As we continue to navigate the ever-changing face of business in the Covid environment, Cheal’s Chief Executive Rebecca Hawke comments on the importance of a water-tight business continuity plan, the benefits of technology and how when disaster strikes, the capacity to deliver to your clients and retain your highly valued team becomes your one focus.
Reflecting on what feels like a distant memory, Rebecca recounts the speed at which Cheal responded to full lockdown and how within 24 hours, 80 engineers, surveyors, planners and support crew were working from home.
“We already had a Business Continuity Plan in place,” says Rebecca, “and whilst we reviewed its fitness for purpose in this unique environment, it was already working for us.” A stable remote access platform, up to date equipment and centrally-located technical software licensing ensured that engineers and surveyors were able to continue converting field data into survey plans, model designs for civil infrastructure projects, and resource management planners were able to write and upload resource consent applications to Councils who continued to process and make decisions. Whilst fieldwork was out, everything else was well and truly in! It also provided a timely opportunity for research and developing skills.
Planning for Interruptions
“When organisations are investigating and pricing new hardware, software and operating systems, it’s often difficult to visualize the ROI,” says Rebecca. “But by not planning for the effects of an event such as a pandemic, an organisation’s ability to operate is decreased significantly, often with drastic outcomes for the owners, and ultimately their most important asset, their team.”
But aren’t Surveyors and Engineers old school?
“Not at all!” says Rebecca – “they use some of the most advanced technology available in the industry and the capabilities of software are increasing by the day”. Whether it’s in the office modelling a design to manage stormwater catchments or in the guts of a power station with a Metrology Grade Laser Scanner, the capabilities of the technology Cheal uses are second to none. The key is planning for continued investment and being ahead of the game, whatever might come your way.
Rebecca Hawke is Chief Executive and a Principal of Cheal Consultants Ltd. Established in 1940, Cheal has offices in Hamilton, Taupo, Taumarunui, Ohakune, Rotorua and Napier and provides expertise in Civil, Structural and Geotechnical Engineering, Surveying and Resource Management
– Supplied copy