US: Kespry, the leading drone-based aerial intelligence solution provider, has announced E Construction, a division of Colas Canada Inc., part of the worldwide Colas SA Group, is using the Kespry drone-based aerial intelligence platform for inventory management, public reporting, and mine planning. E Construction is one of Western Canada’s largest paving contractors, with 650 employees. It provides products and services throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories. Colas SA Group is the world leader in the construction and maintenance of transport infrastructure, operating in all lines of business related to the construction and maintenance of roads and other forms of transport infrastructure, urban development, and recreational facilities.
“I really like the accuracy of the Kespry system and that it’s available as a subscription service, so we get updated technology,” said Chad Harrison, Aggregates and Environment Manager at E Construction, responsible for all of the company’s aggregates resources, including reporting inventory at more than 40 sites. “The technology’s changing so fast. We used to spend a lot on a less-accurate RTK (Real-Time Kinematic) GPS head that’s only good for four years and then we would have to re-buy the whole thing—not to mention the time required to train and get people up to speed on how to use it properly and accurately. Kespry has cut down on my frustration during our year-end inventory process.”
“Kespry has taken out a lot of the complexity and hassle of inventory management for E Construction,” said George Mathew, CEO of Kespry. “With Kespry, you simply draw out a flight plan with your finger on an iPad and our autonomous drone does the rest. It uploads data to the Kespry cloud and you rapidly get accurate, actionable data and analytics you can be totally confident in. We’re really happy Kespry is making a huge difference for E Construction. You can be sure we’ll be here for them every step of the way, too. When you get a Kespry system, you’re also getting a team devoted to ensuring our customers are successful.”
Kespry has helped E Construction make inventory management a streamlined, cyclical process that’s seamlessly built into its operations. With Kespry, inventory management no longer involves getting in the way of daily operations or involving multiple crews assigned to the task.
“We used to have two-to-three crews running around with survey gear to get inventory all done in the timeframe we needed,” said Harrison. “Typically, we would need to stop operations and then do our inventory after, due to safety. Kespry allows us to do inventory when we’re still doing production because we can snapshot it from above. We don’t have to shut down operations to allow us to take inventory. If I had to guess on a cost savings, it’s probably $25,000 or $30,000 twice a year to do inventory. It’s pretty hard to compare Kespry to standard archaic GPS. To just be able to fly a drone for half-an-hour to pick up a quarter section of 106 acres would have taken us 10-to-14 days in the past, and they probably wouldn’t have gotten everything.”
E Construction is responsible for several major government contracts. It subcontracts materials crushing to other companies and stockpiles them for large-scale projects. The Kespry platform enables E Construction to ensure both it and its subcontractors are never caught off guard by a shortfall.
“If they don’t have enough, they end up having to mobilize back-end resource aggregates from elsewhere and possibly pay a high price for that,” said Harrison. “Kespry allows us to tighten up the amount we produce to have enough material for the project. This is definitely better.”
Kespry also makes E Construction’s crews’ lives safer and more productive.
“We want to get away from climbing piles,” said Harrison. “We used to have people climbing them in the middle of winter. They’d have to wear clamp-ons because the piles are so slippery. It’s a lot easier to do inventory now. They don’t have to walk and climb the piles. Everyone that uses it really enjoys it.”