DroneNerds is a top drone reseller, offering a wide variety of services and support. They’ve helped enterprise clients from many different verticals – and they’ve published a new ebook based on their experience supporting clients to help new entrants implement a successful enterprise drone program. The following is a DroneNerds guest post by Senior Marketing Manager, Ana Coronel. The full eBook, 8 Tips for UAV Program Implementation Success, can be downloaded here.
Tips to Implement a Successful Drone Program
Implementing a drone program is one of the most efficient ways to modernize a business’ existing workflows. With powerful, versatile UAVs, organizations can automate manual processes, using the drones as front-facing sensors that link into existing IoT environments, collecting and processing data quickly.
Continue reading below, or listen:
Because commercial drone use is still in an early adoption phase throughout the market, many organizations may find the implementation process complex. To help guide organizations on their journey, Drone Nerds has shared tips that have helped their customers adopt and implement a successful drone program, from discovery to rollout.
During the drone discovery process, organizations often have difficulty aligning their needs to a fitting drone solution since they may not have experience implementing UAV technology at an enterprise level, especially since workflows vary significantly across organizations in different industries. Commercial drones are a unique solution for automation because they can be customized with payload solutions that fit specific use cases and operations.
An organization that needs multiple solutions can invest in a single platform and leverage additional payloads, instead of having to invest in multiple types of equipment, as seen with traditional methods. Some businesses may benefit from an integrated, modular drone solution with built-in two-way communication, or from a versatile drone like the DJI Matrice 300 RTK that supports multiple payloads.
Where to Start
The best way to determine what solution best fits your needs is to prepare your team for the drone solution discovery process. Review their most critical pain points when it comes to everyday jobs, and identify the goals they want to achieve with a drone fleet. If you work with an experienced drone specialist, they will be able to understand and align an adequate drone solution to your goals.
Another important factor that will affect your ability to find the right fit for your needs is knowing what your budget is for the drone program. Factor in the areas that will change in your operation costs; for example, your initial investment for the program might seem high, but the long-term benefits will offset or decrease what your current expenses look like. Make sure you add in budget for the ongoing costs, like long-term pilot training, fleet maintenance, and upgrades.
During the procurement process, having a preset budget will allow you to narrow down your options when deciding which platform you want to select. While having a specialized drone might seem more fitting to your needs, it might limit use in the future as your organization grows. Older platforms that have been in the market longer will likely be open to third-party app integration and have a wide variety of payloads that can be used with the system, granting your business the flexibility to change and grow. Also, if you choose to work with a knowledgeable provider, they may be able to help you find cost-effective alternatives that meet your needs without going over budget.
Drone Technology Implementation Process
After you have identified the operational needs of your organization and equipment, your team should determine the timeline to get your drone program started. When planning for program implementation, take into account the time it takes to wrap up the sales process, lead time, and internal approval time to get your program set up.
Once you have thoroughly planned out the time and resources you will need to start up your implementation, you should look into local and federal laws that govern your enterprise. Since drones occupy public airspace, federal and state governments enacted laws and guidelines to protect privacy and ensure safety for all. Keep in mind that regulations on drone use vary by state, so it’s important to comply with local laws when investing in a drone program.
Licensing also plays an important role in a drone program, as it deals with both regulation and staffing needs. All your commercial drone pilots must have a Part 107 license administered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Consult with an expert to guide you through the legal stipulations that are required in your area of operation. If you do not have properly trained and licensed pilots, your organization exposes itself to legal fines and penalties.
Drone Nerds recommends continuous pilot training, as new equipment, controllers, and software may change how a particular drone flies—this will minimize potential crashes and damages.
“A successful drone program implementation doesn’t end after procurement and integration into existing workflows. Our most successful customers have treated their drone program like a strategic business initiative, allocating the right personnel and resources (like proper fleet maintenance) after rollout,” states Gio Ruiz, Director/Technical Solutions Engineer at Drone Nerds.
Ensure your program has standard operating procedures so your team knows what protocol to follow when they are out in the field. By using a flight prep checklist, you can ensure your drones are always in top condition to fly.
“We always recommend routine training for your pilots, whether it is in-house, or through a third party as federal and state regulations change frequently,” he says.
Also keep in mind that drones, like any other mechanical equipment, have a set lifespan. Better maintenance increases the life expectancy of any drone, however, eventual replacements will be needed depending on the operating time of your UAV. Drones last approximately 2-3 years—this may change based on use, manufacturer updates, and other factors. Keep track of the date of purchase, the use hours, and maintenance/repairs done on each drone in your fleet so you know when you need to send in each one for maintenance or repairs; this will help prevent unnecessary downtime.
Drone Nerds developed a proprietary Always Flying™program to help organizations manage their fleet effortlessly. While researching drone service providers, you should ask if they offer fleet management services. Outsourcing maintenance will help your organization focus on its goals.
Drone Nerds offers enterprise maintenance programs in its suite of enterprise solutions. Its three plans offer insight into what a proper drone fleet maintenance plan looks like, including firmware updates, calibration, component replacement, and so much more. If you’re ready to take the next step or would like personalized guidance and consultation, contact Drone Nerds at + 1 (786) 708-7807, or by email at email@example.com.
Read more about DroneNerds and Enterprise Drones:
- Drone Industry 2021 in a Word: We Asked Our Partners to Describe This Year in Drones
- Drones in the Enterprise: Data Driven Risk Management
- NEW Drone from DJI! The M30 Enterprise Solution May Just Have Everything (Check Out ALL These Images)
- Autels Newest Drone is A Better All-Rounder for the Enterprise Market
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
Subscribe to DroneLife here.