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HALLWAY

By Danny Slager

From logging drafting and field hours on every project to real-time locations of each field crew vehicle in our fleet, having the right data helps Terrane reach the upper echelon of greatness within the land surveying industry. We are dedicated to making the survey experience for our clients as effortless and enjoyable as possible and developing and tracking strategic data to make our processes the best they can be.

Terrane is continually striving for perfection, and therefore one of our most significant data tracking points are “Go Backs” (any reason why we must return to a job site) and what caused them. For us, a Go Back is rare, but when it does happen, we need to know intimately what factors were involved so we can quickly rectify. A return trip can have adversely affects our project management processes, scheduling, and project deadlines for a client. If we do have a Go Back request, we have 12 distinct categories for why it was needed and what constituted the event on a specific project type. A Go Back can include a difficult boundary where more controlling monuments and/or calculations are needed before we can set lot corners on a first site visit. It could be due to inclement weather, equipment failure, a field member calling in sick, a misbudget of hours by a project director, or a review correction from a City/Jurisdiction.

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Whatever the reason might be for a Go Back, the factors that are beyond perfect control can have a dramatic effect on how projects are scheduled, managed, and delivered. When Terrane has a significant database of project-specific reasons for returning to a job site, we can hone in on any recurring themes or common issues that then allow us to assess issues at a deeper level. As a result, we put in place necessary changes or procedures that will rectify that same potential issue on a future project with similar qualities.

One such example of using our Go Back data to develop a catch-all standard for projects are those survey requests on an architectural project where the client requests only a boundary survey along with a structure located on-site. This scope is generally used for design and permitting efforts on smaller addition projects. A typical approach for this survey scope would be to only include the basic footprint of the structure plotted relative to the boundary lines to show current setbacks. While tracking this specific project type and the number of associated Go Back requests, we were able to determine a distinct commonality and these jobs would have the most reasons for a return visit. The outlying reason was the city/jurisdiction reviewer was asking for more detail and almost always involved needing eaves and/or decks to be shown as well for overall lot coverage determinations/percentages/allowances. With this data, we ultimately concluded that on all projects that needed the structure shown, we also would include eaves and attached decks. This decision has led to a dramatic reduction on Go Backs and has translated to overall success on projects where a more limited project scope was needed while fulfilling all necessary requirements for the client, homeowner, designer, and permit reviewer.

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Over the past several years, Terrane has been utilizing our key data to streamline our proprietary project management system, adopt new drafting standards, establish field-to-finish checklists, and provide the necessary feedback for our team to forecast specific project needs going forward. Our directors, sales teams, and project coordinators have the background knowledge to ask the appropriate questions to vet a project scope with a client from initial contact. Our field schedulers have the tools necessary to make certain job sites are ready for crews and schedule projects together geographically. Our surveyors and technicians have a database to review difficult survey areas and track the necessary notes for boundary resolutions. All this combines to greater success with clients in the future and alleviates any potential review correction cycles or delays.

We love data. With every new project, we are able to track influential information that adds to our ever-continuing goal of perfection and the elimination of those pesky Go Backs.

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