I was driving down the 'A-7', otherwise known as the Autovía del Mediterráneo, in southern Spain. It was a beautiful afternoon, and I was driving all day from one work destination to the next. I think I was near Almería, or maybe Alicante. I was working for a major men's fashion brand; a few of us were roaming around Europe. We weren't measuring shops for renovation though; through a coincidental mishap, we were going to department stores simply to talk to management and answer questions about fixture delivery and installation. Admittedly it was a very enjoyable experience: drive into one European city, work for an hour or two, then drive to the next. It wasn't necessarily easy, as we were essentially interviewing people in a foreign language we hadn't yet mastered. But it was still fun.
It was on that Autovía in the bright afternoon sun where I had my moment of clarity; a moment that I would hold on to for almost ten years before I could start a new path to this calling. We weren't measuring anything. We were onsite, a thousand or so miles away from the client, onsite asking questions. Learning details. Talking to people directly. Taking photos. Representing our clients best interests and using our own resourcefulness to achieve them. We were effectively agents in the true sense of the word. International Agents. And what were we looking after? We were looking after our clients assets, which were considerable in size and number, and are located all over the world. That was the first time I had thought about what an International Asset Reconnaissance Agent could really be.
Right now, it's not much. We're just getting started with a new company and a new vision. The vision is this: a company with agents all over the world who are trained to get measured drawings, photographs, and data for a multitude of clients and industries. A company with the resources to know every aspect of doing business in other countries, in terms of labour laws, visas, local bylaws, store policies, union rules, installation companies, local contractors, and anything else that can impact our clients bottom line. A full-service company that can offer solutions for any architectural problem onsite. A data-gathering company, not just for as-builts.
I believe I know how to make this vision a reality; I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I won't share here. But the goal is to have an ARI agent in every major city, delivering accurate information and a consistent product at a moments notice. That is my dream.
ARI today became a registered business in Ontario.
Ben Sagle - Sept. 2015