With its continually advancing Wastedge.com offering, ASPsoftware’s Terry Daley explains how his company is leading the way in innovating software and mobile apps to improve efficiency in waste management operations.
Imagine receiving a text message to let you know the waste collection truck is approaching your business so you can put out the bins for the minimal time. Or what about a time when brokers, in Uber-esque fashion, send an e-tender on behalf of numerous small business for bids to collect 400 skip bins from within one city area enabled by an app?
For Terry Daley, Chief Executive of ASPsoftware, it’s his business to plan the technology to make these imaginings a reality.
“Even 10 years ago, the idea of dynamic paperless run sheets, operated through an affordable mobile device, for drivers’ skip drop-offs and collections seemed unlikely. Now it’s standard for any modern waste management business running an efficient, customer-focused service,” says Terry.
Terry has over 20 years’ experience in waste systems design, implementation and consulting projects for councils and waste companies of all sizes across Australia and New Zealand. Having forecast the emergence of hosted cloud and mobile apps early, the firm invested heavily to launch Wastedge.com four years ago.
This continually evolving cloud- based suite of “software as a service” offers integrated Google mapping, route optimisation and mobile software apps that support the operations of a wide variety of waste businesses. Wastedge has grown at 45 per cent a year over the past three years.
During this time, Terry says he and his team have noticed many technologies coming into waste services sector that have traditionally been used in courier and logistics operations. However, having an in-depth understanding of waste company requirements means Terry’s developers created Wastedge.com to deal with this sector’s specific challenges.
“We see ourselves as having a role to play in the industry as a technology adviser, to let people know what apps and technology are emerging, and what we see as benefits to their business,” says Terry.
Over the past 12 months, Terry and his team have been tracking a number of trends in the areas of software appealing to the waste industry:
- driver adoption of mobile apps;
- automated excess-weight billing; and
- customer self-service web portals.
Mobile apps adoption
Wastedge recently expanded its range of mobile field service apps, with a host of benefits for business operators and their drivers.
Providing mobile devices in trucks allows firms to operate more efficiently, giving them the flexibility to add or change jobs while drivers are out in the field. Scheduling pick-ups or delivery with rule-based dynamic optimising, such as across an area or on a collection route, can also semi-automate the allocation of jobs.
“Mobile order management and route optimising can save drivers up to an hour a day in travel time,” says Terry. “For a waste business where margins are small, that’s an extra hour of revenue each truck can earn without additional labour or fuel costs.”
On the frontline of operations, even somewhat technophobic drivers find the touchscreen apps intuitive to learn and easy to use. Terry says clients are reporting less resistance from drivers in using these tools as they add value to their jobs, reduce paperwork, help them find new job locations and reduce travel time.
They give drivers a better communication channel to ensure their in-app vehicle safety defect checklists, vehicle repair or maintenance requests, and photos of any issues will be noted in the back- office.
Mobile apps can also make it easy to report site problems, as drivers have the ability to attach pictures of blocked access, damaged bins or hazards – as well allowing supervisors to alert them to site-specific risks flagged in the system. This improves safety while reducing the potential for disputes.
“This system has so many defensive benefits for a company, in protecting their workforce and their reputation,” adds Terry.
From a practical perspective, typical consumer-grade mobile devices cost a fraction of older, industrial-grade hardware, yet are tough enough to survive the front line rigours of a waste business, providing a value-for- money solution.
“This gives management better visibility of their operations, as GPS data shows where the trucks have been and where they are now,” says Terry.
GPS telemetry data also enables companies to identify stops taking longer than average (a possible driver safety or performance issue) and provide better data to analyse and isolate unproductive or inefficient sites.
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