I just signed DMC up for our first CSIA Certification Audit. CSIA stands for the Control Systems Integrators Association (although sometimes people get confused and think we are talking about Crime Scene Investigation or Central Intelligence Agency. OK, no one ever really gets confused, but if they did, those would be the first two likely inferences that would be made).
CSIA is the premier and largest organization in the world for controls system integrators. CSIA is an international organization representing member firms that provide more than $1 billion annually in industrial automation systems. The Certified Member process, which is completed by a third party audit company, is one that validates the business practices of integrators and helps customers who are selecting an integrator to reduce the risk and worry in that process.
Our audit will be in less than 2 months - on April 10th. Last year, the first year I attended the CSIA annual conference, I asked people who had been certified how long they took to prepare. The answers were anywhere from 9 months to two years. Our formal preparation truly begins today - kind of like how Rocky only had eight weeks to prepare for his fight against Apollo Creed. Although we are only formally preparing for the audit for a short period of time, I believe that we actually have been preparing for it over the past 12 years, integrating best practices and procedures on an ongoing basis.
This will be a very interesting process! Stay tuned.