DPK Consulting Moves to Larger Headquarters to Support Growth

DPK Consulting is moving its corporate headquarters to a new, 9,000+ square foot facility at 200 Metroplex Road in Edison, NJ. Their continued growth in the environmental and engineering markets has the company expanding both field crews and CAD systems team members. Additionally, the recently announced acquisition of Geomatix, LLC. has added more people and greatly expanded their services platform. The anticipated need and decision from company leadership to invest in more space is being rapidly validated.

“Our growth pace is exceeding my own expectations,” states James Heiser, President & CEO of DPK Consulting. “It’s very gratifying to follow best practices and strategic planning and have it all come together this way. Our team is filled with talented and very experienced professionals. We are far stronger than we were just several months ago,” continues Mr. Heiser. “In addition to our commercial land surveying and 3D scanning capabilities, we are now able to expand our services platform to include software-driven drone services and high-tech direct sensing and analytics for a broad number of commercial applications. Our future looks very bright,” concludes Mr. Heiser.

DPK’s new office space also contributes to their internal business culture and goals of creating a positive and collaborative work environment. The new workspaces are defined but in open space to foster dialogue between interdependent teams working on complex projects.

“We are very excited about this new space,” state Ray Hyman, DPK’s COO. “With front and rear entrances and ample parking, it’s very convenient for team members to come in and out efficiently. The new office space is highly secure with electronic key card entryways. We’re surrounded by windows letting in a lot of natural light. There is a kitchen and break room with multiple tables, we even have a food services facility in the lobby,” Continues Mr. Hyman. “Everything that makes an office employee friendly is amplified here. Unlike our current layout, it will be amazing to have everyone in the same suite,” concludes Mr. Hyman.

DPK’s is targeting December 1st to occupy their new headquarters.

DPK Consulting Expands Services Through Acquisition

November 11, 2021 – Piscataway, NJ – DPK Consulting, LLC announces the acquisition of Geomatix, LLC of Pennington, NJ. Geomatix is a progressive company focused on drone services, remote sensing, and analytics for the environmental, civil engineering, commercial construction, utility, ecological and risk management markets https://www.geomatix.us/

“Adding Geomatix services, and the amazing people running them, to DPK is a perfect fit for all involved,” states James Heiser, President and CEO of DPK Consulting, an Edison, NJ based land surveying and 3D scanning services provider. “Our combined services are extremely complimentary and together expand our offering to customers across several markets. Bringing sUAS solutions enables us to greatly increase our value to current customers while approaching new markets that will benefit from these advanced technologies,” Mr. Heiser continues. “We have exciting plans for growing drone-based services, such as photographic and video inspection, 3D modeling, infrared and multispectral scanning. These innovative technologies represent unequaled efficiencies for our customers who develop land, investigate and remediate environmentally impacted properties, as well as owners of large-scale systems such as water supply, solar fields, Petro-chemical terminals,” concludes Mr. Heiser.

DPK Consulting and Geomatix are not new acquaintances. In fact, the firms have worked together successfully for years. “We felt fortunate that the timing and alignment of this deal was just right,” states Geomatix co-founder and CEO Chris French. “DPK is a leader in the northeast region in the environmental, engineering and construction markets and well respected by their customers for the quality of their work and commitment to continuous improvement. Their growth initiatives and operational methodologies are very synergistic with ours ensuring that Geomatix customers will benefit greatly from our merged capabilities. DPK leadership is also very entrepreneurial. They share a common vision and enthusiasm for these disruptive and enabling technologies and how they can redefine traditional processes and measurably expand value,” concludes Mr. French.

Two high-level Geomatix executives will be new members of DPK’s leadership team. Chris French will be DPK’s Director of Geomatics and Remote Sensing. Chris brings with him a wealth of high-level environmental expertise and has worked with many of the leading environmental consulting and engineering firms in the country. Geomatix co-founder Tom Gregory will run the sUAS division as Director of Drone Services. Tom has many years of experience in the construction and survey industry and is a certified drone pilot.

“We are thrilled to have these top professionals and game-changing services at DPK,” says Ray Hyman, DPK’s COO. “Having this depth of expertise and creativity lead our service divisions while elevating our capabilities in segments we already thrive in is incredible,” Mr. Hyman adds. “In addition to Chris and Tom, we also welcome our new Director of Surveys Joseph Messina. Joseph is a professional land surveyor and recipient of 4 ACEC Excellence in Engineering awards which he earned for the Eastside Access Project, 2nd Avenue Subway Project and Bayonne Bridge Replacement. Joseph will surely help DPK grow and solidifies an important seat on our leadership team,” concludes Mr. Hyman.

