If your company has gone through the planning, budgeting, and executive decision-making required to bring drones into your organization, then you likely recognize the immense value they can provide. Unfortunately, too many companies fail to properly manage their drone program once it’s up and running and become disappointed when they’re met with disorganization or inaccuracies instead of seeing the results they hoped for.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the essential components for managing a drone service provider. Whether you decide to build an internal drone program or outsource to a third party, effective management will ensure your company leverages its investment in drones (and drone services) in order to achieve optimal results.
Key Components of Drone Operations Management:
1. Hire the Right DSP for Your Business.
Just as no two companies are the same, neither are two given drone service providers. To determine which DSP is best for your company, industry, and desired task, ask these 11 questions as you evaluate your options.
Your evaluation should reflect what you’re hoping to get out of the relationship with the DSP, how those goals align with your broader organizational objectives, and last but not least, what you’ll use for key performance indicators. This way, you’ll be able to determine at the outset whether the DSP can meet your expectations. Some goals, for instance, will require a certain type of equipment, and others might require a certain FAA waiver.
2. Designate a Drone Operations Manager.
Companies that are new to implementing drones or don’t have an internal drone program should have a project manager serve as the point of contact with the DSP. The project manager should be made aware of the time commitment, attentiveness, and level of understanding they’ll need in order to keep things running smoothly.
Pro tip: Regardless of how familiar your drone operations manager (or other title they might be given) is with drone programs, it’s important they have a direct line of communication with the company’s decision makers. Conveying the value of drones in saving money, keeping workers safe and promoting social good, and expediting work is important for securing necessary resources and further developing the program.
3. Decide on a Reporting Format and Schedule.
Unless you discussed reporting during the hiring process, you’ll want to work with your DSP at the outset to finalize a reporting format that meets your needs. DSPs should provide you with a typical reporting structure and recommended cadence for reporting, which can then be tailored to your program.
4. Determine How You’ll Store the Data Collected by Your DSP.
From maps and images to anecdotal data like fight notes, the information captured through your drone program should be stored in a place that is secure and easy for your team to locate.
Ideally, your process for storing and managing data will require little time and energy. While it’s possible to toggle between multiple products, for example flight logging software and data management software, it can also be time consuming and lead to errors. The best type of drone management software will provide drone operations managers with everything they need, prioritizing efficiency and accuracy.
Streamlining your operations through an app like Measure Ground Control will provide the following solutions for common management challenges:
- Reduce cost and avoid complexity of multiple software tools
- Store and access flight logs, completed checklists, and other compliance data
- Track equipment, assignments, and usage
- Prevent communication errors regarding logistics and data
- Simplify pre-flight checks, flight setup, data collection for your pilots
- Enable data quality checks while pilot team is on-site
- Process raw drone data into actionable data products
- Easily generate reports for leadership and compliance purposes
5. Schedule Compass Checks to Assess Progress.
Aside from the reporting structure described earlier, make time for routine “compass checks” to assess progress toward the goals for your drone program, as well as larger organization-wide goals. Because drones and drone software are constantly evolving due to new technology and updated regulations, compass checks can also be a great time to learn about new features and capabilities.
At Measure, we understand more than anyone how challenging it can be to stay on top of the moving parts that make up your drone program -- that’s why we created Measure Ground Control.
Want to learn more about how Measure Ground Control can help with your drone operations management? Schedule a demo or try our app for free.