Skanska USA is a leading construction and development company. Skanska’s core operations include building construction, civil infrastructure and developing self-financed commercial properties. With U.S. headquarters in New York City, Skanska has offices in 28 metro areas with 7,900 employees nationwide. Skanska is an industry-leading innovator in both safety and project execution, and offers competitive solutions for traditional and complex assignments to help build a more sustainable future for our customers and communities.
In response to increased demand for enhanced site progress monitoring, Skanska USA created its national drone program, beginning with a single drone pilot for its building operations group. In five years, the program grew to include over 40 pilots with a fleet of 20 drones.
As Skanska assessed the expansion of their drone program, they quickly realized the potential need for a more diversified mix of software and programs.
“Initially, we were trained on multiple software systems each with several functions. There were different tools for processing images, taking 360-degree photos and planning autonomous flights,” said Brooke Gemmell, Senior Innovative Development Engineer at Skanska. “It was overwhelming to constantly assess which software to use when."
Meeting Skanska’s Growing Needs
To avoid having to re-train pilots to use new software and transfer historical data, Skanska had to act quickly and assess how Measure could improve their operations. In adopting Measure Skanska considered the following benefits:
- Consolidation. Use Measure for multiple tasks that were previously spread among several applications, simplifying workflows and offsetting the cost of using multiple products.
- Meeting Existing Needs. To keep up with the evolution of drone technology, Skanska needed a new application that was compatible with newer drone hardware.
“Staying with the old app would’ve rendered our newest drones useless, and as a result would have discouraged innovation,” said Gemmell. “Meanwhile, Measure’s team expedited their 360 pano tool at our request, proving that they were willing to work with customers on feature development.”
- Expanding and Evolving. During a trial period, Skanska felt Measure could meet their needs as a partner that was open to collaboration and receptive to building new tools.
Measure as a Partner, Not a Vendor
“Measure has redefined the way we deliver drone training to new pilots. Instead of needing multiple tools, we are able to focus on a single platform and clearly define what deliverables can be created within Measure,” said Gemmell. “Choosing one tool has significantly reduced confusion for new drone pilots and has increased the efficiency of flight operations.” Aside from efficiency and cost savings of using a single platform, Skanska immediately benefitted from working with an innovative and collaborative organization like Measure.
“On our monthly call, Measure actively listens to our questions and challenges. It’s a win-win because their team gets feedback from those who are in the trenches, and our team gets immediate support and solutions that are tailored to our exact needs,” said Gemmell.
Combining Safety and Efficiency with Measure
In order to meet the quickly evolving needs of clients across the country, the ability to problem solve while managing drone flights remotely is of utmost importance to Skanska.
The Houston office needed to capture drone footage to enhance a logistics plan for a local pursuit. When the only pilot in Houston was committed to other projects in the region, help came to the rescue from 1,800 miles away.
“As a Marketing Coordinator, I support projects based in offices across the nation,” said Jenna Holeman, Marketing Coordinator at Skanska. “On the Houston project, I had a deep understanding of the details that needed to be captured for the logistics plan. Through Measure’s software, I was able to preprogram the flight to capture the important details, which allowed the local pilot to simply arrive at the site, determined where to launch and press ‘go.’”
The flight program detailed key project site areas to be photographed, ensuring footage was captured from multiple positions along a specific flight path. With Jenna’s assistance to preprogram an automated flight plan, the local pilot was able to visit the site and fly the drone, only having to worry about the safe operation of the drone, not the actual photography.
Aside from solving unique project challenges, Skanska also has to adjust for fluctuating levels of risk in flight areas. The ability to carry out a flight despite changing conditions encountered in the field, rather than cut it short or cancel it altogether, has enabled Skanska to increase their efficiency.
“When we execute flights with Measure, we have a precise range of where the drone is going to be flying, increasing our ability to safely execute those missions,” said Gemmell. “For instance, we flew 100 feet away from a helicopter pad for a recent flight, with two helicopters coming in just before the flight operations began. After receiving approval from the local ATC, we began our flight minutes after the helicopters left the area.
With Measure, we were able to expedite our flight time and maintain a consistent altitude below the helicopter pad. This greatly reduced the risk involved with the flight and still allowed us to capture all the information we needed. That’s been one of the greatest benefits; to get the information we need in the fastest time possible.”
Why Choose Measure?
Industry leaders like Skanska find themselves constantly adjusting to ever-growing demands, needing all-in-one solutions that balance efficiency and integration with innovation and safety.
By working collaboratively and adapting to a changing market, while prioritizing FAA compliance and safety, Measure has what it takes to help large enterprises adjust to growing demands without having to grow their budget.
For more information on drone program management, contact Measure at https://www.measure.com/contact.