Lifelong Surveyor Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Steve Parent, DPK Consulting’s VP of Business Development, was recently honored as the recipient of the William T. Murry Lifetime Achievement Award by the New Jersey Society of Professional Land Surveyors (NJSPLS).

At the Surveying industry’s annual conference, Survcon, in Atlantic City, NJ, Mr. Parent was awarded and introduced by James Heiser, DPK’s president and CEO. Mr. Heiser credits Mr. Parent for his career in surveying. 

This lifetime achievement award is in place to recognize and honor those who have dedicated themselves to upholding the highest standards of the land surveying profession. The award is given annually in honor of William T. Murry, one of NJPLS founding fathers. To be nominated for this award, the person must have made significant contributions over the years to the surveying profession in NJ. 

Steve Parent has certainly checked all the required boxes. “I’ve never felt that I was doing something just to pass time”, offers Mr. Parent. “Our work happens in such a wide range of environments, with hundreds of variables. It requires a high degree of accuracy and consistency as our work is then utilized by other professionals to advance the next phase of a project. I spent many years helping young professionals learn this vocation. How to approach this work with unyielding determination and sometimes creativity to get what is needed in the field. Above all, I believe my own commitment to customers drove me to push everyone on the team. Our tagline is Service Without Boundaries. That’s the way I approach each day, ”concludes Mr. Parent.

Those that know Steve well will echo these values when describing their experiences with him. Beyond the work itself, Steve is the type of person who will try to help anyone in need, whether it’s on a project site, or in everyday life. Congrats to Steve!

DPK’s Unmanned Aerial Systems for Environmental Due Diligence

EPA defines “All appropriate inquiries” as a process of evaluating a property’s environmental conditions and assessing potential liability for any contamination. All appropriate inquiries must be conducted to obtain certain protections from liability under the federal Superfund Law (CERCLA). The specific reporting requirements for all appropriate inquiries are provided in 40 CFR §312.21 §312.31 of the final rule. The results of the inquiry are typically documented in a Phase 1 Property Environmental Site Assessment. Recommendations for the conduct of a Phase 1 ESA are published in ASTM E1527-13, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process and contain requirements for a records review, including historical aerial photography, a site inspection, and surrounding area survey. The Phase 1 ESA “shelf life” is generally good for 180 days. Thereafter, it should be updated including a new visual inspection.

Those in the environmental profession will agree that it is extremely fortuitous to find a historic aerial photo that is younger than 180 days. Prior to the advent of unmanned aerial systems (aka “drones”), with their HD cameras and sensors, the cost of commissioning an aerial survey of a property was prohibitive. After all, these costs are generally not recoverable if the property transaction falls through, as the prospective buyer usually incurs the cost up front. This all has changed. With the advent of FAA Part 107 authorization, the use of UAS for property inspection has expanded rapidly and is already standard accepted practice in the residential and commercial real estate markets.

The application of UAS surveys for Phase 1 ESAs is invaluable. Not only does one obtain a “bird’s eye view” of the property, but the drone can also be used to fly into areas where environmental professionals have limited access, due to either the size or condition of the subject property, barriers to vehicular or pedestrian access, dense vegetation, wetlands or natural hazards.

Combining the HD photography with digital photogrammetry solutions and remote sensing devices opens a completely new vista for the environmental due diligence practice. Application of photogrammetry permits the construction of high resolution 2D and 3D maps, digital elevation models and georeferenced orthomosaics that can be output as geotagged imagery, GIS Data (KML, SHP, etc.), 3D Point Cloud Data (LAS) or highly accurate CAD outputs (DXF, DWG, etc.). The work product can be overlaid by maps of thermal and spectral sensor data to identify factors potentially indicative of environmental degradation not visible to the human eye. Should the property evaluation and purchase proceed, the same drone assets and reference datum can be used for more refined investigation, ecological resource impact assessment, cleanup of contaminated hot-spots, redevelopment planning, building construction management, safety auditing and post construction asset management.

Having undertaken multiple UAS surveys as part of Phase 1 ESAs, including properties encompassing tens of thousands of acres and hundreds of miles of transmission assets, we can state unequivocally that this technology is a game changer for the environmental industry as we continuously look to improve how we work to better serve our clients and to produce the best quality product possible while remaining cost competitive. Best of all, is the sheer joy of watching our valued clients jump with excitement as the data feed streams live from our aerial platform to our mobile data center, allowing them to refine the view in real time, and target areas of concern for refinement of the tactical mission while boots are still “on the ground.” By that measure, the technology is priceless.

Putting a drone in the air over an environmental site is something that every consulting engineer or environmental services firm should be planning to do in 2022 if they haven’t already. CALL Tom Gregory or Steve Parent at DPK Consulting and learn more about the effectiveness and efficiencies of drone-based services at 732-764-0100. 

James Heiser Installed as NJSPLS President Elect

Walking the Walk

If you say you want to be a leader, you need to do the things leaders do. You need to get involved in sustaining what’s important to you. 

James Heiser, President, and CEO of DPK Consulting, a commercial surveyor, 3D scanning and drone-based services company, not only leads the company he owns, but actively invests time and energy with the industry’s business association. 

Just last month, James was installed as President Elect of the New Jersey Society of Professional Land Surveyors (NJSPLS). He recognizes that commitments and efforts made outside of his company will also ultimately support it – along with all the state’s surveying companies. 

“Being involved in NJSPLS is an honor”, states Mr. Heiser. “Professionals need to collaborate, share challenges, and develop solutions to maintain quality standards and advocate the value surveying professionals represent to land developers, architects, engineers, construction companies as well as environmental consultants. We also need to encourage educational institutions to promote or create tracks for young people who are interested in technical paths, but also want to contribute to the development or preservation of our country’s diverse landscapes,” concludes Mr. Heiser.

The New Jersey Society of Professional Land Surveyors is a statewide professional group comprised of professional land surveyors, technicians, and allied professionals. The Society members demonstrate their commitment to their profession through their high standards, public action and educational forums.

NJSPLS provides a forum to meet and learn from other professional surveyors and encourages professionalism through education. An active Legislative Committee keeps tabs on Trenton and works closely with our government affairs team.

Learn more about the NJSPLS at https://www.njspls.org/

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.

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 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.