September 2019
Message from the Chair
By Luigi De Bernardini

Greetings from your CSIA Board of Directors. We are getting close to the end of a very hot season (summer or winter, depending on where you are). I have the feeling that it has been unusually warm all around the globe, both in climate and business. It was for sure in Italy! I hope you had some time over the past couple of months to relax and recharge with your families.

It has been an intense period for CSIA as well. CEO Jose Rivera and the team worked hard to implement all the initiatives we have in place and to make CSIA a stronger and more resilient association and community. 

Message from the CEO
By Jose Rivera

I hope that you are enjoying the last days of the season, replenishing your internal batteries in preparation for what is normally a busy fall.

2020 Executive Conference update

Planning for the 2020 Executive Conference started a while back. As is customary for CSIA, we announced that we will host the event in New Orleans, May 19-22. We are now shifting into higher gear. Monica Saunders and I did a site visit August 7-9, and we have already booked the first speakers.
The theme of the conference is “Claiming the Role of the SI in the Digital Transformation.” The Digital Transformation Task Force , chaired by Sam Hoff , CEO of Patti Engineering , is generating not only very valuable monthly presentation/discussion sessions, but, in the process, is creating relevant content for the 2020 conference.

By Lisa Richter

Here’s your quarterly roundup of recent podcasts and blogs you may have missed on the Industrial Automation Exchange .

Industrial Automation Exchange Blog

Recent topics posted on the Exchange blog include:

Talking Industrial Automation Podcast

If you are a podcast fan, you’ll want to check out CSIA’s Talking Industrial Automation. Some of the latest episodes include:
  • Episode 27: Mike Howard, vice president, system integration, George T. Hall Co., shares his lessons learned from scaling up quickly to meet customer demand and the challenges his clients are facing.
  • Episode 28: Jeff Burnstein, president of the Association of Advancing Automation, predicts the role of robotics in manufacturing and the impact they will have on businesses, as well as what the industry needs to do to prepare for the future.

Interested in being a podcast guest or guest blogger? Both are available to organizations that have upgraded to a Gold Profile. Contact Lisa Richter to learn how you can take advantage of these opportunities to position your C-suite as thought leaders.

Lisa Richter is industry director at the Control System Integrators Association in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois.

Register now and get 20% off this cybersecurity course
Are you one of the 78% of CSIA members who said they wanted cybersecurity training? If so, you are in luck.

CSIA is collaborating with the International Society of Automation (ISA) to offer  IC32E - Using the ISA/IEC 62443 Standard to Secure Your Control Systems.

This 8-week, on-demand course available in your time zone will give you the skills and expertise you need to compete in a high-demand marketplace. Plus, you’ll get to network with professional classmates who share similar technical issues.

CSIA members save $360 per a negotiated discounted rate. Registration closes September 6, and the course begins September 9.

Learn more about the course here .

Optimizing efficiency on the plant floor
By Cheran D.P.

In industrial manufacturing, system integrators are often faced with the difficult task of increasing production efficiency without changing existing processes on the plant floor.

This was just the case with Kaleesuwari, an India-based manufacturer of edible oil. Working together, SAS Automation and Red Lion Controls were able to implement a solution that enabled the company to increase the accuracy of its production data, avoid unplanned downtime, remotely monitor machine status and streamline its stock and production – all without changing its existing production process. 

The secret to longevity in business
By Jim Biehl, CPA, MST

Have you ever wondered how some companies last for generations while others fade into obsolescence? In Clayton & McKervey’s history of working with closely held businesses, several shared traits among companies reaching the 50-year mark and beyond have proven to be a success time and again.

Observing established companies functioning as finely tuned machines, while welcoming change, it’s clear that these principles foster the longevity of industry leaders.

Mark your calendar for these upcoming events
CSIA will be hosting a regional event on October 8. All are welcome.

Held in conjunction with an in-person Digital Transformation Task Force and Partner Committee meetings, this regional event will take place at CSIA headquarters in Oakbrook Terrace, just outside of Chicago. The event is open to all, but registration is required as well as a small fee to cover meal expenses. Find out more .

