Waste companies that are looking to get ahead of the curve when it comes to regulations and innovations will be best served by leaning on technology to increase efficiency, identify problem areas, and differentiate themselves from competitors.
By Michael Marmo
There is no doubt that the waste industry plays a key role in keeping our country running. If you are questioning that fact, imagine a world in which there was no one managing the 292 million tons of trash generated by Americans in an average year. Suffice it to say, that it would not be an ideal scenario for anyone.
However, even as we can all acknowledge the importance of waste management companies working efficiently, the technology guiding this legacy industry is still lagging behind the rest of our economy, making this job that much harder. Many iterations of software have been developed—from RFIDs, fleet management, to AI sensors and more—but one central problem remains: all waste companies are not equal in their activities. While each market has different options to match the demographics, there are a variety of companies to deal with dumpsters, residential routes, and other niche haulers working with specific streams.
The one thing each individual player in the waste ecosystem has in common is the need for one comprehensive software solution to address their needs and help them adapt to the ever-changing regulations and innovations in the industry. Here are three ways the right technology can streamline the waste management process and keep companies ahead of the curve going forward.
#1: It Increases Operational Efficiency
Like so many other industries, you do not know what you do not know, and that is where data analysis comes in. Waste management companies deal with a whole host of complicated elements, ranging from where, how often, and what is picked up, employee manifests divided by routes, and partnerships with other companies to deal with collected waste at the back end.
In order to keep all pieces of the collection puzzle moving along efficiently, waste companies need to collect and understand their data. It is easy to get bogged down in the minutiae of day-to-day operations or problems as they arise, but collecting data on all aspects of the company’s activities can provide a big-picture of the process and keep things running smoothly from start to finish.
#2: It Provides Transparency into What is Working—and What Is Not
That big-picture view is not just important for increasing company efficiency, it also provides visibility into any problem areas that need to be addressed. One great example is the allocation of resources in different geographical areas. Whereas certain residential routes will require more trucks and personnel to cover, if other routes are not being managed as well as a result, it is important for companies to see the data on collection amounts and customer feedback in order to adjust their practices accordingly.
At the same time, data provides a great opportunity to acknowledge successful practices that should be continued or expanded. If a waste company recently expanded into a niche stream and the data shows that it is paying off, that is a great way to determine the ROI of that decision and good information to have going into the future as more possibilities open up for increased revenue.
#3: It Differentiates Your Company from the Competition
No matter what configuration of software systems a waste company is currently using, everyone stands to benefit from streamlining their process by running everything through one complete system. It is easy for waste companies to stick to the bare basics when it comes to technology—after all, the job is relatively straightforward. However, just as in any industry, using the latest and greatest in tools and technology can only be beneficial.
Especially as this idea of leveraging technology in the waste industry is relatively new, companies that get on board now will quickly differentiate themselves from companies that do not. We are eventually headed in a direction where using technology will be imperative and not just a matter of convenience. The sooner companies recognize that fact, the better off they will be financially and operationally.
Technology is changing across every major industry, and the waste industry has not been overlooked in this regard. Waste companies that are looking to get ahead of the curve when it comes to regulations and innovations will be best served by leaning on this change—in the form of data analysis technology—to increase efficiency, identify problem areas, and differentiate themselves from competitors. | WA
Michael Marmo, CEO and Founder of Curbwaste, has more than 15 years of experience in the waste industry. Michael’s mission is to make sure every waste hauler and transfer facility have the ability to modernize their business. This led to him founding CurbWaste and WeighWorks, which now service waste haulers and transfer stations nationally. Mike can be reached at [email protected].