Geo Week News

September 20, 2012

Laser scanning part of Meridian revival

We posted a press release not long ago about engineering firm Meridian Associates’ Small Business of the Year Award from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, but a recent piece in the Worcester Telegram does a much better job of telling the story of the vital part that laser scanning has played in the company’s renaissance.

Like plenty of companies in any number of industries, Meridian had a tough time of it when the economy went south at the end of 2008. They had to lay some folks off. But thanks to an investment in expertise in green energy, plus throwing their lot in with laser scanning, they’ve gone from 35 to 80 employees in the last three years.

“The last three years have been extremely challenging, but we have diversified into many other fields to weather the storms; 3D laser scanning has certainly helped us,” Mr. Waitt said. “We have divisions in landscape design, wind and municipal work, all of which are outside of the box of our original core business, but not our core values.”  

There’s clearly a positive association between progressive ideas toward technology like laser scanning and a progressive attitude toward conservation, green energy, and looking into brand-new markets into which the company can grow (yes, I understand the irony of calling someone progressive about their views toward conservation, but that’s the upside-down kind of world we live in nowadays).

Meridian Principal makes a pretty interesting point about this, actually, at the end of the article. He’s talking about walking the walk with clients:

The company’s fleet includes four electric vehicles. “When you’re in the world of wind, solar and sustainability you can’t be driving down the road in a Porsche or a pickup that gets 12 miles to a gallon,” Mr. Wiatt said. “You’ve got to show the public that you’re serious about it.”  

That makes sense, but I think there’s another obvious point there. If you’re an engineering firm trying to show your competence and aptitude nowadays, you need to show you understand the newest technologies and how and when to apply them. Is 3D data capture and laser scanning a panacea? Do you need it for every job? Of course not. Do you need to have competency with laser scanning, though, to show the public you’re serious? Maybe not, since so much of the public doesn’t even know what it is yet.

But they’re kind of impressed when you let them in on it, aren’t they? Much cooler than an electric car.

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