Technology has played an important role in the evolution of the waste and recycling industry. From route optimization to fleet management, it has made key elements of the industry more efficient. But what about the day-to-day back office operations? Technology and software solutions have aided waste and recycling companies in streamlining all aspects of their business operations.
For close to 30 years, Wilmington, N.C.-based software company Carolina Software has provided operational support to the solid waste management industry in the U.S. Its WasteWORKS solution provides data to manage waste and recycling facilities, including ticketing, monthly billing, accounts receivable reporting, management reporting, graphical analysis and support.
The company is about to release a new tablet-based ticketing system, which will allow customers to process per item or per load transactions quickly and with a minimal amount of steps. WasteWORKS Mobile will allow its customers to work those Saturday lines, process credit cards, and do simple transactions quickly and in real time. It also will work with Windows tablets and a variety of mobile printers.
“While we do provide a module for roll-off management, our products are focused on waste and recycling facilities—scale houses, ticketing, billing, reporting,” says Jon Leeds, vice president of Carolina Software. “If you run a waste or recycling facility and process inbound or outbound transactions, our software is probably right for you. We’ve been building on our feature base for over 25 years, so WasteWORKS comes with the tools to handle almost any situation. We also provide scale lane automation, as well as full featured reporting and billing functionality for accounting and management.”
The level of support is what makes the WasteWORKS software solution different from others in the industry, according to Leeds.
“These days most of the major players in the waste software industry have full featured products that can handle most customers’ needs, but providing a solid and proven off-the-shelf product with the best 24/7/365 support in the industry is something we take pride in,” he says. “In the software world, you can sometimes face challenges that are out of your control—networks, computers, operating systems and Mother Nature. But one thing we can control is customer service. When there’s a problem, our folks take care of our clients.”
For Baltimore-based Paradigm Software LLC flexibility is key in creating the company’s back office software solution for the waste and recycling industry called CompuWeigh.
“CompuWeigh is a flexible solution that can often meet changing customer business requirements, however, when new functionality is required we are ready to work with the customer to meet their needs,” says Jackie W. Barlow II, COO of Paradigm Software. “The Paradigm Software Team works closely with customer’s to get to know their operation and find ways to improve operations.”
The CompuWeigh system is a point-of-sale solution designed to provide near real time end-to-end operation visibility, performance, and quick disaster recovery. It collects information regarding vehicles entering and exiting the facility, what materials they are hauling and where the material is coming from or going to.
This information is provided to the user in real time with up to the minute reporting capabilities and integrations to other modules or systems at the customer’s facilities.
“Customers utilize the software to manage the day-to-day operations of their scale house facility, says Barlow. “Whether it is a landfill, transfer station, recycling or other weighing or unit of measure operation, the system collects and tracks each transaction that is processed by the facility and provides the user with the ability to manage, invoice, analyze and report on the data captured.”
Given the unique business requirements within the industry and of individual customers, an out of the box software does not address all customer needs, according to Barlow.
“Paradigm works with our customers to ensure all aspects of their operation are addressed and covered within the software and configuration,” he says. “When a customer requires a new workflow or business process, Paradigm works with all stakeholders to provide this functionality in the software. Once complete, new features are integrated into the core package and made available to all current customers and future customers of the solution.”
AMCS Group, headquartered in Ireland with offices in the U.S., agrees that the waste industry is complex and quite demanding.
“The biggest challenge we see is the change management process within our customer’s operation,” says Brad Sovich, vice president of product management in North America for AMCS Group. “In order to become more efficient as an organization with the new technology, customers realize they must take the time to ask the right questions, communicate effectively within their own organizations about the changes coming, assign key stakeholders to the project to ensure all departments know what is going to be rolled out, the timeline and how it will affect their function areas.”
The AMCS Platform is an enterprise-grade cloud and software platform offering a full range of functionality including complete accounts receivable, customer service and operations management, collections management, mobile operations management, subcontracting, scale-house operations and route optimization.
From waste collection, waste production and treatment, to recycling, commodity sales and landfill, the company services all markets, for municipal waste collection, commercial collection and hazardous collection—oil, gas and chemicals. The software serves both residential and commercial waste companies.
The scalable platform marries industry specific software with optimization capabilities, e-commerce ingenuity and on-vehicle technologies. The AMCS Platform consists of six major solutions: Enterprise Management, Mobile Workforce, Vehicle Technology, Intelligent Optimization, Digital Engagement and Analytics.
“We have automated hundreds of back-offices for clients around the world with our single platform approach,” says Sovich. “The single platform scales from medium-sized businesses to large enterprises. It covers the full waste management process. With end-to-end integrated solutions. From input to output. We also manage our customers’ assets and resources, and standardize their processes.”
Sovich says AMCS’s platform stands out because it was built for the waste, recycling and resource industry.
“Our roadmap is dedicated to the industry and is based on our long-standing expertise, best practice business model and customer feedback,” he says. “With our technology, we help our customers profit from the circular economy—where today’s goods are tomorrow’s resources. Our digital technology plays a crucial role in driving this change.”