Case Studies – MSA Professional Services


MSA’s roots reach back to the 1930s. Once a rural land survey company, the firm now consists of more than 300 engineers, architects, planners, funding experts, surveyors, GIS experts, and environmental scientists. MSA excels at helping clients identify grant and funding sources and then delivering elegant, cost-effective solutions. Based in 14 locations across four states, their technical teams collaborate to assist communities throughout the Upper Midwest.

Mark Nyland, CAD Manager for MSA Professional Services, is dedicated to ensuring employees receive a high level of CAD support and enhance the effectiveness of CAD Technicians throughout the company. His focus is on the development, implementation and management of CAD across the organization.

Mark has been with MSA for more than 19 years and received his Civil Engineering degree from Madison Area Technical College. His skills and experience include airports, commercial site and industrial planning, DOT standards and municipal engineering.

MSA is committed to investing in the latest technology available and providing their employees with the training they need to use those technologies successfully.

The Challenge

MSA CAD Manager Mark Nyland remembers the moment he knew his company had to change the way they thought about technology training.

In 2010, MSA Professional Services was looking to move from MicroStation to Civil 3D for their civil engineering design. When the time came to begin training on the software, they looked to the same traditional methods they always had. Thirteen engineers from the company’s 14 offices across the Midwest traveled to MSA’s Baraboo, WI headquarters for a five-day classroom session.

With that kind of monetary investment, Nyland expected results, but one year later, not only were his engineers struggling to master their Autodesk products, only three designers had even opened up the software.

“It was a defining moment,” Nyland explained. “When you spend all the time, money, and resources to bring people in for training and they haven’t even used the program, it’s frustrating. Those training sessions are very, very costly.

The Solution

“We decided on the Pinnacle Series because we have always had a great relationship with Eagle Point, and through exploring the Pinnacle Series with them, it really seemed to cover every learning method our users might need,” Nyland said.

Case Study quote 1

Nyland added that Pinnacle Series is also an invaluable resource when his users are forced to expand their normal boundaries and take on infrequent tasks or projects.

The Results

By utilizing the Pinnacle Series, MSA was able to quickly transition to Autodesk for their design work.

Nyland continues to get requests for 

Case Study quote 2traditional training classes from time to time, but he has been resistant to the idea.

“All the training they need is on their desktop with Pinnacle Series,” Nyland said. “I reinforce that everything they need is right there.”

As a CAD Manager, Nyland also fields support calls when users get stuck during their project work. Thanks to Pinnacle Series, Nyland said the time he and his support team spend answering these questions has decreased by at least 50 percent. MSA taught their support team to turn their users to Pinnacle Series rather than fixing the problems for them.

“My advice is always for them to start a live chat with Eagle Point,” Nyland said. “They can start a remote session and almost always solve the problem.”

This change in support methods has saved the company time and money, allowing employees to focus on more meaningful tasks.

“It takes a big load off our support needs,” Nyland said.

At the end of the day, Nyland said Pinnacle Series provides everything they need for implementation, training, and support.

“Let’s face it, Pinnacle Series does what it’s supposed to do,” he said.

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