In This Issue
Welcome new members 

ACS Engineering, Inc.
Irvine, California
United States

Coast Automation Inc.
Port Coquitlam, British Columbia

CyberMax Automation 
SA de CV
San Nicolas, Nuevo León

Hargrove Controls + Automation, LLC
Mobile, Alabama
United States

Kennewick, Washington
United States

Tigerpaw Software
Bellevue, Nebraska
United States


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Refer a new member!

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


Get in on the conversation!

Here is a sample of topics that members are sharing on the Open Forum:


· Seeking input on effective mentorship programs that you may have participated in and found worthwhile


· Has anyone developed an operations and maintenance manual computer based interface and if so what software platforms/applications were used to develop and deploy? The application would also interface with a GE Profiacy/Historian based SCADA and will include an dashboard type interface to drive process optimization.


· Does anyone have suggestions on ways to financially reward salaried employees for extra hours on billable work similar to overtime for hourly employees?


Log onto the Connected Community to join the conversation with your peers and stay in the know.



Have you reviewed the Resources for Managing Your System Integration Business library lately? There have been 1,400 downloads of the project management templates.


Have you reviewed the Resources for Partner Members library lately? The best practice for partner member technical webinars can be found there.
of the Month:

"Showing up on time is good ... showing up on time PREPARED is even better!"

~Ken Edmundson
 The go-to resource for control system integration.  

April 2015
Connect with José.
Welcome CSIA's new CEO, José  Rivera

I feel deeply inspired and humbled by the trust the CSIA Board of Directors and the Selection Committee has placed in me to lead this very respectable association in the automation world. I'm very impressed by all the great things CSIA has been able to accomplish from its founding in 1994 until today, and I'm extremely excited about the opportunity that lies ahead.


I bring a broad and global background in the automation industry. Just as importantly, I come with a very open attitude and willingness to understand from you what you consider to be the most important things we need to focus our efforts on. In the coming weeks and as part of my on-boarding, I will be reaching out to several of you over the phone and through personal visits. I will be working closely with Bob Lowe to benefit from his deep knowledge of CSIA. I will also be meeting regularly with the CSIA staff in Madison, Wisconsin to ensure a smooth transition. I look forward to our Executive Conference in Washington, DC to meet with the large number of members that we are expecting.


The continued success of CSIA relies on the active involvement of its members. I have had the opportunity to join several committees and task force meetings so far, and I'm impressed by the passion and energy displayed. I encourage you to continue to actively engage with the association. We have a great future ahead.


Analytics show 2015 is year of growth
for the Exchange
The Exchange has come a very long way since its development and launch in 2014. Throughout the last 12 months, you gave feedback and CSIA listened. We've tweaked and revised and added features to make the site a go-to extension of the system integration industry. 

Early in 2015, CSIA committed resources to advertise and promote the Exchange, targeting end-user clients. (See what one month of online advertising can do!) In the last two months alone, the number of unique users per month has nearly tripled, while the number of sessions per month has more than doubled. And there's more to come! View the complete Piktochart.


Introducing Tony Veroeven, CSIA's new Exchange manager

Hi, I'm Tony Veroeven, the new Online Exchange Manager with CSIA. I look forward to helping you establish and maintain a presence on the Industrial Automation Exchange. In other words, I want to help you grow your business and make you look good! I am your go-to person if you want to upgrade your profile, purchase ad space or if you have support questions. The CSIA Exchange is the place for control system integrators and suppliers to share their expertise, network, answer questions, and get in front of clients. If you are looking for an integrator or supplier, visit csiaexchange.comPlease drop me a note and let me know how I can help you. See you at the Executive Conference!  

Make your hotel reservations before Sunday

The Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia, will host the 2015 CSIA Executive Conference. Convenience and accessibility make the Crystal Gateway Marriott a truly unique destination. Located near Ronald Reagan Washington Airport and adjacent to the Crystal City Metro stop, guests can easily travel to Washington, D.C.'s museums, monuments and attractions.


A block of rooms have been reserved at a special rate of $239 until Sunday, April 5, 2015. Space is limited. Book your reservation online or call 877-212-5752. Group room rates will be extended three days prior and three days following the main program based on availability.


