Mark Williams grew up in farming and construction families with his mother’s side being farmers and father’s being road builders. He worked on a dairy farm early in high school staying there through graduation and went on to work for his father and farmed for the next twenty-two years. During that time, he worked on aggregate and asphalt production, paving, earthmoving, and bridge building.
Alan also worked with his father and Mark’s family company before pursuing mathematics and computer science and graduating from the University of Michigan. Alan was a member of the Peace Corps and served in Africa teaching math and English and worked for Chrysler Corp., Knowledgeware, and other computer science companies.
Mark became interested in using computers to compare earth volumes and checking grade on earthmoving projects in 1985 and in 1987 Alan and Mark met at a family reunion and started talking about the possibilities of using computers in construction. By 1989 Alan had produced a program that would use a total station sending information to a computer and the race was on. In short order a program was developed that would crunch numbers fast enough to do machine control. They used this setup to grade roads that the company was building. It was a laborious task with an instrument man running the total station and sending radio message to the operator. However, precision grading could be done without stakes and grade checkers.
In 1993 Mark found Geodimeter and a 4000 robotic total station was purchased. This was used along with GPS/ laser hybrids until adopting RTK GPS. Over the next 25 years Alan and Mark worked with several companies improving the speed and accuracy of mobile mapping and machine control. Specialized programs and hardware were designed and built for construction and agriculture. After dozers and graders were automated their focus turned to water management for agriculture, paving in construction and compaction in landfills. Their work was copied by many firms that supply those industries today. During this time there was many disputes over intellectual property.
Alan and Mark started working with CHC in 2013 and found that their products were both innovative and stable. Over the next five years CHC and AMW worked together to improve GPS and associated hardware for construction and agriculture. In 2018 CHC and AMW joined forces under the CHC banner.