DMC is preparing for our fifth CSIA certification audit. The Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) is a professional organization that seeks to advance the industry of control system integration. CSIA certification is a rigorous audit recognizing integrators who meet business best practices and represent the best in the industry to customers selecting an integrator.
DMC and CSIA
Back in 2009, DMC Founder and CEO Frank Riordan wrote about preparing for our first CSIA certification. He mentioned that while prepping for the audit felt like "how Rocky only had eight weeks to prepare for his fight against Apollo Creed," DMC was continually "integrating best practices and procedures on an ongoing basis."
DMC passed the audit in 2009 exceeding the benchmark for top integrators. At that time, we had 23 employees and one office. At the end of last year, we had 175 employees and eight office locations around the country. While there's not necessarily causation, we believe that there's a correlation between CSIA certification and our company performance.
Since then, DMC has been re-certified by CSIA in 2012, 2015, and 2018. In our most recent audit, we improved our score from 306 to 337, gaining extra points in areas including management, human resources, and marketing. We hope to have another strong performance at this year's audit.
Why Get Certified?
The time and resources required to prepare for an audit are not trivial. However, we feel it's a worthwhile investment to validate our technical and business practices, stay ahead in our industry, and better serve our customers.
CSIA regularly updates the best practices and benchmarks, so recertification is a good refresher to ensure we're following the latest best practices and continuously improving. We feel that DMC is a better run company as a result of the certification process.
Preparing for the Audit
If you're considering a CSIA audit for your organization, there are many resources available on CSIA's website. We wrote a guide to CSIA certification back in 2010, and while some of the information isn't current the framework for how we approach the audit is the same.
Microsoft SharePoint has been an invaluable tool in keeping us organized for the audit. Rick Rietz shared our strategy in his presentation at the 2018 CSIA Executive Conference: 10 Tips and Tricks for Using SharePoint to Prepare for the CSIA Audit. These tips help establish a SharePoint structure that's easy to use and maintain.
This April, our audit will be a bit different as it will be conducted virtually for the first time. We look forward to validating and improving our existing processes and sharing the best practices with our customers.
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