The dynamic and ever-evolving world of construction and infrastructure development requires that the prevention of subsurface damage is of paramount importance. Subsurface infrastructure, such as water mains, gas lines and electrical cables, is essential for the functioning of modern cities.
However, this infrastructure is often hidden underground, making it difﬁcult to locate and protect during construction. Damage to subsurface infrastructure can have serious consequences as well, including disruption of services, environmental pollution and even loss of life.
GPRS is a trailblazing construction visualization and safety company that specializes in Utility Locating, CCTV Video Pipe Inspection, Leak Detection, Concrete Imaging, 3D Laser Scanning, and Mapping & Modeling services. Established as a pioneer in the industry, GPRS has carved a niche for itself by prioritizing safety, precision and innovation in every project it undertakes.
With an unwavering commitment to subsurface damage prevention, GPRS is setting new standards and driving change across the construction landscape.
Through his visionary leadership and innovative solutions, John is revolutionizing the way construction projects are approached and executed, with a keen focus on subsurface safety and damage prevention.
John is a testament to company’s commitment to achieving 100% subsurface damage prevention with a profound and unwavering focus on innovation, safety and collaboration. Groundbreaking solutions like SiteMap® highlight his visionary leadership in the construction industry.
Let’s delve into the remarkable journey of John and the work of GPRS in the realm of subsurface exploration and protection. We will explore his journey, the groundbreaking work of GPRS and the remarkable strides made by this forward-thinking company in achieving 100% subsurface damage prevention.
Visualizing the Built World™
GPRS is the nation’s largest company specializing in Visualizing the Built World™ by offering a range of services that provide accurate as built data for customers across the nation. Founded in 2001, GPRS has been relentlessly committed to keeping projects on time, reducing safety risks and putting client relationships before proﬁt.
The company is driven by the vision of 100% subsurface damage prevention, a goal that permeates every aspect of its operations, including implementing the Subsurface Investigation Methodology speciﬁcation, or SIM.
SIM can be described as the methodology that allows GPRS Project Managers to maintain 99.8% accuracy rate on utility locating and concrete scanning on over 350,000 jobs. John says, “Even with that industry-leading statistic, we are not satisﬁed. That’s why GPRS pursues every avenue of technology, training and methodology to deliver on our safety goals for our clients.”
Journey towards 100% Subsurface Damage Prevention
John’s career with GPRS began in 2020, and in just two years, he rose to become the Market Segment Leader for Renewables. John’s role revolves around driving strategies and vision within the Renewable Energy and EV sectors to ensure proactive subsurface damage prevention efforts.
Taking a consultative approach with clients, he strives to help them Intelligently Visualize the Built World™ above and below ground, optimizing design and construction processes while staying abreast of market trends and driving industry growth. He shares, “To do all of it, it’s important to stay current with market trends while understanding the key initiatives that are driving market growth.”
Innovating Towards Safer Solutions
John mentions, “You could say innovation is at the heart of GPRS. Our people are always innovating.” GPRS places innovation at the core of its operations and its people are dedicated to constantly ﬁnding simpler, safer and more efﬁcient ways to solve problems for their clients. From 3D printing solutions to creating cutting-edge ﬁeld tools, GPRS has demonstrated an unmatched commitment to pushing boundaries. Whether it’s creating 3D printing solutions extend the battery life of GPRS’s technologies to make them easier to use, like Edward Wiltsie did last year, or creating brand new ﬁeld tools like the GeNiuSS IQ Rover, an amazing little tool that reduces satellite bounce to correct location data, which is the brainchild of three GPRS employees and their friend, developed during the Covid lockdown. John says, “Innovation comes from our Project Coordinators to our C-suite and everywhere in between.”
The latest innovation in this legacy of progress which John reveals with utmost excitement, is one of the most innovative in 22 years, SiteMap®, powered by GPRS. SiteMap® (patent pending) is a simple solution to a wide swath of problems our customers experience every day.
It is designed to eliminate reworks, change orders, cost overruns, downtime, and even injuries to streamline communications by eliminating out-of-date information and inaccurate as-builts and allowing GPRS customers to visualize their entire site or subsurface between facility infrastructure in one geolocated, layered, secure and shareable platform.
SiteMap® is Collarboration Redeﬁned and every existing and new GPRS customers receives a Personal SiteMap® subscription when doing a utility locate, and the before Mapping & Modeling Team provides exceptional data from free PDF and .KMZ ﬁles for every outdoor utility locate to customized walk- through integrated BIM models that can map everything from the subsurface to the roof.
John exclaims, “Whatever you need to get the job done right.”
Navigating Challenges and Overcoming Obstacles
Despite GPRS’s unwavering commitment to subsurface damage prevention, the construction industry still faces challenges. When one digests utility damage statistics like those in the CGA DIRT Report, one begins to realize that the construction industry has a long way to go in damage prevention.
The lack of proper ground disturbance policies and dig permits remains a root cause of most line strikes. Based on two independent studies, there is only a 35% adoption rate in the industry regarding third-party locating services. This is a problem when one considers the fact that there is a utility strike every 62 seconds.
GPRS has strategically built a sales team to address this issue, educating the industry about the importance of utility locating and offering best practices to mitigate risks and line strikes. Their efforts align with their ultimate goal of achieving 100% subsurface damage prevention.
