This article is part of a series on progressive surveying firms that was launched in POB's October 2011 issue. The series is now called Points of Progress. To inquire about having your firm profiled in an upcoming article, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Company Name: Southeastern Surveying and Mapping Corp.
Headquarters: Orlando, Fla.
Year Established: 1972
Number of Employees: SSMC’s management staff of 17 professional surveyors and mappers and one professional engineer has a combined total of over 531 years of experience and supervises 20 Survey/CAD/GIS technicians and 28 field teams.
Primary Services: Land surveying, subsurface utility location and geographic information systems
Of the states hardest hit by the real estate and land development bust, Florida is near the top of the list. Business conditions for land surveyors in the state have been understandably difficult. Still, some firms have risen above the challenges. For Southeastern Surveying and Mapping Corp. (SSMC), capitalizing on nontraditional yet complementary services such as closed circuit television video (CCTV) pipe inspection, nondestructive pipe thickness testing, concrete imaging, ground penetrating radar mapping, mobile imaging, pavement inspection and asset inventory and condition assessment has led to continued growth. “The use of modern and improved technologies has allowed us to provide a wider range of services to our existing clients, which has also opened the door to opportunities with new clients,” explains President Gary Krick, PSM.
Although this broad outreach is important, the real key to the firm’s success, says Krick, is the quality of service. “Our diversity of services gets our ‘foot in the door’ with clients, but our willingness to do whatever it takes to produce a quality product and satisfy the needs of our clients allows us to turn those opportunities into long-term relationships.”
With its broad range of surveying and mapping services, the firm makes an effort to anticipate services that clients need in order to make SSMC their “single-stop survey shop.” This level of responsiveness sets the firm apart in the market.
Achieving this goal requires a knowledgeable staff--something Krick is especially proud of. The firm is committed to continued education for staff members, offering 100 percent college reimbursement and educational bonuses. SSMC also actively promotes the ACSM Certified Survey Technician program. The firm employs 33 CSTs, including five with a Level IV certification. Its certified staff represents 11 percent of all CSTs in the state of Florida and 2 percent nationally.
Technology has also played an important role in the success of the firm. “We always strive to select the right tool for the job and to meet our clients’ needs,” Krick says. “As our clients gain more comfort working in a 3D environment, we foresee our deliverables evolving from 2D representations to attributed three dimensional models.”
Toward that end, the firm has made investments in training, hardware and software that keep it on the cutting edge. The company is adept at laser scanning and processing of point cloud data using tools such as Certainty 3D’s TopoDOT software, and it has recently been evaluating the mobile mapping capabilities of versatile tools such as the TopoLIFT system in conjunction with a Riegl VZ400 scanner. Still, Krick cites communication technologies like the Internet as the firm’s most important assets. “Instant access to information, along with the ability to send and receive voice, data and images instantly between field personnel, office staff, clients and partners, allows us to close the information gap or quickly resolve unforeseen issues,” he explains.
Today’s surveying profession demands highly trained and educated people that have the ability to operate high-tech equipment in harsh conditions, says Krick. Presenting a professional appearance along with being involved in professional organizations can contribute to improving the public perception of the profession. But the bottom line is service. “The surveying profession is no different than any other service business,” Krick says. “Performing your service at a high level of quality with a goal of building long-term client relationships is fundamental.”