Drones are all over the media these days. Civilian drones have taken selfies to a whole new height, while Amazon has been working to get their drone delivery service off the ground. However, many companies are looking at the other ideas of using drones, especially when it comes to mapping out your supply chain.
An article recently released on Forbes website is showing the advancements being made to drone technology and why they could become an invaluable resource moving forward.
New Technology Makes Drones more Effective
One of the most pressing concerns about drone use is the limited range of operation. Even with the new battery technology, a drone typically has a flight time of about 25 minutes.
While this is great for taking a few aerial shots at a picnic, it’s not too helpful when it comes to large scale operations like mapping a supply chain.
Matternet, a company that specializes in drone logistics systems, partnered with Mercedes-Benz to co-develop a docking system that would allow a drone to take off from and reconnect to the roof of a vehicle. This would not only solve the matter of charging, it would also accommodate for packing and delivery all while increasing the range and payload utilization in the field.
This alone already ramps up the possibility for drone usage for last mile deliveries and improved logistics.
What Drones Could Mean for Your Supply Chain
First and foremost, drones are incredibly flexible as far as their uses go, even if you’re not looking to make quick deliveries.
“It’s increasingly clear that drones deserve consideration as part of your digital roadmap. Plus, ground and even ocean-going drones are developing fast, with problem-solving applications such as driver hour limitations, inaccessible or hazardous locations and massive materials handling chores, similar to what BASF is doing with autonomous vehicles in its mega-plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany,” says Forbes writer, Kevin O’Marah.
Companies Look into Fielding Drones
More and more companies are looking into fielding drones, and nearly a third of all supply chain professionals have said that drones have become very important to their supply chain roadmapping and strategy.
This is almost triple what the response was only two years ago, back in 2014.
More businesses are seeing the tremendous benefit and are lobbying to get regulatory approval for wider use. This is something which the FAA has been slow to agree to at first, but is starting to become more receptive to the idea as time goes on.
Proactive vs. Reactive
Much like the new digital platforms that are allowing businesses to be proactive about their supply chain issues, rather than merely reactive, it would be a mistake to ignore the benefits of drones and the advantages they can bring to your supply chain.