Questions? Contact Jill Gabbert, Operations Director, at
CSIA will also be attending Rockwell Automation Fair , November 21-22. If you are attending, plan to stop by the CSIA booth. CSIA members will receive a small gift.

Professional vs. general liability insurance:
Not understanding the difference can cost you millions
By Jeff Forbes

In the insurance world, there is a very fine line between professional liability and general liability. While some claims easily fall into one category or the other, there is also significant gray area in between the two.

This gray area can easily lead to disputes between insurance carriers as to which one has responsibility for responding to a claim, leading to the policyholder feeling like a hot potato being passed back and forth while facing the prospect of major litigation.

We need to talk about the M word
By Lisa Richter

It’s no secret that some system integrators are skeptical of marketing at best or believe it has no place in an SI business at worst. But SIs following the CSIA Best Practices and Benchmarks manual understand the M word isn’t dirty.

In fact, according to the BP Manual, you should consider these questions:

  • Do you have the roles and responsibilities for the marketing functions defined and documented?
  • Do you have a documented marketing strategy and marketing plan?
  • Do you have a concise and brief message that describes what you do and what value your clients receive from doing business with you? Do you train people on the message? Is the message reviewed periodically for alignment with your current capabilities?
  • Do your marketing materials accurately represent the company and its capabilities?
  • Do you have a documented promotion plan?
  • Do you have a logo and/or standard type style for all external stationery, business cards, presentation materials, reports and proposals with a process defined for change management with approval definition?
  • Do you have a practice for preparing and maintaining project descriptions and associated materials used to present qualifications? Is the client’s approval secured prior to release to market?

For more information on this topic, see CSIA Best Practices Manual (5 th revision) in the Marketing, Business Development, Sales and Opportunity section entitled Marketing Management (3.1).

Lisa Richter is industry director at the Control System Integrators Association in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois.

LATAM Update / Noticias de LATAM
What happened in Mexico City in the month of July?

By Carolina Casas Anzola

With a series of meetings held on July 22, 23 and 24, the LATAM team, along with CSIA CEO José Rivera in Mexico City, strengthened ties and refined strategies with our vendor partners and integrators.

The opportunity was also very useful for the consolidation of the team, including Administrative Assistant Cynthia Ramírez, that will be spearheading the design and execution of strategies set by the organization in the coming months.  

¿Qué pasó en Ciudad de México en el mes de Julio?

Por Carolina Casas Anzola

Con una serie de encuentros y fructíferas reuniones, celebradas ​los pasados 22,23 y 24 de Julio, recibimos la distinguida visita de ​nuestro CEO José Rivera en la Ciudad de México​, en ocasión estrechar lazos y afinar estrategias con nuestros Vendors Partner e Integradores para la Región.

La oportunidad fue también muy provechosa, para la consolidación del team que será punta de lanza en el diseño y ejecución de estrategias que apuntan a los objetivos trazados por la organización en los meses por venir. 

Help Us Help You Run Your Business! 
(And Get a Chance to Win a Gift Card)
The CSIA Pulse Survey is a member benefit designed to track KPIs essential to running your business. The more participants, the more insightful this information will be! We’re looking to understand how to make this survey both informative and easy-to-use. Here’s where we need your help. Can you spare 5 minutes to
help in our assessment about why your firm does, or does not, participate?
Click here to get started now.
Example Questions

  • Does it take too long? 
  • Is it too difficult to fill out? 
  • Would you benefit from help to get you started? 
  • Or, do you just need more information about how the Pulse Survey can help guide your business planning?
What Is the Pulse Survey?

The Pulse Survey is a quarterly survey that will track your company’s performance against its peer group. We’re hoping to understand how we can improve the process through this quick assessment. 
Win a Gift Card!

For your time, you’ll be entered into a random drawing for 1 of 5 Starbucks gift cards.  

For more information about the Pulse Survey, contact Tim Finerty at
Media Opportunities
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Or do you simply love what you do and want to write about it?

Take a look at the media opportunities below -- exclusively for CSIA members. Click on each one to see details in our Open Forum (log-in required):

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Date: Tuesday, September 10

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