There are a host of companies providing specialized back office tools for the waste and recycling space. One of the most established players in the space is Oxford, Pa.-based AMCS Group, a supplier of integrated software and vehicle technology for the waste, recycling and material resources industries.
American Disposal Services, based in Manassas, Va., has been serving 350,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers with 650 employees and 200 trucks since 2001. To aid in its back-office operations, the company uses several products from AMCS. AMCS’s products help American Disposal manage its back office operations, recycling services, mobile and vehicle technology with on-board scales, according to Edwards.
The technology “is allowing us to be more efficient and productive, as well as tracking all our customer and route information in order to price accordingly,” says Kevin Edwards, general manager of American Disposal Services Inc.
AMCS manages the end to end process from customer on-boarding, contract and pricing management, collection services, route management, route optimization, asset management, customer support and invoicing to managing recycling, treatment and landfill facilities, materials and stock management, brokerage and outbound sales.
It acquired PC Scale Technologies in 2014 and completed another round of acquisitions in 2015. Its customer base includes mid-sized to large waste and recycling companies dealing with commercial and industrial waste, municipal waste collection, hazardous waste, public services, recycling and material trading.
Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Liberty Tire Recycling also uses the AMCS platform and has been doing so for the past 12 years.
“At the time, the main decision factor for choosing AMCS (then PC Scale) was their offering—we were more focused on waste companies—landfills, transfer, hauling—back then and have since moved to the tire side,” says Jonathan Stein, vice president of business services, systems integration and information technology for Liberty Tire Recycling LLC. “When comparing AMCS with the competition, they had the best functionality in the space and also offered additional features we needed.”
Liberty Tire is one of the largest scrap tire collectors and recyclers in the nation, collecting and recycling nearly 33 percent of America's annual scrap tire production through a network of facilities.
A big piece of how the technology is changing the way Liberty Tire does business at is its tire collection.
“We are trying to be more efficient in the way we do our routing. The technology driver for us is the mobile functionality—it gives us visibility into the real-time data that is collected and allows us to locate where the drivers are and maximize the usage of the capacity of the trucks,” says Stein. “We use a typical ‘milk run’ to pick up the tires location to location at the large auto shops. By utilizing the software, we are able to know if the truck is full or not before it returns to the site.”
If the truck is not full, the driver can contact Liberty Tire and the company can add a new auto shop on their route to maximize the space in their truck. In addition, the technology helps the company with compliance standards that it needs to abide by in each state.
Both Edwards and Stein agree that the transition to the AMCS platform was easy.
“There were no challenges implementing the technology with AMCS—it was completely seamless,” says Stein. “However, on our own internal perspective, yes, there was a culture adjustment. Trying to ensure the new processes were implemented and adhered to both internally and in the field to ensure efficiency across the entire organization.”
Michael Winton, president of the North America AMCS Group, says the biggest challenge for the waste industry related to technology is the digital transformation of the way companies do business.
“Digital transformation is not about a product, and not just about IT, It is a business model, a strategy,” he says. “Existing systems of record manage a lot of data and transactions today. They have been around for years and cover the whole operational process.
“But systems of record alone cannot facilitate digital transformation,” he adds. “Innovative waste companies understand that new generations of consumers interact in a different way. They form communities that collaborate, interact online and expect services to be available to them anywhere and at any time. Linking reliable and robust systems of record with the digital tools, platforms and apps to transform your business is what AMCS is all about.”