As the Senior Marketing Advisor for Calibre Group, Darren Pearce understands the complexities of translating Calibre’s value proposition to new clients. Frequently collaborating with a host of project managers, business unit leads, and individual contributors, Darren quickly realised that he was in a unique position that fully grasped Calibre’s breadth of business offerings.
Not everyone was privy to the same information, namely clientele. “Many projects ‘hide in plain sight,’” Darren explained. “There’s a ton of infrastructure work that happens below ground that nobody ever knows about when it’s covered. We wanted to tell a story to the community using drone footage.” Looking to demonstrate the technology and innovation elements of Calibre brands, the organisation signed with DroneDeploy in October 2020.
More than Marketing: Progress Tracking, Issue Identification, & More
While initially interested in drone technology to “elevate their storytelling,” Darren discovered DroneDeploy’s capabilities were best suited for progress tracking, issue identification, 3D mapping, and the like. “Our key goal was to transition from taking cool footage to providing practical benefits to clients,” Darren stated. Thus, drone data became Calibre’s point of differentiation – they could give customers greater insights into their projects with a higher level of transparency and accountability. Rather than providing clients excel spreadsheets or infrequent verbal updates, they could track their project progress in near real-time, with the clarity of other visualisations applied. Since some projects go on for months or even years, DroneDeploy is an essential trust-building tool.
You don’t always have this type of engagement in engineering - DroneDeploy has changed our relationships with clients in a really positive way.”
Darren Pearce, Senior Marketing Advisor, Calibre Group
Drone Applications in the Field
Before utilising an all-in-one drone solution, Calibre team members spent hours annotating drawings manually and updating progress in word documents or excel spreadsheets. Add on the global pandemic, and some couldn’t even access their sites. Now, Calibre can engage with both clients and workers throughout the project lifecycle, from early-phase discovery to completion, with transparent, accountable support and valuable insights. Calibre also owns the data they capture; this saves thousands in third-party expenses and is easily shareable with clients. With just one drone pilot or engineer on-site, Calibre has the potential to save hundreds of dollars per hour in contractor costs, plus time efficiency that translates into ROI.
Darren told us of another incident in which a pilot flew an urban development site using DroneDeploy, uploaded the data, and shared it with the customer all in one day. The client was shocked at the speed and insights they received, particularly when it came to earthworks. “Our client was blown away that this was even a possibility, and that it could be done in such a time-efficient way,” Darren added.
Growing Calibre’s Drone Program
Darren attributes Calibre’s initial drone program success to engaging with DroneDeploy throughout the discovery and application process. “DroneDeploy was able to see our drone program in a holistic sense,” Darren explained. “It’s not just about applying drones, but how we scale up, integrate with other applications, develop SOPs, and ensure that we maintain the highest possible standard.” Darren also utilises DroneDeploy’s yearly drone industry reports, engineering-focused webinars, and downloadable eBooks for even more education.
Drone operations are quickly becoming a fundamental part of Calibre’s business offerings. When project managers or business development leaders first engage with new clients, we want them to immediately think of drone applications that can replace their current workflows and create a more immersive experience. “We see drone technology as a catalyst for developing other technologies,” Darren said. “We’re looking to further innovation throughout our business.” Ideally, Calibre will soon have a drone on every job site.