EVERY year, the waste industry spends over £100m purchasing new RoRo’s and skips – none of which are needed to service existing demand!
That’s the remarkable claim that greets visitors to the website of technology solution providers PIN IoT, and it is one that raises an obvious challenge – one that they have stepped up to meet.
Their tracking solution grants waste operators clear visibility of not only their containers but their vehicles as well, consequently giving them much better control over their business and operations.
The technology at the heart of PIN IoT’s solution is deceptively simple. Discreet yet robust tracking devices with a 5 year battery life are attached to a waste company’s assets to give the operator a real time view of where their vehicles and skips are at any given point. Software designed specifically for the waste industry pinpoints inefficiencies and enables the operator to make simple decisions to improve performance.
There are many advantages to adopting a real time view of operations. Waste operators don’t know how many containers they have or exactly where they are. PIN IoT’s customer data shows that there are large numbers of containers on site at customers that the operator has lost visibility of. Paul Byrne, CEO of PIN IoT explains.
“Over time, data input errors mean that the operating systems that the waste industry relies upon get out of sync. We have seen up to 40% inaccuracy. Whilst this is a problem because container fleets are expensive to purchase and maintain – there are around 1 million RoRo’s and skips in the UK that would cost c£2 billion to replace – there is a bigger issue at stake. Each container represents a revenue stream that the operator obviously needs to be in control of.
“This leads to another big challenge – slow movers. A RoRo or skip service typically only generates a commercial return when containers are collected at least once per month. Because operators typically wait for customers to phone in when they need a collection, hundreds of thousands of stay on site between collections for much longer than this, often for over a year.
“Data from our customers shows that around 25% of containers at customers are slow movers. This just isn’t good business. System-generated reports don’t showcase the problem because the data is inaccurate.
“As a result the waste operator isn’t able to maximise revenue from its container operations, and continues to purchase containers that just aren’t needed. Our platform delivers the visibility to enable these challenges to be addressed. Collections can be brought forward, rental payments applied, the service downsized in line with actual volumes and unprofitable containers can be brought back into inventory to provide capacity for growth without investing in new assets. We expect an operator to be able to avoid purchasing new containers for up to 10 years.
“We recognise that container theft has always been a problem. Our solution enables stolen containers to be traced and recovered. Having said this, our data shows that the theft problem is relatively small and doesn’t account for the volume of purchases that the industry makes every year, which is directly attributable to the overall lack of visibility.
While full visibility over Ro-Ros and skips is hugely valuable for waste operators, visibility over vehicle fleets is no less so. ”Most operators already have some form of vehicle tracking but the data isn’t able to measure how efficiently the transport operation is delivering the plan,” said Paul.
“We are able to measure exactly how long a job should take, the turnaround time at customer site and at depot, all without the need for the driver to input data which is often inaccurate anyway. We can alert variances and identify when drivers are taking routes they shouldn’t be. Even a small improvement in vehicle efficiency can have a very material impact on costs.
“Overall our solution enables a digital transformation of waste collection operations, automating the capture of every vehicle and container movement and providing the waste operator with the insight to make simple decisions to improve performance”.
New Technology Provides the Answer
PIN IoT was established in 2018 specifically to address this problem in the waste industry. However, that doesn’t mean the team behind the solution are new to what they are doing.
“Our team was previously involved for a number of years in another business where we built a similar solution to track different types of assets, explained Paul.
“We came across the waste industry and could immediately see the problem and the opportunity to address it. For various reasons, whilst we could see that existing technology wasn’t able to provide the answer, new tech was emerging which comprehensively would. This was the basis on which we incorporated the company.
“Our solution leverages new low power technology which means we can deliver real time tracking for a fraction of the cost of traditional GPS. For the waste operator this means that the buy-in cost is low, the payback fast and the return unusually good – a 5 x return on investment is achievable using reasonably conservative assumptions.
“This is why we developed the Value Calculator, to enable waste companies to see for themselves how the solution can deliver financial improvement by a combination of reduced costs, increased revenue and improved customer service. We are really excited to work with the industry in the coming years to make this a reality”.
Find out how much PIN IoT could save you by clicking on our interactive Value Calculator below
Case in point: Gaskells
DELIVERING integrated services to businesses across the North West and Wales since 1991, Gaskells is a carbon neutral waste management provider with a strong focus on innovation and customer service.
The PIN solution enables a sustained improvement in the performance of Ro-Ro and skip operations by tracking waste containers and vehicles in real time.
Leveraging new, low power technology and software built specifically for the waste industry, the solution has been shown to reduce operating costs whilst providing the visibility to increase revenue and improve the service delivery to customers.
Data shows that Ro-Ro fleets are typically 30% larger than they need to be. Operators lack visibility as to how many containers they have or exactly where they are located, leading to serious challenges with slow movers that often remain on customer site between collections for a year or more.
Real time visibility enables these challenges to be addressed for the first time. Integrated vehicle tracking means that the operator can measure the efficiency of transport operations relative to jobs completed and closely monitor driver performance.
Jonathan Gaskell commented “It goes without saying that Covid-19 has created a massive challenge for the business. Along with the rest of the industry we have had to cope with a reduction in waste volumes of around 50%. As the situation eases we are now returning to a more normal level of activity.
Whilst we need to focus on growing the business we obviously need to balance sales growth with cost control. The PIN solution will help us to do this for our Ro-Ro operation. We have the capacity to grow without investing in new containers, and we will be able to plan our operations more efficiently as well as target under-performing contracts. We can also protect our customers from container theft. Integrated vehicle tracking will be of real benefit as we gain improved visibility as to how our drivers are delivering the plan.
“We have always looked to adopt new technology where it can give us an advantage. The PIN solution made obvious sense. Our Ro-Ro fleet is larger than our operating system was showing us, with containers out at customer sites that we had lost visibility of.
“We will integrate the PIN solution with our operating system – we use PurGo – which will give us precise control over contract profitability as we move the business forward.”