In the Spotlight
Eagle Disposal: Where Service Matters
By building positive relationships and focusing on customer service, Eagle Disposal has been able to grow significantly over the past several years.
Established in 1997, Eagle Disposal Company, located in Hearne, TX, offers waste removal services for city contracts as well as individuals outside the city limits. Unlike other major companies in the industry, Eagle Disposal not only focuses on customer service, but it is also an owner-operated business. Currently employing 38 people with three hauling locations, Eagle Disposal’sprimary focus is municipal solid waste collection and disposal services.The company has 17 municipal contracts, four U.S. Army Corps of Engineer contracts as well as numerous rural subscription accounts located throughout Central and North Central Texas. According to Managing Partner, Tim Henderson, it is one of the fastest growing independent waste management companies in Central Texas, “From 1997 through 2003, we grew our revenue at a 70 percent compounded annual growth rate. While our operations continue to expand, we have diligently maintained our commitment to delivering high-quality, cost-effective solid waste disposal services.”
Although the economy has affected the business primarily with reduced roll-off volumes—down approximately 30 percent in the past two years—the company has been able to compensate with explosive municipal contract growth in the past two years. Henderson attributes it to continuing personalized service from company to customer, “That’s something hard to get in today’s call center environment. Every company is going to have problems. It’s how we respond with eagerness to the problems that separates us from our competition,” he explains. “We are proud of the fact that we’ve had nine new municipal contracts in the past two years. Our company’s culture is very customer service oriented. Employees are encouraged and empowered to handle daily issues. Every employee at Eagle has my home and personal cell phone number. If a problem arises they can’t handle, I’m contacted and a decision is made on the spot. Generally, if the problems get to me, the customer will get whatever they wanted plus!” As a result, since November of 2004, the company has experience double-digit growth annually. In addition, Eagle Disposal also plans to continue to offer the roll-off service as part of the complete package to municipal customers.
The company also invests time, money and services in a variety of community programs. For example, Christmas in April is a program that helps residents in a particular community who are unable to make repairs to their homes by providing free debris removal services. In addition, Eagle employees volunteer their time to assist with these repair projects.
As part of their marketing strategy, Eagle Disposal also provides scholarships for high school seniors that pursue an environmental or agricultural degree. “Because we provide services in small to medium sized communities whose economies are driven by agriculture, these degrees were chosen because we feel this is an important field that needs additional resources dedicated to a vigorous pursuit of the welfare of our natural resources,” states Henderson.
In addition to promoting education in high schools, they also support volunteer fire departments and little league sports as well as educate customers on the benefits of reduce, reuse, recycle. “We attend community gatherings such as Lions club, seniors, community cleanup and restoration committees and try to help educate them on the benefits or reduced waste and recycling efforts available to them. Eagle Disposal really becomes part of the community. We put a name and face to our company—not just a name on the truck and the dumpsters,” says Henderson.
Maintaining Relationships While Handling Challenges
Henderson says that some of the challenges Eagle Disposal has recently experienced are overcoming fuel pricing, fleet emissions standards and Federal Motor Carrier compliance issues. In order to stay ahead of these, the company continues to build density within their current service area by continually seeking partnerships with fleet vendors that can minimize the impact of fuel costs. Regarding compliance standards, Eagle Disposal continues to educate its workforce on requirements to ensure an attitude of 100 percent compliance is weaved into the fabric of the culture of the operation. “In addition to those issues, our largest challenge has been handling the growth over the past two years while maintaining excellent relationships with our existing customers. We don’t want them to feel our growth pains!” laughs Henderson. He goes on to explain that in order to keep things running smoothly he stays in constant contact with key personnel in their customer base and lets them know about their growth and how it impacts them in a positive way.“I also involve them in our growth. Who better to tell prospects how you conduct business than your current customers?”
While Eagle Disposal has been successful in handling the challenges that come their way, the company’s most outstanding achievement has been to provide “old school” trash service. “Answering phones with a live person, having an owner of the company available to make decisions, picking up the trash in a timely manner, simplified billing, etc.,” says Henderson. “We believe that customers want a simple hassle free experience with personalized service and have been able to grow rapidly using that very simple formula. Our philosophy is not rocket science.” Eagle Disposal is also unique because in each of the communities it serves, employees are hired and local purchases of supplies and equipment are made. “We buy from local people because they are our customers. Nothing is more frustrating for a local customer or vendor that supplies fuel, parts, or tires and the solid waste contractor will not purchase from them because some corporate purchasing guy has cut a deal with someone from New York City—even if the price and service is better,” stresses Henderson.
While Eagle Disposal is a young company, its growth is guided by an experienced team of industry professionals and has attracted the leadership and finances necessary to build a successful customer-focused company and will continue to do so as time goes on. “We continue to build positive relationships with vendors that have our same focus for customer service like Southwestern Equipment Company in Justin, TX. Our long-term plan is to focus on building density within our current market area then look for expansion opportunities on the outlying areas of our current market,” says Henderson, “We are currently seeking new opportunities. We have the experience, resume and financing to back up any opportunity we choose.”
For more information, about Eagle Disposal, contact Tim Henderson at (866) 288-4692 or visit the Web site at www.eagledisposal.us.