The companies will combine their operations effective immediately and will be relocating to DPK’s new headquarters in Edison, NJ on December 1st.

For more information about DPK, its services, its people and career opportunities, call 732-764-0100 and ask for Ray Hyman.

Navigating Culture Change, Part 2: The Role of Leadership and Employees
James Heiser, P.L.S., President and CEO of DPK

Although the vision typically comes from leadership, the vision itself should focus on the success and strength of the organization. If this vision isn’t communicated clearly, the rest of the organization could be left to interpret and develop their own vision, which could end up being much different.

Introduction

In Part 1 of this series, I discussed how changing culture begins with understanding the true definition of culture, assessing your company’s existing culture, and creating a vision for what you want your company culture to be.

The part of culture that we see every day – processes, policies, and behaviors – is just the tip of the iceberg. These visible components can sometimes be changed and communicated relatively quickly.

The much larger part of culture that exists beneath the surface – values, beliefs, perceptions, aspirations, stories, and feelings – ultimately determines how things get done across the organization.

These much deeper, often hidden components of culture take time to understand. Getting people to move in the same direction with purpose and cohesiveness is an ongoing process. This is essential, however, to shaping and implementing a new culture.

The unfortunate reality is that about seven in 10 change initiatives fail due to negative employee attitudes and unproductive management behaviors. Employees don’t support the vision, while leadership fails to make a strong enough case for change, anticipate and deal with resistance, and involve employees who can increase the likelihood of success.

Change most often fails when there is no clear and compelling case for the change – as leaders, we must provide tangible examples and enough disconfirming data for employees to understand the reason for the change and to potentially get their buy-in. Without it, change is doomed from the start.

The key is to understand the roles both leaders and employees play in overcoming challenges and enable positive change.

How Leaders Drive Culture Change

Although the vision typically comes from leadership, the vision itself should focus on the success and strength of the organization. If this vision isn’t communicated clearly, the rest of the organization could be left to interpret and develop their own vision, which could end up being much different.

During my first five years as CEO of DPK Consulting, most of our people were conditioned by a culture of being told what to do. They always relied on someone else to tell them what button to push. These old habits are hard to break.

My vision for DPK focuses on why the button should be pushed. When you understand the reason behind something and what it enables us to accomplish as a company, nobody will have to tell you to push the button. The difference is a culture that promotes personal empowerment, professional growth, and continuous improvement operationally.

I knew I needed to lay out my vision, model the behaviors I wanted my team to adopt, and encourage the team to be a part of this vision.

Leadership must not only have a vision and work to implement that vision, but also constantly communicate the vision to get people to buy into it. You can never take your foot off the pedal. For the past five years, I’ve kept a sticky note on my desk that reminds me of my responsibilities as the leader and CEO of DPK:

  • Build and maintain a cohesive leadership team
  • Create organizational clarity
  • Over-communicate organizational clarity
  • Reinforce organizational clarity through human systems

When leadership provides clarity, the deeper, unseen parts of the company culture mentioned previously become more visible. Cohesiveness across the organization starts to build, and the vision you’re trying to build comes into focus.

How Employees Impact Cultural Change and Why They Resist

A few years ago, we launched a swag initiative. We gave out branded DPK shirts and promotional items to the entire team every quarter. One of the reasons for this initiative was to see how excited and proud people were to be part of DPK.

To be clear, I’m not saying the success of culture change is measured by how many people show off their company swag. The larger point is that everyone must believe in the vision. Everyone must care about the company. They should be enthusiastic about doing the best possible work. They need to support and care about each other and our customers.

At DPK, we have many different players involved with each project, from managers and coordinators to draftsmen and field personnel. They’re rarely in the same room, but when everyone is on the same page with regards to both day-to-day tasks and the big picture vision, you build accountability, enable better decision making, and create a more cohesive operation.

Unfortunately, some people will resist change. They might feel it’s unnecessary. They could be afraid change will make their job harder. They often fear the change or do not see the reason for it. They might have different beliefs and values. Regardless of the reason, resistance to change will typically lower the ceiling for success for both the individual and the organization.

