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Blog December 2019 Updated July 2023

How recyclers can improve materials processing and sales

Looking at operations for Paper & Plastic recycling in a whole new way. The materials recycling sector is incredibly complex. For instance, as part of the European Commission’s strategy, changes in design and manufacturing will enable higher rates for recycling plastics so that by 2030, more than half of the material’s waste generated will be recycled.

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Evan Schwartz

Chief Enterprise Architect, AMCS Global

Looking at operations for Paper & Plastic recycling in a whole new way

The materials recycling sector is incredibly complex. For instance, as part of the European Commission’s strategy, changes in design and manufacturing will enable higher rates for recycling plastics so that by 2030, more than half of the material’s waste generated will be recycled.

While ambitious, it’s not impossible. Consider that in 2006, EU member states recycled 26.4% of plastic packaging. By 2017, that number climbed to 41.9%.

Recyclers of plastics will have their work cut out for them. Paper recyclers don’t have it any easier. These companies already deal with inbound management, including material grading and recording contamination; stock management and recycling processes; managing outbound streams, including material sales and material trading; and production processes. Then there’s having to know current and future stocks to ensure the best price for their material, along with the available markets for the finished or graded materials.

Staying on top of every aspect is akin to walking a tightrope. It requires the company to be agile at any given moment to respond to industry dynamics. Nothing stays the same. Prices fluctuate. Legislation and reporting duties vary while changes are always coming into effect.

Amid the volatility of the commodities market, companies must somehow protect their profit margins. For companies to succeed, failure to stay on top of managing and forecasting stock is simply not an option.

Looking at operations in a whole new way

For starters, recyclers need complete visibility into their operations. Let’s look at a paper. The recycler has to procure fiber, process it, and produce feedstock for the paper mill. Naturally, this must be done efficiently. But if you’re collecting recycled paper from various suppliers, interacting with different sites, and then dealing with transportation on top of everything, managing your supply costs isn’t easy to do.

If recyclers can see what’s going on in real-time with each action, from inbound loads and grading all the way to stock in hand, then they can accurately predict output forecasts. In addition to visibility, recyclers – and not just of paper, but plastics and metals too – need the ability to automatically connect to international commodity price indexes to gain an accurate understanding of the potential value of the stock they’re holding.

What’s needed is an end to working in what are essentially silos. Recyclers also need the ability to consolidate real-time data from different aspects of operations into one central repository.

Why would this help?

For starters, this would put the data you need in one place, easily accessible, which you can use to make informed business decisions. Full visibility and having your data in one location also enable streamlined processes. Everything is right there, in front of you. Imagine the time savings by eliminating the need to input data or check data between different systems.

With full visibility and a central repository for your data, you have the agility and can adapt immediately to market trends and prices, rather than reacting to old information. Having this knowledge deepens your understanding of what’s going on around you so that you can protect your margins and effectively and efficiently manage the recycling and recovery process from end to end.

The digital solution to make it happen

Digital solutions provide the means to be agile in order to respond to market changes. But not every digital solution is created equally, or with the recycling industry in mind. Don’t think you need an ERP designed just for you, however. Starting from scratch is not the answer. It’s costly, and you won’t be able to add new technologies as they become available without incredibly expensive work having to be done.

There are solutions designed specifically for the recycling industry that gives you the scope you need while scaling with you.

The best-in-class platform

Best-in-class AMCS Platform gives you all the tools to do this. Dynamic and based on Microsoft Azure, it’s designed for the materials sector by people expert not only in technology but in the industry itself, for all materials, be it paper, plastic, or metal. While this is an ERP solution, it’s so much more than that. It delivers a suite of features that automate and streamline your processes, allowing you to adapt intelligently to ever-changing market trends.

It’s an end-to-end solution, covering the entire journey of recycling management. It manages everything: collection, scale house, grading, processing, and sales. It puts an end to searching different databases to find contracts, customers,s and other information you need. It’s all in one place.

You can create standardized pricing or create custom pricing mechanisms based on the account, material, volume, and grade. Inbound and outbound management is made easy. AMCS scale house software weighs materials and enters that information into your database for you. It also enables you to factor in volume, commodity pricing, and your inventory.

With AMCS Platform, you have full visibility into every aspect of your operations. You can gain an understanding of the fair value of inbound materials. Determine the destination for processing based on grade. Capture images to record grade, which gives proof of quality. With visibility and master data, you can eliminate all questions regarding your materials.

AMCS Platform also lets you understand your exact quantities and seamlessly manage materials across multiple locations. You can minimize the costs of procuring, processing, and selling materials. Billing and financial management are just as easy, with powerful reporting features.

This is truly end to end, designed with best-in-class process flows for the industry that never stands still. You can move right along with it, with the AMCS Platform.

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