The Subcontractor Automation Evolution
New Model Emerging in the Waste Subcontractor Space
We see a new model emerging in the waste subcontracting space that will drive the future of the industry and operations. The model starts with the waste operator's internal operations as the hub for external interactions between the customers and subcontractors. Using this model, all three parties work together in an automated, seamless way. In this model, data flows freely from customer to operations to subcontractor and back.
The three innovation drivers (Agility Imperative, Data-Driven Decisions, Cloud Enablement) are key to bringing about a future that is increasingly automated in subcontracting for operators.
If you are able to integrate how you work with both your subcontractors and your customers, subcontractors really become an extension of your team rather than purely external entities. And by streamlining the process, you are creating value in mutual benefit, where all three stakeholders benefit from efficient, optimal processes and operations. The customer gets better service and both you and the subcontractor get better processes and are able to reduce costs.
Common Operational Challenges in Subcontracting
- How to find the right subcontractor
- How to send out jobs
- How to receive confirmations
- How to receive invoices
These challenges can also be reversed for subcontractors: how to receive jobs, send confirmations, etc. Both operators and subcontractors struggle on either side of the challenge. Operators and subcontractors also struggle with broader business questions such as how to grow and scale the business without growing administrative costs, how to make customers happier, how to create competitive advantages, etc.
Today, many operators use paper, email, Excel, phone calls PDFs, etc. to manage and document the daily operations of their businesses. The future vision answers all of these challenges with the use of automation.
Stages of Subcontractor Automation Evolution
Full automation won’t happen all at once. We see automation most often happening in stages, as an operator and subcontractors move into a new level of automation, they work to become aligned and efficient in that stage, before moving into the next.
As you get into the further stages of automation, greater investment in tools, infrastructure, and management becomes necessary and is, therefore, more difficult to get to quickly. Rather, by taking steps toward full automation into shared decision-making, operators and subcontractors are most likely to succeed in their overall operational efficiency and business goals.
- Manual: jobs sent by email/Excel, exceptions by phone
- Information Exchange: customer and supplier share supporting information with each other.
- Transaction Automation: RFQs, orders, jobs, confirmations, and invoices all sent electronically
- Real-Time Information: Real-time supporting information shared, such as inventory, route capacity, and route delays
- Shared Decisions: partners can push actions into each others’ systems to make shared, data-driven decisions
Managing the Subcontractor Life Cycle with AMCS Automation Solutions
AMCS automation solutions can certainly get operators and subcontractors to the stage three transaction automation stage, with near-future capabilities in real-time information sharing. The platform helps operators build a Connected Subcontracting program, which manages the relationship with subcontractors as a standard life cycle. The life cycle includes three stages: sourcing, managing, and invoicing.
Sourcing: The sourcing stage of the life cycle includes on-boarding, profile and pricing, and auctions (if necessary). This includes compliance and certifications, as well as the ability to proactively find subcontractors and/or allow subcontractors to sign themselves up.
In profiling, subcontractors include information regarding their pricing, regions of operations, licenses and certifications, etc. The sourcing area also allows subcontractors to go out and find business themselves.
Managing: Once a subcontractor has been onboarded, sending jobs and receiving confirmations is another highly manual job in waste operations today.
Automation makes it a much easier, more streamlined process. It also allows subcontractors to provide job confirmations in real-time, including when the job is completed, or if there were issues with the job that needs to be addressed.
Invoicing: Processing invoices manually for subcontractor work is a massive challenge for operators. In most organizations, it is a highly time-consuming task that is fraught with discrepancies and errors. The challenge is to take the invoice that is sent from the subcontractor and match it to the jobs they were assigned and the confirmations that the jobs were completed. So, it’s a three-way match that can get very complicated.
But with you have an automated system for transactions, the invoices can match the rest of the life cycle of the subcontractor, matching the subcontractor with the jobs they were assigned and the confirmations that have been received.
Learn more about the future of waste management operations and practical applications of AMCS automation solutions.
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