The fact is that some employees positively impact cultural change by leaving. Those who don’t support the culture and leave the company are no longer obstacles to progress. It’s best for both sides. Those who believe in the culture and vision will stay and work together as a team.

At DPK, changing the culture at all levels of the organization has taken years. We’ve faced our share of obstacles but persevered and ended up in a much better place. In Part 3 of this series on navigating culture change, I’ll discuss the steps involved in changing organizational culture and building a high-performance team that supports the culture.

Navigating Culture Change, Part 1: What Culture Is and Why It Matters
James Heiser, P.L.S., President and CEO of DPK

Anthropologist and cross-cultural researcher Edward Hall has compared culture to an iceberg. What we see in terms of processes, policies, and behaviors exists above the surface. This part of culture is visible. But it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Introduction

For about 15 years, I worked to absorb every facet of the surveying business from the ground up at DPK Consulting. As I expanded my knowledge and expertise, I started to look beyond my day-to-day responsibilities and develop my own vision for not only DPK, but the surveying profession. DPK leadership recognized this and told me I would lead the company someday.

When I became CEO, I quickly realized that growing the company would provide us with the resources to achieve my vision for DPK and contribute to strengthening the land surveying profession. This would require extensive education, new technology, better processes, and innovative solutions.

I knew a change in culture would be essential to achieving this goal. Developing a long-term vision for DPK, implementing that vision, getting people to understand and buy into that vision, and identifying leaders who would fully support and carry out that vision would be a long process.

Five years later, the evolution of the DPK culture has come into focus and the organization is beginning to thrive as a result. I wanted to share that journey and insights gained about company culture as part of a three-part series of articles:

  1. Understanding what culture is and why it matters
  2. The role of leadership in navigating culture issues
  3. How to successfully change organizational culture

The first step in this process was to define culture in general terms, examine the existing DPK culture, and create a vision of what the DPK culture should be.

So, what Is culture?

Culture is a system of shared values, beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions that guide how an organization’s people behave, interact with others, and make decisions.

Anthropologist and cross-cultural researcher Edward Hall has compared culture to an iceberg. What we see in terms of processes, policies, and behaviors exists above the surface. This part of culture is visible. But it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The much larger part of culture, which ultimately drives what an organization accomplishes, exists below the surface. This part of culture – your values, beliefs, perceptions, aspirations, stories, and feelings, require much more exploration to understand and cultivate.

While the visible tip of the iceberg focuses on how you say you get things done, the invisible part below the surface determines how things really get done. It’s also essential to preparing for and implementing cultural change.

15 years at DPK taught me that we, like many small companies in technical services, with unpredictable conditions and tight deadlines, lived in a perpetual state of controlled chaos. Work was getting done and done well, but the process behind the scenes was not as seamless as it should have been. People were rarely empowered to think for themselves, so the CEO typically had to step in and personally make sure work was getting done. That model allowed for DPK to function but made it difficult, if not impossible, to grow.

I thought back to a book called Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet. The overarching message focused on whether a strong culture is based on telling people when to push the button or explaining why to push the button.

When you explain why to push the button, people learn the purpose of each task and how it affects our team and the client. With greater understanding comes more support for the vision of the organization and more opportunities for each individual to grow.

This is the kind of culture I wanted to implement at DPK.


The Difference Between “Good” and “Great”

It had been a long time since I first read the book Good to Great by Jim Collins, but I told myself that “good” just wouldn’t cut it for me. I wanted DPK to be great.

While culture generally reflects the vision of the company’s leader, all efforts to improve the culture were about DPK as an organization. I knew we needed the right team to reach our goals.

You can have a talented group of employees who are great at what they do, but to grow and be great, everyone needs to move forward together as a cohesive team. This is why culture is so important.

Everyone must understand and believe in what the company stands for, why the company functions the way it does, and what the company is trying to achieve. Culture builds team unity and ensures everyone is moving in the same direction with the same purpose.

As more of the company culture comes to the surface, you find out who supports the culture and who doesn’t. Your team starts to take shape and leaders are identified.

At DPK, we’ve gone through significant turnover in company leadership during the past five years. That’s not a bad thing. Personnel change can be difficult, but it’s often a necessary step in building a team filled with people who live and breathe the culture you’re trying to build.

