Editor Greg Ettling reminds that while you don't have to have every latest techno gadget, but you certainly must keep up with industry trends.

First things first: It seems most people enjoyed the "Water Facts" sections in last month's issue. And a great many people especially enjoyed the one that was so wrong as to be absurd. The surface area of Lake Superior is 32,000 square MILES, not feet. Even Porky's old fishing hole is more than 32,000 square feet. Thanks to all who called to share a laugh. Now I'm going back to double-check the "facts" in this month's issue.

Technology's the Key

While you needn't be locked up in a laboratory/workshop familiarizing yourself with and trying to invent improvements to the industry's latest cutting-edge technologies, you do need to be aware of what's going on and where things might be headed. You don't have to have every latest techno gadget, but you certainly must keep up with industry trends.

Embrace the new technologies that can improve the efficiency of your particular operation. People are people and the labor market is tight; you can only improve personnel efficiency so much. Look for ways to let technology facilitate improvements in your operations - both in the field and in the office. Your competitor is.

Another personnel-related benefit of keeping up technologically: potential employees will be drawn to those companies that stay on top of technology. There's a higher level of excitement and pride and job satisfaction among employees who know that their company is confident and forward-thinking and wants to be viewed as a leader in the industry.

Drilling contractor Dave Traut (whom you'll meet later in the reverse circulation article on page 9) says, "It's a tough job drilling out there so we have to look at new technologies and new ways of doing things to make it as easy and efficient as possible. For example, with test pumping, we now use transducers instead of having somebody sit there through the night taking manual readings. At first it seems like a luxury but it isn't; it's a necessity. We have to try and make the jobs in our industry more attractive. One way to do that is to have state-of-the-art technology. It makes our employees' jobs more enjoyable and fulfilling - even though a career in drilling will continue to be pretty demanding."

And let's look at technology as a market sector. High tech construction is expected to present significant opportunities in the near future. The collapse of all those dot-com companies and the commodity-like pricing of bandwidth halted the funding on many telecommunications and other high tech projects. When the dust clears, there will be a lot of work to be done during the catch-up phase. When that investment capital begins to show up, be in position to get your share.