Five Potential Challenges with In-House Drone Operations
With all the benefits drones can bring to your business, it can be tempting to launch your own operations in-house and save on the outsourcing fees. Despite all the marketing about how easy they are to use, drones can have a steep (and expensive) learning curve. From the initial purchase to recurring fees, adding drones to your business can bring its own set of obstacles. However, the rewards can be just as great. Drones provide unparalleled access to footage and information, and they open up avenues of exploration for businesses that could have never attempted them previously. If you’re looking to get started using drones, here’s five things to keep in mind:
1) Doing it legally
Soaring hundreds of feet above the ground with a drone is fun and easy, but just because you’re avoiding planes doesn’t mean there are no laws to consider. Drones require special insurance to operate commercially, and you’ll need to ensure your pilot is licensed. On top of that, there’s a thick book of regulations to follow and it’s critical to follow all the rules.
2) Rapid pace of innovation
Sure, you’ll expect an upfront cost for software and equipment, but what about everything else? Every year, a new crop of drones appears and the previous year’s are suddenly less attractive. Continually updating your drones can lead to a money sink your business never recovers from. Outsourcing your drone operations for a simple, predictable fee can give you the push you need to continually increase your bottom line.
3) In-depth industry drone knowledge
There are hundreds of different viable drones and sensors to choose from. Researching each individual configuration can take you away from your work for hours. Unfortunately, it’s work you’ll need to do (or outsource) if you’re planning to use in-house drones. Drones may just be gaining widespread popularity now, but their history goes back decades. Having a licensed and experienced pilot is important, and it should be someone who’s well-versed in drone history and regulation.
The logistics of in-house drone operations cover everything from airspace waivers to team management. Drones are constantly collecting data, and you’ll need a robust storage system to catalog it. Additionally, plenty of this data will require the input of surrounding parties (property owners, stakeholders, etc). Storing, analyzing, and backing up this data can add another headache to the pile.
The drone industry’s advertising has successfully convinced many people that they can easily fly their own drones. However, plenty of variables exist from the moment you first send it up. The weather and environment can ground even the most robust drone, and radio interference on the signal will also cause plenty of problems. If your drone is going to carry a payload, dozens of calculations need to be re-done before it flies for the day. Reading the news will keep you informed of the dozens of drone crashes in recent memory. It’s a heavy investment for a new drone pilot and it only takes a stroke of bad luck to set you way behind on your investment.
The bottom line
Drones are a massive leap forward in technology and they’re opening great doors for businesses that adopt them. However, fighting through the red tape to get started can be a headache on its own, and an inexperienced pilot can end up with an expensive drone in a lake. Even if the drones are kept in great shape, it will only be a couple years before they’re outdated. Outsourcing your drone operations can be a real time- and money-saver. If you’re interested in bringing drones into your business but want to hear from the experts first, contact us for a free consultation.