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Blog January 2022

Five Reasons Why Recyclers Need to Think About Demand Planning

Balance the supply of materials with demand from customers

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Conor Dowd

AMCS Global Head of Marketing

Five Reasons Why Recyclers Need to Think About Demand Planning

It is an exciting time to be a recycler as more and more businesses want to use recycled content in their products.

Whether you are based in North America, Europe, or Asia, small to multi-national firms are wanting to source secondary materials.

But they also expect that you act like a primary raw material provider, giving them their feedstock when and where they want it.

This agility will be increasingly important in the transition to a Circular Economy where customers will work closely with recycling processors to the source material of a tighter specification and for a prescribed time window.

That’s where demand planning comes in, enabling you to meet their requirements.

Essentially, this means that you organize material supply to achieve optimum inventory levels. You supply your ever-growing customer base with recycled paper, plastics, metals, etc when they need it and plan for when they require it.

These are 5 reasons why you need to think about demand planning:

1. Manufacturers typically work on a just-in-time basis

Global supply chains are highly sophisticated operations, where manufacturers organize their suppliers and logistics to provide products to them when and where they need them.

This enables them to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. Existing raw material suppliers work on this basis, and manufacturers want their recycled feedstock providers to provide the same service.

The AMCS solution: Our Demand Planning module supports your business with automated and integrated workflows through the demand planning journey. It helps you make the equation to balance your supply of materials with demand from customers.

2. You need to plan your storage space and logistics to supply your customers when they need material

Your recycling or waste management company will receive material from various sources including from local government, retailers, manufacturers, and others.

What if you need to supply paper, but your collections are scheduled to bring in plastics or metals?

That is where demand planning comes in, enabling you to optimize your collections for the requirements of both your business and your input and output customers. It also means that you can track your inventory in your facilities, knowing exactly what you have got and who it needs to go to.

The AMCS solution: Our AMCS Platform allows you to optimize your collections to ensure you have the material you need while keeping customers happy. It also allows for inventory management, recording inbound stock, work in progress, and finished goods with support for adjustments, cycle counting, and end-of-period reporting. The production planning tool and outbound logistics tool enables you to track the material heading out and plan all aspects of the logistics.

3. Supply of material to you can be variable at different times of the year so how do you match that with demand?

The collection of material is subject to change at different times of the year. In US, UK, and Europe for example, the run-up to Christmas means there is likely to be more cardboard packaging, but also more contamination from harder-to-recycle festive materials in the waste stream.

Weather can also play a part, so people are more likely to drink soft drinks from cans and bottles in hotter weather, and hot drinks from paper and plastic cups in colder times.

By understanding how material flows into your business and typical trends, you can plan storage and logistics to match these ebbs and flows with the requirements of customers needing feedstock.

The AMCS solution: The AMCS Platform enables you to digitalize and automate the demand planning process. It also gives you real-time data to inform decision-making and allows for forecasting based on your data.

4. Are you using Excel or other basic software and is it taking up lots of time and resources?

While Microsoft Excel is a valuable tool, it isn’t sufficient to run a successful business that could be supplied to a multinational with sophisticated software. The same goes for generic enterprise resource planning systems that are not designed for your business.

You’ll end up spending more time and staff resources on manual processes.

The AMCS solution: Automation and proactive tools are what you need. For more than 30 years, we have been supporting recycling and waste management companies with these solutions. The AMCS Platform is designed to make your company more efficient and expand profit margins.

5. Can you mitigate risk and forecast costs and scheduling?

Just in time supply involves risk. If something goes wrong, it can disrupt an entire supply chain. That is why primary raw material producers look to mitigate risk through data analysis, while also forecasting costs and schedules of collections and deliveries.

The AMCS solution: Our sophisticated AMCS Platform and Demand Planning module gives you the same risk mitigation and forecasting options as a primary raw material producer, but with the added support of being designed to optimize your recycling or waste management business.

Learn more about the AMCS Platform solution for Demand Planning here.

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