Effective Communication and Team Alignment
Communication is vital to driving strategy and implementing projects effectively. As a Market Segment Leader, John ensures team alignment through regular meetings to review tasks, initiatives and opportunities, casting a clear vision to achieve their goals.
He says, “To ensure our team is aligned, I host regular meetings to review tasks, upcoming initiatives/opportunities and continually cast a vision as to how we set to accomplish our goals.” He also adds, “I believe that alignment is the glue that holds together a strong and healthy team.”
Pursuing a Master’s in Organizational Leadership (from SEU) further bolsters his understanding of the importance of alignment in maintaining a strong and healthy team. He shares, “I learned from Kent Ingle, the President of the University, that Organizational alignment requires skillful communication, great clarity throughout the team and purposeful, careful deployment of people, processes and resources.”
Prioritizing Tasks and Meeting Deadlines
John’s role as a salesperson is to not get caught up in the craziness of operations, requiring him to navigate tight timelines while maintaining alignment between the sales and operations teams.
There are often situations where key customers or a targeted prospect reaches out with a batch of projects with a tight turnaround, so the sales team and operations have to be aligned. John shares a recent incident mentioning, “Recently, we were tasked to complete twenty (20) solar projects within a week’s time. That is a tall order when each site requires multiple days on- site and is spread throughout an entire state.”
With support staff strategically placed across the country, GPRS efﬁciently handles large-scale projects, ensuring prompt completion and impeccable service. Thankfully, GPRS has built a nationwide network of elite Project Managers with support staff strategically placed in every major metropolitan area in the United States.
Identifying and Mitigating Risks
To ensure the most accurate results when performing non-destructive subsurface testing, all GPRS Project Managers are certiﬁed in Subsurface Investigation Methodology (SIM). It is aimed at achieving the most accurate results when performing non-destructive subsurface testing.
Current recommendations by the American Society of Nondestructive Testing advise 8 hours of classroom time and 60 hours of ﬁeld practice in order to achieve a Level 1 certiﬁcation. By contrast, SIM requires 80 hours of classroom training and 320 hours of mentored ﬁeld training.
SIM combines proper training in subsurface investigation techniques and methods with advanced equipment knowledge to create a regulated system for collecting data. This specialized training, combined with advanced equipment knowledge, has led to an industry- leading 99.8% accuracy rate in utility locating and concrete scanning. It allows GPRS to take a consultative approach with its clients, offering tailored solutions to meet their speciﬁc needs.
John states, “It allows us to provide a consultative approach to our projects, particularly in the Renewables and EV sectors, by helping customers understand what they actually need and providing locates, scans, maps and solutions to meet those needs.”
Measuring Success and Driving Authentic Relationships
For John, success is measured by the relational development and growth of his target customers. He says, “The goal for any salesperson is to become a trusted advisor to those who rely on your expertise within the industry. So, it is important that you regularly build those relationships through face-to-face engagements, business reviews, consultations, etc.”
John provides insights and solutions from a place of authenticity. The cornerstones of his success lie in his strong work ethic and servanthood, values instilled in him by his Italian family.
Continuous Learning and Innovation
John stays updated with industry trends and best practices through networking on LinkedIn, attending tradeshows and engaging in virtual events majorly in the EV space. Key account management and subscriptions to organizations like EVadoption further augment his understanding of the EV space.
He shares, “We work with a vast network of OEMs, engineers and surveyors in the EV space; moreover, conversing about what they’re seeing in the space and how it affects their operations is crucial in understanding their needs.”
Subscribing to EVadoption which is an organization that focuses on using analysis and a behavioral economics approach to understand hurdles and enablers of the adoption of electric vehicles, primarily in the US. This is a wonderful resource for NEVI plan implantation across all 50 states.
As part of GPRS’s Leadership Development Program, he hones the key elements of personal development necessary for effective leadership.
Embodying Success through Intangibles
For John, success in sales is not solely dependent on tangible achievements but rather on the intangibles that shape his character and approach to work.
Drawing inspiration from his Italian heritage, John’s upbringing in a blue-collar, hardworking family instilled values that are foundational to his success. Hard work, a strong sense of family, servanthood and nurturing relationships are all held to the highest standard in his life.
The Power of Work Ethics and Servanthood
John ﬁrmly believes that a strong work ethic is the bedrock of a successful salesperson. Diligently serving clients’ needs, going the extra mile and delivering on promises are key aspects that deﬁne his approach. In a highly competitive industry, John’s unwavering commitment to hard work sets him apart, allowing him to forge lasting relationships with clients and earn their trust.
Family and Servant Leadership
As a leader, John embraces the concept of servant leadership, putting the needs of his team and clients before his own. Rooted in the family-oriented values of his upbringing, John believes that success is not merely about personal gain, but also about fostering a collaborative and supportive environment for his colleagues and clients alike. His dedication to servant leadership cultivates a culture of empathy, cooperation and mutual respect within his team.
The Value of Authentic Relationships
For John, the heart of sales lies in building authentic relationships with clients. He understands that genuine connections, built on trust and mutual respect, are the building blocks of long-term partnerships. Embodying the spirit of servanthood, John focuses on understanding clients’ unique needs, providing personalized solutions and delivering value-driven results. His commitment to nurturing these authentic relationships goes beyond transactions, fostering loyalty and repeat business.