In Part 2 of this series on culture, I’ll discuss the role of leadership and employees in navigating culture issues and the most common challenges that need to be overcome.

How Your Proposal Process Can Reduce Chaos, Preserve Profit and Support a Strong Culture
James Heiser, P.L.S., President and CEO of DPK

Businesses often get caught up in sales targets as they set higher goals for top-line revenue and pump out proposals at a faster rate. Generally speaking, there’s nothing wrong with that. These are, after all, important indicators of performance.

The real danger is approaching sales with blinders on and focusing on landing as many customers as possible as quickly as possible. Perhaps a better approach is the example of a water wheel. It uses just the right amount of water to turn smoothly and consistently. It’s pace, and the energy created, is in perfect balance with what’s being produce as a product. Not carefully evaluating each customer and all of the specific requirements of project can lead to an imbalance. Disruptions in flow lead to obstacles that impact on not just profitability, but your people, your operations and the customer experience.

Overcoming the “All Business Is Good Business” Myth

The front-end sales and proposal writing process is a crucial time for gathering information. More than trying to close the sale, your employees should be interviewing the client to determine if the scope of the project aligns with your operations and capabilities.

Commercial surveying projects, for example, can be riddled with complex technical challenges, unreliable data, and changes to properties and field conditions. At DPK, we have to dig much deeper than basic project parameters such as cost, deadline, and production schedule.

  • Is the customer’s scope of work complete?
  • Is the job site within our specified geographic service area?
  • Have the project site conditions been reviewed by the client?
  • Which employee skillsets and certifications match the specific needs of the customer?
  • Do we have the right equipment available?
  • To what extent can the customer’s history give us a sense of their expectations, communications level, and how they value the services we provide?

The answers to these questions will likely trigger another round of questions that further inform our decision about whether the customer and project are the right fit in terms of expertise, capabilities, and bandwidth. This process also helps us determine if it makes sense to push our resources to their limits or expand our capabilities to increase the number of optimal customers and projects.

Ultimately, closing the sale is the starting block, not the finish line. Slowing down the sales and proposal-writing process may reduce the total number of proposals but doing so can actually produce better results. Getting the proposal to the client as quickly as possible might help accelerate the process of landing a project, but at what cost?

If a project stumbles across the finish line and missteps, miscommunication, and other problems result in a negative experience, then what have you gained? Keep in mind that the customer will feel the same level of dissatisfaction, which isn’t good for anyone.

Proactive Preparation, Analytical Thinking, and Culture

Instead of reacting to this scenario above by saying, “I did the best I could with what I had,” make sure you have what you need to do the job right.

Rather than simply moving forward with the information you have in front of you, be proactive and prepare. If possible, gather deeper information to ensure the client and project are well-suited for your company. Think about how various tasks, challenges, and variables affect your team at every stage of the project.

Beyond sales and landing the contract, employees should continue this focus to ensure the project is produced smoothly and efficiently. Embracing a winning attitude will empower yourself and your team to do what’s necessary to properly move the work forward. It will set up your organization, your project and your customer for a successful experience.

The more lofty goal is building a culture in which every employee is motivated to show up each day and do great work. They have to care about their co-workers, the organization as whole, and the customer. They have to be accountable for themselves and others. They have to be willing and able to look more than one step ahead and beyond their own responsibilities.

To be clear, there is no way to prevent every hiccup. However, a more methodical approach to business development, supported by preparation, analytical thinking, and a strong culture will make roadblocks easier to overcome. It will enable you to circumvent unnecessary inefficiencies, complete projects on time, satisfy the customer, improve employee morale, and maximize profits.
If you found this article to be of benefit, you may also want to read “Every Project Is a Story”.

DPK Fortifies Its Environmental Team Through Training Curriculum and Health & Safety Culture

As a one of the most trusted surveyors by environmental consultants for over 20 years, DPK Consulting has developed a deep bench to support its highly valued customers. “In the environmental services arena, there’s no tolerance for challenges that are preventable,” states Ray Hyman, DPK’s COO. It’s the whole basis for a successful Health & Safety program and culture.

“Our philosophy at DPK is to have depth of talent in each primary service area,” continues Ray. “This leads to team members helping other team members and ensures that our environmental customers have optimal scheduling availability. Ultimately, our priority on proactive communication combined with skills development creates a very positive experience when engaging with our operations, and teams in the field”, concludes Ray.

