Monday, November 16, 2015

The Changing Face of Land Surveying

Has anyone else noticed that the dynamic of the typical survey operation has changed?  I have operated as a one-man shop for the last 10 years and have found the hard work liberating.  Primarily because it has given me the latitude to stay flexible in a hostile economy.  The other reason is I do not have to rely on a technician to collect data for me.  Don't get me wrong; I working in an engineering firm with lots of crews and I was their manager.  However to be honest I really had no idea what they were doing or how well they weren't doing it.  I did catch one party chief: while working in Kansas; sitting in the truck playing on his playstation and small TV while his crew was in the snow staking power poles.  On another occasion I was asked to fire a young man who apparently could not keep his urine clean.  My point is this type of stuff was daily.  I was spending hours managing people and clients and very little time supervising the data.  It was impossible.

What I see now is more RLS partychiefs and one-man crews.  Plus more and more one-man operations.  Even the engineering firms have realized that it is more cost effective to sub-contract their surveying tasks rather than maintain survey operations in house.  I think this is a positive move.  It will be uncomfortable but it is in the right direction.  With the RLS being more hands on; there is better decision making in the field.  An added bonus of course is the experience.

I am hoping this progression will calm the competitive nature and begin to embrace a cooperative nature.  We should act as colleagues not enemies.  Its hard but it is possible.