The Top 5 Ways to Waste Money in the Waste Industry

The Top 5 Ways to Waste Money in the Waste Industry garbage can full of dollar bills Routeware

By Jay F. Nichols, Senior Vice President, Sales

First came mechanical trucks, then route optimization, now fleet automation and tracking are the innovations that are revolutionizing the waste management industry. Running a profitable waste management business means keeping track of the small things that really add up at scale.

Here are the top 5 ways you could be losing money in your solid waste hauling business:

1. Don’t track your go-backs

You missed a stop. Or did you? A customer called with a complaint and you have no idea what the actual situation was: did the driver drive by? Or was the bin not out? Without understanding the reasons go-backs are happening, you don’t know how to reduce the number.

The Fix: With Routeware’s on-board computer system, you can access time-stamped photos of every stop to prove exactly what was on the curb – or not – at the time the driver came by. You will discover what happened so you know how to best address it.

2. Pick up Extras for no extra charge

An extra bag of yard debris here, a Christmas tree there, and an oversize item down the street: you’re doing more but not getting paid more. You can’t get your drivers to fill out paper logs, plus half the time, those sheets of paper never make it to the billing office anyway.

The Fix: With the Routeware system, recording an extra is as easy as the driver hitting a button and selecting the extra from a list. With integration directly into your billing system, extras get automatically added to your customer’s bill. And with Routeware’s picture-taking functionality, you have photographic proof of extras that are picked up, which will eliminate potential customer disputes.

3. Run more trucks than you need to

The more trucks the better, right? You know trucks aren’t cheap – not to buy, lease, insure, or maintain. So increase your fleet size but don’t increase your overall workload or efficiency and your money will disappear before you know it.

The Fix: Routeware’s system of on-board devices and back office software enables you to track your data to discover where you can be more efficient on your routes. If each driver could do 10% more stops without increasing hours, you could cut 10% of your fleet without reducing services.

4. Service customers who don’t pay

Great customer service is important to you but some customers are taking unfair advantage of that commitment. Not only that, investigating what happened when a customer does call to complain is taking loads of time, so your customer service costs just keep going up and up.

The Fix: With Routeware, not only will you know exactly what’s happening out in the field, you’ll have proof when a customer calls to complain. Your company’s fault? Admit it and make amends. But if not? Your access to indisputable route data gives you the info you need to remedy the issue.

5. Lose your good drivers

There’s a driver shortage and its effect on your business is enormous. You’re constantly searching out potential drivers and spending considerable resources training them, only to have them leave before long. The constant churn is costing you money, lowering staff morale, and causing you sleepless nights.

The Fix: While it may seem like micro-management at first, the reality is that drivers appreciate the efficiency gained by implementing automation, especially if you set up a driver reward system that you can now afford due to the money you’re no longer wasting.
Sometimes taking a step back to assess the state of your business can uncover potential improvements that can make an impact over time.

The top 5 reasons you might be wasting money above is the best place to start when examining areas of revenue leakage. Contact us today for a full revenue leakage assessment, and recommendations for performance improvement across your waste management business.