Utilization of unmanned aerial vehicles has been dominant in the military environment due to their perceived operational benefits in the battlefield. However, their usage is gradually drifting from the battlefield to suffice civilian needs in different aspects of the society. One of the proposed functions of the unmanned vehicles is application in the business world to perform different functions as specified by the corporate structures. This has shown some benefits to the business world although there are several hurdles that have to be resolved before their actual implementation in the respective market segments.
Normally, unmanned vehicles are remotely piloted to their defined locations using the available communication technologies within the modern social and business settings. These abilities have made the aircrafts generate varied reactions among the concerned parties leading to intense debates on their viability in the civilian market. Due to these challenges, businesses have tried to come up with adaptable designs to meet specific market requirements, as well as satisfy regulatory frameworks deepening on their designated working regions. In spite of the considerations, it is essential to evaluate the dynamics that influence the drone business from a management’s perspective.
In this case, starting the delivery business using autonomous vehicles is an added advantage to the logistical systems in terms of efficiency. This means that people are able to receive their deliveries within the specified timeframes in their locations irrespective of the status of the traditional transport networks. Another advantage is that short distance deliveries become more efficient and less costly due to the reduction of workers and assets involved in moving the commodities to their respective recipients. These benefits have made various logistic companies, such as DHL, to consider delivering some commodities using small unmanned vehicles.
However, to start, the business requires fulfillment of specific market, customer, and regulatory requirements. Starting the business first requires sufficient capital to ensure that the core functions are performed without facing financial constraints that create additional working risks. According to Frauenfelder (2014) and Hiles (2010), such businesses require significant investments on the equipment, maintenance procedures, and training of staff. In most cases, drone operators need exceptional expertise while operating the unmanned vehicles so that they can deliver their goods without creating safety issues along their flight path, or interfering with other activities within their functional spaces.
Another requirement is compliance with the existing regulatory requirements especially those that govern the airline industry. Some of the regulatory organs such as Federal Aviation Administration have created drone roadmaps that every operator must integrate with the management structures. The business must then register with the relevant authorities in the American context so as to function within the specified legal structures. In addition to complying with the regulations, managers are supposed to develop internal processes and administrative structures that guarantee continuous organizational growth and development in accordance with the prevailing market dynamics.
Although the unmanned delivery business seems futuristic, there are intense challenges that are threatening its implementation. Regulatory hurdles are intensive, and they will cripple the drone delivery businesses for a while before they are resolved (LeMieux & LeMieux, 2013). Safety is another element that is creating challenges since the industry cannot be regulated, monitored, and managed like the commercial airlines by air traffic operators. This hurdle has been reinforced by the recent occurrence where a commercial drone almost collided with an aircraft during its landing phase.
The kind of regulatory requirements and operational concerns has gradually sabotaged the drone delivery service business since more stakeholders are losing confidence. In fact, they have made the business nearly impossible to conduct where operators are citing safety concerns, slowed certifications, and fixated policy decisions as the major impediments throughout the implementation phases. Due to these impediments, managing the delivery services is challenging from the initial phase thus the need for persistence and advocacy for redefinition of the governing policies.
Managing an unmanned delivery service is challenging due to the current impediments that make the business difficult to venture into. In this case, entrepreneurs are required to come up with significant capital for procurement of assets, maintenance processes, and training so that the business can generate sustainable income levels. Before reaching this stage, managers are supposed to comply with the complex legal requirements, paperwork and safety regulations to continue working on their delivery businesses. Today, it cannot be conclusive that this kind of business is impossible; this is because the working environment is changing, and new considerations are being integrated into the current frameworks to accommodate utilization of drones for civilian purposes.
As explained by Williamson & Williamson (2013), businesses have to evolve in accordance with the available resources; drones are an indispensable opportunity due to their ability to make the logistical networks more efficient. However, the current challenges are making the business a possibility thus the need to consider the following: redefinition of the regulatory mechanisms to accommodate the unmanned vehicles, allocation of flight routes to avoid interference with airline traffic patterns, and redefinition of the complex registration processes to reduce the barriers to entry.