Mandalay Technologies’ latest iterations in data management are helping drive standardisation across the waste industry.
When we think of the role of big data in Australia’s waste management industry, numerous benefits can be gleaned.
From finding a quicker route for drivers on a fortnightly kerbside collection to monitoring a landfill compactors downtime and uptime, aggregated information offers significant opportunities for the industry.
But when it comes to arranging the data into detailed reports, simplicity is key.
That’s according to Rex Heathwood, General Manager of Product at Mandalay Technologies, a software company currently working with more than 400 waste operator facilities.
With more than 10 years’ experience working for recycling company Visy, Rex believes that having a common set of industry standards for waste data will allow the industry to compare its performance in ways they never would have predicted. Real-time intelligence and performance dashboards, he says, have equipped managers with the tools they need to make more informed decisions. Rex says in an age of increasing regulatory compliance and enforcement, having accurate data is critical.
He says the waste industry generates huge volumes of data, and to be able to help businesses automatically and intelligently present that data to their colleagues allows them to spend their time on using the dashboards instead of preparing them.
“Our vision is to support industries to continually improve their performance, allowing businesses to better serve their communities,” Rex says.
“We achieve this by constantly evolving and growing the data sets and intelligence we offer to the industry.”
Until 2012, Rex’s diverse experience with Visy saw him rise through the ranks from the Production Engineering team to an Operational Management role. Over his time at Visy, Rex helped install performance dashboards within numerous areas of the business, allowing the company to monitor its key performance indicators and machine performance. The detailed reports produced from the data were used by production supervisors right up to general managers.
“An extensive amount of time was spent taking the company’s performance metrics and aligning them to global standards. There’s one global standard known as overall equipment effectiveness – a term used to evaluate how effectively a machine is being used,” Rex says.
“It has a normalising feature that allows us to compare the performance of machines even if they were decades or generations apart.
“At Mandalay, we see the opportunity to bring this same approach to the industry.”
As the General Manager of Products at Mandalay Technologies, Rex’s focus is on managing the company’s product direction, working with the support and development teams to help continuously improve technology.
Rex says Mandalay Technologies’ naus Waste Intelligence platform, which launched in 2015, is unique to other platforms as it provides a cohesive set of industry specific modules to support a business’ operation. Mandalay Technologies is also working directly with its clients to determine which systems and processes are or should be standardised.
“We’ve recently created a department with a focus on best practice in business process and systems.
“We’ve also started to invest in product managers, where we effectively work closely with our clients to identify current and future opportunities. Our clients can take advantage of the investment Mandalay makes in rigorously evaluating the future of facility performance.”
Rex says the latest feature within the naus platform is the company’s insights product, which allows Mandalay to create real-time visualisations of key performance indicators through smart dashboards.
“We’ve got a lot of customers, often working across a range of remote areas, and the insights product enables them to monitor the performance of any facility, anytime, anywhere.”
In the insights product, standards are grouped by facility types, including landfills, transfer stations, materials recovery facilities and more. These standards and commonalities have led the insights product to have facility-type specific dashboards, ensuring the presentation of the data aligns with its user.
An example, Rex adds, is that materials recovery facilities will have key performance indicators around reducing residual waste not seen at landfills and transfer stations.
Simon Kalinowski, Chief Executive Officer, Mandalay Technologies, says naus is constantly being improved to support the industry.
One aspect of Mandalay’s insights product is the ability to look at an entire month or a single day of data, and the flexibility to be able to dissect that data. This is presented graphically on screen, which can highlight any spikes in productivity.
“Abnormalities and exceptions found through the dashboards are opportunities to work out why things are the way they are, and potentially improve performance,” Rex adds.
Mandalay’s next steps include multi-site and regional multi-organisational dashboards, as well as expanding the data sources that are available and utilised within the product.
The company is also looking at event notifications and expanding to machine learning to predict events before they occur.
“We’ve got a lot of clients who are excited about the possibilities. By working together with the waste industry, we can truly help them drive superior performance through ongoing refinement and innovation.”