Often times what seems like a good idea may actually add restraints to the overall goals of the company or even the profession. The intellectual property of your workforce is a guiding factor in a successful project and the most valuable asset a company can have. First off, when considering buying a scanner, a company needs to recognize whether or not there is an adequate skilled workforce within the organization in which to maximize the investment. Secondly, if there is a champion to head up the program.
Technology gets lost very quickly without a champion or driving force behind it. I have seen this happen to numerous organizations in the past. Either the skill of the workforce is not in line with the new technology or the champion transfers to another department, leaves the company or just loses interest. No doubt the selling point by manufacturers is the ease of operation for both mobile and static LiDAR collection. However, what they won’t tell you is the experience needed to collect, process and extract data in an efficient and accurate manner. Proprietary accompanying software for such tasks can often add to the confusion. I have seen over and over, after the purchase of a scan system, that the learning curve can almost double the initial hardware and software purchase cost. Do not discount the value a good service provider brings both in up-front getting your feet wet in the technology and easing your team into it.
A good service provider can act as a valuable advisor because of their actual field experience. In this new world of the Internet, many people believe they can do many things on their own by watching a YouTube video and thus avoid the cost of hiring a professional. Employers that continually train their employees can give themselves a competitive advantage, especially in the fast moving technology of 3-D data. But, it can also misdirect focus, cause burn-out or misuse skills. Nonetheless, training costs need to be factored into a purchase decision. Evaluating the tenure rate within a company is a good indicator of its internal health and the external draw by the competition. Negative entropy of information and team building within an organization often occurs when skills are misused or misdirected. It will be increasingly more competitive to draw young talent to your team without reviewing what and how you are accomplishing goals within your company.
Exhausting resources not only affects moving the company forward, but also in maintaining the status quo. The time it takes to learn how to physically operate today’s static scanners is short. Their setup and operation can be fairly quick and easy. This often leads people to the decision that purchasing a unit may be better than hiring a service provider. However, there are many more things that go into scanning than just learning which buttons to push to get the head spinning. Without knowledge of basic survey principals; proper targeting; control; and how to read, work with and interpret the scan data; there is a lot that can go wrong very quickly. Lean on the experienced service providers. After all, most of the older ones have walked where you are about to walk and can help you avoid expensive missteps.