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 email@example.com.
Company Name: T3 Global Strategies Inc.
Headquarters: Bridgeville, Pa.
Year Established: 2001
Number of Employees: 17 staff members who are cross-trained to perform multiple functions as the workload requires
Primary Services Offered: Surveying, GIS services, digital photogrammetric mapping, high-resolution laser scanning, public safety services
When asked to describe business conditions over the last several years, Larry Straight, PLS, CP, T3’s vice president, sums it up in one word: “Challenging!” This year has been especially difficult, he says. With many federal agencies operating under continuing resolution budgets, a number of projects that rely on federal funding--including some state Department of Transportation projects--have been delayed indefinitely. “While T3 has been in business for 10 years, I have personally been in the consulting business for 35 years and have never experienced this level of prolonged business uncertainty in the profession,” Straight says.
Despite these challenges, the firm is growing. The key, Straight says, is service. “In these uncertain economic times, we see evidence in many business sectors where good service has become a thing of the past,” he says. “T3 has always strived to focus on our clients and their unique needs. Our deliveries are customized to their existing data structures so that all information can be integrated into a workflow with little or no manipulation required. We are partners with our clients, helping to ensure their success, thereby ensuring ours. We are committed to giving support during the entire project phase, and we take the quality of our deliveries personally.”
Straight admits that this level of dedication can come at a price. In some cases, the firm has sacrificed profits in order to ensure that a delivery met or exceeded a client’s needs. But although T3’s clients don’t see the efforts being made behind the scenes in the QA/QC review process, their satisfaction with the firm’s service has led to a substantial amount of repeat business--a solid indicator that T3 is on the right track.
A reputation for quality service isn’t the only factor in the company’s continued growth. As technology has changed over the past decade, T3 has adapted by looking beyond its traditional business model. When airborne sensors capable of collecting LiDAR and high-resolution digital imagery led to a decline in the firm’s conventional mapping business, T3 looked for--and found--new opportunities in the federal sector. An increased awareness of security led the company to become involved in public safety, which is a service area the firm did not even contemplate five years ago. And by teaming with other companies, T3 has been able to access resources and markets that it might not have been able to reach on its own.
T3 has also made strategic investments in technology and personnel that allow the firm to develop comprehensive geodatabases that meet the Spatial Data Standards for Facilities, Infrastructure and Environment (SDSFIE) standard, and it has developed techniques and methods to capture field-surveyed data directly in SDSFIE format. The firm continues to expand its GIS data generation capabilities. “Surveying can be the framework for the management of facilities, land, utilities, etc.,” Straight says. “We strive to educate our clients to utilize all of their data to its fullest potential. We supply much more than points and annotation; we provide intelligent data that can be queried, analyzed and used for asset management.”
Ultimately, Straight believes the surveying profession is much broader and more complex than what some might consider. “Surveyors can be geodesists, photogrammetrists, LiDAR specialists, hydographers, forensic experts and other specialists who provide unique talents developed through years of education and practical application,” he says. “Many of my fellow professionals are successful business owners who manage companies requiring them to possess a variety of skills including accounting, human resources, project management and marketing. Equipping a survey crew today can be an investment of $100,000 or more. The surveying profession deserves to be recognized for the experience and financial requirements needed to do what we do.
“The geospatial world is dynamic and requires constant monitoring of our clients’ needs and adapting to support and exceed expectations,” he adds. “The key to success is found in our ability to be proactive and anticipate market trends in support of our clients.”