For waste management companies, a customer relationship management (CRM) platform can provide significant business benefits. Still, choosing the right CRM isn’t so simple. The biggest mistake many companies make is selecting a CRM solution without first considering if that CRM will fit their business workflow.


CRM Boom or Bust?

CRM platforms manage a company’s interaction with current/potential customers by leveraging customer data focusing on retention and sales growth. The software can capture data from various communication channels, such as website, phone, email, live chat and social media. CRM tools enable waste companies to gain intimate knowledge about their target audiences and how to best meet their needs.

Global CRM software revenue has grown to over $39.5 billion, making it the largest software market on earth. Undoubtedly, companies gain great value from these platforms when implemented correctly. However, like buying a turbocharger for your car engine, it won’t do anything if you don’t know how to integrate it properly.

For waste management companies, there are typically two scenarios that lead to frustration with CRM solutions. By examining the mistakes, we gain insight about the optimal way to add-in this powerful business building technology.


Cookie-Cutter CRM

One-size-fits-all SaaS CRM tools are provided by software companies like Salesforce, Highrise, Zoho, and Agile. Even though these providers deliver useful products, for waste management companies, the experience has not always been positive. Why? As mentioned earlier, problems arise when the business isn’t considered first.

Like any industry, waste management and environmental services have nuances which must be considered before making changes to operations. For instance, some issues to consider include:

  • New hauling service orders
  • Regulatory and safety documentation
  • Job status
  • Quote building
  • EPA reporting and auditing
  • Service life cycle tracking
  • Waste profile generation
  • Manifest creation

These issues directly impact the success of any waste service business. The right CRM can streamline all of these processes. However, if the configuration is off, the turbo won’t arrive when needed. The goal isn’t to implement software, but rather the software must cater to the needs of the business.


Build Your Own CRM In-House

After unsuccessful attempts at using cookie-cutter CRM solutions, some waste management companies and waste brokers have tried to build their own CRM solutions. Or perhaps they go directly to the build stage, thus bypassing commercial SaaS providers. These waste companies may assign the process to their IT team or on-board new programmers.

While this approach may allow the company to insist on certain business-first features, the lack of software development know-how frequently interferes with project success. In this scenario, although the business is fully engaged, creating a quality, bug free CRM product is incredibly complicated (and expensive!) and not for rookies.

Unfortunately, many companies recognize this too late in the process. Then, after a substantial investment (often well-over $1 million dollars), they end up with a product that may be unusable or gains very low user buy in. Also, in-house solutions are prone to bugs which are costly to fix and drives user adoption rates even lower.


Examine The Motivation

The reason a waste management company may choose to build a CRM in-house is typically driven by two fundamental factors: control and cost. However, these two factors become immaterial when a third element is overlooked. This third factor is relevance.

The desire to have control over the software build is understandable given the unique nature of the business of waste services. If the CRM doesn’t work well, however, all the control in the world won’t deliver the upside that a well-built CRM platform provides. And if there’s no upside, there’s no relevance.

Some businesses believe they’ll save money building platforms in-house since they avoid the monthly SaaS subscription cost. Still, up-front software development costs, debugging and maintenance are part of any software product. If timely updates aren’t rolled out effectively, the platform quickly becomes irrelevant and ROI bleeds into red. When comparing the costs of building and maintaining an in-house CRM software platform to the costs of subscribing to a commercial SaaS CRM, you will end-up paying hundreds (if not thousands) of times more trying to build it yourself in-house.


Third Option – Industry Based SaaS CRM Solution

Many leading environmental services companies have successfully implemented a logical third CRM option: industry specific SaaS. Returning to the turbocharger idea, you might have already thought: I would just buy a car that had turbo already installed. Why? Because it works better. Plus, I would do the research first to make sure it’s the design I want.

Unsurprisingly, the CRM industry has given rise to many sector specific cottage industries. In the waste management sector, these are firms with intimate knowledge of environmental services first. Over time, they evolved into CRM providers catering specifically to waste companies . This delivers several advantages over the scenarios described earlier.


Distinct Business Advantages

First, intimate business knowledge assures that waste management issues remain at the core of the software products. Instead of adapting to the business of waste, it was created specifically to serve providers of waste management.

Second, by dedicating a full-time team of engineers to developing and maintaining the CRM platform, you will always have the most up-to-date and advanced version of the software at your fingertips.

Third, updates and improvements are rolled out as they pass the development and testing phase which keeps the platform relevant at all times. In the ever changing tech landscape, relevancy is critical to keep up with the customer needs and to take advantage of new marketing opportunities.

Fourth, value and savings occur since the subscription becomes a line item cost. There’s no need to budget for potential costly upgrades, service or software patches. This allows for firms to project more precisely their software product spend.

Fifth, the ability to scale is effortless and limitless. With in-house solutions, scaling up may require significant downtime or costly coding adjustments. With a SaaS CRM provider, scaling is anticipated, and new users can be absorbed easily, in most cases within days.



For any waste management firm, the decision to upgrade to CRM means improved business metrics. The product selection process, however, will have a profound impact on user adoption and investment return.

Considering a CRM solution for your company? Get on-board with PegEx, a company that developed a waste industry specific CRM platform. PegEx knows the intricate needs of the industry, and our solution can improve your business outcomes. Click here to request a FREE demo of the PegEx Platform or call (888) 342-7167.


The featured image used in this post is from Wikipedia Commons and can be found here.