How to Boost Your Survey Business? – Tips for a Better Client Experience

Fast development of remote sensing technology has increased the supply and decreased the price of survey equipment. This means the amount of survey data is increasing in an accelerating pace. Too much of the data is still underused, and we think the survey industry should take an action to change this.

In this article, we describe how a Finnish survey company and the inventor of GISGRO platform VRT Finland decided to tackle the challenge of underused 3D data by offering their clients a complete new type of service. We interviewed VRT’s COO Olli Auer (now a Technology Development Manager at Sitowise), and the quotes below are from VRT’s client references.


A story about 3D data no one ever sees

VRT started with 3D underwater structural surveys a decade ago, using sonars in for example quay inspections in harbors. As the clients did not have a suitable software to open the point cloud files, the reporting was done by putting together a pdf-report including text and screen shots of the 3D data. Surveyors spent hours in the field gathering beautiful 3D data, which basically was only for their own eyes. Frustrating, isn’t it?

This is still the deal in many cases. Point cloud software is usually expensive and tricky to use, so the data is often sent to a consultant for further examination. VRT decided to change this and create a platform for their clients to see and use the 3D data they ordered. An online 3D platform GISGRO took its first breath in 2016 and since then all the survey data from VRT has been delivered to clients via GISGRO, which has generated positive feedback.


When we first started to work with VRT we were curious about the service and the outcome of the survey. The survey was conducted in a location we were interested in because of the age of the quay wall. When receiving the results of the survey with the inspection report, we were surprised how detailed the 3D image was, and that they managed to see the deformations in specific points of the quay wall. We are very happy to use the online platform GISGRO for comparing the data from previous inspection with the data from the new inspection. We are also looking forward to use VRT’s services again in the future.

Marc Vogelzang, Asset Manager, Port of Amsterdam



Two advantages: more efficient process and a stronger competitive edge

Moving away from the traditional style of survey reporting created two major benefits. Firstly, the process of reporting got quicker, as the inspectors did no longer have to use time to put together pdf-reports but instead, they just did the analysis and made the observations directly to the data in GISGRO, which then automatically generated the pdf-report. In comparison to the old way of reporting, using GISGRO enabled team VRT to save time up to 60%!

Secondly, the fact that the clients saw the data quality with their own eyes, and could use the data easily, improved the customer experience. They got more value for their money and could utilize the survey data in many ways, instead of just sending it to some consultant.


With GISGRO we can deliver our clients much more than just static bathymetric charts or reports. The clients can access the information in real time, for example by visualizing the clearance depth or calculating the volumes with different ground levels. Basically, we are aiding our clients to do some of “our” work, but it pays off with more satisfied clients.

Olli Auer, Technology Development Manager at Sitowise


Inspector working


Satisfied clients are known to return easily, so VRT was now able to form longer-lasting client relationships than before. The client’s easy access to the survey data also differentiated VRT from its competitors.


Business with VRT was easy, our expectations for timetable were taken into account and communication was great also during the field work. Flexibility and the visual presentation of the results via GISGRO were determinant factors in procurement decisions.

Johanna Heinoja, Technical Manager, Port of Pietarsaari


Survey data put into work instead of being buried in drawers

The main idea behind VRT’s business is that the surveyor’s work doesn’t end in processing of the data. The data quality is of course an essential part of the service, but there are many good surveyors in the world. VRT wants to ensure that data they’ve worked hard for is also a good part of their clients’ asset management. This requires easy utilization of the data, which is possible via GISGRO. Cloud services are getting more and more common in various industries, so it is time for the survey industry to get on board!


VRT has succeeded in making the most modern 3D software. The survey data is delivered fast, it is easily accessible and usable in our asset management.

Maarten Boer, CTO, Port of Den Helder


Now you may think where to start. It is easy -just click the link and start your 28-day free trial of GISGRO. If you want to learn more about taking your survey business to the next level, contact Ville to discuss the opportunities.

Ville Mäkeläinen


+358 44 513 2222


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