What types of results should you expect from drones? Here’s a look at the numbers behind the drone data.

At this point, you’ve probably heard about drones, and how aerial photos, maps, and models are delivering a return on investment (ROI) for companies of all sizes. But you might have some questions. Exactly how much time and money do drones save? What kind of ROI should you expect if you start a drone program at your company?

In this post, we’re going to dig into the numbers behind the drone imagery. From the farm to the construction site, drones are continually driving worker productivity, cutting costs, and improving safety.

Read on to get a first-hand look at the results DroneDeploy customers across industries such as agriculture, construction, and surveying see from implementing drones on their job sites.

Saving Time and Boosting Productivity with Faster Data Collection

Drones are quickly replacing traditional forms of data collection ranging from satellite and manned aircraft imagery to manual inspection and measurement. Drones speed up the process and cut anywhere from hours to weeks off a project timeline.


ReconnTech recently used drones to map underground utility locations across more than 400 sites in California. Without drones, a technician typically completed between five and seven sites per day. Depending on the driving time between locations, drone mapping allowed a single tech to complete at least ten, and sometimes up to twenty, sites in a single day.

“By using drones…we have increased our field productivity by 50–75%.” –Chris Bartlett, Director of Technology at ReconnTECH
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Nelson Aggregates replaced ground-based survey teams with aerial surveys, resulting in a 95% reduction in staff hours . Read the case study.


In some cases, drones eliminate the need to send teams out into the field to gather data altogether. This was the case with Nelson Aggregates. The company replaced ground-based survey teams with aerial surveys completed by a single operator, resulting in a 95% reduction in staff hours — a total of 228 hours each year — and saved $28,500 across six quarry sites. Read the case study.

Reducing Costs and the Boosting Bottom Line with Drone Insights

Team productivity is just part of the equation. At the simplest level, less time collecting and analyzing data reduces the resources required to complete a job. Digging deeper drone data can uncover issues before they become even more costly, saving companies much more than just time.

From making faster in-field decisions to identifying trends unavailable in the past, drones provide unparalleled insights that deliver up to 5X cost savings for our customers. In a recent survey, 40% of customers reported cost savings from the use of DroneDeploy.

One industry seeing a big payoff from drone data is Agriculture.


One industry seeing a big payoff from drone data is Agriculture. By identifying pests, disease, and fertilizer issues, growers can stomp out problems before they get out of hand. Learn how catching an aphid infestation before it spread helped one farmer prevent nearly $60,000 in lost revenue. Read the case study.


But agriculture isn’t the only industry saving money with drone insights. Construction companies are seeing results by leveraging drones throughout a project’s lifecycle. Generating drone imagery to assist project management, planning, and even design. By having an in-house drone program, Choate Construction saved $1,100 per month managing a project with UAVs, or $7,700 over the entire project. Read the case study.

Improving Site Safety and Managing Risk with Drone Imagery

Safety is always top of mind for our customers. In industries such as construction, roofing, and mining, it is not uncommon for workers to face serious injury — or even death — daily. Seeking better ways to gather data and inspect job sites, companies are increasingly turning to drones and mapping to improve overall safety for their workers.

Drones minimize the time spent inspecting dangerous areas such as roofs or construction sites, eliminating the need to put people at risk. Aerial maps also identify potential safety concerns and enable managers to contain environmental hazards before they become costly and dangerous.

Drones minimize the time spent inspecting dangerous areas such as roofs or construction sites, eliminating the need to put people at risk.

In a recent survey, 55% of DroneDeploy customers reported increased safety as a result of implementing drones. This continues to be a leading reason for introducing drone programs at companies of all sizes. Learn how drones are improving on-site safety here.

“For roofing inspections now, we can go out and fly the drones and get the quality imagery that we need. We’re really minimizing the time we’ve spent inspecting these roofs and putting personnel at risk.” — Blake Potts, Senior Virtual Design and Construction Specialist at Rogers-O’Brien Construction
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These are just a few of the ways that drones are helping companies operate more efficiently. Drone insights are changing the way business decisions are made every day.

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Have an ROI story you’d like to share? Contact our team to tell us more. We’d love to know how drones are helping you run a leaner operation.

Where to Learn More

Want to read more customer stories? Check out some of our other customer case studies:

  • Drone maps helped a major insurer identify the cause of a fire on a vacation resort, saving the company €99,985,000. Read the case study.
  • By using drone imagery, Bowles Farming Company was able to save $11-$15 an acre with targeted respraying — increasing the overall net profit of their cotton harvest. Read the case study.
  • Silicon Falcon Micro Aviation used DroneDeploy to help a farmer recoup an additional $110k in crop losses. Read the case study.
  • Drone mapping saved Green Belt €150,000 during the purchase of a private forestry. Read the case study.

Get Started with DroneDeploy

Want to learn how DroneDeploy can help your business? Visit www.dronedeploy.com to start your free trial or request a consultation with one of our team members. The DroneDeploy mobile application is available for free download for both iOS and Android devices.

The ROI of Commercial Drones was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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