Using Winter Better

A long-standing Wyoming witticism is there are two seasons in Wyoming…construction and winter. The truth of that statement shows in the annual cycle of work volume we experience at IME since so much of what we do is related to construction.

Management here and no doubt at many other similar businesses have struggled for decades trying to figure out how to raise up the revenue generation curve either side of the construction season peak.  There have been some short-lived successes, but generally not much has changed.  It seems Wyoming engineers are destined to be slow in the winter and frenetic in the summer.

After all, just how much can you do when it’s so cold outside that a jetliner could land on some of the larger frozen reservoirs?  Who thinks about projects that will happen when the days are long and warm? The answer is we can do plenty, and project stakeholders really should be thinking about those projects in the winter!  Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Projects that are “engineered” and ready to bid in late winter or early spring attract many bidders, often generating a very competitive price as contractors look to build up their backlog.
  2. Engineering and surveying firms like IME want the winter work and will do it at a lower cost to keep staff busy.
  3. There is more opportunity to look for the value that will result in a better project then when racing against the clock along with several others during the busier months.
  4. Communication is better, more thorough and effective when various project team members are not harried or on vacation.

Maybe the best reason of all to use the winter months for project planning is just the peace of mind at having things lined out, allowing more time to concentrate on growth and other things that matter.  Admittedly, proactive use of the winter season helps IME…but the ultimate winners are our clients, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

About Glen M. Bobnick

Glen M. Bobnick, P.E. is a Vice President and Senior Geotechnical Engineer at Inberg-Miller Engineers. Glen supervises Inberg-Miller’s subsurface exploration and geotechnical engineering services. His experience spans a region that extends from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest and through the Rocky Mountain states. He is familiar with varied geologic conditions and their geotechnical challenges across that region. Projects that he has been involved with range in size, but include many landmark structures, plants, schools, and facilities throughout the region for which he is the geotechnical engineer of record. Glen’s 33 years of experience includes exploring geotechnical conditions and developing recommendations for buildings, water storage tanks and lined water storage and process ponds, waterfront structures, transmission and signal towers, industrial facilities, airports, roads, bridges and slopes, temporary shoring systems, embankments, retaining walls, underground structures, slope repairs, mine reclamation and erosion control measures. His geotechnical expertise includes various aspects of reclamation, stabilization, and restoration of ground conditions.