Imagine your company working in the early 1980s before computers became popular, and people still relied on calculators. Quarterly report time rolls around, and it’s time to crunch the numbers – and you do it all with pencil and paper, or maybe even an abacus. Your colleagues stare at you as if your were crazy.
Fast forward to today. You invite some friends over to watch a movie. So you power up your old VHS player and begin to sort through a bulky library of cassettes to watch. Your guests scratch their heads, thinking, “Ever heard of Netflix?”
Today, a similar phenomenon occurs when waste management companies forego the benefits of integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. In many aspects, the reasons are purely psychological. When the business implications are seriously considered, the conclusions become obvious.
Booming CRM Industry
At the end of 2017, worldwide CRM software revenue grew to $39.5 billion, making it the largest software market globally. According to Gartner, “CRM will continue to be one of the fastest-growing business software application markets, with a forecast 13.5% CAGR from 2017 through 2022.” Calculators, computers and cell phones all saw similar growth patterns. Why? Because they brought value to their users.
Slow Adopter Syndrome
While the opening scenarios in this post may appear absurd, the exact same thing occurs in waste management companies today. Slow adopters of technology continue to rely on antiquated methods to run and support their operations. As their bottom line appears to be safe and solid, they don’t see any reason to modernize.
Blockbuster video thought the same thing, until Netflix crushed them. In the digital age, no company is too big to fail, and the fast devour the large. Even in the unlikely event that loss of market share is no danger, the pure business benefits of CRM are impossible to deny.
We can’t live in society today without being affected by technology. We fully embrace cell phones, online banking and Internet shopping. Still, some continue to rely on outdated methods, such as Excel spreadsheets or legacy solutions, to run their waste management company. Meanwhile, in their personal lives, they’re fully immersed in technology.
Excel Is Today’s Pencil & Paper. CRM Is Digital
While your organization might be making a healthy profit with old methodology, by failing to leverage advanced technology, your firm is probably leaving money on the table. If time is money, this cannot be overstated.
The problem with Excel style spreadsheets is the lack of cross integration. The data lives in a silo, and information must be entered manually by a single data processing operator. This creates a bottleneck that consumes time and resources.
By comparison, CRM software integrates operations allowing for the real time entry, collection and processing of data from anywhere. In many cases, report generation occurs with one click, and the presentation can be customized to satisfy different stakeholder perspectives.
But Do They Know My Business?
One of the primary challenges in the CRM industry is segmentation. No two sectors are the same, and no two businesses are exactly alike. For this reason, it’s vitally important to connect with a waste industry CRM provider with intimate knowledge of the waste sector.
Ideally, you want a CRM expert with a real world background in the waste industry as they can implement solutions customized to work well in the niche. Larger, wholesale CRM providers may not grasp the nuances associated with waste management.
On-Premise Vs. Cloud Based Platforms
A number of companies out there have on-premise software and/or hardware which is a significant improvement over plain old spreadsheets. The downside, however, is that these legacy systems can be complicated to modify and upgrade. Plus, onboarding new users requires training resources. Lastly, access to the system is only available on-site.
Within the global CRM industry, a sub-segment exists that’s taking over the majority of the growth pie. Cloud based CRM represents 75 percent of total spend according to a recent Gartner report. The same principle applies as before: this growth occurs since the cloud provides value.
Cloud based CRM platforms offer several distinct advantages:
- 24/7/365 access from any device
- Upgrades and troubleshooting from online support
- Training and onboarding incorporated in the service
- No servers or hardware to maintain
- Easier to share data and collaborate
- Simple and fast to scale
Data As An Asset
For any company, data management is critical to success. For instance, when it comes to sales, you want to have the most accurate and up to date information on opportunities, leads and deals in progress. Here CRM puts it all in one place – not just for visualization – but to actively manage and optimize sales funnels. Some platforms even feature quote builders to streamline the quote process.
On the customer side, the data, relationships and management are critical to keep customers satisfied. CRMs can handle all of this, as well as provide a 24/7 customer support channel.
As far as operations go, all job-critical documents, such as SDS, waste profiles, manifests, EPA ID number applications, permits, quotes, licenses, contracts, work orders, certificate of destruction and proof of destruction can all be housed centrally for easy retrieval. Plus, safety compliance documentation makes responding to OSHA regulations easier.
On the financial end, you can integrate with accounting and invoicing platforms to minimize errors and reduce redundancy.
Finally, integrated CRM ties all these aspects together into one platform. This gives you a central view and command of assets to identity risks, as well as discover new opportunities for growth.
The rise of Software as a Service (SaaS) is another value based aspect of CRM. Instead of a static software server or on-premise installation, your company goes live on a versatile CRM platform in a matter of days. One single service fee takes care of:
- Management and upgrades
- Uptime guarantee
- Data backup
With these chores taken off your plate, teams can focus on more meaningful tasks instead of getting caught up in IT hassles.
Of course, none of this matters if it’s not secure. For this reason, quality CRM platforms come with high level digital security already in place. Data gets backed up and duplicated, which many on-site solutions fail to address. Plus, high quality online carriers typically honor a 99.99% uptime guarantee.
Speed of Digital
Nobody can predict the future of environmental services. Still, the businesses that leverage the fastest, most comprehensive solutions are more likely to lead the industry into the future.
Want to upgrade your company’s performance with CRM software designed specifically for the waste industry? Check out the PegEx Platform, CRM and business management software built specifically for the needs and workflow of waste management companies. Click here to request a FREE demo.