Guidelines To A “Good” Waste and Recycling Management Firm: Part 3 – Extensive Hauler Ranking System

Defining a “good” Waste & Recycling Management Firm includes how much of an in-depth understanding they have of Haulers in all markets across the entire Country. Why is this important? Simple… in order to most effectively meet the needs of your Clients you “have to know” who provides the best service, pricing, etc., in each area that they operate. So, if you have Clients in all 50 States, must have a running knowledge-base on all the competitive haulers in the Country. How many Management Firms have this type of in-depth knowledge-base? You would be very surprised at how small the number is.

So, why do so few Management Firms have a real knowledge of the best options for their Clients? One sad reason is that they think they don’t need to know. Can you imagine? You claim to be an industry expert and yet you don’t know the competition in the marketplace? Why is this the case? Quite frankly, some Management Firms really don’t care if their Clients get the “best” service or program. They just use mediocre Haulers that they have used previously and move on. Why go the extra mile if you don’t have to, right? Wrong! No matter what industry you are in, this lazy attitude will catch up with you eventually. This usually occurs with the increasing pressure on Companies to more effectively manage their Corporate Social Responsibility and/or Environmental Sustainability. They eventually begin asking the Management Firm questions about their choices of Haulers or programs, or they notice no improvement in their program and want to know why. If a Company pays attention, asks questions, and does even a little research, they will begin to uncover that the issue is the lack of industry expertise and/or effort on the part of the Management Firm. It actually takes a lot of ongoing effort on the part of the “good” Management Firm to stay on top of everything that is going on in their industry. The sad fact is that “most” Management Firms are not willing to put forth the effort, and their Clients are the ones who ends up suffering. Want to know one of the most obvious signs to tell what kind of Management Firm you are working with? Find out how many locations where “they” negotiated the pricing and service, have been awarded to a National Hauler. Why is this a good question? When comparing “all” aspects of the National Hauler’s pricing (including service rates, fees, surcharges, etc.) to their Regional or Local competitors, the National Haulers have traditionally been more expensive. As you would expect, this is one of the reasons that the National Haulers have competitors to begin with. Also, the Terms and Conditions in the National Hauler’s contracts have traditionally been much less flexible than their competitors.

So, the “good” Waste & Recycling Management will have developed an “extensive” ranking system to measure haulers across the Country. They will have examined the quality and certifications of Hauler’s Landfills, MRFs (Materials Recovery Facilities), and Recycling Facilities used. They will also examine the quality of service that the Haulers are able to provide (so that they can match this with the needs of their Clients). Below are a few of the criteria met by a “top-tier” Hauler:

• 7 day service availability with 24 hour response time.

• 2 hour “Same Day” response time for extra pickups and special requests.

• Scales on trucks for accurate tonnage reporting.

• Key recycling alliances and access to pre-approved Landfills.

• Below Market pricing.

• An “A” or higher insurance rating.

• Flexible, accurate billing including e-billing and e-payment.

If you notice that your locations are not receiving this level of service, it may be time to start doing a little research and asking the questions I mentioned earlier. Going the extra mile to provide the best pricing, service, program, etc., for Clients may initially go unnoticed, but those who don’t will eventually be found out. Make sure your Management Firm has an extensive ranking system to measure each Hauler’s capabilities, facilities and performance.