One of the most important factors for a successful project is being able to specify the requirements up front. Many times, the customer doesn’t know exactly what he needs. More preliminary engineering is required to get the project requirements specific enough for suppliers to offer a fixed price bid for the project. But often, clients don’t realize they need to budget for this and therefore don’t want to pay for this service.
I recently attended the CSIA (Control Systems Integrators Association) Conference in Asheville, NC. The event had special meaning this year as it was the 25th anniversary of CSIA which is a not-for-profit global trade association that seeks to advance the industry of control systems integration. CSIA is an organization of peers, partners, and vendors that get together and share best practices and industry expertise to help system integrators be successful. It is rare to find an organization (sister/brotherhood) of “competitors” sharing best practices to help one another. Not only do they share “best practices”, but they share tragic examples of things that have happened to them in a session called “Lessons learned from touching a hot stove”, in hopes that others do not have to experience the same thing and can learn from their misfortune or mistakes. This year’s theme was Reaching the Next Peak.
There are both direct and subtle ways to “manage” your suppliers. Some companies have elaborate supplier programs with score cards, audits, cost reduction goals, targets, etc. It is great if you have the infrastructure to support this type of program, but not everyone can.
As I woke up this morning and realized that today was International Woman’s Day I felt the need to share an awesome experience that I had yesterday.
In my last post I was excited to share an example from a client who shared with us some pictures of a process we had installed in the 1970’s that had stood the test of time. To contrast this feelgood story, I wanted to share another recent experience we had with a current client who reached out to us.
We received a message through our website the other day from a glass industry company we’d never worked with before:
Last week I attended the CSIA (Control Systems Integrators Association) Conference in San Francisco. What is CSIA you may ask? CSIA is an organization that was founded in 1994 as a not-for-profit global trade association that seeks to advance the industry of control systems integration. Control system integrators use their engineering, technical and business skills to help manufacturers and others automate their industrial equipment and systems.
Engineers Week promotes recognition among parents, teachers, and students of the importance of a technical education and a high level of math, science, and technology literacy. The intent is to motivate youth to pursue engineering careers in order to provide a diverse and vigorous engineering workforce.
One of the most efficient ways for an engineering services company to work with a client is by having an Engineering Services Contract or some type of “Blanket Order” in place. At some companies, it can take longer to get a purchase order than it does to complete the actual work that is requested. Having a blanket order or an engineering services contract in place streamlines the process and allows work to be authorized and initiated quickly.
Topics: Engineering Services
In today’s economy, it is difficult for some companies to justify a large headcount. There is constant pressure from the top to keep headcount down, but the argument back is that the employee is needed because they have a specific skill or expertise. Unfortunately, the particular skill that they have is not required 100% of the time and thus some companies hold on to employees just in case something happens. Or they let go of the resource and have to figure out how to accomplish what that person did or fill the gap of their missing expertise. This creates a dilemma within the organization. Should they carry this extra person, train someone else in that area of expertise, or are there other job functions that the employee could perform if they were cross trained in another area? Many times, none of these options are efficient and sometimes even not practical.
Topics: Engineering Services