Customer Success Story: McSteen Land Surveyors
McSteen Land Surveyors, headquartered in Wickliffe, Ohio has been family owned and operated since 1970; currently, it’s on its third generation of ownership by Molly (Feller) Woeste, Maureen Feller (both 3rd generation) and Kevin Woeste, Molly’s husband, and current McSteen CEO. All three previously began their careers in industries outside of land surveying but had aspirations of operating their own business.
As the second generation moved toward retirement, an opportunity to invest in McSteen presented itself to the 3rd generation and continuing the family business felt natural. Kevin, who has since taken on the technical lead of the business, went back to school to earn his degree in Surveying and Mapping from the University of Akron so that he could obtain his surveying license in the state of Ohio and be a strong resource for the team. Along with several other family members and Macie, their family dog/company mascot, they’ve been able to continue the success of McSteen and ensure they remain on a positive trajectory for years to come.
Commitment To Progress
“That’s the way we’ve always done it” is a phrase you won’t hear from McSteen Land Surveyors. The more than 50-year-old company that reaches all 88 counties of Ohio attributes their continued growth and success to their commitment to integrating emerging technology into their workflows. McSteen’s early adopter mindset is why they decided to test the Emlid Reach RS2 and its included mobile app, ReachView.
CEO Kevin Woeste was first introduced to the Emlid brand while attending The University of Akron. His professor had used the technology and obtained it through Emlid Dealer, E38 Survey Solutions, also located in Ohio. When Woeste was looking to gain efficiencies through technology for McSteen crews, he remembered the brand and wanted to test if it was the right solution.
While the company uses other GPS equipment alongside the RS2, the emerging technology provided a cost-effective way to bring GPS solutions to different parts of their business including commercial and residential mortgage surveys.
A Positive Disruption
Because of the competitive price, Woeste initially had a feeling that Emlid was too good to be true, but after testing the equipment for nearly 5 months and comparing it to other GPS they use in the field, he was impressed. “It feels like they [Emlid] really stepped out of the box. It’s like a movement for the industry for such a progressive product at 1/10th the price,” said Woeste. “In this industry, there are probably three big players for GPS. They took lessons from those companies and improved the technology.”
Emlid’s RS2 is IP67 waterproof rather than water-resistant. Its battery life extends long after the workday is finished – up to 22 hours to be exact. Its internal base rover configuration also means it can function as a base or a rover, depending on the needs of the customer. “Emlid took many features of mainstream GPS and they were able to put them in a compact device at an economical price point,” marveled Woeste.
While there are always hurdles to overcome with new technology, McSteen felt the Emlid products had minimal bugs. “We haven’t really had many issues with Emlid,” said Woeste. “It’s like anything else with new technology – it takes some time to get used to and see where it could fit with or improve your current workflows.” McSteen has been so pleased with the technology, they have decided to be part of the Beta testing for Emlid’s new Reach app
Currently, six crews on McSteen’s team use the RS2, but given the success they have had with the product, they’d like to double that by the end of 2021. With the help of the Emlid Reach RS2, McSteen can continue providing efficiency in their work, which contributes directly to producing superior customer service.