The Makings of an 'Evolution'
Richard A. Butkus Jr. has seen a lot of changes during his more than 21 years in the surveying profession. The 44-year-old general manager of Warren, N.J.-based Control Point Associates Inc. has watched total stations make way for laser scanners, and 2D drawings take a backseat to increasingly sophisticated 3D computer models and animations.
Throughout these transitions, Butkus hasn’t simply stood on the sidelines. Far from it—at every stage, he’s been a transformational artist helping to shape each new approach. At Control Point Associates, where he’s served for the last six years, he’s credited with guiding the midsized firm to a leadership position in laser scanning and modeling services. “Rich has provided strong leadership at Control Point; the company continues to grow and prosper in an economy where many other firms have struggled,” says A. John Lloyd, PLS, project manager in the firm’s Massachusetts office. “Under Rich’s direction, Control Point has become the leading provider of innovative surveying services in the Northeast United States.”
With more than 50 employees and 14 field crews, Control Point Associates serves a wide variety of clients from Maryland to Maine. The firm produces traditional 2D planimetrics as well as ALTA surveys and boundary topographic surveys for construction and design. Wherever it makes sense for its clients, Control Point integrates laser scanning services using its Leica ScanStation technology to provide increased value and a lightning-fast turnaround. The firm also provides modeling services using Autodesk Revit and Navisworks software. The company’s tagline, which Butkus developed five years ago, is “traditional methods, modern approaches.” In other words, wherever possible, the firm uses advanced technology to streamline and improve traditional tasks.
This approach resonates with clients, who appreciate Control Point’s level of service. The firm handles an estimated 1,200 to 1,500 projects per year, generating millions in revenue. Still, Butkus believes the company can do more—not just to boost sales, but to change the general perception that many people have about the surveying profession. “The profession has a problem with how the public views surveying services," he says. "At Control Point, we have always strived to present ourselves as the professionals we are. We want our clients to know that they are getting the most premiere land surveying and the most premiere service, quality and value.”
To communicate that message, Butkus is launching a new marketing campaign this spring that includes a revamped website and a number of email blasts to an opt-in client list, in addition to electronic and print advertising. At the heart of the campaign is a series of videos designed to intrigue and inspire. The first, titled “Welcome to the Evolution,” juxtaposes the rich heritage of surveying with the tremendous capabilities offered by today’s skilled professionals.
“Pictures say 1,000 words; I think video says a lot more,” Butkus explains. “To be able to make videos of our services and the projects we’re working on and then post them on YouTube—that’s a powerful tool.”
For Butkus and his team, it’s one more way to help shape the future of Control Point Associates—and the surveying profession. “The whole evolution of surveying isn’t just about scanning, although that’s part of it,” he says. “It’s about being a different kind of company. It’s about being the consultant, creating solutions. Sometimes what the client requires is a stake pounded into the ground, so we still need to do that. But on the flip side, there’s a whole other gamut of things out there that enable us to really take advantage of technology and give our clients what they need. The whole concept is to make their lives easier. That’s what we’re doing every day, and that’s what the evolution is all about.”
Photo: Richard A. Butkus Jr., General Manager, Control Point Associates Inc.