New business at Sumac Geomatics
A year of change in 2020
In a year when many businesses have needed to pivot, we are pleased to announce changes to our business too. At Sumac, these changes have not been quick. They are a result of exploratory work and market analysis that has been ongoing for a few years now and, based on the premise of exceeding the requirements of customers in core markets.
Built on decades of experience
Founded in 1996, Sumac’s roots are in forest resource inventory, which has led to the development and growth of a team of highly skilled aerial photo interpreters, GIS professionals and technical field personnel. This team continues to complete inventory projects across Canada and has successfully adapted their skills to serve other markets i.e. environmental assessment and mineral exploration.
In line with evolutions in technology, Sumac’s core expertise in geomatics has also developed; reflected in the qualifications of our team and the services we provide. In 2014 we became one of the first firms in Canada to offer commercial unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) mapping and survey services. The UAV program has led to us expanding our client base to include the broader mining community and engineering firms across Ontario, undertaking a wide range of projects, often in the most challenging conditions.
The result is our reputation for a deep understanding of market requirements for 3D data capture across projects related to forestry, mining and built infrastructure; together with the ability to support these projects year-round and across Canada’s vast landscapes.
Technology adoption and business change
We are not averse to adopting new technology. The lessons learned from our early investigations into unmanned aerial technology before commencement of commercial operations using these platforms is just one example. However, we do not follow trends on a whim; each business decision needs to be made with the view that it will enhance the offering to our core markets.
Taking the example of UAV mounted lidar, we started seriously considering a system purchase over 4 years ago and even commissioned a market study to assess the implications to company operations and customer deliverables. Considering a range of variables: cost, overall accuracy, accuracy compared to existing photogrammetric methods and workflow, this report recommended not investing in the technology at the time.
Fast forward to 2018 and we had a much better understanding of the operational and post-processing data considerations of lidar and other mobile survey techniques. We kept our eye on the vendors and technology including hardware and software. Among the myriad of systems, Geocue Group launched the TrueView 410 3D imaging system, ticking many of the boxes that were important to us in terms of overall workflow and business model.
Coincidentally, at the same time we were approached by vendors of a range of imaging solutions to see if we were interested in becoming a reseller.
Establishing a sales and support channel
Being approached to open reseller channels clearly gave us confidence that the Sumac has developed a reputation that extends outside of our immediate sphere of influence in Northern Ontario. Traditionally a provider of professional and technical services, we were also cautious about turning on an equipment sales business channel.
Any sales portfolio needs to be well supported. It is our intention of keeping our portfolio small, with solutions that are already seen to support the business of the core markets of forestry, mining, and engineering that we serve. While putting this portfolio in place we have established a team with prior experience in working with the specific solutions that we sell, and in running sustainable sales and support channels.
Customer support is our biggest priority in everything that we do. To this end we have been providing local technical support to existing customers (such as for Teledyne Optech’s Cavity Monitoring System) in our territory long before undertaking any wider marketing of our sales activity. This we believe only strengthens us as we formally announce the re-structuring of our business.
Sumac now operates both Professional Mapping Services and Sales and Support Business Channels
This brings us to the update our website update at the beginning of November 2020, formally differentiating our two business channels.
Our Services business remains the same, providing a full stack of forest inventory, natural resources mapping and engineering survey services. These services are supported by our highly skilled team of professional and technical staff, the latest in UAV technology and a network of service partners across Canada in forest management, mineral exploration, and aerial imaging.
Now, within our new business channel, we are pleased to provide Sales and Support for the following products:
GeoCue TrueView: A full suite of integrated UAV 3D imaging and lidar solutions perfectly suited to surveying ground detail across all types of land cover, calculating volumetrics of tailings and pits across mining operations, and undertaking corridor mapping for transportation engineers.
Teledyne Optech’s Cavity Monitoring Systems (CMS): For decades this has been the tool of choice in underground mining operations across the globe for measuring blasting efficiency and stope dilution.
Photodocufy: A cloud-based, managed solution for securely documenting, storing, indexing, and distributing 360-degree imaging and point clouds for projects spanning construction sites, critical facilities, and engineered infrastructure. A solution that has been used extensively in Western Canada for the past 5 years, Sumac has now brought the Photodocufy solution to the eastern part of the country.
For all these solutions we are equipped to provide training, technical support, project consulting and if needed, expert personnel and resources for data collection and processing.
We have been very encouraged by the reception that we have received while rolling out these new business lines, and strongly believe that this is due to the capabilities that we have demonstrated in the history of our operations for supporting our customers across Canada. The number of enquiries that we have received on these new products have exceeded our expectations and we are excited by the opportunities that they provide for supporting our customer-base even further.