sps1The world of engineering and land surveying can be a roller coaster ride, full of ups, downs, twists, and turns. Many factors affect our business; the economy, the weather, oil and gas prices, and political influences to name a few.

Typically when work is plentiful, or a sizable job is landed, consulting firms ramp up their office and field staff, but what happens when work slows down or a specific job or contract comes to an end?  Unfortunately, this typically means layoffs or other cutbacks.  No firm whether large or small likes this situation.  Layoffs are not good for morale or public image, and they have other impacts as well, such as increased unemployment benefits paid by the company. In order to help reduce these impacts on other companies, Shawnee Professional Services has created a Professional Staffing division.
The idea of a Professional Staffing division for Shawnee started in September when Company President Mitch Garrett and Vice President of Engineering & Design Michael Hansen took a trip to Chicago, Illinois and met with a large Chicago based engineering firm at their corporate headquarters.  This large nationwide firm had a large survey backlog at the time, and needed field support.  After this meeting, Shawnee supplied two field crews, in the Chicagoland area, for approximately 6 to 8 weeks.  As a result of Shawnee providing manpower, this firm was able to continue accepting new jobs while making a nice markup on the project.   Shawnee then was able to supply crews to a large pipeline project in North Dakota which could have the potential to go on for several years.
What makes Shawnee a great fit for the Professional Staffing model is our location.  Headquartered in Vienna, Illinois, we are conveniently located within a couple of hours from St. Louis and Nashville, and have access to flights to Chicago through Barkley Airport in Paducah, Kentucky.  In addition, when compared to cost of living and rates in a major metropolitan area, Shawnee can be very competitive.  For example, a two man survey crew in Chicago has a typical rate of $150/hour.  Shawnee’s professional rate for that same crew is approximately $125/hour.
The Professional Staffing idea is not just limited to field crews.  Shawnee can also provide drafting, administration, asset management, permitting, GIS services, and land acquisition.
Another important element of Shawnee’s Professional Staffing division is our commitment to our employees by providsps2ing training and our commitment to technology.  Shawnee has been using the eBee UAV by SenseFly to provide aerial photography and other surface model data.
The eBee is a professional mapping drone that captures high-resolution aerial
photos that you can transform into accurate 2D orthomosaics and 3D models.
(see image right)
In addition, Shawnee has recently purchased a Trimble V10 imaging rover that can generate survey, GIS or mapping accuracy positions from images.  The Trimble V10 imaging rover utilizes 12 calibrated cameras to capture 60 megapixel panoramic images.  The Trimble V10 has many applications for engineering topographic surveys, ALTA surveys, and construction observation services.
Shawnee is currently training its office and field crew staff to be a minimum Survey Certified Technician Level 2 as defined by the National Society of Professional Surveyors.  Each firm that utilizes Shawnee staff will know that are getting a trained and capable employee.
Shawnee staff has been marketing the Professional Staffing division to several large Engineering and Land Surveying firms and has potential opportunities in Chicago, Central Illinois, Wyoming, Delaware, and Virginia.  The Professional Staffing division is another example of how Shawnee Professional Services thinks outside the box and continues to be an innovative force in the areas of Engineering, Land Surveying, Acquisition, and Energy.