How technology can add efficiency to the tire recycling company’s operations.
by Recycling Today
Liberty Tire Recycling has been dedicated to finding new and better ways to reclaim, recycle and reuse scrap tires as the base of innovative, useful products. Using innovative tools, technologies and processes, the company diverts more than 150 million end-of-life tires from the waste stream, contributing to the well-being of communities and the health of our planet.
One of the first initiatives Liberty undertook under Vescovi’s leadership was the transition from Motorola to Android tablets with the help of AMCS Group, with Americas headquarters in Boston.
Liberty uses more than 350 Android devices for inbound processing, automating and simplifying the collection process for its drivers, who collect largely from service garages operated by the likes of NTB, Discount Tire, and Sam’s Club. Of the 30,000 routes the company runs every month, Vescovi says 26,000 routes used Android devices.
“There is true business value in eliminating paper,” he says, adding that the technology also assists the company with regulatory compliance and streamlining the process, saving time and money.
Additionally, Liberty uses AMCS software to manage it's invoicing and to process transactions across its 43-plus sites in the U.S. and Canada. Vescovi describes the software as a “one-stop ERP (enterprise resource management) system.”
In managing the company’s transition to the Android tablets, Vescovi says, “One of the challenges was getting data to the different levels of the organization to incent them to adopt the change.”
Liberty addressed that challenge by creating a report that showed the site-by-site adoption level, which created a sense of competition among the sites. As a result, over the course of six to eight months, Liberty increased Android adoption from 82 to 90 percent, he says.
Dispatchers preload the drivers’ tablets with their routes for the day so the drivers know exactly where they are going and the number of tires they can expect to pick up. Using the technology, a dispatcher also can add a stop on the fly when a customer calls for a last-minute pickup after a driver’s day has begun. Dispatchers can see in real-time where drivers are on their routes, allowing them to easily update curious customers who may be wondering when they will be serviced that day. Since joining Liberty Tire Recycling as its chief information officer less than two years ago, Mark Vescovi has been helping the Pittsburgh-based company embrace technology to automate and optimize its processes and to improve the overall efficiency of its operations.
Other technology initiatives Liberty has undertaken include route optimization, which will reduce miles driven by 2 to 8 percent, resulting in transportation savings of $1.2 million per year. Liberty also is adding new internet of things (IoT) technology to monitor its machinery, adjusting for process variations and notifying staff when preventive maintenance needs to be performed.
Balancing the demand for technology with the capacity for change within the company has been challenging, Vescovi says. “We’ve been starved for technology for a while in some ways.” As the company implements this technology, it is helping to “drive the actions and outcomes we’re looking for,” he adds.
Liberty Tire Recycling in brief
Year founded: 2000
No. of employees: 2,000-plus
No. of collection/remediation facilities: 26
No. of production facilities: 24
No. of tires collection annually: 150 million
Pounds of rubber reclaimed annually: 2.2 billion
No. of dumpsites remediated since 2011: 150
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