As part of the The Dewatering Institute‘s commitment towards knowledge sharing, TDI is developing a series of monthly interviews of industry leaders and professionals from different parts of the world.
This Months’s edition includes an interview with Mr Timothy Lynch, President of Roscoe Moss Company from Los Angeles.
Tell us about your work history and how did you get into dewatering industry?
To be honest, it was more or less an accident. Between using a quill pen and paper and the data collection and processing systems available today, there was a period where microfilm was the preferred method for document storage. I’m probably dating myself by saying my first job after university graduation was consulting on development of microfilm systems for government and financial applications. I’ve always believed in the importance of fostering relationships and being open to new opportunities and this is what was responsible for me starting my career at Roscoe Moss Company in 1979. The challenges and opportunities of this industry brought me here, my co-workers and clients are the reason I am thrilled to still be around.
What is your favorite part of working in this industry?
Without a doubt, the people. My experience has been both friends and foes (competitors) in this industry make it unique and enjoyable. Compared to many businesses, dewatering is relatively small and I believe this forces us to compete hard yet maintain a semblance of civility. At the end of the day, we are all in it together to solve common problems and over the years I’ve witnessed many collaborative efforts.
What has been your biggest learning experience or what is the biggest learning experience in this industry?
Listening is more important than talking. Customers need providers who can solve their specific problems. It is imperative to listen to and understand customer needs before offering solutions. Demonstrating to clients that your firm can add value to the project by solving a problem is the best way to earn business.
What are the challenges you come across most in our industry?
Regulatory requirements. However, successful companies will find a way to work with regulators to ensure regulations promulgated are necessary and reasonable. Once regulations are codified, forward-looking companies will incorporate practices to meet these requirements and in doing so maintain an advantage over competitors that cannot or will not get on-board.
How have you seen the industry develop over the past decades?
Increased professionalism at every level.
You’ve worked all over the world. Do you have a favourite part of the world to work in and why?
I have had the privilege of working in more than 60 countries and have enjoyed my experience in every single one. However, it is difficult to beat working right here in the United States of America. Our vast geography, variable climate, and diversified hydrogeology provides opportunities to offer solutions to a multitude of problems. At the same time, we have the most diverse and innovative workforce in the world available to take-on these challenges. Last, but certainly not least of advantages of working in the USA is being blessed with economic resources required to fund and implement critical projects in a timely manner.
How do you see technology playing part in the industry in the future?
Robotics, big data, and the internet of things, will be integrated to make design and construction of dewatering systems more efficient, reliable, and safe.
What do you think are the biggest challenges in the coming years for the industry?
Climate change. Dry areas being wetter, less frequent but more severe storms becoming prevalent, and the need to mitigate problems associated with rising sea levels will provide both challenges and opportunities for our industry. At the same time it is crucial to attract talented professionals to become involved with dewatering science and practice.
Why do you think TDI is important for the industry and how it can help the industry develop?
TDI will play a transformative role in this industry by facilitating exchange of useful information, disseminating knowledge of best practices, and advancing technology available to improve efficiency of project design and construction. TDI will also bring a collective voice to advise on policies impacting our industry and educating the general public about the importance of dewatering projects. In my opinion, one of the most game changing things TDI might accomplish would be to influence those responsible for purchasing decisions to base their recommendations on life-cycle cost analysis rather than initial cost.
What would you say to young people wanting to join the industry?
Go for it! You will be greatly challenged and generously rewarded for solving interesting and important problems.
What is your life motto?
“The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
What was the greatest encouragement someone gave you regarding business?
On my first day of work at Roscoe Moss Company, Roscoe Moss, Jr. (son of the founder) called me into his office. All he told me that day was “In the course of doing your work, you are going to make mistakes. All we ask is you don’t make the same mistake twice.” Simple, true, and empowering for any new hire. I’ve always appreciated that statement and have repeated it to all our new employees.