Waste Management’s Tech Investment Is An Industry Wake Up Call
Waste Management, the $15 billion environmental services and logistics company, is undergoing a massive digital transformation. The insightful observer will note, for such a large organization, the change is long overdue.
Even more savvy industry players might be thinking, “How can I mimic what WM is doing, but at a level that makes sense for my company?” Let’s find out.
The Digital Age
Today’s digital tools give many companies huge advantages never before realized. Even smaller brands can leverage connectivity to scale faster than ever.
Take Flexport, for example, which is a logistics company that started out small, but now they compete with the likes of FedEx and UPS. Flexport experienced a three-year growth rate of 15,911% and $224.7M in revenue for 2017. This was largely thanks to tech innovation.
In the waste industry, there’s a stubborn resistance to change, especially technology based pivots. But if a small startup like Flexport can compete with some of the biggest logistic companies on earth, then anything is fair game.
Waste Management’s New Moves
It was recently reported in CIO that WM is dumping its outdated legacy processes and rebooting everything from risk mitigation to operations to customer experience. The reality is that many companies undertook this transformation a decade ago. No industry is immune to disruptive forces, and the environmental services sector is ripe for up and coming brands to capture more market share. Now, WM is scrambling to change as they see the writing on the wall that says, “Innovate or die.”
The smaller environmental services provider might not be able to duplicate exactly what WM is doing. Surprisingly though, many similar changes are accessible for any sized waste management company.
Risk Mitigation and Business Enablement
According to Nikolaj H. Sjoqvist, Chief Digital Officer for Waste Management, the company is upgrading their networks to support cloud-based capabilities and transitioning their data centers to the cloud.
This kind of upgrade is readily available via waste management business software for any company now. By moving operations to the cloud, it means you can access work flows and documents from any computer with an Internet connection. Security is improved as cloud carriers implement encrypted code to protect data. Also, in the event of fire or natural disaster, all data is saved in the cloud, so it can be retrieved instantly.
The real value of waste management business software is that it’s incredibly easy to implement, and it’s affordable.
Stickier Customer Experience
In the CIO interview, Sjoqvist mentions other key objectives Waste Management plans to target with its new digital capabilities. They aim to:
- Create a stickier customer experience
- Reduce churn
- Extend customer tenure
WM takes more than 12 million calls a year, which costs them about $8 a call. Forty percent of those callers ask the same basic questions around billing and truck pickup schedules. The company now will give customers the capability to get answers on their own.
This exact same type of technology is also part of the waste management business software platform. Here we’re talking about a specific sub-component called Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. CRM puts your company in closer contact with customers to improve service, save resources, and boost customer retention rates.
With a digital method of customer management, many customer interactions are digitized and automated. Invoices can be paid, new services ordered, and communication occurs without the need for human powered resources. This increases business efficiency, and it frees employees to focus on more complex tasks.
Some waste management companies might think that only big brands like WM can implement powerful digital solutions. The reality is that companies of all sizes use these tools to improve the productivity and profitability of their business. The point isn’t to adopt new technology just to be modern, instead, real financial benefits are at stake.
Take the CRM component of business management software. According to a Forrester study, when used appropriately, CRM software produces impressive business results, such as:
- Improved sales productivity by 5%
- Consultation time cut by 10%
- Revenue increase by 2%
- Customer service labor costs cut by 40%
Who’s Building It?
For Waste Management, the company has undoubtedly hired some in-house tech experts as well as engaging with outsourced help for its digital transformation. Most enterprise level companies follow this combined strategy. For small to medium sized environmental services providers, however, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is the fastest and most affordable option to level up operations.
SaaS allows your company to use business management platforms from a normal computer. This method provides all the benefits of new technology without the high cost of on-site hardware installations. For a monthly subscription fee, the platform is continuously updated, maintained, and secured.
Industry & Software Experts
As many industries are quickly adopting business management software, a large number of cottage industries have sprouted up as well. These are experts in certain business niches that render software to meet specific sector needs.
In the waste industry, PegEx combines its years of street-wise waste industry experience with technological expertise. One example of this is the preparation of documents, such as SDS, waste profiles, manifests, e-Manifest, EPA ID number application, permits, quotes, licenses, contracts, work orders, certificate of destruction, and biennial EPA reports.
Completing these documents requires strict attention to accuracy and detail to avoid fines and penalties. Only a true waste industry company can cover all the bases that are required to improve compliance and mitigate risk.
Scalability & Agility
If a company plans to grow, on-premise legacy systems must be tailored to absorb growth which is slow and expensive. This is certainly one of the motivating factors behind the Waste Management transition.
When a system lives in the cloud, scaling is as easy as adding new users with a few clicks. Most providers offer rates based on a per user fee or by incremental batches of growth. Waste Management knows that to stay agile and competitive, it must be able to move quickly. Cloud based solutions offer this ability unlike any other.
Move up to the speed of digital with powerful waste management business software.
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