An in-depth practical examination of business potential of drones
Metsänen, Bronson (2020)
Pro gradu -tutkielma
School of Business and Management, Kauppatieteet
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Within the last decade, drone technology has seen an enormous boost in popularity and interest as they make their transition into the commercial sector. From a business perspective, the market potential is growing steadily but there is limited research into just how drones will impact industries. The main objective of this research is to analyze the benefits and cost-effectiveness of a drone, given a single use case application from an appropriate industry. The method used for this research was a single case study with descriptive data analysis. Preliminary interviews were conducted with Nokia Drone Network employees to identify the industry and application. For this research, this was determined to be telecommunication mast inspections. Secondary interviews were conducted with industry experts in order to understand the process and costs involved for preforming mast inspections with drone or by conventional methods. A simulation model was used to emulate the operational processes for both methods of inspection in order to understand the amount of time and costs needed. The outcome of the simulation determined total mast inspection time for drone or conventional method. Using activity-based costing model, the resources needed to complete inspections were identified in the form of costs and labor by unit cost per hour. The results of the study for telecommunication mast inspections were twofold: drones would be a more cost-effective alternative but would use more time to implement. It is worth mentioning that this study was based on the simulation parameters and industry expert opinions. The scope of this research was limited to only multi-rotor drones use cases.