Nor does selling come naturally for most people. Learning to be a sales professional requires training, ongoing training, and that is what the CSIA/Sandler Sales Training Solution program does - takes you on a journey to sales and business development success.


The program is customized for the system integration industry and is suited for anyone who wants to improve his or her sales skills, whether selling is a full- or part-time responsibility. Managers and owners have a lot to gain from the training also; you are selling personally and professionally everyday whether you realize it or not. Take the first step on your journey to sales success.


Find our more!


J.P. Morgan and CSIA join forces to survey SI industry

Please help us take the pulse of the system integration industry globally! J.P. Morgan and CSIA are collaborating for the fourth semiannual industry survey to learn about current business trends and expectations and demographics of the SI industry.


Our prospective members and the primary contacts at our members received a link to the survey on Monday, March 24. One person per system integration company is invited to participate. The survey should take only 5-10 minutes to complete. All answers will be kept strictly anonymous.


The survey results will be used to help J.P. Morgan industry analysts forecast business trends, while also helping CSIA better understand our industry. CSIA is uniquely positioned to advance the industry of system integration and thereby work to bring industries everywhere access to low-risk, safe and successful applications of automation technology. This survey supports that position.


Those who respond will receive a detailed review of the results, which are a great tool to understand what your peers are seeing. Only survey participants have access to the results. The results will not be stored in the CSIA library as in the past.


Thank you in advance for your participation. We look forward to sharing the results with participants. 


webinar series


April 9, 2014, 11am EDT (New York)

Integrated business systems: Solving the challenges of system integrators

Kathie Poindexter, Epicor Software

John Preiditsch, Six S Partners


This webinar is the last and most recent addition to the series developed by CSIA titled "Proactive Leadership in a Rapidly Changing Landscape."  Each topic in the series will be further developed at the 2014 Executive Conference in San Diego.


Join Kathie and John for a review of the factors that make up a modern business software/ERP solution for system integration companies. The presentation will cover:

  • The power of integration

  • Key elements that enhance project controls

  • Pain points for CSIA members

  • The material supply-chain dilemma

  • Time entry and labor collection

  • Project expense reporting

  • Engineering and design integration

  • As-built configurations and their role in service and support

  • CRM integration



There is a story behind every graph: a CSIA KPICs webinar
Friday, April 11, 2014, 11am EDT (New York)
Don Roberts, Exotek
Michael O'Shaughnessey, iLumen


This webinar will take a look at the results from a recent survey of KPICs users as well as do a deep dive into how to interpret the information from a few key indicators. We will look at what the graphs say about your company and what they say about the industry as a whole. With this insight, you can use the data from the graphs to make business decisions and take appropriate actions.




Software Toolbox
All webinars are hosted by Software Toolbox, a CSIA Partner member.



March 26, 2014
J-curve management

Nick Setchell


Feb. 26, 2014
Performance management program for technical professionals

Gina Coleal


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 



New developments from Statistics Committee
by Jim Campbell, CSIA Statistics Committee Chairman

Here's an overview of activities in the Statistics Committee with more detail following.
  • Brand new user interface for KPICs and Salary Survey for data entry and reports
  • Past and present KPICs user survey
  • Quarterly webinar series.
These products just keep getting better! We think they are great tools to help you run your business.

New iLumen web user experience
The user interface for the iLumen site has been completely updated! Based on your feedback and leveraging some other activities at iLumen, the KPICs (the CSIA benchmarking program) and Salary Survey web pages have a new, cleaner look and experience. These changes have been made all across the website, from the initial login screen to the final reports.

Furthermore, the KPICs and salary pages have been reorganized to use the same general layout, while making them easier to navigate. The "tip strips" and other help text have been improved as well. If you've not logged in recently, check it out!

KPICs user survey completed
It took a lot of hard work, and the outcome was well worth it. I refer to the surveying of the past and present users of the KPICs program to see what they liked and disliked. Being statistics-minded people, doing a survey on a statistics program was kind of fun.'m a geek.
These data were gathered from early September to late December in 2013 and included about 50 percent of the entire group of past and present users. Here are some highlights from the survey.
  • A little more than 75 percent of active participants found KPICs to be "somewhat" to "very" useful.
  • Past participants who dropped out did so typically because they thought that the benefits did not outweigh the time needed to enter and review data. (The new and easier web user experience noted above should help that!)
  • The top five parameters that people use to make business decisions are: labor multiple, backlog in days, revenue per employee, revenue per billable employee, and total revenue.
  • Perhaps most interesting to me was that only 25 percent of companies use KPICs to compare their company with their peers; most use it just to track their own business.
  • Just about 75 percent wanted more training on how to interpret and use the data to make better business decisions. (See the next section in this article.)
CSIA leadership is in the process of reviewing the feedback in this survey to improve the KPICs program.

