Geo Week News

June 18, 2013

Cleveland firm's ScanStation C10 to see more coastal marine business


KS Associates’ acquisition of Matrix Engineering gives it access to infrastructure projects on the shore of Lake Erie

Civil engineering and surveying firm KS Associates, Inc. said Friday it acquired Matrix Engineering, Inc. to create a fifth business unit that provides coastal engineering and 3D laser scanning services for construction projects on Lake Erie.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Mark Skellenger, vice president at Elyria, Ohio-based KS Associates, with about $5 million in sales, told SPAR 3D adding the new business group gives his company a wider market to use its Leica ScanStation C10 laser scanner, which it purchased about 18 months ago.

“[The C10 allows us] to do the stuff we couldn’t do before,” Skellenger said. “It’s a better tool to do what we always did, provide new applications that can add value at a low cost.”

For instance, as a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), he wants business from state and federal agencies to use the laser scanner to set a baseline for the erosion of coastal bluffs that contain shale.

Another niche market exists in the expensive lakefront properties. Skellenger told SPAR given the millions some spend on the house, “it’s not unheard of for lakefront property homeowners to spend a couple hundred thousand dollars to protect their shore line.”

And, because the south shore of Lake Erie is very urbanized, he thinks other coastal marine scanning projects – from beach restoration and erosion protection to public and private recreational facilities – will drive clients’ uses for laser scanning.

Hitting ROI

KS is still trying to recoup their investment in the C10. The company charges $1,200 per day for the laser scanner, and needs to invoice at least 1.5 days a week to bill out the $100,000 in annual revenue needed to hit ROI.

“We’re not quite hitting that yet,” Skellenger said. But he’s confident that his firm’s “incredible reputation” in the Cleveland public infrastructure market will help the company reach its financial goals. “I just don’t want my competitors getting a laser scanner.”

The new coastal engineering group, led by Matrix founder John Matricardi, will serve property owners, marina owners, port authorities, dock manufacturers, industrial owners and municipalities.

KS offers planning, design, bidding and construction phase services related to public infrastructure projects in the areas of transportation, potable water, wastewater and stormwater; coastal engineering services; site development engineering services for institutional, commercial and residential uses; land surveying and mapping services; and 3D laser scanning services.

The new Coastal Engineering Group offers services including:

  • Regulatory Permitting
  • Lakefront Erosion Protection
  • Marine Structural Design
  • Beach Restoration
  • Public/Private Waterfront Structures
  • Bulkheading/Dredging
  • Slope Stabilization & Retaining Walls
  • Sheet Piling
  • Hydrographic Surveying, including Submerged Land Lease Surveys

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