Founded in 1988, Firmatek pioneered the use of hand-held lasers for stockpile measurements. Over the last few decades, the firm has continued to evolve with available technology and launched its drone solutions program in 2016. While the majority of Firmatek's services are still in the stockpile measurement space, they also deliver solutions to landfills, engineering related projects, and aerial images mostly in the mining and aggregate and solid waste industries. Firmatek provides two options for its clients to receive the business intelligence they need. The first one is a full-service model where they collect and process clients' data, and the other model is where the client flies the drone, uploads the data, and Firmatek produces and analyzes results. Recently, the firm announced a software development department which will improve data visualization and analysis. Firmatek will also continue to develop new tools that clients can use to analyze the data within their portal. We had a conversation with Lauren Elmore, the President of Firmatek, to learn about her company's recent endeavors. We discussed the ways they use drones for aerial imaging, making the whole process more accessible, more accurate, cost-effective, and safer, while also enabling clients to increase the measurement frequency.
What are some of the challenges that your clients are facing today?
For aggregate mining clients, comprehending the amount of inventory that they have is a well-known issue. Previously, it was very expensive to have accurate measurements on a frequent basis. The introduction of Firmatek's drone technology has changed this paradigm,making it cost-effective for our clients to carry out frequent analysis. For example, instead of measuring annually, they can measure on a monthly basis. They can update their pitmap and mine plans and track the whole cycle of their production, which ultimately results in better business decisions.
On the landfill side, there are a couple of critical issues that our clients try to address. Density is the most important metric, and we help them track that over time by mapping the waste coming in on a quarterly basis.
We strive to remain at the forefront of innovation and technology to provide the best in precise and efficient data collection and processing to our clients
Tell us more about the solutions that you have added in the recent past.
We recently revamped our Enterprise Drone Solutions Program to easily enable an entire region or company to quickly, safely, and cost-effectively implement a drone program. We handle everything for the client from training, to ongoing support, and data insights and management. We are constantly evaluating new drone, sensor, and software options to make sure our clients and our staff have the very best technology for the job.
What is the approach that you follow to evaluate the company that you would partner with?
We are always working with our clients to learn more about the pain-points that they face. We evaluate their challenges before recommending a solution. We extensively test all new hardware and software technology in the field with our team of 15 field technicians. We compare workflows and accuracy to find the right solution for our clients.
One of the value-adds that we deliver to the clients is that we focus on being a service provider and finding the exact solution that would work for the client. We work with the client so that they can rely on us and have confidence that they are using the best technology solution for their needs. We also place a big focus on supporting our clients. We work with them to solve all their inventory problems, help them develop best practices, and ultimately help them understand their inventories better. Our experience and expertise in the industry is a key factor in helping our clients understand their inventory numbers.
Any organizational milestone that you want to highlight?
We announced the launch of our Software Development Department,reflecting a continued focus on offering clients better ways to visualize and utilize their data. We strive to remain at the forefront of innovation and technology to provide the best in accurate and efficient data collection and processing to our clients. This marks a significant shift in building our abilities to maintain and improve our client experience with internal resources. These internal capabilities will allow us to serve our clients better and build the experience that they need in order to best utilize the insights we provide in their businesses.
What does the future hold for Firmatek?
The first step that we will take is to improve the client experience,and after that, we will be adding tools and technologies such as machine learning and automation. A lot of that will be on the back-end but will be a massive improvement for us and this will help us in improving future offerings and capabilities.