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How To Bring UAVs to Market

Unmanned aircraft vehicle manufacturers can turn to UAV distributors to bring unique offerings to a market craving more than a product, just ask the Stampede team.
By Luke Geiver | May 14, 2015

Kevin Kelly has made a habit of searching out emerging technologies, including unmanned aircraft systems. As the President and Chief Operating Officer of Stampede Global, a global audio and visual products supplier, Kelly has also made a habit of bringing quality products to the market. Following a visit to a major UAS event last year to learn more about the industry, he is now excited for his company’s entrance into the unmanned aircraft vehicle industry. Kelly represents a major segment of the commercial UAS industry that will soon be much more prominent: UAV distributors.

Consider this, Kelly explained to UAS Magazine: You are a UAV manufacturer that is targeting the light commercial and commercial market (not the defense industry nor the hobby market). You have invested in engineering and design for a unique platform capable of servicing several end-user applications. Your product is currently being produced. How do you get it to market? The answer, Kelly believes, lies with companies like Stampedes. “We are that route to market,” he said.

According to Kelly, defense contractors working to enter the civilian market are not interested in selling units in small quantities. The hobbyist UAV makers can get by with providing a handful of platforms to a handful of hobby shops or other stores. But, for commercially-bound UAVs, there are no major networks to tap into that reach possible resellers or end-users. And, most UAV firms are not equipped to staff up an entire sales force.

Stampede hopes to change that. UAV manufacturers can work with Stampede to sell and distribute product through its reseller network. Several already are The company already distributes many name brand electronics at a whole sale level to other resellers or through its own sales network. For Kelly, adding sUAVs to its lineup of technologies makes sense considering many clients are looking for new image and audio capture technologies.

As Kelly explains, police organizations, news outlets or other high-revenue creating entities looking for UAVs are not going to go to Best Buy to purchase UAVs for a fleet. Instead, they will turn to distributors that have access to multiple products designed for multiple applications that can be bought at a wholesale level at volume. Buyers will also want the opportunity for education on the purchased products, something that the Stampede team has prepared for by partnering with Unmanned Vehicle University to help train buyers. A UAV product manager has also been hired by the company to oversee its new product offerings. “The end users are already lined up,” he said. “We are a great solution for defense contractors that want to go commercial, and, we are a great solution for a new UAV manufacturer that wants to introduce a product line into North America.”

A simple Google search of UAV distributors shows that there are others like Stampede, and, more than likely Kelly would argue that many don’t offer the same capabilities as Stampede. Given their insight and plans for its UAS business segment expansion, he is most likely correct. Our team is excited to follow-up with the UAV distributor in the coming months, if of course they aren’t too busy with UAV orders.