Editorial: Got Help?

We live in crazy times! Invented by the Japanese, our economy has shifted to the just in time model for supply. It’s smart because it eliminates the need to warehouse parts needed for manufacture. But when something like the pandemic interrupts the supply line, havoc results. We have a worldwide shortage of a certain microchip used in car manufacturing. As a result, the big car manufacturers expect to produce several hundred thousand less units this year. Other shortages are rippling through our economy, and some things you take for granted are simply on back order.

Likewise, the news tells us that there are several million available jobs that are going unfilled. We are hearing survey companies are unable to find employees. The latest issue of the Nevada Traverse contains several good articles, but one in particular, by Carl C.de Baca, PS, and titled “Poachers”, caught my eye. The article is primarily addressed to companies who are angry because their employees are being lured away, but Carl makes an excellent point: “We can debate the causes of this predicament all day, but the conclusion is always the same: we were bad boys and girls through the Nineties and Noughties. We focused on the bottom line when we should have been laying the foundation for the next generation. We were shooting ourselves in the feet back when we were too busy to pay attention to little things like training technicians or reaching out to the youth in our schools. We got busy and skipped a whole generation.

We have agonized over this for decades, but Carl’s right: any company that doesn’t keep an eye on the future is in for trouble. And we’re not talking about staying up with the latest technology. We’re talking about investing in human capital. I’m thankful that I worked for a man early in my career who understood the need and value of training and education. He eagerly paid for me to attend seminars, knowing that, because I treated his business like it was my business, I would diligently attempt to apply what I had learned to the bottom line.

Through our partnership with NSPS and CST, we have been supporting training for years. As a magazine editor, and even though I rejected a college degree myself, I have supported the four and two-year degree requirement for nearly 25 years. Understanding some aspects of our technologies demands a degree, but we all know that advanced training will suffice for much of what we do. So, the question remains: what are you doing to ensure a steady stream of employees, both now and in the future?

In this issue

I have always shied away from theme issues because I don’t want to risk having a segment of our readers find nothing they are interested in. But this issue might as well be called the GNSS issue: We continue with our series on the history of RTK, the game-changing technique we now take for granted. Frontier Precision provides the state-of-the-art in satellite-based GNSS augmentation systems. And I provide an article about where JAVAD GNSS is at after the passing of company founder Javad Ashjaee one year ago. Rounding out the issue are the contributions of our expert columnists, as well as an application article and Part 2 of how one family served the GLO. I hope you enjoy, but most of all I hope you have sufficient work and a sufficient number of employees.

About the Author

Marc Cheves, PS

Marc Cheves is editor emeritus of the magazine. He has been a surveyor since 1963 and is licensed in five states. Since 1995 he has been a surveying magazine editor.