Automation Industry Innovation  and Meeting News

Automation Industry Innovation and Meeting News

The Automation Industry (if you wish to call it an industry) has some interesting news of innovation. The ARC Advisory Group Industry Forum is coming up in a couple of weeks. I will be there. If you’re coming, let me know. Maybe we can chat over a coffee or something.

Automation Competition

Meanwhile, the Association for Advancing Automation (A3) has announced a call for startup companies in robotics, machine vision and motion control to enter the Automate Launch Pad Competition. The competition is a chance for the industry’s most innovative young companies to vie for the spotlight at the Automate 2017 Exhibition and Conference—the industry’s largest gathering in North America, taking place in Chicago, Illinois April 3-6, 2017—as well as a $10,000 cash award. The Automate Launch Pad Startup Competition seeks out startup companies looking to generate awareness of their technology and find new sources of funding.

“Investment in the automation and robotics market is rising sharply, with a record 128 companies receiving funding of $1.95 billion in 2016—which is a 50% increase over the previous record-breaking year,” noted Jeff Burnstein, president of A3. “The Automate Launch Pad Competition is a great opportunity for innovative young companies to gain some extra funding and garner the attention of key players in the automation industry.”

Call for submissions and application form for the Launch Pad Competition are now open. Eligible companies include those in the automation space (robotics, vision, motion control, etc.) who were founded in the last five years; raised less than US $2 million since creation; and are not affiliated with a larger group. Eight semi-finalist companies will be invited to participate in the competition at Automate on April 3, where they will have three minutes to pitch their technology to a panel of investors and automation experts. All semi-finalists will also be provided booth space on the Automate show floor, putting them in front of an expected audience of over 20,000 automation professionals, investors, scientists and journalists. The Automate Launch Pad Competition is sponsored by GE and the event is co-produced with Silicon Valley Robotics.

Systems Integrators To Meet

In other news, The Control Systems Integrators Association (CSIA) has announced its spring meeting information.

It is expecting more than 500 control system integrators and industry suppliers from around the globe in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, May 2 – 5 for the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) 2017 Executive Conference. Themed From best practices to transformative business models, the conference will include over a dozen educational sessions, including several presented as part of two separate tracks.

  • Track 1: Small Company SIs and Best Practices
    CSIA’s Best Practices have helped hundreds of system integrators grow from younger, smaller companies into the well-established ones they are today. Attendees will learn how they, too, can use CSIA Best Practices for growth.
  • Track 2: Transformative Business Models
    Technology is creating a very exciting future filled with opportunity for SIs — opportunities that will require a shift away from traditional SI business models. Through a series of presentations, panel discussions and an unconference, SIs will gain an understanding of how to take advantage of these emerging models.

Economist Alan Beaulieu, president of ITR Economics, will open the conference with his latest economic outlook for manufacturing, providing a solid outlook for attendees to use to guide their companies’ into the future.

In addition to the educational sessions included during the conference, CSIA will offer a two-day intensive training workshop on Best Practices implementation on Monday, May 1 and Tuesday, May 2, just prior to the conference.

Those attending the conference will have opportunities for networking, including the annual industry expo, awards banquet and a closing reception. The CSIA Fun Run/Walk will be held again this year, along with other special events and tours.

See complete details and register at the CSIA 2017 Executive Conference website.

Construct a Website That Builds Business-Automation Integrators Lag

Construct a Website That Builds Business-Automation Integrators Lag

Jon DiPietroAuthentia has published a comprehensive study of the control system integrator industry’s digital marketing performance. You can find additional information on the author’s blog. Many industrial/manufacturing industries lag behind in their adoption of modern digital marketing practices, largely due to target demographics that have been slow to embrace social media and mobile computing. This has especially been the case in the control system integrator industry. However, with digital trends accelerating and workforce demographics rapidly changing, businesses are being forced to adapt quickly.

[Disclaimer: I have a relationship with Authentia; I also hired it to construct a Website for Maintenance Technology magazine; Jon DiPietro built this site for me two years ago. Obviously, I like their work.]

Authentia randomly selected 100 North American control system integrators and assessed their digital marketing effectiveness against 32 separate criteria. The results indicate areas of opportunity for control system integrators to take advantage of industry-wide latencies. Owners, business developers, and marketing professionals will find this information valuable in assessing their own efforts and opportunities against their peers and competitors.

“With my background in industrial controls and leadership positions in the International Society of Automation (ISA), control system integrators are near and dear to my heart,” said Authentia Strategic Marketing Consultant Jon DiPietro. “I have many friends and colleagues who work in that industry. Over the past few years, I’ve conducted dozens of digital marketing assessments for control system integrators and other automation companies. I thought it would be interesting to conduct an industry-wide assessment and see how the industry as a whole is adapting to digital marketing trends.”

