The Team Behind The Tech: Mackenzie Worthington
For today’s The Team Behind The Tech interview, we’re chatting with Mackenzie Worthington, the Manager of Professional Services at Routeware UK.
What does your job entail?
My job is to know everything and anything that could possibly happen within route optimization.
Ah. That’s all?
Previous to my current role I was the Optimization Specialist, which meant I had to understand all aspects of the optimization process and come up with solutions for any unusual scenarios. This still carries on into my role today as I sit in all reviews and act as a technical expert. It is my job to spot any potential issues or mistakes made in a project so these can be solved before we present them to the client. Part of this is supporting and guiding my team and helping them grow and progress within the company.
Part of my role is estimating how much time is required to complete projects and producing SOW’s to accompany these. We are constantly updating our estimation process so that we can make accurate predictions on project duration.
I oversee the onboarding of new customers, whether they have purchased a consultancy project, support project, training, or a software license. I also onboard new employees. I developed a project for our new hires that allows them to work through a project in real time, without the pressure of working directly with a client, as they are trying to learn a new software and project process.
I liaise with other teams to streamline integrations and provide customers the best experience possible. I provide support for customers who have issues with the software or are looking for direction on how to use the software to meet their requirements.
What’s the best part of your job?
I enjoy communicating with the team, when we have issues that come up we all get together and brainstorm the best way to do things. Everyone’s working together, and we usually do come up with a solution, so that’s always good.
When you come together to tackle an issue, to find the solution, it’s quite rewarding, you know, because you’ve got a solution to the problem.
What led you to work at Routeware?
I started at Webaspx (now Routeware UK) back in October 2018. I’ve been here 5 years now, but I did an internship before that for 8 weeks, so really 2017 would be my start date.
I really liked my internship, and then when I finished University, I was offered a full-time role.
I was studying Mathematics at University and one of my favorite modules was Optimization and Graph theory, which is the basis of the problem we are trying to solve when we run our Optimization projects.
When I first started Steve, the technical director at the time, and I used to talk about the math side of things a lot and that’s what drew me in.
What’s your favourite part about working in the waste industry?
I’m really passionate about the environment. We’re at a really crucial stage in the history of the world where if we don’t start changing our lifestyles, we’re going to be going into a pretty big global disaster.
So it’s nice to work for a company that’s actually working towards reducing emissions, reducing global warming.
That’s why I bought in, and then the math is just a bonus.
I do really like working for the company as the goal is to reduce waste, reduce emissions, and I get to see that first hand.
Oh, and I also enjoy working with the nice people here. I do like that part of the job.
Thinking back to when you first started, have you noticed any changes in the industry?
One thing we started to see, which is very recent, sort of in the past year, is people starting to inquire about including electrical vehicles in their fleets, which obviously is fairly new.
Again, because we’re trying to reduce emissions, it’s great! But right now, electrical vehicles come with more restrictions because obviously they have a cap on mileage.
They can drive a little while before they need to recharge, but if they need to recharge, it’s not filling up the petrol. It doesn’t take 10 minutes to fill up.
They have to go in and charge overnight, and so that’s adding this sort of new level of difficulty to the project.
We do street cleansing and gritting projects as well, and snow removal is something else we are looking into. Recently we’ve had someone that came to us about passenger transport – so dropping off and picking up kids to school, so that’s fairly new and we had to develop a new version of EasyRoute. We are also starting to spend more time developing Roll Off which has a big market in the US.
What’s the most interesting or important thing you’ve learned in your work and your time here?
Let me start by saying I didn’t really know much about the way trash was collected and processed when I first started here. I think most people would say the same.
And then I took the job, and I was like “oh, that’s how this works?” It might not be interesting for most people, but it has to be interesting for me to be in this job because you spend a lot of time wondering how people collect things and how to make the process better.
So that was quite an interesting one, but I think also what’s been quite good for me is moving into my new role as Manager Professional Services. It has allowed me to develop as a mentor and leader and it’s great to see my team progressing.
Looking ahead to the future, what do you think some of the big challenges and/or opportunities for our customers will be?
We’ve already briefly discussed this, but I think electrical vehicles are going to be a big thing.
I know a lot of countries are heading towards a goal like everything being electrical by 2025.
It’s going to have a big impact on the customers, as they’ll basically need more vehicles, because they just won’t be able to drive as far because they’ll have to go in to charge.
It’ll be a challenge, but also an opportunity. It all depends on how you look at it.
Who knows where that’s going? Is it electric? Will there be some sort of regulation that helps out or makes it hurt more? Are these companies doing everything they can to reduce the amount of miles they have to drive and fuel they have to use in order to complete their pickups?
New regulations on recycling, organics disposal, running out of dumps, restrictions on dump sizes – there’s only so many places you can put waste – and many more. There’s challenges all over the place.
And, not to toot our own horn, but we can help with all of it.
Take me back to the moment where you first felt like you were making a difference with Routeware/Webaspx.
As mentioned, I developed a project for new hires to work on without the pressure of working with customers and also trying to learn new software and processes.
I have noticed a difference in new hires onboarding – they are able to learn in a more relaxed environment that allows them to progress more quickly. Our new employees are then also more comfortable and confident when starting their first project.
When I first started we didn’t really have anything like this so it was definitely a learning curve. It’s great to provide something that makes the onboarding a smooth process.
Fast Facts About Mackenzie
Before we wrapped things up, we had some rapid fire questions to get to know Mackenzie better.
If you had super powers, what would they be and why?
This is an interesting question. I feel like it changes depending on what mood I’m in.
But my recent one, I would love to teleport, because then you could travel anywhere in the world. And you wouldn’t have to get on a plane.
I love to go on holiday, but I hate traveling. That feels like such a waste of time.
It’s also bad for the environment. So if I could just eliminate that, and just go wherever I wanted any day of the week, that’d be great, and you’d also be able to go see people as well.
You know, if you’ve got friends all over the world, just go see them for a couple of hours, then go home. That’d be pretty cool. I think it’ll be a good power.
Tell us about yourself outside of work!
I’ve got 2 dogs. I’ve got a cockapoo and a Shih Tzu. The Shih Tzu we accidentally adopted her, we were meant to only be looking after her for 2 weeks but we ended up being her forever home. I love walking them after work and on the weekends.
I love taking my dogs on holiday, there are plenty of places in the UK that are dog friendly. Walking them on the beach or through the woods is always great fun.
I love playing Badminton, my partner and I play on the weekends and we are getting pretty good.
I love to travel. I really like to see the world. This year I have been to Rhodes, Rome and Croatia, all of which were amazing. I particularly love to learn the history of the places I visit and immerse myself in the culture. When I got the opportunity to go to Portland for work, that was great.
I love going to the cinema and reading a good book.
I always love to watch Harry Potter around Christmas time as it puts me in the festive mood. Christmas is my favourite time of the year.🧙🧑🎄