Executive Conference - Road to Puerto Rico
Message from CEO
CSIA Executive Conference in review
In April, we held our 18th Executive Conference, which this year took place in Puerto Rico. With 496 attendees, we got very close to the record set at our San Diego conference in 2014. We had our usual "high school reunion" atmosphere; presentations and panels where SIs shared their experiences as company owners, such as Lessons from Touching a Hot Stove and Strategic and Exit Options Available to CSIA Business Owners; and plenty of time for networking. We tried a few new things that proved successful for the most part, including a Fun Run and Walk, a Women in Industry Breakfast and unConferences.

Video highllights from CSIA2016
Video highllights from CSIA2016

Video Highlights from CSIA2016
CSIA Member Media Placements 2015-2016
Save the date!

Your CSIA Benefits
You are entitled to more than you think!
Getting the word out about ALL CSIA membership benefits
I've had the opportunity to talk with a large percentage of CSIA members in the year I have been onboard. I have been surprised to learn that some are not fully aware of what we have to offer beyond the Executive Conference and the Best Practices manual. 

Message from the Chairman of the Board
Influence the marketplace so that CSIA Certification becomes commonly required by end-user clients
The mission of the Control System Integrators Association is to advance the industry of control system integration. 

To deliver on this mission we have the following strategic objectives (focus points): 

  1. Help system integrators be more professional and build better businesses. 
  2. Be a forum for all members to network, train, discuss common issues and share best practices. 
  3. Influence the marketplace so that CSIA Certification becomes commonly required by end-user clients. 
This strategic direction hasn't changed and it continues to provide us with guidance. Over the years, we have asked our members through our membership survey how well we are delivering on our strategic objectives. The input on the two top objectives is that we are doing fine. When it comes to influence the marketplace, we are not doing so well.

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Cybersecurity for the municipal infrastructure: Are we doing enough?
The volumes of information written about cybersecurity can be mind-boggling. The subject has important implications for everyone, especially for those of us involved with industrial control systems and software-based automation of water, sewer and electric systems. Legacy control systems have always been vulnerable because they weren't designed with cyber attacks in mind. They were designed to perform specific, automated functions, such as regulating valve operations, and nothing else. But that was well before the onslaught of malware - that malicious software code intended to harm controllers or otherwise penetrate the automation infrastructure. The world has changed around us, though, and now municipal plant managers must respond.  Or must they? 

Connected Community
It has been an active month in CSIA's Open Forum discussion thread
Check it out, and while you are at it, chime in on some of the ongoing discussions:

Financial information requests from customers 
We have a customer in the Automotive Industry that is requesting financial information from our company. They are requesting our company's gross revenue, expenses, and net income for the past 3 years. We are a privately held company that is reluctant to share this information. Has anyone else experienced these requests and how did you address the request?  
Credit card payments 
We are considering accepting credit card payments for invoices. Can anyone provide information on the how you invoice clients that you know will pay via credit card? Do you pass along the fees, and how do you disclose that? How are you accepting the credit card payment - Are you using Paypal, Square one, Intuit or something else?
How to leverage the CSIA Legal Plan
The CSIA Legal Plan, in which all CSIA members are automatically enrolled as a benefit of membership, presents a bundle of free and discounted legal services oriented to the special needs of integrators. But how does one use it? The challenge for each CSIA Member is to determine the optimum leveraging of the Plan at the lowest cost. Here are some tips: Use the freebies and near-freebies. This is an obvious no-brainer. All CSIA members are entitled to have their standard company contract/terms and conditions reviewed and updated in English either free of charge or at a significant discount.

The CSIA Insurance Program evaluation of the 2016 Executive Conference
Another conference has finished and what a conference it was! There was a super attendance at our Insurance Program lunch. It is always a pleasure to meet existing and potential insured members. The presentation Lessons from Touching a Hot Stove was one of my favorites. Five long-time CSIA members stood up and revealed details of their personal business disasters. Both witty and illuminating. One of the disasters discussed involved employee dishonesty which resulted in a substantial loss exceeding $400,000. Employee dishonesty is a subject that I often find members not taking seriously enough, thereby leaving themselves wide open to this hazard.

Industrial Automation Exchange
Do you want more traffic to your Exchange Profile and company website?
  • Contribute to the forthcoming Exchange blog. It's a great way to demonstrate your expertise and get placement on the Exchange homepage. 
  • Feature your CEO, president or key executive with a Q&A interview.
  • Post an article to your profile. When you do, the article goes directly to the Exchange newsfeed!
New and renewing Exchange subscribers. Join them!
SICK, Inc.   

Contact Exchange community manager Tony Veroeven  for information!
webinar series

Digital Marketing 101
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 4:00 p.m. EDT
Presented by Canary Labs
Best Practices from Peer-to-Peer
Strategic Planning is Not an Event, It is a Continuous Process
Wednesday, June 8, 2016 11:00 a.m. EDT
Presented by Anthony Valasek, PREMIER System Integrators

When to Go Wireless with Industrial Communications
Tuesday, June 14, 2016, 11:00 a.m. EDT
Zechariah Hoffman, Phoenix Contact

Register Now 
Partner Members: Host a webinar in 2016 and connect with SI members
Partner members, did you know as part of your membership you can host a Partner Technical Webinar?  Need ideas on what to present? Educate our SI members and their clients with a white paper or case study. Highlight a challenge or trend in a certain industry. 

One Partner member recently reported that they received phone calls from attendees immediately after their webinar!  Email Tony Veroeven to get one scheduled in 2016.

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