Executive Conference session:

CSIA Certification: 15 Years Later - To Be or Not To Be...

by Brian MullenCSIA Auditor, Exotek


There's a school of thought out there that says obtaining CSIA Certification isn't easy. How difficult this is depends on where you're starting from. Since 2000, CSIA Certification audits have been conducted at a broad cross-section of over 150 integrators globally. Many of these companies continue to renew their CSIA Certification, some looking forward to their sixth re-certification to date.


The vast majority of integrators who are currently certified have certified multiple times.  This would appear to be a testament to the fact that many companies have found value in certification. That said, getting off the mark can be a real hurdle for many.

For those companies considering certification for the first time, there are likely many questions and sometimes misperceptions about what's involved. Apart from where and how to start, perhaps the bigger question for some is "Why should I?"


Those currently certified already have insight to the answers for these questions, but realize some things have changed and may still wonder how to get recertified or perhaps why they should.


Getting started on the path toward certification or re-certification should be straightforward. If you have been thinking about getting certified or wondering whether you should renew, consider attending this session. We will share our observations and provide some guidance with regard to your questions. Topics include:

  • Certification program status and changes
  • CSIA's Certification Management System (CMS)
  • Certification versus best practices
  • Why companies certify, and re-certify
  • Where to begin
  • Who to contact and for what
  • The auditors and the auditing process
  • Preparing for an audit
  • Where to get help

Executive Conference session:

No Really-Tell Me How You Feel

by Nigel James, President, Burrow Global Services, LLC

Project lessons learned are an integral part of our continuous improvement business model. Many clients are surprised at the emphasis we put on lessons-learned activities and communications, but we consider them one of our most effective tools in growing long-term business relationships and compelling internal organizational change.


It's easy to think of lessons learned as a single event or meeting but constant opportunities for lessons learned exist throughout a project. Unfortunately, we ourselves, are often the biggest challenge to the lessons-learned process. We fail to prioritize lessons learned and don't effectively communicate their benefits, which can allow a prevailing attitude that they aren't worth our time.


However, the benefits of lessons learned are real and project management best practices include them as an important part of closing the project loop. For integrator organizations, the question is, how to create lessons learned processes that engage employees and clients without requiring large investments of time and resources. Six critical elements of lessons learned success are:

  1. A simple, clear process
  2. A good facilitator
  3. Keeping discussions high level, and not getting bogged down in details
  4. Having a way to share the findings and keeping a lessons-learned knowledge base
  5. An established method for making recommended changes
  6. Communicate improvement actions to your client

Executive Conference

Webinar for first-time Executive Conference attendees


First-Time Attendee Webinar: Getting the most from the Executive Conference 2015 

Friday, April 17, 10 a.m. CT 


This webinar is designed for anyone attending the CSIA Executive Conference for the first time. The intent is to provide you with extra tools and insight that will help you maximize your experience in Washington DC. After all, you don't know what you don't know. 

Not your first conference? We encourage you to participate, too. You can offer your own insight and gain some in the process. 

Note, this webinar replaces the First Time Attendee Lunch formerly held at the conference. 


Register Now

Surveys - present, past, future
Your participation is crucial and responses highly valued


Present: J.P. Morgan / CSIA semi-annual SI industry survey

Note to Integrator member primary contacts: you should have received an email from J.P. Morgan on March 26 with a link to our semi-annual collaborative survey of the system integration industry. I can't overstate the importance of this survey. The survey results help J.P. Morgan industry analysts forecast business trends and help CSIA better understand our industry. As of March 31 there was a record breaking number of 223 respondents! The most responses we have received on past surveys is 215. We extend our gratitude to those who completed the survey thus far. The survey closes on Wednesday April 8 so there is still ample time to complete it. 


Please know that the results, both the raw data and a professional report (about 40 pages long) by JP Morgan, are provided to respondents only. CSIA Partner members may receive the results upon request. Don't miss this opportunity. If you have misplaced the survey link, contact Rajat Gupta at JPM.


Past: Hiring Survey report

CSIA and express our gratitude to the 50 members who completed the Hiring Survey. The results support the Replacing an Employee - The Clock is Ticking! presentation by Pat Supanich and Alan Carty at our upcoming conference. The survey remains open for a short time so please tell us your hiring practices if you haven't already to make the results more comprehensive. Survey results will be put in the CSIA library after the conference. Thank you!


