If you are an industrial end-user of automation technology – manufacturer, oil & gas company, water/wastewater plant, etc. – from time to time you may need to hire a control system integrator for assistance with your automation. Integrating automation technology in today’s industrial environment can be a high-risk and complex undertaking. When the need arises, how do you vet and choose the right control system integrator?
There are many companies out there to choose from. When you are hiring a company to work on automation that is critical to your keeping your operation running, you want to be assured the project will be in good hands. Therefore, when it comes to vetting your options, you will want to know the company you are choosing meets criteria such as:
- Technically competent
- Trusted and reputable
- Company culture of service and strong ethics
- Proven track record with solid references
- Structured standards in place
- Operates a stable, financially healthy business
- Has employee continuity and proficiency
- Has project management excellence
- Provides value for the price
- Has a keen focus on risk avoidance
Here is where the CSIA Certification comes into play. CSIA Certification is the gold-seal mark of a professionally managed control system integration business. You can rest assured when hiring a CSIA Certified control system integrator that much of the vetting process has been done for you.
Most are familiar with ISO certification. While ISO may be more broadly recognized, ISO applies to a wide-range of entities and many different industries. The audit for CSIA Certification takes a much deeper dive into good business practices specific to control system integration companies. ISO certification offers quality management to make sure operations are consistent for a business. CSIA delivers that same consistency, but expands the concept to include business management, financial management, human resources, project management capabilities and more.
CSIA members earn the “Certified Member” distinction by meeting stringent performance standards – as measured in an intensive audit process conducted by an independent third-party consulting firm. CSIA Certification demonstrates the commitment of a control system integrator to meet the highest standards for business and management. Technical proficiency alone is not enough. The list includes many criteria that you may not think of when selecting an integrator, such as disaster recovery plans, computer system backups and internal quality audits.
Of the 300 guidelines in the CSIA Best Practices & Benchmarks manual, a company must pass 79 audit criteria to become CSIA Certified. To maintain certification, companies must successfully pass an audit every three years.
Patti Engineering is proud to have passed the CSIA audit for the fifth consecutive time in 2015. “The CSIA has raised the professionalism bar in our industry and we are honored to be a part of that ongoing effort,” said Sam Hoff, CEO of Patti Engineering.
Bottom line, if you are hiring a CSIA Certified Member, your company can be confident that you are working with a financially healthy company capable of completing projects in a professional and technically sound manner.