Part 1: Embrace it for future growth
Few executives in the global precise positioning industry are as outspoken and adamant about the advantages of embracing technological innovations in improving a business’s bottom line as is Ray O’Connor, president and CEO of Topcon Positioning Group. He shares his thoughts about the necessity of change, important innovations and technologies and their acceptance into the construction, survey, agriculture and other related industries. The conclusion to this article will be in the next issue.
Change is inevitable. Regardless of the individual business model and company focus, location or tools used to perform tasks, the landscape of the global marketplace is changing.
Advances in technology are the driver of change and it is the change-merchants of individual global businesses that dictate the speed of technological innovation and the effect those new products—hardware and software—have on a business’ most important asset, the bottom line.
The end result of the worthiness of any technological change boils down to one key ingredient—time and how to use it more productively, how to save it, and how to take the savings from less time spent on a specific chore or project and increase profits.
Without the element of time-savings, technological advances, and the resulting potential for increasing a company’s value, new products would not be welcomed in the global marketplace.
Technology-driven industries like construction, survey, mapping, GIS, scanning, agriculture, and civil engineering, see new products introduced weekly, making a company’s short- and long-term equipment investment decisions extremely important and often times difficult. What to buy, and when? What about future technology? How will making a decision today affect my business tomorrow?
Today, with the full integration of data management and communication in not only the workplace, but also with each worker and most equipment, this decision becomes even more important. It’s a conundrum that’s more than a bit ironic: The technology that is most desired is also the most prolifically innovative; the technology that will allow a business to improve its operation and bottom line can be the one that can cause the most hesitation and anxiety while mulling a decision to commit.
Technological changes dictate a change in fundamental thinking. Slightly more than a decade or so ago, satellite positioning was rooted in GPS, geo-positioning signals from a single constellation of satellites. That technology was an incredible accomplishment, assuredly, but in actuality it was just a baby step toward true technological revolution.
Today, signal tracking incorporates GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou satellite systems, and GNSS precise positioning for survey, construction, and a myriad other businesses can achieve accuracy to within a few millimeters. What other GNSS developments could possibly be made that could benefit productivity and quality?
New technologies—like Topcon’s Vanguard™ GNSS chipset—incorporate unique signal tracking and processing architecture. With its 226-channel, patented Universal Tracking™, all available signals are tracked, and the strongest, most reliable signals are selected to provide unparalleled accuracy. Combined with other new technologies, the best combination of signals from the most advantageously positioned satellites are selected. The result is the highest possible precision measurement, anytime, anywhere.
Additional innovations ensure exemplary performance in a high-vibration environment (such as operating from an all-terrain vehicle), provides the highest precision and accuracy possible in the most adverse jobsite conditions.
In any business, a basis truism is: Information is power. The more definitive and timely information about every facet of its business—from asset location to  productivity to data management—to which a company has access creates an environment to truly “manage” the business with confidence, rather than manage in reaction mode or by the age-old seat-of-the-pants method.
In addressing that specific area of business, Topcon developed the MAGNET™ suite of productivity software programs. The suite includes MAGNET Enterprise, a cloud-based service that connects mobile and office software products and provides a web-based interface and asset management component to company data, in real time.
Business today—on surveying and civil engineering projects or on global construction projects—is no longer worrying about “pieces” of equipment and where they are located and what they are doing. Today’s technology can provide real-time 3D data and asset management, regardless of location, anywhere in the world.
For several years, Topcon has used the digital jobsite model to illustrate the future of jobsite management. For example, SiteLink3D is the industry’s most comprehensive site communication system providing data control, machine tracking, and an advanced reporting system in one system.
Topcon has advanced its industry-leading 3D machine control systems to include remote machine monitoring, instant messaging, support, and real-time job file transfers and project management information from field to office. It’s a simple business principle: If additional information to manage a project is good, then instantaneous information is better.
As high accuracy, real-time positioning, and control solutions become a necessary part of the complete automation cycle of a customer’s everyday workflow, comprehensive management of machines and data becomes a critical element to successfully competing in the global marketplace. ■
Visit Part 2 of Technological Change Inevitable
For More Information:
For more information about Topcon Positioning Systems, visit
Modern Contractor Solutions, April 2013
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