Past: Report on the survey of end user clients

CSIA and ARC Advisory Group thank all of our members who had their clients complete the survey. The information is valuable for CSIA and our members and equally valuable to Craig Resnick at ARC who will use the information in his CSIA executive conference session. The total number of respondents was 110 which is awesome. A summary of the survey results will be placed in the CSIA library.


Future: Membership Survey

CSIA does a membership survey every couple of years to learn from our members what you think of our past performance and your hopes for CSIA in the future. We exist to serve our members so please help us help you by completing the survey. The survey will be sent to primary contacts in mid-April. As with the J.P. Morgan survey, this survey is critically important to CSIA leadership so please participate.


CSIA Certified
Show off your CSIA!
Download logos and marketing resources 


Are you a CSIA Certified member? If so, are you using the correct logo? As a reminder, about a year ago a new logo was designed that more easily distinguishes it from the standard CSIA logo. The new logo has a big checkmark. The certified logo can be found in the Marketing Resources - Certified members library. When visiting that library, read about logo usage, open the marketing kit and see the marketing fliers uniquely for certified members.


Non-certified members will find logo and marketing information in the Marketing Resources - All Members library.


Another library that Integrator members should investigate is the Resources for managing your system integration business library. The library that all Partner members should investigate is Resources for Partner Members

Coming up!
webinar series
See all the archives on the webinar page.

Configuration Management Defined...Finally. Part 3: CM using software systems  Thursday, April 23, 2015, 11 a.m. ET
Nishant Saini, automation system integrator, Avid Solutions

In Part 1 of this three-webinar series, Henk-Jan Scholman explained CM and how it impacts both the business and project management of a system integration company. In Part 2 Jeff Miller explained how we can implement CM using manual systems. Part 3 culminates the series with discussion and real world examples of implementing software systems to achieve the task. We will explain how to quickly get started with CM using free/commercial software tools and leave behind your woes about managing project information. We will also discuss how to evolve your CM systems to implement agile project management techniques giving distinct advantage to your company. Be sure to join us.

CSIA monthly webinars are sponsored by Software Toolbox.

Register Now

See all the archives on the webinar page.


Coming in May (date to be announced soon)!


Industrial IP Advantage - The Bridge to IoT Value

Presented by Panduit, Cisco and Rockwell Automation

To capture value provided by the Internet of Things revolution, manufacturers are looking for system integrators that have the capabilities and skill sets to deliver a complete set of lifecycle services. This webinar will provide an overview of how the Industrial IP Advantage ( initiative and Cisco, Panduit and Rockwell Automation are addressing this opportunity by delivering training, certification programs, education and services around common standards based IP technologies required to effectively design, build and manage converged IT and OT network architectures, and drive new business models for SI's.

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


Interstates Control Systems

Stop the leaks before they stop your business

Food Engineering


Avid Solutions

5 Questions for Mobile Manufacturing

Automation World


Optimation Technology, Inc.

Renewable energy research facility power monitor



Concept Systems

Reducing packaging bottlenecks 

Food Engineering


Loman Control Systems Inc.

From Classroom to Career
Automation World



HTML5 in Industrial Applications

Automation World


Concept Systems Inc.

Creating a Prioritized List for Your Automation Roadmap

Automation World 



Designing and manufacturing highly engineered gears and gearboxes 

Aerospace Manufacturing and Design


Looking for a little free press of your own? 
Watch for media opportunities announcements in the Open Forum

We recently posted a media opportunity with Food Safety magazine in the CSIA Open Forum. We have many ongoing opportunities for case studies and applications examples. Contact CSIA's Kristin McGuine for more information about how to get published!

Committee and task force activities


Best Practices Committee

Developing Revision 5 of the Best Practices and Benchmarks manual by improving current sections and adding cybersecurity, health, safety, and other best practices, as well as making it fully applicable globally

Certification Task Force

Working on initiatives to: 

- Brand CSIA Certification in the marketplace as an industry standard
- Design selection and performance standards for integrators for use by clients and OEMs
- Create a system for incremental audits towards certification
- Develop a "Levels of Maturity" model that exhibits best practices application to company growth
- Develop an onboarding program for new members and facilitate peer groups

Client Marketing Committee

- Developing user requirement specification (URS) templates for use by clients
- Developing a presentation about CSIA Certification for our integrators to use at client meetings