Quarterly webinar series
The 2013 KPICs user survey gave us a clear message that users wanted more training on using and interpreting the financial data held in the KPICs database. To address this need, we will be holding a webinar every quarter to present a "deeper dive" on a selected set of parameters.

To keep it easy for people to attend, we are thinking about keeping these to 1/2 hour, shorter than the usual CSIA webinar. Our first webinar will be Friday, April 11. We'll hold one about every three months after that. Note that you do not need to be a KPICs user to benefit from these webinars; all you need is an interest in using financials to make business decisions. See you there!
Reminder: Salary Survey is always open

Don't forget that the Salary Survey is open any time your company needs statistics on employee salaries. Last year, the Statistics Committee recommended that we leave the survey open all year, allowing companies to get the latest information in a rolling fashion. The alternative of having a fixed data entry window, say only during the month of January, was not as popular as entering your updates and receiving a summary report at the exact time that you needed it.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming Conference!


Insurance update
by Paul Barnard, CSIA Insurance Program Manager

We welcome two new members:
  • Vertec Industrial Systems, Phoenix, Ariz., U.S.
  • Plant Werx Pte Ltd., Singapore
Once again the Executive Conference is upon us and I am looking forward to meeting with our current insured and prospective insured members. We have the Balboa C room in the conference hotel available for one-on-one meetings with members reserved from 8 a.m., Thursday, April 24, until lunch time on Saturday, April 26. Last year we had a tremendous response for these meetings, so I encourage you to contact me and book your consultation as early as possible.

Additionally, we will be having a lunch meeting in the room between 12 - 1:30 p.m., Thursday, April 24. Come join us for updates on our groundbreaking and unique insurance program, plus our new joint program with ISA to provide your subcontractors cost-effective general and professional liability insurance. To be launched in early May, this program will further enable our integrator members in the United States to apply CSIA best practices to their insurance coverage.
ARC Advisory Group and CSIA survey clients
ARC Advisory Group and CSIA have partnered to develop a survey of end-user clients, owner and operators. We are seeking their input on their experiences working with system integrators. The information will help improve delivery of automation by CSIA member companies.

We ask that our members in all countries, both Partner and Integrator, send the survey link to a few of their clients. It should be people with project activities, particularly those who work with system integrators.
Regarding privacy, all responses will be strictly confidential. No individual or company specific information will be disclosed. All responses will be tallied and only aggregated results will be published. The results will be sent to those who complete the survey and request the results.

If the response is sufficient for ARC to write an article, CSIA's analyst, Craig Resnick, will summarize the results in an article with distribution to ARC clients. Additionally, the article rights will be purchased by CSIA to allow distribution to our members. This valuable information can be used to enhance integrator/client relationships! For this project to be successful, all CSIA members are asked to encourage some of their clients to complete the survey.


The survey is located at CSIA Owner-Operator Survey.

Successful negotiations, like successful plays, need great lines - Part II

by Mark A. Voigtmann, CSIA Attorney


In last month's newsletter I disclosed that you will be seeing a first for the "legal segment" at this year's upcoming CSIA Executive Conference in San Diego. Not only will I be presenting alongside my colleague, Brian Clifford, but we will be doing so in the form of a play. Title: "The Negotiation (With Jokes)." Curtain time: 3:15 p.m., Thursday, April 24.   


Our idea is to take an automation project from initial sale to closeout and act out the negotiation strategies for each phase.   

Last month, I introduced the first three "acts," all of which concern the types of negotiations taking place in the early stages of a business relationship between integrator and end user-those that concern sales, important terms and conditions, and all of the trailing project details. Here are the final three acts:


Act IV: We Can Tell You, But We'd Have to Kill You. Handled correctly, a nondisclosure agreement can be a beautiful thing. It protects the end user from scattering its precious knowledge to the wind while ensuring that the integrator will have access to all of the important information necessary for delivering a quality system. Key tip to be explained more fully in San Diego: Don't permit the NDA to be cluttered with unnecessary matter.   


Act V: The Good News/Bad News. The negotiation does not end with the signing of an agreement. After crossing one finish line, there is always another starting gun that signals the beginning of an even more important race: the project itself. That can be a good news-bad news situation-with significant pitfalls lurking alongside every opportunity for additional profit. Key tip to be explained more fully in San Diego: The most important question to ask yourself in negotiating any change order is whether the effect of a proposed change goes beyond the change itself.   


Act VI: Your Imperfect Integration and Their Jury-Rigged Process. Those who work with clients who are knowledgeable in the ways of control systems (and their inherent imperfections) are the lucky ones. Those who do not . . . well, let's just say they may need a final negotiation before heading out to the next project: resolving a claim. Key tip to be explained more fully in San Diego: Don't throw it to the lawyers prematurely, even when the last thing you want to do is spend another minute with "that client." Yes, there are negotiation strategies even when "things go south." (And no, we are not talking about a trip to Cabo.)  


