How-To to the Rescue

New Procedures? Don't Panic. The Internet and its massive cyber library always come to our rescue with how-to materials.

Katherine BonfanteBy Katherine Bonfante, Managing Editor, Digital Media

Many times, when we hear the words "new procedures," our first instinct is to panic. Admit it, the reason for our fear often lies in our unfamiliarity with the subject, our lack of experience or our unwillingness to learn new technologies.

Don't worry. The Internet and its massive cyber library always come to our rescue with how-to materials. Before we can make fools of ourselves on the job, we log on our computers to download training materials. Lucky for you, Machine Builder Nation, that has so many industry-related how-to online resources from which you can learn.

For example, our senior technical editor, Dan Hebert, wrote "How to Build an Automation Professional," and while this article is not a step-by-step manual on how to actually construct a professional, the article does show steps the industry is taking to train the automation professionals of the future.

Visit our website to access this article at, and learn more about the available training material and courses; plus read how companies are better preparing their employees to perform at their best on the job.

When it comes to machine control systems, trusting your integrator is very important. CSIA's executive board chairman, Ed Diehl, covers integrator trust issues in his article, "How to Trust Your Integrator." Diehl says a machine control system should not only perform to expectations, it should also integrate seamlessly with the rest of the end user's operation system.

Access the full article at to learn how to integrate your control system with your operation systems.

Another important aspect of this industry is having good client relationships. After all, the needs of your customers are the ones you want to meet, and your clients' needs are the ones that encourage innovation and technological advances in your business.

Today, knowing how to listen to your customers and how to adapt to their needs is more than a required skill. It is what keeps you in business.

Columnist Jeremy Pollard writes a firsthand account of how listening to what customers have to say can change the overall outcome of your business and the relationships you build. In "Change How You Listen to Customers," Pollard reflects on life experiences where many experts, advisors, teachers and mentors negatively affected his life just by not knowing how to listen to his needs. Read this article at and see how listening to your customers' needs will drive your business innovation.

I hope you take the time to browse our site and read our how-to materials. Don't panic next time you face new procedures or new technologies. Just know that the Web and especially have your back.