Illinois drone-service franchise opens for local, national work

By Luke Geiver | September 27, 2017

Measure, one of the largest drone service providers in the U.S., is hoping Springfield, Illinois, will be the location that starts a major trend. This week, the company held its first-ever grand opening for Troy Reiser and his team, owners of a Measure-backed drone service franchise.

The goal of Reiser and his team is to work locally and provide face-to-face insight and knowledge to customers along with small unmanned aircraft vehicle operations and flight services.

For the Measure team, the franchise signals the start of a new era for the company and the country. “Our franchising program is designed to build a nationwide drone services network that can provide efficient, quality aerial data collection to clients anywhere in the country while also ensuring adherence to strict operations, maintenance and safety criteria,” said Dan Rothfield, senior vice president of franchising for Measure.

Reiser, a former commercial pilot and CEO of a South-African-based airline that shuttled travelers to remote game lodges, began researching drones a few years ago. After learning more about Measure, he began to work with the team before signing on as the company’s first franchisee. “Some of our challenges of getting into the drone business was finding a revenue stream quickly. That is where Measure came in,” he said.

Through the franchise agreement, Measure provides its regional franchise owners with lead to clients in need of drone services. Since starting with Measure in June, Reiser has flown for national cell tower owners through Measure. The Measure tream also provides training, input on new equipment and technology and pilot feedback from other pilots working under its pilot umbrella. Reiser and his team are busy serving both the national clients Measure links them too and local companies that his team has connected with.

“A lot of the time our clients don’t understand what they want,” he said. “A large part of our job is to explain the capabilities and the abilities of our drones.”

Reiser works with clients to ensure they understand what reasonable expectations of service can or should be and then helps them find a solution to the answers or solutions they are seeking with the aid of a drone.

The Springfield team has multi-rotors and fixed-wing. Reiser expects that roughly 80 percent of the jobs they perform in the next year will be with multi-rotors. Althoguh the company isn’t linked to any specific brand or platform, they currently use DJI products the most, he said, including the Inspire1 and Inspire2. In the future, the team would like to see if the Matrice 210 becomes available because they believe it would be well suited for inclement weather flying and be able to house an upward pointing sensor for inspections.

Measure tests all of the equipment that Reiser’s team deploys. In addition to stronger platforms, Reiser said he is like the rest of the drone industry: waiting on beyond visual line of sight and hoping for lighter, more powerful sensors. “Being able to fly BVLOS would bring massive change,” he said.

During the next year, the team believes inspections will bring the bulk of its work. Reiser intends to add more pilots and more tech, and, he knows that the industry is rapidly evolving now. “Everything changes at such a rapid pace, but, we are ready for it,” he said.