Embracing Tech: How One Business Utilized Equipment to Grow Profits


Small business owners naturally hesitate before making a large investment into new equipment. The owners of Lincoln Surveying of Charlottesville, VA were no different.

When the economy began to slow down in 2006, Vice President, Chris Kean began looking for a way to lower overhead costs and increase profit. The answer to his search? Investing in technology.

Founded in 1987 by its President Thomas Lincoln, Lincoln Surveying stands out to its customers throughout central Virginia because of its early adoption of technology and dedication to quality work. They perform work for a diverse mix of clients and do all types of land surveying – from working with residential clients to local government agencies.

Making the switch to robotic equipment allowed Lincoln Surveying to significantly reduce the size of their field crews and complete more jobs in less time. With the purchase of a Trimble Robotic Total Station, they were able to significantly reduce the number of man-hours required for each job allowing them to take on more work. This motivated the company to further invest in additional technology, like the FARO 120 Laser Scanner, GNSS and Access field software.

Chris depended heavily on his own research and guidance by Geospatial Sales Representative Grant Stickler of Duncan-Parnell. It was the combination of these two things that led Chris to make the capital investment in advanced technology for his business. Chris found that not only did this investment make them more efficient and profitable, but it also gave them a noticeable edge over competitors still using traditional methods.

Like many small business owners, Chris prioritizes getting the most out of the equipment he has invested in. “We stay on top of the equipment… it’s about making sure the equipment is maintained and properly cared for,” said Chris.

The Trimble S6 Robotic Total Station Chris first purchased from Duncan-Parnell is still being used by the company today, “We bought state-of-the-art equipment because it was so good when we bought it that it still maintains our needs.” Chris and the rest of his team plan on using their equipment purchased through Duncan-Parnell until it no longer serves their needs. According to Chris, “[Lincoln Surveying’s] use of technology is what sets us apart.”

Grant has been helping Chris and Lincoln Surveying since the first piece of robotic equipment he purchased. According to Chris, Grant is his “first and only call for technology and equipment questions.” He trusts Grant to not only refer products that will be an asset to his business, but to also continue providing support when it comes to maintaining and servicing his equipment. Chris describes Grant as very dependable and “never too busy to come in and help with software.” It is this consistent help and maintenance that Chris credits as being one of the important factors into how he is still getting the most out of his equipment.

As Lincoln Surveying moves into the future Chris remains focused on ensuring they are properly caring for their equipment. He is also confident that Grant and Duncan-Parnell will remain an important relationship and resource he will continue to use in order to help his business grow, “One of the things I like is that [Duncan-Parnell] is full-service – from equipment to software, training and education; it’s nice to deal with one company.”

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