- Laser scanning is the fuel required for 3D design engines.
- A group of like minded people could lower the risk of investing in a laser scanner by forming a consortium.
- The New Hampshire GPS consortium has been successfully doing this for 20 years.
How about this for a business plan? You contact a number of firms in your region, perhaps through a professional society that you belong to, and identify a small group of like minded people that want to invest in a laser scanner, but who cannot justify it individually. All of you want to get in on the ground floor of this 3D revolution, but the cost is too high. Everyone knows that all of the design worlds are moving to 3D, and that laser scanning is the fuel for those engines, but the systems are still too “early adopter” pricey.
So you pool your resources, establish a schedule for sharing the unit – let’s say you get 4 firms, which would lower the cost to each member to roughly that of a total station, and would result in each firm getting the unit 1 week per month. And just like that, you are in the laser scanning business at a more manageable level of risk. Most people think entrepreneurs are big risk takers. In fact, successful entrepreneurs are people who know how to minimize risk.
Now I can hear the doubters already saying that this will never work, and for many that is probably true. That’s why I said “like minded”. This is not for everyone, but I am pleased to report that the New Hampshire GPS Consortium, which uses this model for GPS equipment purchases, has been successfully working together for nearly 20 years.
In times like this, and with disruptive technology in general, one needs to think creatively. Let’s remember it’s not about data collection, it’s about creating value for customers from the data . The surveying paradigm is shifting from the field to the office. The cost of software and training needed to exploit the information contained in the point cloud in most cases is still somewhat high compared to other mass market software, but I see that improving over the next couple of years.
I think most firms could afford this level of investment in order to become a player in the market. What do you think?