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Liang Feng shares a day within the life as a drone supply lead

Drone supply appears to be the new subject as of late. Alphabet’s Wing and Flytrex each have plans to launch (or have already launched) drone supply operations in Texas. Zipline, which in 2021 introduced plans to launch medical deliveries in Utah, this yr additionally introduced medical deliveries in North Carolina. And a relative newcomer to the drone supply area, Irish firm Manna, now says it additionally has plans to launch within the U.S. this yr.

Liang Feng Manna drone delivery
Picture courtesy of Liang Feng.

With all these drone deliveries comes a brand new slew of jobs to truly handle all these drones. However what does managing drone deliveries truly entail? Liang Feng, who has been a Industrial Operations Lead at Manna since August 2021, sat down with The Drone Lady to share a behind-the-scenes view into what truly goes into drone deliveries.

Feng, who relies in Eire, spent seven years earlier than becoming a member of Manna at CarTrawler, which is a supplier of automobile rent and mobility providers. Earlier than that, she spent 14 years at lodge large Hilton.

This interview was edited for readability and size. Are you aware an superior drone lady I ought to profile? Contact me right here.

Drone Lady: What do you do at Manna?

Liang Feng: My function at Manna is main the business operation operate. I work with many groups throughout the corporate to outline our playbook. I work very intently with the core features, equivalent to operation, business, product, finance, and so forth.

Drone Lady: What’s a standard work day in your life like for you?

Liang Feng: Not a single day is identical for me, however I actually get pleasure from it as I get tired of loads of routine work. I really feel like a journalist within the firm typically, as I’ve to collect totally different items of data in an effort to construct our playbook. An important a part of my job is knowing their workflows and gathering information/analytics. This permits us to develop scalable and automatic processes, one thing that is essential to our firm. 

DG: What drew you to work within the drone business?

LF: I used to work within the journey tech business with Bobby Healy, our founder and CEO. When he began to speak about his drone supply concepts in 2018 I assumed he was loopy, however it additionally made me tremendous interested in how loopy this may be.

I couldn’t assist however observe the progress of Manna for years. So, it was a simple determination after I acquired the decision from Bobby final yr asking if I’m prepared to affix the “craziness and enjoyable”.

DG: Wow, that’s superior to already know in regards to the staff you’d be becoming a member of!

LF: It has been an awesome journey up to now, even my youngsters are tremendous and have began to imagine that my job is actual. 

Liang Feng kids drone delivery
Liang Feng shares an image of her youngsters once they noticed a Manna supply drone flying for the primary time. Picture courtesy of Liang Feng.

DG: Okay, so your youngsters find it irresistible. However what are the challenges coping with most people, or issues that most people doesn’t perceive?

LF: When folks have the “3 minutes supply time” of their thoughts, they typically neglect that this doesn’t embody the time wanted for the restaurant or store to organize the meal and for the meal to then be loaded to the drone. We do loads of buyer schooling and engagement to bridge this hole. 

DG: Yeah, for what it’s price, I’m all the time skeptical when folks truly say “the merchandise could be at my door in three minutes,” as a result of it’s extra just like the flight itself takes three minutes.

LF: It didn’t take lengthy for many of our customers to know and adapt to drone supply. As quickly as folks acquired used to it, the expectation of the velocity of supply simply went by way of the roof.

DG: And also you’ve carried out tons of deliveries, past simply one-off exams.

LF: We’ve delivered tons of of orders in simply 3 months at our Balbriggan operation.

DG: One cool factor in regards to the drone business is that it attracts folks from all kinds of backgrounds, whether or not it’s manned aviation, robotics or one thing utterly totally different. You may have a novel background your self

LF: I’ve a business operation & partnership background in journey tech, however what I do now is a bit more sophisticated than simply the conventional B2C or B2B arrange. There may be a lot to contemplate when you have got the drone flight operation, from large manufacturers like Tesco/Samsung to native small companies, to prospects.

DG: What’s essentially the most difficult a part of your job?

LF: Essentially the most difficult a part of my job is making the operation and business “marriage” work. This entails continually evolving new concepts and processes in an effort to make issues seamless and easy. I actually get pleasure from this, in spite of everything, fixing challenges is absolutely satisfying.

DG: What’s essentially the most shocking facet of your job?

LF: Earlier than I joined Manna I assumed I might get to fly a drone and have a type of cool controls in my arms, however then I spotted even our drone pilots don’t get to make use of the sticks a lot because it’s totally autonomous.

DG: And so they’re solely getting extra autonomous! Talking of, the place do you see your self and Manna a yr or two from now?

LF: I will likely be working with the staff to roll out our drone supply providers in a number of areas, together with Eire, the U.S. and different worldwide areas.

DG: Should you might have a supply drone deliver you something proper now, what wouldn’t it be?

LF: Bubble tea, any kind of bubble tea. It’s exhausting to make good bubble tea at dwelling. That is all the time on my checklist of potential choices.  

Be taught extra about Manna, which is ready to reach within the U.S. with drone deliveries this yr, right here. And if you realize any superior drone ladies I ought to profile, please contact me right here.

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