DPK is a leader in supporting the environmental industry with the surveying of monitoring wells, as well as many other services, in a variety of commercial environments. One reason they’ve become a “go-to” source is their basic training curriculum. Field team members must demonstrate the ability to:

  • Consistently use the appropriate PPE
  • Set-up safe work sites, especially in active retail environments
  • Use the correct description codes in their work
  • Correctly mark PVC
  • Accurately measure rim to PVC (with notated field sketches)
  • Correctly shoot PVC, rim, riser, OC, ground and pavement heights
  • Understand and adhere to site map expectations, including buildings, concrete, canopy, curb, pavement and walks.

All DPK field teams participate in bi-monthly Health & Safety training and certification, and are tracked on a comprehensive matrix. Some of the certifications include:

  • 40-Hour OSHA HazWoper
  • Loss Prevention System 2014 (LPS)
  • American Petroleum Institute (API)
  • CSX certified
  • E-railsafe certified
  • NJ Transit Roadway Worker
  • Shell Life Saving Rules
  • Chevron 101
  • Medically monitored Field Crew
  • Fall protection
  • Avetta & ISNetworld registration
  • Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)

For more information about DPK’s Environmental Services click https://dpkconsulting.net/our-services/environmental/

To learn more about DPK’s training curriculum and health and safety programs, call 732-838-6035 and ask for Ray Hyman

DPK Consulting’s 3D Scanning Division is Growing!

Investing in new equipment and technology is always exciting. Finding talent in technical industries to operate it, can be a far bigger challenge. At DPK, we’re fortunate to have an extraordinary group of people. Some are experienced mentors willing to pass on their knowledge to train and grow our highly capable team. Others are young professionals eager to learn new technology and apply it and contribute towards successful projects for our customers.

Today, DPK has doubled its capacity in 3D Scanning and is applying the technology to a wide array of surveying functions. If you’re interested in how 3D Scanning can enhance your engineering, construction, or environmental projects, call DPK at 732-838-6035 and speak with one of our industry leaders.

If you have a project in mind, email your scope of work to Ray Hyman, and we’ll respond with a proposal promptly

When Training Becomes Continuous Improvement
James Heiser, P.L.S., President and CEO of DPK

Early in my surveying career, I was fortunate to learn from good mentors. The most influential conversation I ever had was with a surveyor who had just retired after more than 60 years. He loved talking about the people who worked for him over the years.

More than training them to perform certain tasks, he took great pride in how he prepared them to be successful. In addition to obtaining their surveyor licenses, many went on to become leaders in our profession.

This conversation helped shape my philosophy on training as CEO of DPK. More than teaching technical skills, culture-driven training is critical to growing the company and creating a strong, sustainable industry.

This growth and strength are achieved not by licenses and certifications, but by people – valued people who are given opportunities to excel and contribute to the success of the organization and the industry as a whole.

The Surveying Talent Void

During the recession of 2008, quite a few surveyors left the industry, taking value knowledge and experience with them. This loss of talent was compounded by the fact that the surveying industry offers a limited number of training opportunities. In other words, there is no talent pipeline unless you create it yourself.

Unfortunately, many leaders in a wide range of industries are afraid top talent will take what they’ve learned to another company. This fear trickles down to experienced professionals who often resist mentoring because they’re afraid of being replaced by younger, less expensive talent.

I’ve always felt this mindset is shortsighted. Training someone and seeing them leave is far less risky to your company than not training them and having them stay. It may sound cliché, but it’s absolutely true.

That said, some people might leave anyway. It happens. Wouldn’t you rather get each individual’s very best while they work for your company and, if they leave, build a reputation as a cultivator of top talent?

The DPK Approach to Culture-Driven Training

Making people want to stay is just the first step. My goal is to create a culture that makes people want to support the growth of the company and groom the next generation of surveyors and leaders. Offering opportunities for advancement, many of which require internal training, is critical to retaining top talent.

Of course, the kind of training you offer, and the goals you set for that training, will determine the success of the company and each individual team member. Most importantly, these efforts will ensure that you deliver a customer experience that meets expectations.

Ray Hyman, COO of DPK, has a unique background in education that includes experience as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. Together, we’ve expanded our training program in a way that reinforces who we are as a company and what our customers expect.