Key findings from the report include:

Websites are outdated in terms of messaging and technology:

  • 79% of CSI websites we analyzed make site visits from a mobile device difficult or impossible, alienating nearly half of their web visitors.
  • 48% of the website cannot easily change site content or even enable blogging, as they do not use a Content Management System (CMS).
  • 45% of all sites studied make no attempt to establish trust with site visitors through the use of social proof, such as testimonials, awards, certifications, memberships, etc.

Search engine marketing is nearly non-existent in the industry:

  • 3% of websites surveyed were determined to be paying for advertisements on search engines.
  • 85% of CSI websites had a Domain Authority below 40, which is a measure of how much clout a website carries with search engines.
  • 42% of websites did not have any analytics operating which track their performance.

The industry has not yet adopted content marketing as a strategy:

  • 67% of those studied do not list or promote social media accounts, such as Facebook or LinkedIn
  • 65% of websites have no blog or news feed.
  • 12% had a blog and published industry-focused content (as opposed to company news).
  • 88% of websites surveyed did not incorporate social sharing buttons, making their content difficult to find and share.

There are very few mechanisms in place to interact with prospects:

  • 2% of websites were connected to a marketing automation tool.
  • 84% of websites surveyed did not utilize visible call-to-action buttons.
  • 95% of websites failed to use landing pages, which contain an offer designed to collect information from prospects.

The 2015 Control System Integrator Digital Marketing Benchmark Report can be downloaded for free at www.authentiasoft.com/2015-csi.

End Note

I just went through my list of RSS feeds for blogs and Website changes that I’ve accumulated over the past several years. No fewer than 20 of them had not been updated for two years. I could not believe the number of companies who started a very good information and content system, and then they just bailed out on it. When I think of the lost opportunities for these companies, I just shudder.

Construct a Website That Builds Business-Automation Integrators Lag

Construct a Website That Builds Business-Automation Integrators Lag

Jon DiPietroAuthentia has published a comprehensive study of the control system integrator industry’s digital marketing performance. You can find additional information on the author’s blog. Many industrial/manufacturing industries lag behind in their adoption of modern digital marketing practices, largely due to target demographics that have been slow to embrace social media and mobile computing. This has especially been the case in the control system integrator industry. However, with digital trends accelerating and workforce demographics rapidly changing, businesses are being forced to adapt quickly.

[Disclaimer: I have a relationship with Authentia; I also hired it to construct a Website for Maintenance Technology magazine; Jon DiPietro built this site for me two years ago. Obviously, I like their work.]

Authentia randomly selected 100 North American control system integrators and assessed their digital marketing effectiveness against 32 separate criteria. The results indicate areas of opportunity for control system integrators to take advantage of industry-wide latencies. Owners, business developers, and marketing professionals will find this information valuable in assessing their own efforts and opportunities against their peers and competitors.

“With my background in industrial controls and leadership positions in the International Society of Automation (ISA), control system integrators are near and dear to my heart,” said Authentia Strategic Marketing Consultant Jon DiPietro. “I have many friends and colleagues who work in that industry. Over the past few years, I’ve conducted dozens of digital marketing assessments for control system integrators and other automation companies. I thought it would be interesting to conduct an industry-wide assessment and see how the industry as a whole is adapting to digital marketing trends.”

Key findings from the report include:

Websites are outdated in terms of messaging and technology:

  • 79% of CSI websites we analyzed make site visits from a mobile device difficult or impossible, alienating nearly half of their web visitors.
  • 48% of the website cannot easily change site content or even enable blogging, as they do not use a Content Management System (CMS).
  • 45% of all sites studied make no attempt to establish trust with site visitors through the use of social proof, such as testimonials, awards, certifications, memberships, etc.

Search engine marketing is nearly non-existent in the industry:

  • 3% of websites surveyed were determined to be paying for advertisements on search engines.
  • 85% of CSI websites had a Domain Authority below 40, which is a measure of how much clout a website carries with search engines.
  • 42% of websites did not have any analytics operating which track their performance.

The industry has not yet adopted content marketing as a strategy:

  • 67% of those studied do not list or promote social media accounts, such as Facebook or LinkedIn
  • 65% of websites have no blog or news feed.
  • 12% had a blog and published industry-focused content (as opposed to company news).
  • 88% of websites surveyed did not incorporate social sharing buttons, making their content difficult to find and share.

There are very few mechanisms in place to interact with prospects:

  • 2% of websites were connected to a marketing automation tool.
  • 84% of websites surveyed did not utilize visible call-to-action buttons.
  • 95% of websites failed to use landing pages, which contain an offer designed to collect information from prospects.

The 2015 Control System Integrator Digital Marketing Benchmark Report can be downloaded for free at www.authentiasoft.com/2015-csi.

End Note

I just went through my list of RSS feeds for blogs and Website changes that I’ve accumulated over the past several years. No fewer than 20 of them had not been updated for two years. I could not believe the number of companies who started a very good information and content system, and then they just bailed out on it. When I think of the lost opportunities for these companies, I just shudder.