There are many facets to operating landfill and recycling sites in the waste industry. One of those day-to-day functions includes scale management.
Scale management solutions allow personnel in the waste and recycling industry to manage and record scale ticket transactions, including the weight and quantity of various materials entering or exiting a site. Once the “load” information is gathered, it can be used for reporting, inventory tracking and accounting functions.
Companies in the industry typically seek out waste management or landfill software to fill these needs. Over the past five years, the software has improved greatly to provide better efficiencies and advanced data reporting.
“With the advancements in technology, our software has been completely re-written to provide a more advanced and robust solution,” says Jackie W. Barlow II, vice president of Paradigm Software based in Cockeysville, Md. “We can do more within the software and turn around customizations a lot faster. With this benefit, we are able to implement customizations for our customers faster than before while still providing excellent customer service from a day-to-day operation standpoint.”
Ted Chumas, CEO of the Manchester, N.H.-based Creative Information Systems Inc., says the company’s SMSTurbo software also has changed significantly over the past five years to fit changing industry needs.
“We shipped a major overhaul of the application in 2012, and continue to develop new features and functionality to meet the needs of our customers on a regular basis. Improvements to user-defined fields and user-defined tables are some of the most significant enhancements, allowing end users to have more control over their data,” he says. “If you have your own IT department or database managers, they can add fields and tables and link to other databases without custom applications.”
Chumas says reporting capabilities also have improved, in addition to signature capture, image capture, document scanning and email automation.
“Scale software is vital to any waste and recycling operation that needs to collect and organize data from industrial or truck scales,” he says. “It is also important for sites that need to track daily volumes in order to conform to permitting compliances and applicable waste management regulations.”
Barlow agrees that utilizing technology is an important aspect of scale management.
“Scale management software is one of the vital components of a successful facility. With the ability to streamline the scale process, while capturing the necessary data for reporting, invoicing and handling all business requirements for their scale transactions, the scale software is the backbone to the data management operation,” he says.
Creative Information Systems’ SMSTurbo scale software collects weights, tracks materials and quantities and reports on the daily activity of collection sites. The software is NTEP certified and connects to the scale indicator, displays and stores weights and allows businesses to manage transactions by capturing and storing gross, tare and net weights. Materials, quantities, prices, taxes, drivers, trucks, customers and additional information can be associated with the transaction, as needed, and tickets can be printed or emailed with relevant information.
“As waste management software or landfill software, SMSTurbo captures and stores information in a database that can be integrated with leading accounting systems via our virtual accounting interface and API,” says Chumas. “These are powerful accounting tools, allowing organizations to map scale transaction information into specific accounts and data fields in the target accounting solution. Waste and recycling operations can more easily and accurately generate invoices, handle purchase orders and billing and create reports. Reporting functions are built directly into our software to provide operators the ability to layout and generate custom reports.”
Paradigm’s CompuWeigh system tracks, reports and analyzes data that enters or exits collection facilities. This information assists with reporting to state agencies, tracking permitted limits at the facilities, invoicing customers for usage of the facility and day-to-day management of operations, according to Barlow.
“Our software is developed with the latest programming technologies using a SQL Server database,” he says. “Some of the best features of the CompuWeigh system are the streamlined processing of transactions, detailed reporting tools, up-to-the-minute data and a PCI-integrated EMV credit card processing solution.”
The CompuWeigh system is mainly used by municipalities that have different ways of operating. The software has to be able to adjust for those customizations.
“Our primary focus to date has been with municipalities that own/operate landfills, transfer stations, recycling facilities and other similar operations throughout North America,” says Barlow. “Each facility operates in its own unique fashion. The challenges that each brings to the table adds another layer of complexity but also another added benefit of our software. Our software is designed to make customizations within the software to fit the business needs of each operation.”
Chumas agrees that the major challenge associated with implementing a scale management solution is that no two businesses, operations or sites are the same.
“Each of our customer’s implementations is unique. Even from site to site within the same business, the requirements and business needs can differ,” he says. “The software should fit the customer and make their job easier so they can work more efficiently. Businesses should not have to change their approach to fit the way the software works. This is why almost all of our projects include some level of custom configuration and development. This requires additional planning up front, but it is beneficial in the long-run, usually saving days of work and leading to major cost-savings.”