As the waste industry moves into an automated future, effective technology adoption can tip the scales. Trimble’s Paul Corder explains.
From smart bins to artificially intelligent waste sorters, waste management is undergoing a digital transformation.
As waste haulers begin to make this shift with the adoption of more automated data systems, it’s a good time to learn from other heavy industries that benefited from the move to digital.
According to Paul Corder, Trimble Head of Payload Technology, experience shows that it’s not enough to simply automate a task – there must be certainty as to how data is gathered.
Then, he says, operators can make the right decision at the bin pick up, and sales or fleet managers have the confidence to make improvements using actionable intelligence at the office.
“Analytics and business intelligence can be a competitive advantage to make the most out of fleet investments,” Corder says.
“It enables answers to questions like: which bins are overloaded and costing you money? Where are the most profitable pickups? Is a pickup a safety hazard? How much profit does this customer generate? And what other prospects are in the same area?”
To understand the potential of emerging systems, more advanced data systems look beyond the weight of a bin to deliver intelligence and drive operational profitability.
“At present, waste haulers use traditional onboard scales to ensure safe lifts and measure bin weight,” Corder says.
“They may integrate with route management systems that optimise drive routes, thus improving efficiency and reducing wear-and-tear on equipment.”
Route management systems are feature rich, and a good first step to automation of waste management activities, Corder says.
He adds, however, that many of these systems are focused on the pickup, not the profitability of processes.
“For instance, route management systems may not convert bin weight data and locations into useful information to manage enterprise profitability,” Corder says.
“In fact, in many cases, there is no real way to look at the individual profitability of each customer, or even overall profitability of a route.
“Answering these questions using waste management system automation transforms waste haul and unleashes opportunity.”
Furthermore, Corder explains that pick up locations, bin weights and truck totals do more than help operators complete their job – they drive business profitability, productivity and efficiency.
“The ability to drill deeper into your waste collection operations and track profitability is a critical step in the technological transformation of any waste management organisation,” he says.
With accessibility to data, an operation’s manager can see operational metrics and summarise key performance indicators to identify lost productivity and compare customer data in a visual environment.
Access to customer data makes it easy for sales teams to identify customers with heavier than expected bins, review customer activity and negotiate pricing with the confidence of accurate data.
“They’re also able to identify profitable and unprofitable customers. And weight is just part of the makeup of cost,” Corder says.
“Delays at the pick-up such as locked gates, awkward bin locations and time to forklift the bin out are all costs that are often invisible.
“As performance managers have seen, a dashboard that compiles data into actionable intelligence provides value.”
Waste stream monitor visualisation includes reporting tools to review the route, monitor pickups for overloaded dumpsters and plan route capacity.
Safety is another invaluable benefit of waste stream monitoring. With waste data intelligence, it’s easy to prevent truck overloading and replay historical fleet activity to highlight issues, improve driver training, perform efficiency analysis and route reviews.
With a connected tool, Corder says fleet managers can evaluate and educate about incidents with clear visualisations and hard data.
They can optimise routes by expected payload weights to maximise tonnes per cycle. Operators can also make informed, ‘one-more pick-up’ decisions with confidence.
“As the waste industry moves into the future with an increased focus on automation and data-driven decision making, tools can empower their teams to capture waste collection business opportunities, increase route profitability, improve safe loading and improve customer satisfaction – and most importantly gain competitive advantage,” Corder says.
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