MIAMISBURG — Move over the Wright Brothers. The partnership between Winsupply Inc. and Drone Express made history on Friday when they completed the industry’s first-ever drone delivery of materials suppliers.
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The historic flight was a 3-mile trip with onboard gear from the Winsupply distribution center on Byers Road in Miamisburg to the company‘s showroom in Centerville.
“For the past 26 years, I’ve always wondered how I can help local owners improve their business,” Winsupply President John McKenzie told News Center 7 on Friday. of how we bring entrepreneurs back to their time. Time is the most precious commodity we have. Imagine contractors on a job site not having to leave to go to a supply store. The supply house comes to them. It’s the excitement that drives it all.
The way supply chains currently work, a contractor must leave the job site and head to a parts or materials distribution facility. Once there, the contractor must wait for the cargo and then return to the site. Winsupply, described as one of the leading business-to-business suppliers in the United States, handles materials for residential and commercial construction – plumbing and heating, pipes, valves, HVAC and refrigeration, and more.
Dayton is the headquarters of Winsupply and Drone Express.
The success of the experiment means that Winsupply’s drone delivery will now deliver a wide range of products from its distribution center in Miamisburg.
Friday’s experiment was about “improving the contractor-in-house experience,” McKenzie said, calling the project an efficiency driver.
“We add a tool to capture more market share or new market share,” he said.
“I see us having a fleet of drones across the country that can be launched from sprinter vans near the job site. . . opening the back door of the van, pull out a platform and launch,” McKenzie said.
Drone Express, a logistics company that focuses on safe and eco-friendly package delivery nationwide, may be new at 3 years old, but CEO Beth Flippo sees an exciting future with Winsupply. Another Drone Express partner is Kroger.
“One day [drones] will be perched on rooftops all over the city,” Flippo said. “When you place an order, the nearest drone is the one that picks it up and will go get it. If a drone is sitting on a perch and needs to recharge, it will get up and move.
Flippo, an engineer and software developer, said she was excited about the drone network and what it will look like in the future.
“I also use the example of your Tesla in your office parking lot,” she said. “You order something. The drone will talk to your Tesla, open the trunk, drop off the package [in] and fly away. That’s why I’m so excited about it.
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