Cybersecurity Task Force

Writing a white paper on cybersecurity best practices for industrial control systems that will be modeled after IEC 62443-2-4

European Advisory Committee

- Working with several Partner members in Europe to do webinars for their internal personnel and for their integrators
- Researching the most effective way to have a physical presence in Europe

Integrator Marketing Committee

- Developing a best practice that encourages members to include CSIA in their company marketing
- Assisting in development of a project management training program
- Developing a guideline listing the many considerations that impact a client's return on automation investment so that SIs can speak to those investment drivers
- Creating short two-minute videos on each of the benefits of CSIA membership

Leadership Development Committee

Identify, recruit and train future CSIA leaders, primarily for the Board of Directors

Statistics Committee

Developing a new program called Pulse. It refines and simplifies KPICs to improve data entry and to generate reports that are applicable to metrics (KPIs) specific to SI company performance. Learn the details at the conference.


Ensure that you have adequate workers compensation coverage

by Paul Barnard


I have been concentrating on the need to ensure your subcontractors have the appropriate general and professional errors and omissions liability coverage. This month, I discuss the importance of ensuring that they have workers compensation coverage.


I have often heard the following from members: "He worked for us for years, knows the job, and we'll simply give him a 1099. "She's a sole proprietor and can't buy workers compensation." "So they don't have insurance. Everyone uses a few uninsured subs." and "It's no big deal." Is it really no big deal? Or, could you be creating a legal mess and blowing a large hole in your balance sheet?


Employee or independent contractor

The IRS applies common law rules to determine if an individual is an employee or independent contractor.

  1. Behavior: Does the company control or have the right to control when and how the work is performed?
  2. Financial: Are business aspects of the job controlled by the payer? This would include how payments are made and expenses reimbursed, as well as who provides supplies and tools.
  3. Relationship: Does a written contract exist, are benefits provided, and will the relationship continue when the job is complete?

It comes as no surprise the IRS expects to collect Social Security and Medicare Tax from employers on employee earnings. Misclassification could result in responsibility for past taxes, fines, penalties and greater IRS scrutiny. Check the IRS website for more information on this critical subject.


Workers compensation

If you hire a sub without workers compensation, your policy will respond if injuries occur. Your carrier will pick up the cost of uninsured subs at audit time and charge you additional premiums. A claim from an uninsured subcontractor will increase your experience modification, raise your premiums and potentially cause the loss of contracts with clients who only work with vendors meeting a minimum experience modification requirement.


What to do

Only hire insured subcontractors using a written contract. Develop risk transfer requirements and institute effective follow-up procedures to make sure the requirements are followed. Obtain proper certificates of insurance and copies of endorsements providing the required coverage. Maintain organized files and set up a suspense system to keep files accurate and up to date. Bring back the former employees as employees or hire them through a staffing agency where they will be employees of the agency. Finally, always remember that it could be a big deal!


For more information on this or any of our insurance programs please contact Paul Barnard, CSIA insurance program manager, at 610-507-6595 or via email at


The wisdom of "baking in" legal fees
by Mark Voigtmann, CSIA Attorney


I am sure we can all agree that lawyers are too expensive. We might even all agree that lawyers with specialized expertise, such as those familiar with the business of CSIs, can be even pricier than pricey attorneys who consider themselves generalists. Where we might disagree, however, is in determining the point at which fees are so high that they should be avoided.


I suspect that most CSIs who have been in business for any length of time would say something like, "We compare the legal expense to the amount of money at stake." But what exactly are we talking about here? In our role as attorneys for many CSIA members, we have seen three distinct approaches to defining "the amount of money at stake," each with its own advantages and disadvantages. 

One common method is to take a look at the contract amount, or sometimes the amount of the upside, for a particular project. Some would say that the legal "overhead" must be limited to some percentage of that, perhaps 2%, otherwise the project may no longer be profitable. For instance, if the project is small to medium-sized (say $50,000) the maximum legal fee considered would be $1,000. The obvious advantage to this approach is cost. The disadvantage is that legal risk is not a creature that feels constrained to the limits of project value. A better option would be to take a look at your company valuation. That amount, not the dollar signs on your contract, will be a much more accurate measure of the "amount at stake." This way, you will be much better prepared when the uninsured meltdown occurs, as it does all too often.   

