Digitally Transforming the Waste Industry
Companies and brands across every industry have found themselves confronted by the prospect of ‘digital transformation’. In this article, we uncover the term shrouded in mystery and lay out practical steps for teams to follow.
How optimised is your Waste Collection?
It’s only with a clear roadmap that leaders can feel confident in fully integrating digital into their systems. With a clear sense of direction, leaders are able to get other key stakeholders on board, and drive teams to take action.
For companies running logistically complex tasks like waste management, digital transformation can be a game-changer - but it’s also incredibly difficult to know where to begin.
To make waste collection a more efficient and effective process, it’s essential that managers get to a place where they understand (a) what stage their company is at in its digital transformation and (b) the immediate next steps needed to make progress.
We’ve put together a guide to help you identify which stage you’re at in your digital transformation.
Within our guide, we outline four key stages:
Incidental: Your data is limited, you plan by hand, and much of your expertise lies with a few key stakeholders.
Intentional: You’re collecting data digitally, but you’re unsure what to do with the insights you’ve collected.
Integrated: Your data is well-maintained, and you use it to help you plan and optimise your waste collection. You occasionally run tests or try new approaches.
Optimised: You’re working with large data science teams, testing new tools and apps, and integrating your insights into your approach. Your data allows you to optimise your workflow.
Why Digital Solutions Are Essential
Given that waste management is a complex undertaking with many moving parts, it’s no surprise that companies are now looking to improve their digital systems, and thereby simplify and optimise their processes.
Historically, companies have been reluctant to adopt digital solutions because of concerns around implementation and resistance to change.
Understandably, digital transformation feels like a huge undertaking. Our guide helps you plan your roadmap toward digital transformation, and ultimately, more profitable waste management and recycling system.
Our guide helps you to identify where you are in your digital transformation journey, and evaluate the risks and benefits of each stage.
With an optimised collection and recycling system, you can react to trends or changes in real-time. Baking data into your decision-making means you’ll be able to react quicker, and stay ahead of your competition. And ultimately, you’ll achieve the best ROI.
Designing an Intelligent Collection System
A well-designed waste collection system is the backbone of any waste management and broader circular economy: it can greatly limit your profits, or it can set you up for success, and help you stand out from the competition.
When it comes to optimising collection system designs, we’ve found that most companies fall within one of these four categories:
Incidental: Minimal time and effort has been spent on the collection system design. Companies tend to copy collection systems from other areas, and are not exactly sure how the system design will behave, or what resources they might require.
Intentional: Companies have senior personnel on board to manage the system design, and use formula-based forecasts to calculate system measurements. They feel certain about some components of existing system design such as depot locations or treatment facility capacities. In other areas, however, they’re highly uncertain - unsure of collection resources or schedules, for instance.
Integrated: Their collection system design is informed by data from the relevant environment, with strong forecasts and simulated behaviour. They’re able to develop and assess different designs, and then select which is most appropriate. Such teams relies on a limited dataset to refine and improve the system.
Optimised: Data is readily available, and design teams can quickly evaluate hundreds of designs through Artificial Intelligence. Designs can be automatically optimised with AI. All designs, documents, visuals and outputs are automatically generated and updated by AI.
Waste Labs helps to move through these stages, and create the most optimised version of the waste collection system: from providing personalised advice, to custom-made data extraction and diagnostics, to full use of AI systems to automate and maintain the processes.
The Waste Labs platform highlights inefficiencies in the collection system, and suggests specific, actionable improvements to help you reduce your costs by up to 20%.
Routing and Route Optimization
Routing within the Waste Management industry involves a complex blend of customers, vehicles, and physical infrastructure, interacting in any number of ways. The complexity of the operation has, historically, made it difficult to optimise routes. Waste Labs is changing that.
Waste Labs provides AI-driven routing products to allow you to optimise your dispatches and work with your drivers.
We start with utilising historical driving records and other operational data to build hyper-realistic assumptions about speed, time and waste volumes.
We’ve incorporated automatic feedback loops into our system, using historical driving records to continually optimise routes.
We help to tackle the challenge of working in ever-changing environments, allowing you to track costs per stop, and proactively increase profits.
In order to make full use of the digital solutions available, waste management teams need a combination of optimised routes and intelligently designed collection systems.
Waste Labs makes the digital transformation journey simple: we take you from manual processes and sparse data, and give you a fully automated, optimised waste management system.