Overcoming Challenges Beginning a Drone Program

Jeremy Wood, CC BY-SA 2.0

Powering Up Your Drone Program — Overcoming Implementation Challenges

DroneNerds is a top drone reseller, offering a wide variety of services and support. They’ve helped enterprise clients from many different verticals starting a drone program– and they’ve published a new ebook based on a real world case study supporting clients to help new entrants implement a successful enterprise drone program in the energy space. The following is a DroneNerds guest post by Senior Marketing Manager, Ana Coronel. The full eBook, How to Set Up a Successful Drone Program in the Energy Industry, can be downloaded here.

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Drones are transforming the way the world operates, bringing efficiency, convenience, and automation into industries that would otherwise spend hundreds of hours gathering data needed for business analysis and crucial decisions. As specialized drones begin to offer advanced solutions for their respective industries, enterprises are taking a critical step forward toward the implementation of comprehensive UAV programs for their operations.

Drone use for commercial applications is unprecedented; it is a technology that is disrupting traditional methodologies, bringing speculation from even the most progressive organizations. While many organizations may hesitate to adopt drones at first, the benefits of a smooth-running UAV program offer insurmountable benefits.

Implementing Something New: Resistance from Leadership

Some challenges to starting a drone program include internal resistance from leadership, lack of internal alignment with other teams, and the overall learning curve associated with the use of new technologies on a large scale.

The success of a drone program is tied to alignment; it is critical to get your key stakeholders engaged early in the process, both from a leadership perspective all the way down to boots on the ground—your team must be a part of the solution set. If you don’t do that, you’re not going to be successful. Additionally, once your organization sees tangible results from your drone program, teams will want to scale the program rapidly; it’s crucial to set up your business operations, infrastructure, and processes in a way in which they are capable of handling a rapid scaling rate.

When standing up a drone program, bringing the right people into the room at the beginning of the project will help create alignment throughout the organization. Getting all stakeholders together, engineers, inspectors or linemen, partners, and IT, along with drone vendors and field teams will help everyone prioritize needs, discuss challenges across different departments, and identify the best drones and sensors suited to ease the pain points of the organization. The first step to overcoming opposition to implementation is to demonstrate the benefit of the UAV program to the business. You can do this by using proof-of-concept flights with the help of vendors that have experience with customers in your industry. It is also important to ensure that drones are going to be safer than current practices and, as mentioned, that you have buy-in from the leadership, as well as folks doing the actual work in the field. They are going to want to validate that the new process is better than the old process.

If you find the right stakeholders and they get excited about the drone program, you will find that the program will take off at full speed. Finally, you must ensure that drone policies would be accepted by the local, state, or federal regulators. Local governments and regulators need to be considered key stakeholders; it’s going to be important that you get their buy-in for any of those changes in capturing and reporting data, especially if your operations are located near restricted flight areas.

5 Steps to Overcoming Adoption Challenges

All in all, it’s easy to overcome UAV program adoption challenges if you are able to properly position the benefits it will bring to your organization. Here are the key takeaways so you can be prepared to overcome any objection:

  1. Show the benefits to the business with proof-of-concept flights.
  2. Ensure that UAVs are safer than current practices.
  3. Get to know the regulations and consider regulators key stakeholders.
  4. Get your leadership team and ground crews engaged early in the process.
  5. Consult a knowledgeable drone vendor that has experience with organizations in your industry.

If you keep these five tips in mind, your implementation process will become smoother, and you will experience increased cooperation and alignment across departments and stakeholders. While researching drone vendors, you should look into organizations that can understand your organization’s pain points and processes, and have experience with different types of drone platforms, sensors, and solutions, including fleet management. Drone Nerds developed a proprietary Always Flying™ program to help organizations manage their fleet effortlessly.

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 experts@dronenerds.com.

Real World Case Study

Drone technology is revolutionizing many industries — among them is energy, the largest market for drones globally. Check out how Robert Henley, VP of Systems Engineering at PrecisionHawk, successfully implemented drone programs throughout his career. He shares valuable insights that can be applied not only to the energy segment, but also to many other businesses. Download the e-book to learn more.

Read more from DroneNerds:

Top Tips to Implement an Enterprise Drone Program: From the Experts at DroneNerds

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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.

TWITTER: @spaldingbarker

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