How Land Surveys Saves over $150,000 per year by Implementing Real Time Collaboration Tools with 12d Synergy

by | Apr 26, 2023 | Blog, Case Studies

What do you do when you are Australia’s largest privately owned survey business and you’re watching thousands of dollars being lost to miscommunication due to poor data management?

If you’re Land Surveys, you make a change for the better…but how? With a team of over 300 professional surveyors and committed staff from around Australia and PNG, Land Surveys turned to 12d Synergy.

12d Synergy and Land Surveys share an important core value: innovation. “It is through our people that innovation occurs,” says the Technical Manager for Land Surveys. For surveyors, innovation means becoming pioneers of the spatial science profession. For 12d Synergy, it means creating the tools and processes that facilitate their success with reliable data shared across dispersed people and places.

“We have estimated that we’ve saved roughly $50,000 a year by the reduction of double entry of data, as it ensures consistent and correct data entry,” reports the Technical Manager for Land Surveys. “On top of this, automatic alerts allow us to get on top of any potential system errors which may cause an outage. These are caught early, managed quickly, and have reduced impact on our operations. We estimate approximate further savings of $100,000 a year by limiting system downtime. Essentially, we have a 99% uptime on our data.”

Here’s the before and after story…

The Challenge

When Rio Tinto wanted to undertake a $30 million rail camp upgrade project, they turned to Land Surveys with their 27-year history of success. The enormous job would require essential, but far-flung team members to collaborate on a project in the remote Pilbara desert in Western Australia. It was exciting but challenging. “With thousands of kilometres between team members, there was so much space for things to go wrong,” observes Harris. “Poor data management, in my view, is one of the greatest risks any surveyor faces on a project.” The cost in real dollars can be staggering.

From the start, the Rio Tinto project was being undermined by poor Internet connections and other breakdowns in communication. Land Surveys quickly learned the high cost of using generic project file management applications such as OneDrive, Dropbox, and Sharepoint. Generic applications like these were leading to data corruption and undermined collaboration.

The Solution & Realised Benefits

After an exhaustive analysis of solutions, Land Surveys turned to 12d Synergy for an effective answer to their data management headaches. 12d Synergy offers a uniquely customisable program, with the flexibility a diverse survey business requires. Other factors included 12d Model integration and the team’s familiarity with the system, having used it successfully on a previous project.

Rabbit on laptop screen

It’s About Time: Accelerating Slow Data Transfer Speeds

12d Synergy facilitates efficient accessibility to its system regardless of team members’ location. The secret: Intelligent Data Transfers. 12d Synergy dubbed this system ‘intelligent’ for its ability to only transfer changed files, not the full project. The result is the ability to share information that is current and accurate while spending less time twiddling thumbs and wondering when an endless download will finally be complete.

“Construction projects are often time-poor and very cost-sensitive,” says Harris. “Doing the same task two or three times because the wrong data has been used or supplied must be avoided.” Why is it all so problematic? Transferring large, complex, and unwieldy data sets can require up to 8GB to download, along with a huge investment of time to monitor the progress. Without reliable data management, updates can be lost, and data may be corrupted. A centralised repository allows team members to collaborate and access data easily, creating a boost in productivity.

Untraceable Data: Out of Date and Out of Control

Minimising miscommunication and detecting data errors quickly before they lead to problems are important keys to maximising profits for surveyors and civil engineers..

With its customised application, 12d Synergy acts as an insurance policy against mistakes. Dropbox and OneDrive and their generic counterparts offer no record of the most important three questions about data changes: who, when, why. “There was no traceability on who had accessed or updated data from our server and when,” says Harris of the early days of the Rio Tinto project. “That’s the biggest risk to our survey operations. Team members don’t understand or aren’t across the latest revision and therefore can introduce errors into the field.” Errors translate into lost time and diminishing profits.

Yellow folder with check mark

Rock Solid Version Control

Simply put, 12d Synergy’s Managed Folders enable superior 12d Model management by eliminating the risk of data corruption. Everything is fully traceable. A full audit history is on each version of the file. Any file can be rolled back quickly without the need to consult the IT department, saving time while preserving accuracy.

A simple, but ingenious Check-in/Check-out function ensures clarity among team members. It creates a single source of truth to ensure each member has access to the latest version of data. “I’ve had instances where the surveyors come back from R&R to a project and uploaded the project material revisions, which have since been superseded. No one knew what the most current version of data was,” says Mark. “Obviously this led to rework and redesign. Common (generic) sharing platforms don’t give you the version control and QA like 12d Synergy.”

“The overarching positives of 12d Synergy have been that we are able to access data in real time. There’s no waiting to pull data off a USB or external hard drive when you’re out on site,” says Harris. “Should I also have a new design or calculation file for review, any colleague in a central office has access to it immediately, there’s no moments of ‘fingers crossed the connection doesn’t drop out again while these large files get emailed’.”

Summary of Benefits

Miscommunication due to poor data management
Poor internet connections and breakdowns in communication
Generic project file management applications causing data corruption and undermining collaboration
Slow data transfer speeds affecting project timelines and efficiency
Lack of traceability and version control, leading to errors in the field
Estimated savings of $50,000 per year due to reduction in double data entry
Further savings of approximately $100,000 per year by limiting system downtime and maintaining 99% data uptime
Improved project efficiency and productivity through real-time access to data
Minimized miscommunication and data errors, maximizing profits for land surveyors
Enhanced collaboration among team members, even when dispersed across remote locations
Implementing 12d Synergy
Intelligent Data Transferring
Centralized repository for easy data access and collaboration
Managed folders with full audit history and version control
Check-in/Check-out function to ensure a single source of truth and access to the latest data

When You Control Data, Your Survey Projects Make More Money

Are you a victim of data management pitfalls? Is the high cost of down time turning your bottom line from black to red? We invite you to learn more about how 12d Synergy transformed the challenging realm of data management for Land Surveys and how our customised systems can tame even the most unmanageable data for you.

Book your free live demo here

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Nick has been a Marketing Coordinator at 12d Synergy since early 2023, bringing with him a love for copywriting and a passion for developing compelling content. Outside of work, you’ll find him cheering on his beloved Wests Tigers or exploring the local cafe scene in search of the perfect chicken burger.