What it means to be a Trusted Advisor

One of our core values at Firmatek is to be a trusted advisor to our clients. We place a high value on serving our clients. A recent incident highlighted this focus, and it is a great reminder of what it means to serve our customers.

Our Geospatial Technician, Dan Argyle, onsite in the tunnel.

Serving Our Clients

We received an urgent call about a serious problem in a large underground tunnel that was in grave danger of collapsing or causing a major flood. Either of those would have also stopped production for the entire facility for an extended period of time. There were a lot of unknowns including the extent of the damage, the root cause of the problem, and most importantly, a safety assessment. Fortunately, no one got hurt, but it became apparent that a closer look was needed to do some initial assessment. Sending someone into the tunnel to look was not a viable option. This client has recently started using the Firmatek Drone Program. Naturally, one of their first questions was, “would it be possible for Firmatek to fly their drone, remotely, into the tunnel about 100 feet (and back) to capture some photos and video to help us identify the location of the problem?” Our natural reaction was to respond “YES! We will be there as soon as possible!”. We enjoy innovating and jump at the chance to work with a client to solve a problem.

After saying yes, reality set in. We have a big problem to solve.  In this tunnel, it’s dark, it’s underground and therefore there is no GPS, and it’s a long way to fly at 200ft. What if we get to the end and having captured the photos/videos crash on the way back? How could we retrieve the drone? There were a lot of very good reasons why this could be a bad idea.

But that didn’t stop us! The very next day we dispatched one of our best drone pilots, who was several hundred miles away at the time, to the client’s site with several drones. You know the saying, two is one and one is none. In addition to the drones, we sent him with fishing line, duct tape, zip ties, and a lot of ideas about how to “McGyver” the drone. We were not guaranteed to succeed, but there was something in our DNA telling us to spring into action. It’s who we are and an embodiment of our values to at least make an effort and to give it our best shot to serve the client. Even if we didn’t succeed, we wanted to show up onsite with our resources, show our support for the client, and give them our best shot.

Later in the afternoon, we finally got word: SUCCESS! Not only did the drone not crash, but we were able to collect amazing 4k video. This helped the client immeasurably. Our client was able to assess the situation, identify root cause, fix the problem, and most importantly, keep everyone safe.

Our client was grateful for the results. They were blown away by our willingness to support them in time of need and to go above and beyond our standard service offerings. “We sincerely appreciate Firmatek responding to an urgent issue, especially with something that was outside your comfort zone. It is unlikely that this will be forgotten.”

Can your drone do this?

This incident not only proves the versatility of drones in general, but also validates Firmatek’s core principle of using the right tool for the right job. The drones we use can fly in a variety of environments, guided by GPS, a plethora of other onboard sensors, and the occasional use of a pilot’s steady hand.  Hats off to the DJI Phantom 4 Pro for its ability to capture hi-res still photos and 4k video. All of this is in addition to the autonomous mapping capability that our customers use most frequently. We can’t wait to see how we will continue to use hardware and software innovations to solve new types of customer problems.

Will your service provider go above and beyond like Firmatek?

As a solutions provider, we not only have the necessary tools & deliverables, but we also have real people who will answer the phone, speak our clients’ language, and work on solving the real problems our clients face every day. Most of the time, that means providing accurate measurements and reports. Sometimes it means solving complicated inventory management issues in discussions over the phone or on a live webinar visualizing data-sets in 3D. But occasionally, a true solutions provider is called upon to bring all of their tools, knowledge, and expertise to bear in a time of crisis.

This incident highlights exactly what Firmatek is all about. We provide our clients confidence in the data, and we go above and beyond to serve them and work with them to solve critical problems.