The Golden Era of Technical Maps and Utility Digitisation

2nd part - The first decade of the 21st century is characterized by the stabilization of established markets.
15.9.2021

Just as the 1990s were marked by great growth, the first decade of the 21st century is characterized by the stabilization of established markets. Hrdlička continued to grow turnover thanks to large-scale projects in which it digitized technical maps with utility lines for municipalities and cities, as well as for owners of technical infrastructure.

As the company worked on assignments in various regions of the Czech Republic, the establishment of branches proved necessary and time- and cost-saving. Today, the number of branches has stabilized at 13, divided into 6 regions - North Bohemia, Central Bohemia, West Bohemia, Moravia, Vysočina, and South Bohemia. Thanks to this, Hrdlička is able - without the need for unnecessary "pendling" - to arrange most of the surveying activities locally.

Although the company introduced the service offering the creation of digital technical maps of towns to its portfolio as early as 1998, the intensive development of mapping for utility managers did not take place until several years later. Between 2000 and 2010, Hrdlička's surveyors carried out major mapping projects for municipalities and cities, for which the data still serves today and may become a source for the DTM CR in the future.

Also, surveying services for the energy industry have brought the company large contracts. Let us mention, for example, the massive data collection on the low-voltage network, the processing of documents for the entry of easements into the land register, or digital mapping of underground and overhead lines for ČEZ, E.ON, or gas pipelines for RWE.

The largest order of this kind came in 2009. ČEZ started digitizing its system for documentation of actual construction designs with Hrdlička. This was a long-standing contract, involving hundreds of thousands of paper documents that had to be carefully converted into a new geographic information system.

In 2005, the company also started programming its own web applications. The MAWIS (Map Web Information Server) system was created, which today includes the UtilityReport service for mass submission of requests for comments on the existence of networks, or MawisPhoto, which allows documenting buildings in 3D using a mobile phone. In the same year, the external EMS E.ON mapping service was launched for the first time for E.ON. All planners or surveyors who measure for E.ON receive, check and submit data through this service.

As you can see, there were a lot of large orders, so right in 2000 Hrdlička implemented and still maintains a system for the performance of surveying and business activities that meets the requirements of ISO 9002. In 2002, the quality system was certified according to ISO 9001 and in 2004 the environmental management system was certified according to ISO 14001. In 2010, the certification of services according to ISO standards was also extended to include the area of land development.

The growth of the company is associated with necessary expenditures in development. Therefore, the company invests a part of the earned funds in modern measuring and information technologies every year according to the plan. Of course, the company also invests in employee training. Another bonus for employees for a job well done are leisure activities paid for by the company. In 2008, Hrdlička started renovating a dilapidated Art Nouveau villa in Česká Lípa, which is currently used for the operation of the local branch office and also as a training and education centre.

After the first decade of growth in the Czech Republic, the second decade is also characterized by the development of foreign business activities. It has grown to include offices in Slovakia, Hungary, and Bulgaria. This was the beginning of the materialization of Martin Hrdlicka's idea of a group of complementary and cooperating companies.

Although Hrdlička started the first decade with an annual turnover of 44 million crowns, in ten years, thanks to the growing number of orders and customers, it almost quadrupled to 160 million crowns in 2010.

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