The waste and recycling industry is becoming more competitive. By embracing logistics technologies, you will get the most value out of your assets and provide responsive, efficient service to customers.
By Matt Monroe

As the waste and recycling industry continues to evolve, embracing technological advancements in logistics has become an absolute necessity for staying competitive. However, with this embrace of new technologies comes the challenge of managing an increasingly complex landscape of tools and systems. Effective integration is the key to unlocking the full potential of these technologies and streamlining operations for improved efficiency and profitability.

Effective Integration of Logistics Technology Is Essential to a Healthy Bottom Line
At this point, most waste and recycling companies understand the ramifications of not embracing digitization. However, moving analog data and information into digital form is not enough. Businesses that do not integrate logistics tools and technology are missing out on efficiencies that can help enhance the bottom line. In this extremely competitive marketplace, no business can afford to pass on the chance to impact margins through better management of resources. There is a limit to how much you can improve your bottom line through price increases before you price yourself right out of the marketplace.

Small changes can provide a dramatic return. For example, a large package hauler recently underwent a digital restructuring of their logistics and transportation system. They found that through optimizing and refining their routes, they saved one minute per route per day. That might sound insignificant, but for this company, that small change meant $10 million in annual savings, a home run in terms of ROI on their technology investment.

Common Roadblocks to Effective Digitization
The waste and recycling industry operated in a very analog way for a long time. As the industry has experienced explosive growth, and both the workforce and customer base have become younger and more demanding of digitized experiences, the industry has started to evolve. Most business leaders understand now that embracing digital technologies for logistics management is no longer optional, but is required. Still, there are a few roadblocks that nearly every company faces to successfully integrate digital logistics systems.

With all the technologies and tools out there, companies sometimes experience a slow start to their digital journey because just deciding what to do as a first step can be intimidating. Investing precious capital on new technologies can be anxiety provoking. Waste and recycling companies should seek out technology partners that really understand the unique challenges of this industry and can provide solid plans for digitization that are accessible to the whole organization, scalable, and future proof.

Data Integrity
The very first step in a digital journey is establishing data integrity. If you do not have good data then you cannot extrapolate reliable information from that data. You need a digital solution for data integrity that enables consistency. Digital systems can protect against costly human errors, such as transposed numbers, incorrect addresses, or illogical or missing inputs. Such errors can create chaos from a data logistics point of view. Data quality and consistency is key to every part of a successful digitalization strategy. Reliable data will lead to effective automated process flows and sound decision making. For example, when you build a house, you need a good foundation. Data integrity is the ‘good foundation’ of any logistics technology solution.

Reap the Benefits of Effective Digital Logistics Solutions
Once you have mapped out your digital journey and secured the integrity of your data, you can start integrating logistics technologies across your organization and reaping the benefits.

Increased Revenue
Integrating digital logistics tools will improve your “optics,” meaning it will give you clear visibility into all the essential data about your fleet. Better optics means maximizing the efficient use of all your resources and capturing more potential revenue. Customers have seen on average a 5 to 15 percent reduction in the number of vehicles and/or driver shifts as well as a 5 to 25 percent reduction in the number of miles, driving time, and CO2 emission. They have also seen a 20 to 50 percent reduction in time spent on transport planning, execution, and follow-up.

Improved Safety and Compliance
Automated capture of and real-time optics on driver behavior can help mitigate excessive speeding, harsh braking and cornering, and seat belt violations. This quantifiable, actionable data can help protect your fleet and your valuable employees, minimize downtime, and protect against risk. Integrated technologies help you protect your driver from fictitious claims, and reduce your insurance cost with accurate, archived, quantifiable asset operational status.

Accelerated Efficiency
What if you could cut planning and rerouting times by 50 percent? Smart dispatch technology and cross-route optimization can cut planning and rerouting times by as much as 50 percent. Free up time and human resource demand through automation. It is also important to ensure all efficiency opportunities are capitalized on.

Controlled Costs
Do you know how much fuel your trucks use and consume daily? How much is idle time affecting your fuel usage over time? Get visibility to take corrective actions against excessive idling. Monitor and validate fueling events. It is essential to know that the fuel being dispensed is making it into your fleet vehicles by accurately track MPG of each asset, and collectively across the fleet.

Seamless Data Flow
Integration through APIs ensures a seamless flow of data between the fleet maintenance and telematics systems. This real-time exchange of information allows for more accurate decision making. You never want to deal with stale or obsolete data. There is no need to rely on human action to generate reports.

Maximize the Value of Every Asset
The right tools can give you end-to-end visibility of fleet operations, optimized route planning, and proactive maintenance. You can achieve unparalleled efficiency and sustainability through integration and complexity management. You cannot manage what you cannot see, so stop wondering and start knowing. Empower better decision making to increase your organization’s growth and scale.

Now is the Time to Digitize Logistics
The waste and recycling industry is becoming more competitive by the day, and you need to seize every advantage to stay ahead of the competition. You cannot afford to sit on the sidelines when it comes to digitizing your logistics processes, and you have so much to gain by embracing logistics technologies that will help you get the most value out of your assets and provide responsive, efficient service to customers. | WA

Matt Monroe is Sr. Engineer, Routing with AMCS Group. He has been with AMCS since 2016 and has extensive experience in route optimization, as well as operational procedures and processes. Matt has previously held positions as the Head of Development and Operations with large-scale distribution and transportation companies. He can be reached at [email protected].