The Value of Using Drones in BusinessDigitizing Mobile Processes
We’ve all heard of corporate drones, but few people thought we’d see real drones entering the workplace. But here we are – the future is now. Or is it? In this article, we’ll discuss the reality of using drones in various industries and how they can help you take your business to the next level.
What is a Drone?
First, however, we should discuss what a drone is. Drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), are essentially remote or software-controlled flying robots. Specific features tend to vary, but all drones share several aspects, including a light frame to increase maneuverability, propellers to enable flight, and sensors like cameras and GPS for navigation.
How are Drones Used?
Historically, drones got their start in the military, where they were used from anti-aircraft practice, through surveillance to warfare. However, as prices lowered and availability grew, drones became widely used in many civilian industries as well. This includes videography and photography, search and rescue, traffic monitoring, firefighting, and so on.
But that’s not what we’re looking at today. In this article, we seek to shed some light on the industries where you probably wouldn’t expect drones — namely, construction, real estate, and maintenance.
The Unlikely Uses of Drones in Commercial Industries
As mentioned above, drones can help improve your business in the most unlikely ways. In this section, you’ll find several cases for inspiration to kick-start your business’ transition into a new age.
In an industry that already deals with a wide variety of heavy machinery, why not offset your ratio by incorporating some light equipment into your arsenal? Construction has had the highest growth in drone use among all commercial industries – 239%, to be exact.
Drones have helped revolutionize the entire construction project life cycle from beginning to end. This is primarily thanks to the technology’s unique real-time data recording feature and aerial advantage. They help improve efficiency, cut costs, and streamline workflows.
Here are just a few use cases worth considering:
- Topographic Mapping & Land Surveys
Topographic maps are necessary for any large-scale project, as they help reveal tough terrain ahead of time and let you plan accordingly. However, they are incredibly complex, which makes creating a topographic map both time-consuming and expensive.Drones can cover vast plots of land in 15-30 minutes, capturing relevant information via their cameras, which can be transformed into realistic 3D models. This solution can be 20x cheaper than traditional topographic maps, saving you time and money in the long run.
- Equipment Tracking
Keeping track of all the equipment on your site can quickly become a statistical nightmare, especially when you factor in potential malfunctions. However, by using a drone, you can get an idea of your equipment’s state and location in mere moments.From there, it’s just a question of assigning tasks and deploying your technicians efficiently to get everything you need to where you need it. That can be a difficult task in and of itself, so you might want to consider using an equipment maintenance checklist to keep track of it all.
- Remote Monitoring & Progress Reports
Working in construction, for better or worse, you have to answer to a lot of people, be they, managers or investors. Luckily, drones can help satiate your progress-hungry superiors with unprecedented photographic and videographic documentation of the construction site’s progress.
- Security Surveillance
Anyone who has worked construction knows that having your equipment disappear in the dead of night can seriously dampen progress. According to the National Equipment Registry, over $300 million worth of equipment is stolen each year in the US alone, with only 25% ever being found.Drones streamline and simplify security surveillance, as an operator can simply fly over the construction site and use its camera to identify any unauthorized individuals or attempts at theft.
- Personnel Safety
Construction sites are one of the most dangerous places a person can work at. Unsteady platforms and hazardous environment contributes to many tragic fatalities each year.
However, this can be prevented to a certain degree by using drones instead of personnel for gathering measurements. Furthermore, drones can assess the safety situation of a site on any day before workers even set foot there.
An age-old adage says seeing once is worth hearing a thousand times. And there are few places where this applies better than in the real estate business. Most realtors rely on a combination of photographs and text descriptions to convey just how great the property they’re trying to sell is. But there’s only so much you can do with a phone or camera from your (literally) grounded perspective.
Drones can be your eye in the sky and help you capture the unique aspects of your property. Let’s look at just a few examples:
Is your asset located in tranquil nature or just a step away from the city’s center? Show potential buyer’s the reality with a quick fly-over video.
As we’ve already mentioned, pictures from your point of view can be really limiting. But an aerial shot of a house or plot of land can help you accurately depict the size and relation of the asset to everything around it.
Facts, no matter how informative, tend to be dry and boring. Hence realtors tend to sell stories rather than just property. And there are few better ways to convey an ideal future than with drone video.
Maintenance is one of the most important aspects of running any commercial business. Equipment breakdowns and facility failures can cause many problems, including delays, loss of revenue, employee injuries, etc. Luckily, drones can help here too.
- Reduce Inspection Time & Cost
Drones are beneficial in inspecting hard-to-reach places. Furthermore, thanks to technological progress, they can also be equipped with various sensors, making the process even easier.Companies no longer have to spend a fortune on accommodations, insurance, and specialized vehicles or equipment to get their employees where they need to go. A drone and a remote controller are all you need to reduce your work order time and costs significantly.
- Improves Safety & Minimizes Accidents
On top of the cost savings mentioned above, drones also help reduce the risk of employee injury. Particularly when it comes to equipment located in hazardous places like oil rigs or destructive inspections in the oil and gas industry.
- Improves Facility Reliability
Similarly, drones can prolong a facility’s lifetime. Invasive inspections can often compromise structural integrity. However, a quick drone sweep can help establish an asset’s state without destructive operations, revealing potential hazards and allowing for preventive maintenance rather than reactive.
As you’ve seen, drones can do a lot for your commercial business. Unfortunately, they can’t do everything, especially when it comes to actually maintaining structures and assets. But that’s where another piece of technology can come in handy.
Resco.Inspections is a mobile app for collecting data and streamlining workflows. Instead of struggling with an endless pile of paper, you can schedule, assign, and track your inspections and maintenance work orders directly from the comfort of your phone or PC.
So what are you waiting for? Revolutionize your business with the best modern solutions and watch your efficiency, safety, and ROI grow before your eyes!