For today’s The Team Behind The Tech interview, we’re chatting with Joseph Baldwin, Implementation Specialist / Solution Engineer on the EasyRoute side.
What does your job entail?
What I do varies quite a lot. I’ve been a one man band until recently (note: interview conducted November 2022). I handle everything from implementation of the EasyRoute software all the way through to support.
That entails prepping the data, installing the customer, setting it all up, training them how to use the software, and then any follow up training that they want further down the line, and supporting any customer questions and queries – amongst lots of other things.
Nope, every day is pretty much different week to week.
If I’m traveling and training a customer, it follows the same sort of lines, and they’re all the same sort of tasks, but you know, it’s never always the exact same, and when I’m not traveling…anything goes.
What led you to work at Routeware?
So I started in the UK over 8 years ago, and I don’t know how I really fell into it.
It was just sort of more or less straight out of college – I mean, it was maybe a few years after college, but I didn’t really have a proper job where I was actually using my degree to the full extent.
At college I studied geography – environmental science, statistics and GIS modules – and that’s kind of where the parallel with what we do EasyRoute comes in.
I saw the job, applied for it, just thought I’d go for it. I never expected to be in the waste industry, especially not for this long. But here I am!
For a year or two, I worked in the UK for Routeware UK (formerly Webaspx), and then EasyRoute needed a US presence, and they wanted somebody on the technical side to move over, and I was the one with the most experience who wasn’t married with kids – so I moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where I’ve been ever since.
What’s your favourite part about working in the waste industry?
You start to like to think about stuff that you just don’t think about in ‘regular life’ before, that would never have entered your day to day before.
I’ve definitely done a lot more thinking about the waste industry and the operation process since I’ve joined. How routes are created, the different carts and trucks and all the people involved. You never think about all the detail and thought that goes into the industry, even though it’s something so critically important. I obviously never had these thoughts before.
What’s the most exciting or meaningful project you’ve been involved with in your time at Routeware?
Interesting question. One of the biggest ones is coming up with San Diego. It’s probably the biggest city that I’ve been involved with.
Apart from that, I would have to say Meridian Waste. I was on-site to train them and did a lot of the optimization with them. I think they were able to save something like 6 trucks from their operation compared to what they were using before.
That was mainly because they had acquired lots of companies recently, and that was still using their original routes where there was a lot of criss-crossing overlap. You have to basically make them all one company and by saving quite a lot of time and truck routes, you can save quite a lot of money, and they’ve been pretty happy with that.
Then they’ve got to use it in different locations and continuously train more people on how to use EasyRoute.
What do you find is the hardest part of the learning curve?
There’s a few common stumbling blocks that sometimes people get hung up on and we can normally head those off in the pre-sales process. People do occasionally think they’re going to get a magic solution without work involved.
It’s repetition, you know. It can seem quite overwhelming at first when you figure it out. You see everything that you’ve got to do to get to this endpoint and it can be scary, but like anything, you sort of break it down into small steps, and the more you use it the easier it is to remember what to do.
We obviously try to provide all the training resources and everything after the sale and the implementation process to make it so that people have less to remember.
But it’s always, I think, overwhelming after the first 3 days of training that we do, just because there’s so much to think about all at once.
Thinking back to when you first started, have you noticed any changes in the industry?
I feel like I have definitely seen a bigger uptake in technology in general both in-cab and in the back office. It used to be a lot more common to have paper maps and such, so there’s definitely a change there.
That ties into EasyRoute in that we’re sending digital data rather than giving somebody some maps to look at.
How it’s gonna change going forwards, I anticipate more of a continuous change and improvement rather than something drastic. More integrations, greater API functionality, that sort of thing.
I think there’s always gonna be a demand for this software that improves people’s operations and lives. I mean, as long as people are living together, there’s gonna be a need for some sort of waste disposal.
Take me back to the moment where you first felt like you were making a difference with Routeware.
So when I first started, the first role I was in, I was a consultant, and I was doing optimization projects for people. So even at that point you’re having a direct impact with what you’re doing.
Because taking some of these old routes and giving them some new, more optimized balance routes, you’re improving operations immediately.
So the first time was the week after I finished my first project, which I had given to a customer. Seeing them implement the new routes, which before I never really got to see, was really cool.
You don’t necessarily get to see people’s workloads being reduced into a manageable day directly, and things of that nature, but I know that’s the end result of balancing and optimizing reps, which is amazing.
Fast Facts About Joseph Baldwin, The Team Behind The Tech Star
Before we wrapped things up, we had some rapid fire questions to get to know Joseph Baldwin better.
If you had super powers, what would they be and why?
Telekinesis just because I don’t have anything better.
*Laughs* I don’t think I’ve gotten that one yet, but it’s a good one.
It’s just always been my go to. I think it’s probably from just watching, you know, superhero movies and TV shows.
Did you ever watch Heroes?
I don’t think so.
It’s a old TV show about people with superpowers, and it just always seemed like the best one to have. You could make yourself fly as well as everything else. I could do everything.
It was from 2006-2010, and its pretty old seasons were good afterwards.
Interesting. Okay. I need to check that out.
Tell us about yourself outside of work!
I’m a big soccer fan. I love watching, and until recently, I loved playing too – but I actually tore my ACL, so I’m having surgery in 2 weeks. Hopefully, I’ll be back at it later.
I love cricket too, lots of fun. I still try to follow it as much as I can, I’m watching this Sunday for sure. At the minute I’m also doing a big DIY project to renovate our kitchen. So that’s taken up most of my time last month.
I’ve ripped it all out and now I’m basically installing the new kitchen.
Wow! Did you have any prior experience with that before?
Yeah, my dad’s a carpenter. I grew up basically working for him. So I picked up those little things from him. It’s the first time I’m doing it by myself though, so I’m struggling through some stuff. But we’ll get there.
Gotta ask – did you always say soccer, or is that something you just started doing because you live in America now?
When I first moved, I had to try and call it soccer. It was like a mental block, but I just do it by default now.
More and more when I’m speaking to somebody from home now I have to remember to call it football, so it’s completely flipped.
Fun Fact: soccer is an English word, and it originates from public school boys calling association football, soccer, just to differentiate it from other forms of football. ⚽🦸