General Discussion - Open Post

01/11/2019 3:48 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

Do you have a CRM-related question you would like feedback on? Did you find an article you think would be interesting for others to read? Post it here in our Open Discussion post.

From crowd sourcing information to ranting about issues you encounter in the field, this post is the place for you. You can always find it at the bottom of our homepage.


  • 01/14/2019 5:18 PM | Kim Redman
    5-10 years ago, it was relatively easy to find a rugged SUV that was comfortable, yet could stand up to field conditions. We need to replace several of our vehicles, and we are noticing that the market for SUVs has moved towards comfort and not off-roading. It is much easier with trucks, but I am wondering what others use as field vehicles.
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    • 01/15/2019 5:41 PM | Charissa Durst
      When we had them, the archaeologists used a Ford 150 pickup truck or a Toyota 4Runner. These were not as large as the Chevy Suburbans I heard other firms used, but we were able to get the equipment to fit. The above-ground folks used a Toyota RAV4, which fit into urban parking spaces and garages better.
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    • 01/15/2019 7:54 PM | Nathan Boyless
      Like Charissa, we standardized our fleet to meet internal safety and reliability standards. We also chose the F150 (still our flagship truck) and the 4Runner (a personal favorite). Exceptions happened in our northern region where Chevy trucks and SUVs rule supreme, so we run Silverados and Tahoes up there. We still find that all the models, despite their catering to the road-bound warrior, perform well off-road and reliably meet our needs.
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    • 01/18/2019 1:24 PM | Kim Redman
      Thanks Charissa and Nathan
      We just bought a 4Runner, as they are no longer making XTerras (which was 1/2 our fleet). It is just good to hear that we are not off base with our F150 and SUV plans for 2019.
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      • 01/22/2019 7:27 PM | Colin Busby
        Kim, we are partial to the F-150s - I hear Ford is planning on hybrid (gas/electric) F-150s in the next year or so. Keep an eye out.
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    • 01/22/2019 7:24 PM | David Harder
      We are partial to Toyota Tacomas outfitted with canopies. The older two-door pickup is a 2001 and gets around really well on Forest Service roads and other places where we know the access could be sketchy. Our 2005 Tacoma is a 4-door model and moves a crew of four around well and pretty comfortably. Acquisition is a little higher than Fords, but I've never bought a new vehicle for fieldwork, so finding a used Toyota with 60,000 miles doesn't bother me. I doubt most of the previous owners could use it as hard, or fill it with as many energy drink cans as a crew of archaeologists.
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    • 05/08/2020 4:39 PM | Michael Polk
      A very, very, very late comment, but thought I would anyway. I am partial to GMC or Chevy products and found crew cab Sierras (Silverados) with short beds worked great - very good offroad, one of the most comfortable rides and seats many along with equipment (of course these days, the "seating" situation must be tempered, but nevertheless, I still vote for the Sierra).
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  • 01/22/2019 8:07 PM | Chris Webster
    So, I'm an archaeologist and seeker of efficient work a business owner I'm always looking for ways to increase margins and do more with less. Well, now I'm doing sales for Wildnote, a company that has actual great software that makes archaeology and environmental work easier and faster and I'm encountering resistance in the field.

    I've heard all the excuses like batteries...hardware...offline use...glare...and they are all things that have been solved. So, why the resistance?

    My thought is that as a profession we are being left behind be out sister professions and will soon be left to catch up.

    Thoughts on this???
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    • 02/15/2019 10:42 AM | Kimberly Redman
      Frankly Chris, I am surprised if there are many medium or large firms that still use paper. Converting, which we started nearly 10 years ago, it is a process, but well worth it! The only reason I bring up company size, is that you have to more processes to integrate when there are more people/departments/moving parts. Once you have it integrated and kinks worked out, it is hard to imagine why you took any delay. I would assume that the start-up costs for a smaller company might seem out of proportion to the amount of work.

      Others might say "why fix what isn't broken", but I do think, in very general terms, that "we" can be resistant to change. While I agree that the digital solutions are numerous and easy to find, I am not sure I completely agree with you that "all the excuses" list is solved. There are many solutions to many different problems, finding the one that meets your specific needs isn't as easy as going to Amazon and looking at reviews. If we talked to each other about what we use and why, ignoring the investments that we made and the competitive edge we may have, then I think the solutions would be much clearer. But, alas, I think there are many companies out there that are trying to grab the market, sell the product they made for themselves, and cut select people out. I think that is a wise business strategy, but it is not about improving the industry.
      NO product is perfect, and paper "always works". It takes work to make a product that works for your company...I think it is well worth the effort.
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      • 12/13/2019 5:41 PM | Lucy Wayne
        Chris--we're a small company, but got inspired by the "going digital" presentation at the ACRA conference in Spokane. So we are taking the leap. I just want to say that we talked to a number of other ACRA firms about their experiences with going digital and found all of them more than willing to give advice and input based on their use of digital.

        Yes, it is going to cost us, but not nearly as much as I was afraid it would. We're using equipment and software available on the open market--Samsung tablets and ArcGIS software. We are sending core staff members for some additional training--but it is primarily in GIS generally, rather than field record keeping.

        And no, I don't think it will solve all issues regarding field records--and it will probably result in some new ones. But hopefully it will make us more efficient and more accurate.
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  • 04/11/2020 12:37 PM | Rich Grubb (Administrator)
    During this "stay at home" period what are you guys doing about employee reviews?
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