Our first goal is to get the entire team on board with what we’re trying to accomplish. Every new employee is mentored by a more experienced employee. Beyond learning skills and increasing knowledge, every individual at every level needs to be invested in improving themselves and the company. When the entire team buys in, training starts to turn into continuous improvement.

Technical skills and processes are certainly a high priority. People need to learn the right way to set up a job, make a job site safe, take care of equipment, etc. But they also need to understand why customers value our relationship and what they expect from every interaction with DPK. These intangibles are unique to our brand and critical to earning customer loyalty.

For example, one of the first things new employees learn is to tell customers what they can do, not what they can’t do. This doesn’t require any surveying experience or specialized skill. You just need a confident, problem-solving mindset, which is an essential part of the “Service Without Boundaries” culture we have at DPK.

To be clear, training isn’t just for newbies. If we hire a 20-year industry veteran, we might not be teaching new technical skills, but we will certainly spend time explaining the DPK model.

This is how we do things.
This is why we do things.
This is how it benefits the customer.
These are the negative consequences when you don’t follow the DPK model.

Our training program has helped us create a skills matrix for each employee that lays out the specific skills and knowledge of that individual. If the primary person is unavailable, there are always at least two other people who can fill a role, assume responsibility, and perform various tasks. Having this redundancy is essential to meeting customer expectations.

Growth Is a Team Sport

No matter how much knowledge you have or how strong a leader you are, you can’t build a company by yourself.

I encourage you to invest in cultivating talent that can take your organization into the future. Be a mentor. Be willing to train your potential replacement to support company growth without feeling threatened. Follow the example that was shown to me early in my career.

Use this mindset to get beyond standardized, technical training and create an ongoing program that reinforces your culture and focuses on the needs of the customer.

You’ll be able to see when your team is buying into your efforts. You’ll see their eyes light up. You’ll see it in their performance and customer interactions.

This is when training becomes continuous improvement and, in turn, a competitive differentiator.

How a Crisis Can Reveal an Organization’s Resilience
James Heiser is the President and CEO of DPK

Many crises are unavoidable, unpredictable, or outside the control of the average business owner. In recent years, the business community has been forced to deal with the physical devastation of Hurricane Sandy and the financial devastation of the Great Recession of 2008. Many have been crippled by data breaches. Everyone remembers where they were on 9/11 and the challenges that followed.

The coronavirus pandemic is the latest test of the business community’s resilience. The problem with this particular crisis is that we had no idea how bad it would get or how long it would last. We still don’t.

As President and CEO of DPK and a strong advocate of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), I knew I had to be the lighthouse for my team and our clients. This meant staying focused, communicating clearly, instilling confidence, and maintaining accountability.

Most importantly, my job was to protect the business and enable DPK to emerge from the pandemic on stable footing. After all, if the crisis ends but the business is gone, employees and clients both suffer. Survival was the top priority, but I also needed to focus on activities of value that would continue to drive the company forward.

What Is EOS?

EOS is set of concepts and tools designed to help leaders become better at creating and gaining support for the organization’s vision, building traction towards that vision, and developing a more functional, healthier leadership team.

There are six key components in the EOS model that need to be managed for an organization to be successful.

1)  Vision. Get the entire organization on the same page about the direction of the organization.
2)  People. Identify key positions, or seats, and fill them with the right people.
3)  Data. Use reliable information and metrics to accurately assess the state of the organization.
4)  Issues. Identify and solve problems in a way that prevents chronic issues.
5)  Process. Implement systems and procedures that are consistently followed to reduce risk and enable growth.
6)  Traction. Get better at executing your vision every day.

To be clear, this is very much a high-level summary of the EOS methodology. DPK adopted EOS because it provides us with a foundation and blueprint for sustained improvement and growth. We’ve also seen firsthand during the COVID-19 pandemic how EOS has made our organization more resilient in the face of an unforeseen crisis.

“Great Leaders Are Forged in Crisis”

As the coronavirus hit our area, we were told to stay at home and do nothing. Let the storm pass. I refused to accept that. I had too much motivation to not only keep our business alive but to keep It moving forward.

I started each day by reading the quote above. History has taught us that the world needs leaders in moments of crisis more than ever. As the leader of DPK, I knew I needed to step up and be the aforementioned lighthouse.

