Case Studies

Earl Dudley Inc.: Helping to Accurately Map the Southeast

  • Written by: Earl Dudley Inc.: Helping to Accurately Map the Southeast
  • Produced by: Earl Dudley Inc.: Helping to Accurately Map the Southeast
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

One name stands above the rest in the Southeast and Mid-Central states for those in need of surveying, alignment and control supplies: Earl Dudley Inc. (EDI). When it comes to outstanding service, reliable equipment and a knowledgeable sales staff, EDI has become the standard for sales and service of surveying, machine control, laser scanning and precision agriculture hardware/software. The company has been providing the most technologically advanced, reliable equipment to surveying and construction industries for almost 75 years, operating throughout the region from multiple locations. The family-owned company was founded in 1938 when Earl Dudley and an associate started a repair shop for surveying equipment. Dudley’s attention to detail quickly won the nascent shop a devoted following, as the equipment that its customers brought for repair had to be mended precisely to the strict standards set forth by the manufacturer. Dudley was an accomplished master craftsman and no detail was too small for him to overlook. In order to provide his clients with the best service possible, he purchased the equipment necessary so that the team could make repairs on site, thus negating an expensive and time-consuming shipment back to the manufacturer. For the repair machines that he couldn’t purchase Dudley simply figured out how they were made and had them custom-built for his shop. With Experience Came Increased Services As Dudley’s experience with the tools and instruments grew he was able to start offering his customers insightful advice, and he expanded the company’s services to include application consulting. It wasn’t long before Dudley’s shop became the go-to for survey equipment and advice. Surveyors, construction company employees and engineers filled his shop every day. Some of the largest and most highly regarded companies and government organizations in the United States routinely relied on Dudley’s inestimable advice. Customers included subcontractors from the Apollo Space Program, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Georgia Power, Alabama Power and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. For example, when authorities determined that the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Relocation project required a second monitoring system, they turned to Dudley to use his experience and equipment to successfully complete the project. The company eventually passed on to Dudley’s son, John, in 1980, and John still runs the company to this day from its corporate headquarters in Birmingham, Ala. In addition, EDI’s third generation of leaders is already working at the company, which has grown significantly from the two-man partnership that it was in the late ’30s. String of Offices to Support Wide-ranging Companies EDI currently has five offices spread throughout the Southeast, located in in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and North Carolina. Additionally, the company provides its complete line of surveying and construction instruments, as well as its repair and calibration services, to Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Virginia and Florida. The company provides complete, up-to-date sales, service and support for customers even though the products that it now sells bear little resemblance to the machines that made the company a treasured resource for engineers and construction companies across the Southeast. The company promises its customers that as technology continues to improve, further revolutionizing the optical tooling and GPS control industries, its sales and service departments will be the first to be trained on how to repair, adjust and calibrate optical tooling instruments, surveying instruments and construction instruments and lasers. The reputation for in-depth product knowledge that EDI’s sales staff has maintained in the past will never be sullied. The company operates under the motto “We Service What We Sell,” so all of its technicians are fully trained on all of the products sold in-house. EDI also provides training to crews on the latest developments in GPS surveying and machine control, or has staff available for off-site consultations. Its extensive collection of equipment can be rented out for projects of any size, from a site survey lasting a couple of days to a more intensive project lasting several months. Some of the new equipment that the company sells can be out of reach for a new company or an independent contractor, but EDI maintains an inventory of gently used items for sale on its website for bargain-hunters. In keeping with the tradition where Dudley would share the information that he had learned while repairing early surveying equipment, EDI’s employees still freely share knowledge with customers. The company provides open house seminars for its customers to demonstrate the latest advances in technology. In August 2012 EDI employees – in a partnership with premiere brands Faro and Topcon – will be hosting open house seminars at its regional offices to showcase the latest in 3-D laser-scanning technology for its clients. Technology has advanced greatly in the sectors of measurement, documentation and positioning, but EDI’s core business model appears to have changed little from the days when Dudley took his time to ensure that a product was correctly repaired the first time and that a client was completely satisfied with an informed purchase. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why Earl Dudley Inc. has become such a success over the years; service never goes out of style.

Published on: October 28, 2012

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