Control System Integrators Association
|Executive Director||Bob Lowe|
The Control System Integrators Association, or CSIA, is a global, not-for-profit, professional association for control systems integrator companies . Founded in 1994, its mission is “to bring successful system integration to the marketplace by creating recognition and demand for CSIA certified members; improving system integration best practices and performance; and providing an industry forum and networking opportunities”. Its activities include certification, organizing events, providing industry-specific business insurance, and establishing best practices, which are published in a manual and other guides.
CSIA is the largest organization in North America for independent control system integrators, and represents member firms that provide more than $1 billion annually in industrial automation systems . They have 360 members as of 2/3/2011, which are listed in their online directory of integrators.
The CSIA organizes an annual conference, the CSIA Executive Conference, which is usually held in late April or early May. They also put on webinars, have sales training programs, as well as workshops on a variety of industry related subjects. The 2013 conference will be held from May 1-4, in St.Petersburg, Florida.
A collection of industry best practices are published in the CSIA Best Practices & Benchmarks manual. The current edition is "Version 4.0", published in May 2012. Their best practices cover the following eight areas:
- General Management – Includes the topics of Strategic Management, Organizational Structure, Facilities and Equipment, Computer Systems Management, and Corporate Risk Management.
- Human Resources Management – Includes the topics of Administration, Recruitment and Selection, Performance Management, Training and Development, Compensation and Benefits, and Employee Communications.
- Marketing, Business Development, & Sales Management
- Financial Management – Includes the topics of Measures of Financial Performance, Financial Planning, Billing Procedures, Management of Credit, Expenses, Cash, and Security, Project Financial Reporting, and Tax Policy
- Project Management – Includes topics of Contract Management, Procurement Management, Planning, Risk Management, Resource Management, Communications Management, Scope Management, Schedule Management, Budget Management, Change Management, Quality Management, and Closure.
- System Development Lifecycle – Includes the topics of Internal Kickoff, Requirements, Design, Development, Unit/Module & Integration Testing, Factory Acceptance Testing, System Shipping, Installation, Commissioning and Site Acceptance Testing.
- Supporting Activities – Includes the topics of Process Development and Maintenance, Standards and Templates, Project Methodologies, Procurement Management, Risk Management, Configuration Management, and Reuse Management.
- Quality Assurance Management – Includes the topics of Continuous Measurable Improvement, Client Satisfaction Measurement, Client Service, and Project Quality Assurance.
The CSIA began certifying companies in 2000. To be certified, a company must pass an audit based on 76 of the most critical criteria in the Best Practices manual. To be eligible for certification a company must also be an Associate Member, for which the requirements include achieving annual integration services revenues of $600,000 during the three-year period prior to application for CSIA membership, and attending two CSIA Annual Executive Conferences in a three-year period. Companies also must re-certify every three years. As of early 2013, CSIA had over 400 certified members.
CSIA vendor members such as GE Intelligent Platforms, National Instruments, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, and Siemens, have incorporated CSIA certification into the requirements for their respective system-integrator partnership programs.
CSIA's Insurance Programs were created to respond to CSIA members’ need for appropriate and cost-effective coverage that reflects the exposures associated with control system integration, a complex area which is difficult to insure without a proper understanding of the operations of a control system integrator. Before the insurance program, many CSIA members noted that they believed their insurance arrangements were inappropriate, leading them to be misclassified and resulting in potentially dangerous gaps in coverage. This is the only insurance program available for control system integrators, and has been expanded to include international coverage and surety bonding.
Four awards are granted by the CSIA annually at their executive conference. These are the Charlie Bergmann Award, the Partner Award, the Rising Star Awar, and the Individual Partner Award.