In this episode of Everyday Business Solutions and our December mini-season we’ve been talking to TruePoint about 3D laser scanning and after such an in-depth look we’re wrapping up the year with a look at 2020 through this Toledo-based business.

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About Our Guest:

Ryan Hacker

Ryan Hacker

President - TruePoint Laser Scanning

Ryan Hacker is the President of TruePoint Laser Scanning, a 3D laser scanning company based out of Toledo, Ohio who works to bring accurate measurements and data for buildings, sites, plants, machinery, and industrial space straight to those who need it. They service clients in many industries across the United States.

TruePoint Laser Scanning utilizes the latest technology to collect a full set of data in order to ensure they create any type of deliverables that a client may need now or in the future. Data collection involves contact-less, COVID-19-restriction-friendly methods, and are very-non invasive to day-to-day operations.

Episode Transcript:

Halie Morris  0:31   

Hello everyone and welcome to Everyday Business Solutions. We’re on the final episode of our mini-series here today and I have Ryan Hacker again from TruePoint. 

Today, I really want to dive into current times, because Ryan, 2020 has been quite the year. I think you would agree. So what are some of the advantages of this 3D laser scanning in 2020 in particular?

Ryan Hacker  0:56  

Now, it’s a great timely question. Here as we wrap up 2020, we have found that due to remote working, the use of 3D laser scanning is gaining more traction. 

Obviously, travel is limited. Sight access is limited. Meetings are being held virtually. Yet this shift hasn’t stopped our clients from needing to continue to get work done. 

What we’ve seen is they’ve rebuilt a work culture that allows for flexibility. They’re coming to ask for solutions to maintain that productivity and obviously, 3D laser scanning is a great tool to embrace in a remote environment like this. 

It eliminates travel and returns trips to the site. It’s eliminating time-consuming manual measurements, which obviously that works all the time, not just in 2020, but it also limits the number of people on a project site. 

Obviously, that is important right now with our social distancing and things of that sort. 

The data that we provide provides access to full-color 3D site data virtually, so they can look at this wherever they are. They can see everything in color, but also just the entire site, being able to fly through and things of that sort. 

It does offer detailed measurements that they need to have on piping, steel, and infrastructure, all those types of things. It certainly facilitates the remote planning of these upgrades, using 3D models, for example. 

So if we take the point cloud data, and create a 3D model for them, they can then do their work right in the 3D model that we provide them, again eliminating site visits and things of that sort as well. 

Then it also allows them to continue bidding projects, getting estimates, scoping the project virtually, and, and really wrapping all that up. 

It allows them to share the data across all of their project teams. They may have people working outside of their offices working in their homes, but they also have other project teams that are certainly going to be working off-site as well. 

So it allows them all to share the information simultaneously across all of their divisions if you will.

Halie  3:20  

Sounds like you’re about ready for 2021?

Ryan  3:24  

Absolutely, I think we all are at this point.

Halie  3:27  

so with all that being said, I think every business has seen some kind of shift or change and obviously your customers have, but what kind of shifts and changes did you see like back in March, when everything started to go to remote and we had those stay at home orders come down?

Ryan  3:44  

Obviously, when the whole thing started, I personally was very concerned about just where were we going and what was going to happen. 

As we started to shut down the economy, as a business owner with a lot of employees, that gets kind of scary, but truthfully, we had about two weeks where we shut everything down. 

Our guys weren’t traveling. We weren’t in the office, things of that sort, but we pretty quickly saw that our clients needed us to continue to operate. 

The nice thing for us is that a lot of our clients were considered essential businesses and they needed to keep their doors open. In order to keep their doors open, they needed to continue to do things like modifying their existing spaces, creating add-ons, or things of that sort. 

Even as we saw some businesses- hand sanitizer manufacturers, for example, all of a sudden, they needed to figure out how they could add more equipment to their existing space so that they could produce more quickly. 

As I said, we had that couple of weeks of downtime where we really shut everything down, but after that, it was Hey, we need you guys out there. In fact, we even had hospitals, for example, that needed us to come out because they’re trying to create new ICU areas, and turning other parts of the hospital into a different space. 

Again, that’s what laser scanning is all about. We go in. We map out the existing space so that they can then convert it to something else. 

At the beginning of this, when clients thought that they were going to need it to create these ICU units, they were talking about taking convention centers and turning them into hospitals, they were talking about taking hotels and turning them into hospitals. 

So all of a sudden, we saw this need to have guys out there to scan these spaces to tell us what we have, things of that sort, but ultimately, we also saw that shift, as I talked about earlier, of clients, not being able to travel. 

