Get operational efficiency gains through drones & aerial intelligence

Written by
Brooke Hahn
July 5, 2022

The more time, money and resources spent running your organisation, the less there is to take home in revenue. Aka: the more you need to spend on running costs, the less you make. While this is easy to understand conceptually, in reality, improving a businesses’ operational efficiency is an ongoing challenge for operations teams everywhere.

In fact, according to market research firm IDC, between 20%-30% of revenue is wasted every year on operational inefficiencies. Imagine if 20%-30% of your salary was wasted every year on avoidable expenses (and just to be clear, we’re talking needless expenses like credit card late fees, not Netflix subscriptions). You’d be hot-footing it to find a solution!

The great news is, there’s an ever growing number of ways to streamline your business operations, and technology is making this easier than ever.

What is operational efficiency?

Operational efficiency describes how well a business functions to a high quality output, while reducing operating costs such as time, effort and resources as much as possible.

Aerial intelligence can improve operational efficiency

Aerial intelligence is the term used to describe insights that can be gained from information captured at height above the ground. While this includes satellite and plane-captured imagery, drone-captured imagery is considerably more cost effective (and is the primary source of data we receive here at Birdi).

Drones have been increasingly making waves in the commercial sector, and this trend is set to continue with an expected usage growth from $6 billion in 2018 to $63 billion by 2025.

For organisations that need insights about physical assets, sites and locations, aerial intelligence could be the next frontier in streamlining your business operations. Operations managers can cut out the time and financial cost of manually visiting their sites and assets, and instead opt for viewing them online. 

How?

If your on-site team are skilled at flying drones themselves (or Birdi’s drone pilot network can capture for you at any site across Australia), drone-captured images of your site can be uploaded and visualised in aerial intelligence platforms like Birdi. This gives you up-to-date visibility of your site without ever having to leave the office, saving you big on time and money.

What’s more, you can get your in-house pilot to capture at a cadence that suits your organisation. Need weekly visibility and oversight? No problem. Only need monthly or quarterly? Easy.

How does the aerial intelligence process work?

Arrange your drone pilot

We’re going to assume you have an in-house pilot who can capture your sites (and if not, ask us about our pilot network who can capture for you!).

Determine your aerial intelligence goals

With your pilot lined up, you next need to determine what your goals are. Are you looking to capture photos of a physical asset for maintenance inspection? Do you need to monitor a construction site’s progress? Or are you looking to better understand the growth of vegetation across a particular area of land?

Fly the drone and complete data capture

Your goals will inform the requirements of your drone data capture. Once you’ve determined these, you move onto the next step: flying the drone. The drone capture process should align to your capture requirements. For example, a mapping and surveying flight type will be markedly different to an asset inspection requiring orbital shots.

Upload data into an aerial intelligence platform

Once the drone is flown and the data is captured, the next step is to upload it into an aerial intelligence platform. If you’re using Birdi, you can upload images to each specific objective, making it super easy to manage.

Visualise data on the flight map

If your data is uploaded in the Birdi platform, you can visualise each drone-captured image on the map view at the precise location the drone captured it from. If this is sufficient for your goals (e.g. if you simply need to look at each photo of an asset to check for damage), you can stop here.

Process into orthophotos

But if you need further insights, such as getting your drone-captured data transformed into top-down model views of your site (known as orthophotos), you can request processing right within Birdi (if you have a Free or Team plan, our processing is PAYG; if you have an Enterprise plan, your processing is included).

Orthophotos are also layered onto the map view, where you can see each drone-captured media from its precise capture location.

Use annotation tools

Lastly, you can use annotation tools such as lines, polygons and markers to annotate your orthophotos for additional insights.

Aerial intelligence is an exciting new way you can boost your organisation’s operational efficiency, saving you time and money. What’s more, the insights you gain through drone-captured data visualised within an aerial intelligence platform can improve your decision-making and further improve operations.

If this sounds like something you’d like to know more about for your organisation, get in touch! Or if you’re interested in our Free or Team plans, you can try out the platform right away with a free account.

Brooke Hahn
Brooke has been involved in SaaS startups for the past 10 years. From marketing to leadership to customer success, she has worked across the breadth of teams and been pivotal in every company's strategy and success.

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