Continuing our roundup of European companies we met at this week at the Commercial UAV Expo Europe is this interview with Ivanka Koster, CEO of Netherlands-based SkyTools.
SkyTools is a full-service drone company: but their unique business model addresses the issue of outside service providers competing with the growth of in-house drone services departments in large enterprise. The SkyTools approach of providing both hardware leasing and flight services, and supporting both in-house departments and companies who want to hire outside pilots, is powering their growth. Read on to see how they’re penetrating the market.
DroneLife (DL): For those of us who aren’t familiar with SkyTools, can you tell us what you do?
Ivanka: “SkyTools really has two related businesses, one is as a drone service provider and the second is to provide training, expertise, drones, and components for companies that want to use our equipment without having to buy them outright and need expertise to get them started.
We are also planning to open up a second location in the Netherlands where we are based. We started in 2011 as one of the first drone service providers in the Netherlands and expanded about 2 years ago to become SkyTools.”
DL: What kind of commercial applications does SkyTools support?
Ivanka: “We have a variety of applications, including media applications such movie making and commercial video and photography, law enforcement for applications such as missing persons, or crowd control at events, fire brigade applications and inspections of all kinds. We are also resellers of equipment such as FLIR thermal cameras and Flyability drones for confined space inspection.”
DL: Who are your clients?
Ivanka: “We consider ourselves to be a one stop show where we can provide everything that a client might need including personnel. If a company wants to start a in-house drone solution, we can help them with purchasing, training, best practices – everything that we can do to enure our clients success.”
DL: It sounds like you might be considering a franchise type of distribution system – what do you think about that?
Ivanka: We are exploring that option, that is why we are opening up a second site in the Netherlands. That will give us experience as to how to how to support and grow the business in another part of the country. Even with a relatively small country like the Netherlands there are regional difference in the types of applications that people are looking to do so having a second location will help us to learn. Other areas that our clients have suggested that we look at are the Czech republic where our client feel that we can add significant value.