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Blog March 2024

Navigating Technological Shifts

Overcoming Obstacles to Innovation

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From Resistance to Engagement; Staff Empowerment in Digital Transformation.

Our recently released Global Waste and Recycling Benchmark Report revealed an expansive range of insights, enabling organizations across the industry to clearly see how their peers are utilizing digital transformation to improve sustainability and lead the transition to a circular economy while remaining competitive.

In the survey, respondents revealed how they’re approaching the challenges that arise as they progress along their digital transformation journeys.

Creative Strategies for Staffing

While the survey’s list of potential technology integration issues included software security and regulatory compliance, a full 70% of respondents said staffing is their biggest challenge. Difficulties finding and retaining employees may be due to several factors, including an overall lack of qualified candidates; a highly competitive job market; aging and retirement; and rapid industry growth that’s outpacing staffing requirements.

Fortunately, the phenomenon known as “The Great Resignation,” a largely American economic trend in which employees voluntarily left their jobs in the wake of the COVID-10 pandemic, seems to have had only a minor impact on waste and recycling industry staffing. Respondents scored the development at only 3.5 out of ten points.

Companies are solving staffing issues in several ways. Many are turning to new sources for hiring(e.g. women, minority groups, ex-offenders, retirees), , with the understanding that they may need to provide a higher level of training for these potential employees.

One example of this the National Circular Economy Traineeship in the Netherlands run by the Dutch Municipal Waste organization where college graduates are given the opportunity to work in three recycling companies, including a period at AMCS.

At the same time, innovation is helping organizations become less susceptible to staffing concerns. Digital transformation plans that include automation, AI, self-service web portals, business intelligence solutions, and other innovative tools can simultaneously increase efficiencies and decrease the level of staffing required.

Integrating Change the Right Way

The Benchmark Report shows that waste and recycling companies view their digital transformation as an ongoing process, rather than a singular event with a beginning and end. That understanding reveals a commitment and a willingness to put in the work and investment required to maximize the eventual benefits of integrating modern technology.

While a range of factors contribute to a successful technology integration, respondents perceived staff engagement as the most important factor, rating it 7.9 on a ten-point scale. Bringing employees on board before an upcoming integration begins, and clearly communicating how they’ll benefit from the new technology, is key to realizing ROI and boosting efficiencies.

Leadership and organizational culture were ranked just behind staff engagement in importance, rating 7.5 out of 10. Many organizations see a need to increase the level of pre-integration training they’re providing to employees to realize the full range of benefits a new technology can provide.

Overall, organizations are approaching technology integration confidently, with 64% reporting they feel positive about their ability to adapt to new technology. At the same time, they’re keenly aware of the importance of addressing employee resistance to innovative technologies, which 60% of respondents cited as their biggest implementation challenge. Developing highly supportive change-management processes that ease the transition and focus on the eventual benefits an innovative technology can deliver is key to ongoing success.

Solutions that Boost Momentum

How will these companies continue to break down barriers and ensure they’re moving forward toward their goals for sustainability, service, and growth? A solid commitment to digital transformation at the top levels of an organization is key. Adopting solutions that demonstrate value for everyone—from employees, customers, suppliers, and the earth—facilitates adoption. Solutions designed to increase efficiencies, reduce costs, and embrace automation can maximize return from both staff and resources, enabling companies to drive growth and continue to progress toward a circular economy.

To rise to today’s challenges, many waste and recycling companies are turning to solutions like the AMCS Platform, an end-to-end integrated solution that seamlessly automates a range of business areas for resource and recycling companies, including customer management, logistics, and financials. Our range of Sustainability solutions allows all types of organizations to embed best practice EHSQ and ESG principles across their operations. These cloud-based solutions empower organizations to build and scale a robust, secure enterprise management system that resolves today’s issues, while anticipating and preparing for tomorrow’s.

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Global Waste and Recycling Benchmark Report 2024

Green, circular, and profitable: Technology and business trends at-a-glance

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