Erecting fences
Using this approach, one does not simply hope that the horses will not get out of the barn (this is the optimism of the project-specific approach), but assumes that they will, erecting fences to contain them. The fences are a combination of effective insurance, such as the program tailored to technology companies that is available through Paul Barnard, and frequent use of attorneys, with the attorneys specifically assigned to be on the lookout for the places where the horses typically get out. Those places could be one-sided contract clauses (e.g., indemnity, warranties and scope definitions) and missing contract provisions (e.g., limitation of liability, intellectual property protections), among others. The "savings" comes from focusing the attorneys only on the big stuff. This is pretty smart, and some clients of ours have even created a protocol for reviewing contracts. But even here there is a disadvantage. Sometimes legal risk arrives from stuff that is not on the protocol.   

Baked-in fees
The third approach views legal fees as a sort of overhead that is part of the cost of doing business. The disadvantage of this approach is, as you might suspect, there can be a higher cost, because lawyers are consulted regularly on risks of all sorts. The advantage, of course, is that the CSI is building a culture of risk avoidance, and, as strange as it may seem, building a tolerance of the cost of such avoidance. The legal bill arrives more or less monthly and is paid along with salaries.

As you might suspect, and we fully recognize that it is self-serving for us to say so, we consider the baked-in approach to be a sign of a mature business. Having said that, we also recognize that the owners of CSIs are entrepreneurs who did not get where they are without taking calculated risks, so we do not cry foul when they follow any one of the three appraoches. We only cry foul when CSIs do not choose a strategy consciously.   


Mark Voigtmann and his firm Faegre Baker Daniels are counsel to the CSIA. Mark is the author of The Automation Legal Reference, a Guide to Legal Risk in the Automation, Robotic and Process Industries. Mark can be reached at or 317-237-1265.

Special offers at MESA 2015 North American Conference
CSIA is excited to announce that we will be a supporting sponsor of MESA International's 2015 North American Conference, May 4-6 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Themed Advancing. Manufacturing. IT., the MESA North American Conference is co-located within the IndustryWeek Best Plants Conference & Expo. CSIA attendees get discounted rates and the benefits of both events with one ticket:
  • 50+ expert speakers, including 6 MESA unConferences
  • 6 industry tracks, including MESA's "Manufacturing Meets IT" track
  • 700+ conference attendees, including MESA members, leaders and sponsors
  • 36 breakout sessions, including 6 MESA speakers
  • The Expo hall of solution providers, complete with MESA's "Manufacturing Meets IT" pavilion
  • Dozens of plant tours
  • Keynote presentations from some of industry's top business leaders
  • An offsite event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway and a chance for you to "race like the pros" during the Richard Petty Driving Simulation
  • And much, much more...
CSIA members use code "CSIAMESA2015" at registration and get:
  • Over $150 off admission ($1,195 vs. $1,349), or
  • $500 off a 10'x10' exhibit booth in the MESA "Manufacturing Meets IT" Pavilion.
We believe there are strong synergies between CSIA and MESA and encourage all CSIA members to consider attending and/or exhibiting at the event. Learn more and register today on the MESA website. For questions on exhibiting, please contact Brandy Richardson at

To CSIA members outside of North America, MESA hosts events globally so watch for events near you.


The Automation Conference 2015 to explore technologies that are transforming today's manufacturing 

Partnership with CSIA includes a $100 registration discount for members


This May 19-20, technology end-users, experts, and other industry professionals will convene in Chicago to explore leading-edge automation technologies that are transforming manufacturing in the U.S. and around the world. Now in its fourth year, The Automation Conference program is designed for engineering and management professionals within discrete manufacturing, packaging, and continuous and batch processing. Taking place at the Chicago Marriott O'Hare, TAC 2015 is produced by the publishers of Automation World, Packaging World and Healthcare Packaging.


Speakers include professionals from General Mills, MOL Danube Refinery, Corning Inc., Industrial Internet Consortium and IHS. In addition, over a dozen leading solution providers will present in-depth educational workshops that focus on specific challenges, products and strategies.


The 2015 program will include Smart Manufacturing systems, how 3D printing is penetrating traditional manufacturing, interoperability, unlocking big data to increase productivity, IIoT, mobile HMI, safety and more.


Registration is now open at CSIA member companies can save $100 with discount code: CSIA15.