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Blog December 2020

Why it is important for the waste and recycling industry to become more agile

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Conor Dowd Product Marketing Manager

AMCS Platform solutions support quick response to fast-changing situations such as Covid-19

In a rapidly changing world, for the waste and recycling industry, agility is vital to thrive in times of great complexity and uncertainty. It provides companies with the instruments to adapt to changes quickly and to succeed in a dynamic and fast-moving environment. At the same time, agility enables waste and recycling companies to strengthen their market position as well as further increase their competitive edge.

This is evident from the AMCS webinar ‘How to become agile’ hosted by Conor Dowd, Enterprise Sales Manager Commercial Waste, and Pat Murray, Pre-sales Manager Commercial Waste. Among other things they tune into the importance of agility for the waste and recycling industry and explain the core business drivers contributing to agile operations.

A principal added value of agility is that it allows companies to become innovative by transforming into a digital organization, through automating paper and manual processes. Down the line, this shift has major positive impacts on operational business processes. For instance, the waste and recycling industry can deliver services faster while being more tuned in to the customer’s needs.

As a result of this, companies can develop a more customer-centric mindset and build service processes from a customer perspective. Ultimately that will delight customers and increase customer loyalty. Since this prevents customers from changing providers, in the long run, developing into an agile organization secures future turnover.

Agility shows a way out of the Covid-19 pandemic

In these strange times, agility also shows waste and recycling companies a way out in their response to the current pandemic, something that became apparent during the webinar. An example of agility in the current COVID 19 situation is quickly moving from taking cash payments to receiving online card payments, assuring better adherence to social distancing guidelines.

Also mentioned were automating the weighing process to enable unmanned weighing and replacing paperwork like weighing slips for the digital exchange of the weight through a web-based portal. Due to digitization, agility also has contributed significantly to the growing remote working trend, which empowers employees to work safely and effectively from home.

State-of-the-art technologies drive agility in the waste and recycling industry

The examples explained during the webinar relate to companies who have set far-reaching goals to become agile and flexible. Operations for many others in the industry are still determined by manual and paper processes. Those face several adverse business outcomes such as disparate systems with multiple points of failure and, as a result, greater risk of revenue leakage between those disparate systems.

According to the webinar, other challenges include the difficulty in centralizing core functions, and the lack of coherent end-to-end process flows which can extend the order-to-cash cycle - ultimately affecting cash flow. These barriers to agility put tremendous pressure on waste and recycling companies to maximize utilization against the backdrop of ever-increasing customer service expectations.

The way out is to drive agility through the use of state-of-the-art technologies such as the AMCS Platform. The cloud-based, SaaS, end-to-end solution integrates industry-specific solutions such as enterprise management, mobile workforce, digital engagement, powerful contract and pricing engines, analytics, and intelligent optimization too (re) plan and (re) optimize waste collecting routes thanks to cutting-edge algorithms.

Intelligent optimization to meet the high standard customer's demand

One of the key drivers for agility is intelligent optimization, agile planning, and transport optimization solution, as per Conor's explanation during the webinar. It is a modern and next-generation technology extensively used by companies in need of very specific, highly automated continuity, where customers want to pick exact time slots and want service notifications.

Due to the in-built super-fast calculating algorithms, the solutions can plan and optimize transport routes several days in advance, including distance and time calculation and taking multiple factors into consideration such as specific customer time windows, distance, and traffic congestion areas. The algorithms build and rebuild the routes daily, without a lockdown time, and they include factors such as allocation of resources like fleet and workforce, tracking of orders on the day of execution, and making changes on the fly.

Contract and pricing engine acts as a revenue protector

One of the key components in becoming agile is revenue protection with the support of a powerful contract and pricing engine, said Conor Dowd and Pat Murray during the webinar. For instance, the system enables per visit charging. This reduces revenue loss when, for example, the driver arrives at the customer’s site but can’t collect or empty a bin because of blocked access.

One of the other key values they mentioned is the minimum bill level charging, allowing the waste operation to always bill for at least a specific number of bin lifts to cover the costs of a visit. And third is the possibility for service charging to bill customers in advance for an expected number of lifts in a period, thereby reducing exposure to bad debt and improving cash flow.

The key message, according to the webinar, is to enable the service provider to charge on planned activities and minimum contracted order quantities. This ensures heavy bins and additional services are billed accurately, which passes the risk from the service provider to the customer.

Mobile solutions solve a series of problems

The mobile solution, AMCS Mobile Workforce, solve a series of challenges for waste and recycling companies, as is apparent from the webinar. For instance, digitization and automation of route and order delivery to the in-cab device of the driver reduce errors in manual entry and prevents inaccuracies by providing accurate and auditable customer service data. Furthermore, it overcomes the lack of adaptability by enabling dynamic adding of orders to the mobile workforce route in real-time.

Additionally, by tracking all mobile workforce, the progress of the order fulfillment, and providing verification of service, AMCS Mobile Workforce reduces the extra costs of missed collections. As a result, this reduces revenue leakage, especially when combined with RFID and weighing. On balance, the integrated solutions of AMCS Platform down the line lead to an increase of the major business drivers for waste and recycling industries, such as turnover and margin growth, risk and cost reduction while at the same time improving customer service and customer satisfaction.

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