Tech-Forward Surveying feat. Steaphan MacAulay (Ep. 2)

Podcast Episode 2: Steaphan MacAulay

We have a fantastic second episode of the 4M Utilities Strategy Podcast featuring Prince Edward Island's finest, Steaphan MacAulay!

Steaphan MacAulay is a geomatics engineering technologist with 22 years of infrastructure experience. He is currently Vice President of Transportation & Infrastructure at Global Raymac Surveys and works with the team supporting major construction projects.

Steaphan talked us through his journey in surveying through some of the most iconic infrastructure projects in Canada, including Confederation Bridge. He shared with us his learning curve to adopting advanced LIDAR tools and bringing clients onboard to this incredible technology for data collection early on in the surveying process. He also told us about a classic "surveyor moment" during his Las Vegas bachelor party and the motto on his family crest tattoo.

Key Takeaways

“If you don’t adopt advanced technology, someone else will, and then you’ll have no revenue.”

Steaphan is proud to take a progressive approach to technology at Global Raymac. So what does it mean to be an early adopter in the engineering and infrastructure sector? It's not about buying every shiny new toy that gets launched on the market. It's also not about automating people out of their jobs, which is a common misconception about the purpose of technology for surveying.

What it IS about is offering clear value propositions to clients by using the right tools to work better. That means selecting the right technologies to implement the right time, when their use case has been proven. And doing that before your competitors beat you to the punch. Ultimately, it's about staying competitive.

“If you have to stall a project on design to survey the site, a lot of people are sitting around, and not for free.”

The old way: Collect only the data you know you need, only after you know you need it.
The new way: Collect as much data as possible, as quickly, efficiently, and early as possible.

According to Steaphan, if you only collect the data points that designers or engineers ask for, then you'll keep running into blind spots further down the project timeline. We've grown accustomed to collecting site survey data repeatedly, at the 30% design or 60% design phases. But why not collect more data earlier in the process and avoid delays further down the line? Steaphan argues that clients will embrace new technology if you can show them how it helps their bottom line. Investing a bit more in early data collection will pay for itself by preventing costly delays and design changes at a later stage.

Co-hosts: David Horesh (Director of Marketing) and Ophir Wainer (Director of North American Business Development)

Just in case you missed it, in our previous podcast we had a great talk with Dr. Samuel T. Ariaratnam about subsurface utilities and particularly trenchless technology. And stay tuned! On our next utility strategy podcast, we're hosting Hugh Seaton!

Questions? Suggestions? Want to nominate a fantastic guest for a future episode? Get in touch!

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