At Northwest Geoscience, we solve problems involving Earth materials, or those that arise as a result of human interactions with the environment. These projects vary in size from small to large, but because of the nature of the Earth’s subsurface, there is no such thing as a “simple” project. We apply experience, science and technology to make predictions about how liquid and solid materials will behave in a given situation, but even slight variations in things like soil composition, moisture content and slope, for example, can cause outcomes to vary from what is predicted. It takes care, patience and curiosity about how things work, and we still have the curiosity it takes to figure things out and find a way to address them. As a result, our projects are interesting, and we get satisfaction out of doing them well.
The Lowest Common Denominator
When someone from our company meets with you in the office or on a jobsite, there is a good chance that person that will actually be doing at least a part of the work on your project. The firm is not departmentalized – we don’t have a separate sales and marketing group, for example. We believe that the people with the experience are the ones best suited to talking with clients, determining the scope of a project and predicting what problems may arise. We don’t like the idea of “losing something in the translation” between parties with potentially very different understandings about the nature of the work and what resources will be required to successfully complete it.
We collaborate. While each of us has areas of expertise, we believe good ideas can come from anywhere. When someone is assigned as the project manager, that person is responsible for interacting with you, developing mutually acceptable work schedules, and seeing to it that the work gets done. However, because we allow and encourage “lateral movement,” anyone can go to anyone else in the company at anytime to discuss a particular aspect of a project. No one is trying to get ahead. We are all dedicated to the same mission, and working this way usually leads to better solutions.
This kind of work often results in dirty clothes, soiled hands and muddy boots. We’re not afraid of that. In fact, we became Geologists because we like dirt, rocks, water, and being outdoors. One of our staff members once asked a prospective employee if he minded getting dirty. The candidate replied, without blinking an eye, “they make plenty of soap.” That’s our philosophy, too. We didn’t spend our years of experience distancing ourselves from the work.
Some projects can be completed in a matter of a few days or a few weeks, but others take more time. Time to develop an reasonable strategy, time to arrange for the right field services, time to collect samples, receive laboratory reports, review and analyze data, write reports, and interface with the appropriate regulatory agencies when necessary. If we didn’t pay close attention, it would be easy to push a project along at the expense of others. That is simply not the way we work.
Every project deserves its moment in the sun. We schedule work to keep it moving through the process, taking advantage of required wait times on some projects to move forward on others. It’s a tricky business, but one that is a necessary and vital part of serving clients well. What we can do for you also depends on the strength of our relationships with service providers, like drillers and analytical laboratories, for example. We select service providers that we believe can provide value to you and strive to maintain relationships of trust with them, too. So when it’s time to take the next step on your behalf, we feel secure that the work will be performed properly and in a timely manner. We think you have a right to expect this level of service.