This involved everything from monitoring and sharing government updates with employees to inviting them to contact me with questions about their specific circumstances. We kept our lines of communication open and consistent. I personally kept everyone in the company updated on the status of DPK, whether they were still working or furloughed at home.

One of the biggest advantages of EOS is that it allows the CEO to focus on CEO-level responsibilities. It affords leaders the time to reflect and build upon important relationships. I reached out to clients on a weekly basis, not just see how their businesses were doing, but to check on their families. We launched the DPK Cares initiative in which we distributed facemasks and bottles of hand sanitizer to as many employees, clients, and families as we could.

I received emails and texts from clients who said these were the most appreciated, useful packages they had ever received. Will they lead to more business? Honestly, I’m not concerned about that because generating business wasn’t the point. This was an investment in relationships, which are always worthy of our time and resources.

The Road Ahead

It feels somewhat surreal thinking back to where DPK stood in March now that we’re back to managing a full slate of projects. When the pandemic started shutting things down, we were putting in twice the amount of time and effort to keep the business going. We continue to evolve and take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. We understand the value of keeping our employees working and moving our clients’ projects forward.

We’re able to do this because we keep our vision in front of us and our integration process at our side. You have to stay true to your process and systems, even as you adapt to an unpredictable environment.

Organizations have a choice. Either structure operations and implement systems in a way that can survive a crisis, or simply respond to events as they happen and deal with the chaos that ensues. At DPK, the strength of our culture and our commitment to relationships have kept us on track during the pandemic.

I would encourage all senior executives to evaluate your own systems and processes and explore EOS as a tool that can make the organization more resilient in times of crisis. Most importantly, take action to address areas of weakness and position your organization for stability and long-term growth.

 

 

 

 

 

Every Project Is a Story: How the DPK Approach Delivers Value to the Customer
James Heiser is the President and CEO of DPK

 
Regardless of industry, a project is a project is a project is a project. The formula is rather simple. Put together a checklist and timeline, make sure each task gets done, and provide the deliverable to the client. If the client receives the deliverable on time and on budget, the project is considered a success.

DPK approaches land surveying projects much differently. We view each project as a unique story. By incorporating this philosophy into both day-to-day operations and our larger business culture, we create a stronger connection between what we are doing and how it contributes to our customer’s goals.

Essentially, our story model conveys the “why” that provides deeper context for each person involved in the process. This level of cohesiveness leads to higher quality work and increased productivity and customer satisfaction. It also makes DPK Consulting a more rewarding place to work.

Consider the parallels between a successful project and a highly engaging story. Every story has:

  • A back story.  How did we get here and what is important to know about where we’re going next?
  • Impact. What are we looking to achieve? How will our contributions affect people’s lives or the success of an organization? How do we want to be remembered?
  • Characters. What is the role of each person as the story unfolds? The cast goes beyond our team and your team to include consultants, vendors, and subcontractors.
  • Communication. How are different characters kept informed? What is the collaborative process?
  • Chapters. What sequence of events must happen to take the story from start to finish? Who is responsible for each task and activity?
  • Pace. What is the timeline? What process must be followed to stay on schedule?
  • Conflict. What protocols are in place to resolve issues and minimize disruption? What can be done to prevent these problems from happening in the first place?
  • A desired ending. How should this story end to deliver the intended impact and make the customer happy?

In our fast-paced, unpredictable, and deadline-oriented industry, it might seem counterintuitive to spend valuable time learning the broader context of a project. Wouldn’t it be faster to go the “project is a project” route, run through the checklist, and simply get everything done on time? I mean, that’s why we have processes, right?

Sounds great on the surface, and thousands of companies have been very successful using this traditional model. For me, it was clear that we needed to look at this from a different perspective. We needed to help our talented people see the nuances of a project and how they contribute to the story.

With that knowledge, each “character” gains a broader sense of purpose and ownership, which serve as motivation to play their role to the best of their ability. They can then work together to identify and resolve issues that threaten the desired outcome of the story.

Most importantly, the focus shifts from working through a checklist to providing a more effective and valued solution for the customer.

For a story to be successful and memorable, every component needs to be taken into account. People, process, technology, and planning are critical. At DPK Consulting, our unique approach to land surveying projects brings company-wide alignment and a genuine commitment to helping you reach your goals.

We’re confident that our innovative model will earn your trust and your business. And when your story has a happy ending, we believe you’ll return to us for the sequel.