See you in San Diego.  


Mark Voigtmann is a partner in the automation practice at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.  He is the author of The Automation Legal Reference: a Guide to Legal Risk in the Automation, Robotics and Process Industries. He can be reached at or at 317-237-1265.  Follow Mark @automationlaw  

ISA Survival Training Series for automation engineers and system integrators

Take a look at these ISA-developed training programs for automation professionals, particularly the Automation Engineering Survival Training - Integrator Version. The next Integrator Version is May 5-9 in Columbia, Ill. These courses are perfect training for those new to the field of automation and a great refresher for the more seasoned professional.

Save $300 on MESA International-IndustryWeek conference registration
MESA International extends a special offer to CSIA members to attend MESA's 2014 North American Conference and IndustryWeek Best Plants Conference, May 5-7, 2014, at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, Wis. The event features:
  • World-class networking with 600+ manufacturers and a special evening event at the Harley-Davidson Museum
  • Three dozen breakout sessions presented by 50+ expert speakers
  • MESA's 2014 North American Conference: The conference includes four unConference sessions and six dedicated sessions covering manufacturing technologies during IW Best Plants
  • Plant tours: Harley-Davidson, MillerCoors, GE Healthcare, John Deere, Snap-On Tools, Quad/Graphics, Briggs & Stratton, Case New Holland, and more
  • High-profile presentations from: Rodney Brooks, founder of Rethink Robotics; Carlos Cardoso, CEO of Kennametal, Inc.; Nicholas Pinchuk, CEO of Snap-On Inc.; Tim Platt, VP information systems of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.; Kevin Christenson, Production & Equipment Monitoring & Global Manufacturing IT of Ford Motor Company, and more
  • Optional education course: On Monday, May 5, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., MESA will host the popular Global Education Program Course: The Role of MES/MOM for Scalable Continuous Improvement across Global Supply Chains for only $295. Students are eligible to earn 0.3 CEUs upon course completion. And, each student will receive MESA's Collaborative Manufacturing Dictionary with more than 1,000 definitions and a complimentary one-year MESA Basic Membership. Only 30 seats are available.
CSIA members: Use the discount code MESA.ORG at registration to claim $300 off. This discount code can also be used for sponsor and exhibitor discounts.

The Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA) leads education programs and discussions about implementing the latest information technologies in manufacturing production and business goals. When you want to understand the role of information technologies in manufacturing, MESA is the not-for-profit association to turn to. Join the conversation by subscribing to MESA's eNewsletter
PI North America offers educational opportunities

PI North America's main goal is educating the automation market about fieldbuses and industrial Ethernets in general and PROFIBUS and PROFINET in particular. To that end, there are webinars, newsletters, videos, blog posts, Tweets and one-day training classes.


The one-day training classes are held throughout North America at no charge to attendees. The classes are all training, not marketing or sales. Targeted at users, system integrators and original equipment manufacturers, the classes cover:

  • Justifying using a fieldbus or industrial Ethernet
  • Using PROFINET to connect IO, process instruments and drives
  • Diagnostics to improve uptime by simplifying troubleshooting and preventing downtime
  • Specialized features for peer-to-peer integration, functional safety, security and more

Vendors exhibit PROFINET and PROFIBUS devices so attendees can see real products. (Although they introduce themselves as the class begins, exhibitors do not make any sales pitches during the class.)

If you are curious about what happens throughout the class day, here is a short video overview from a recent class.


CSIA members are welcome to send as many of their staff and customers as they would like at no charge. Just register at one of the links below:



April 16

Kansas City

April 30


May 15


June 5


June 19


July 29


Sept. 9

Las Vegas

Oct. 9


Oct. 22


Nov. 4

Salt Lake City

Nov. 18

San Jose

Dec. 4


Other resources are available on the PI North America website.

Plan to attend the Automation Conference

The Automation Conference offers two days of education and networking for professionals in the discrete manufacturing, continuous and batch processing and packaging fields. The May 20-21 event will be held in Chicago, Ill., U.S.  


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 bloggers. Automation World and Summit Media Group are 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.

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




How Real Time Information Can Save Money and Boost Efficiency
Automation World

Concept Systems

How System Integrators Can Help Fill the Skills Gap
Automation World

Interstates Controls

How to Make Communication Central to Project Management
Automation World

Loman Controls

Safety Assessments: Three Questions to Ask First
Automation World


The Flexible Factory Part 2: The Portable Assembly Line

Automation World


A Bright Future for Automation
Food Digital