Because we’re nationwide, we were able to send out our local technicians to do the work. We had travel bans on if you’re from out of state, which, engineering firms, for example, they work all over the country- 

Well, their office might be in Ohio, but the jobs in New York. Those two states may say, hey, you’re not allowed to travel to our state and so we saw a lot of that as well. 

A lot of different things, but really, this has jetted everybody into having to work virtually, having to share data, not just within one company or office, but now we’re sharing it with 20 employees who are all working from home, or, hey, the architect needs this, but so does the engineer, but so does the general contractor. 

They’re all working remotely and so laser scanning has allowed them to continue doing so by sharing that data across all the disciplines.

Halie  6:55  

I could never put that into perspective until you mentioned that, but all those changes and shifts, maybe in Toledo, we saw a little less of buildings being converted and things, but larger cities certainly had to repurpose the space they had. That’s crazy!

Ryan  7:16  

Yeah, it’s certainly been a crazy year. We’re looking forward to 2021.

Halie  7:20  

We’re just about there, but that’s, it’s really cool to see. 

You’re able to not just sustain your own business, but help others keep going and maintain a stronger footing, with such large shifts in demand and traffic.

Ryan  7:39  

It really was kind of an interesting time for us because while a lot of people were not able to work, we did have to find a way to continue to work and support our clients but do so safely for us and for our clients. 

It was interesting for our guys. A lot of them would talk about how they would go on a job site that was absolutely desolate. 

They were the only person on the site at the time. It’s shut down, but they needed to capture this information so that they could repurpose the space or whatever it was, and our guys are used to working with full construction going on around them. 

So to be in a huge million square foot warehouse and be the only person there, for example, it has been interesting all the way around. Then, like I said, just keeping everybody safe while still being out and working in this environment.

Halie  8:37  

Now, did you make any changes to the services you provide and your deliverables to adjust for some of the changes you’ve seen externally?

Ryan  8:45  

Actually, not really. Probably the biggest thing we’ve seen is moving some of the data to the cloud. So we’ve always delivered data to the cloud, not to be confused with a point cloud, but literally putting it up in the cloud where multiple people can access it from different locations. 

That’s probably the biggest change that we’ve had. We were doing it before, maybe just now at a higher percentage.

Halie  9:16  

All right. Thank you. Then for our listeners, any additional points that you would like to make, just to drive home laser scanning?

Ryan  9:29  

Again, looking at 2020 in particular, 3D laser scanning technology has allowed companies to continue to work on projects throughout the year. 

As I mentioned, our business really hasn’t slowed down. In fact, it’s probably ramped up considerably due to it, and also the software interfaces are more user friendly. 

Clients are taking the data and becoming self-sufficient. Maybe part of its out of necessity this year. Maybe part of it is also because clients have more time on their hands as well. 

That’s a key factor for our clients, being able to take a point cloud and utilize it the way they want and need is going to provide them with the best value that they can get as a client. 

What do I mean by that? 

Well, let’s say they do the modeling themselves. They know exactly what they want to model. They know at what level of detail they want to model it. 

So by them becoming more self-sufficient, they can basically streamline that process. Whereas if we’re doing it, we have to do it based on what they tell us. “Hey, we need all of these features modeled, and here’s the level of detail we need,” which may or may not be the actual case. 

So those are pretty big things there. Then probably the biggest thing that I love, and again, it goes back to why I got into this, but maybe one of the benefits I didn’t even fully grasp until we started the company is is just how our clients are blown away at how far this technology has come and what they’re able to do with it and everything that they’re able to get out of it. 

My favorite thing is to sit with a client, either a new client or somebody that just hasn’t used laser scanning a lot, and just watch their jaw drop as they realize how much information they truly have at their fingertips. 

So those are probably the biggest things that I see so far.

Halie  11:25  

Thank you, Ryan. It’s been great to have you on for our mini-series and I am delighted to be able to share this content with our listeners and have everybody on board.

Ryan  11:34  

Yeah, thank you so much. I appreciate you having me all these last five weeks here, and it’s been fun and hopefully, people learn a little bit about laser scanning. 

So thank you.

Halie  11:44  

I know I did. Thank you! 

All right, everybody. that is a wrap on our first mini-season for Everyday Business Solutions. 

We’ve had Ryan on for the last five weeks and I hope you enjoyed the content as much as I did. 

Now, as far as that we’re gonna be rolling into season two here shortly and I will see you next year.

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