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5 reasons why it’s time to invest in mobile mapping
Sean HigginsSep 15, 20205 min read

5 reasons why it’s time to invest in mobile mapping

Whether your firm offers laser scanning services or you have an in-house scanning role for a larger company, mobile mapping will transform your business.

This is the third part of a series for experienced laser scanning professionals who are considering adding a mobile mapping system to their toolset.

In previous articles, we discussed what a mobile mapper is, and seven benefits it can bring to your scanning workflow compared to a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS).

In this post, we’ll talk about why it’s time to invest in one of these cutting-edge tools, and how they can transform your day-to-day work.

Whether you’re an independent contractor, part of a firm that provides laser scanning services, or you hold an in-house scanning role for a construction firm, here are five ways that mobile mappers will transform your business.


1. Mobile mappers will increase your scanning efficiency

Let’s say you’re set to perform a medium-to-large sized as-built documentation project – for example, a 5,000 sqm office building that includes a variety of spaces like staircases, small rooms, cubicles, long corridors, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) rooms.

In this scenario, investing in a mobile mapping system can speed up your project significantly. As we discussed previously, these devices are capable of capturing buildings at up to 10x faster than a TLS.

NavVis VLX, for example, can capture 1,000 sqm of complex office space per hour, meaning the project mentioned above would take about five hours of scan time to complete.

Additionally, where a TLS workflow can require two operators, a mobile workflow can be completed with only one operator. This enables you to free up valuable staffing resources to take on more projects.

Business benefit: Mobile mapping systems improve your scanning efficiency so you can finish big projects faster, and take on more projects, with your existing workforce.


2. Mobile mappers will reduce client disruption

Capturing an asset that is in active use, like a factory, hospital, office, construction site, or parking garage, can be especially complex.

These facilities present all the usual challenges for your as-built capture workflow, and one more: They offer very short windows of downtime for you to scan.

When you use a mobile scanner to capture an active site, the efficiency of the tool enables you to get in and get out much faster, and reduce disruption to your client’s work.

This can help you win new work in industries where the downtime necessary for scanning has prevented clients from performing as-built documentation in the past.

Business benefit: Mobile mapping empowers your business to win more projects by bidding in industries where disruption is an issue, for instance healthcare, factories, and so on.


3. Mobile mappers will expand your services and offerings

Mobile mapping technology won’t just help you to gain new clients. It can also help you to offer new services and deliverables to your existing client base.

Right now, it’s likely that your usual deliverable for as-built documentation project is a CAD or BIM model.

If you add a mobile mapping system like NavVis VLX to your workflow, you can use NavVis IVION to automatically produce deliverables like fully immersive 360° walkthroughs for the site.

Deliverables like 360° walkthroughs can offer a great deal of value to your client.

The client can use them to help a variety of stakeholders explore and understand the building; to offer an easy interface for searching, adding, and viewing building information; or even to provide a single source of truth for better collaboration in a wide variety of applications in manufacturing, construction, surveying, facilities management, and more.

Business benefit: Mobile mapping can improve your customer retention by enabling you to offer a more compelling set of deliverables than your competitors.



4. Mobile mappers will make your business more flexible

Adding a mobile mapper to your tool set means you can be more flexible about price when negotiating with clients.

Imagine you’re talking with a construction customer that wants to capture reliable as-is conditions for a potential refurbishment project in a relatively simple space.

Since construction firms often want to limit the expense for this kind of project, they won’t want to use a TLS (in fact, they will often send a student out with a disto to gather measurements by hand).

When you use a mobile mapping workflow, you can offer this customer the best of both worlds. You can supply a 3D deliverable that is much higher quality than they could get with a disto, and much more cost-effective than using a TLS.

On top of that, you can configure your device to provide a different combination of speed and data quality. You could generate data at high accuracy for price A per sqm, and medium accuracy for price B per sqm.

You could let the customer pick the accuracy level that fits their needs, or mix and match accuracy levels for individual spaces throughout the asset.

Business benefit: Mobile mapping systems offer multiple levels of scanning efficiency and multiple levels of data accuracy. This enables you to adapt your pricing and deliverables to the job requirements – and win more cost-sensitive clients.


5. Mobile mappers will sharpen your competitive edge 

As we’ve covered already, mobile mapping technology empowers your business to scan more efficiently, reduce potential disruption for your clients, expand the range of deliverables you can produce, and offer more flexible pricing structures.

This brings an added benefit: It helps your business stand out from your competitors.

If you use mobile scanners, you will differentiate your business during the project acquisition stage.

When the customer compares your business to a competitor that has a more conventional offering, your offer will look more compelling, and you’ll be more likely to land the deal.

Business benefit: Using a cutting-edge (but tested) tool like a mobile mapping system will help you stand out from the competition, and win more customers, so your business can continue to grow.

Sean Higgins is an independent technology writer, former trade publication editor, and outdoors enthusiast. He believes that clear, buzzword-free writing about 3D technologies is a public service.