Page 24: of Marine Technology Magazine (March 2013)

Instrumentation: Measurement, Processing & Analysis

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Instrumentation equipment manufacturers. 3.) Manufacturing ? We manufacture the Sonarmite Echo- sounder in our Cameron Park, CA facility to Milspec speci- Þ cations. 4.) Consulting ? Our staff of hydrographers provides onsite/ offshore training and support on our range of equipment to ensure the success of each and every project. We understand you started Sea ß oor Systems in 1999. Can you take us back and tell our read- ers why you started the company, its original fo- cus and how that focus has changed from then to now? I believe in always continuing to look for the next challenge and opportunity to grow professionally and person- ally, no matter your age or position in life. Leaving Triton and moving to Oregon was hard, but my wife and I were in a good Þ nancial position and the industry was in an upward cycle. The timing was perfect. I originally started Seaß oor Systems as a ManufacturerÕs Representative and also provided hydro- graphic survey Þ eld support for equipment that I was most familiar with. The company has evolved into its current form due to the diverse variety of Þ elds I have worked in as well as investing for the future. In this vain, I eventually purchased that Þ rst piece of rental equipment, a multibeam echosounder from Honeywell-Elac in Germany, and developed custom sur- vey systems for customers. Since you started Sea ß oor Systems, what do you Þ nd to be the biggest challenge to running a proÞ table company? Accounts Receivable. Most customers have the good intention of paying, but, sometimes not the Þ scal discipline to pay in a timely manner. Collections are equally as important a function as engineering, sales and support when running a business. What do you monitor to help yourself decide the business? direction? Beyond monitoring all the proÞ t and loss state- ments, balance sheets, and reports, I like to take advantage of the wisdom and experience others pass onto me. A friend of mine was buying up houses in small towns that didnÕt seem like good investments. When I asked him why he speciÞ -cally chose these towns, his answer surprised me. He said he monitors various large companies (like Home Depot and Wal- Mart) for new store developments. These companies allocate millions of dollars into market research before deciding to build. He was taking advantage of their budget, and it has been very successful. I have kept my ear to the ground regard- ing new developments by such leading manufacturers such as Hypack, Teledyne and Trimble, of whom I represent. Rarely do industry leaders develop equipment or software on a whim; itÕs always based on research and future demand. Looking at the various markets you serve, by type, what are your specialties, and/or where does the majority of your business come from today? Our specialties are by far our Multibeam echosound- er rental pool and our Sonarmite echosounder production. These two account for nearly 50% of our revenue. We have the largest pool of rental multibeam systems in the U.S., cov- ering the spectrum of water depths from one to 3,000m. We also keep our lease pool up-to-date and offer proven, bullet- proof technologies. We prefer to leave the beta-testing to the manufacturers, not our customers. Our Sonarmite echosound- er is the most compact echosounder system on the market, provides survey grade results, and is bullet-proof. My mantra is to provide a good, quality product and it will sell itself. How have the general economic struggles of the past four years affected your business? We have been lucky in that the diversity of our com- pany offerings; it has enabled us to maintain and grow in sev- eral areas over the last four years. How is your company differentiated from others serving the same market? We have a small, but tight-knit, well-trained and smart group of individuals that are all capable of providing service and support in all facets of our business. I take pride in the fact that when a customer calls in for technical support, there is always someone available to provide top-notch assis- tance.In your career, what do you consider to be the technological development that has had the biggest impact in making the business of sub- sea more efÞ cient and safe? I believe the technological development would be ROVÕs. On a purely efÞ ciency basis, GPS has developed into such a versatile and accurate tool. It is invaluable to the in- dustry whether itÕs hydrographic survey and mapping, vessel navigation or mine hunting. 24 MTRMarch 2013 MTR #2 (18-33).indd 24MTR #2 (18-33).indd 243/5/2013 4:07:10 PM3/5/2013 4:07:10 PM

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