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24 Jul 2020

AES reduces costs and greatly improves customer service

AMCS Platform completely streamlines operation; from waste collection to invoicing

Vehicle Technology Invoicing and margin optimization Municipal Waste Collection

Completely automating all operational and administrative processes; all the way from the back end of the truck to billing customers based on paid by service using RFID technology for weighing. AMCS Platform enables AES, the Irish leading provider of waste management and services, to streamline the entire operation. This has led to significant results among which to achieve the highest RepTrak scoring as a service provider in Ireland. The end-to-end solution provides complete visibility all through the operation, including customers’ behaviour. This enables AES to prevent and resolve service issues resulting in lower costs while also greatly improves customer service and to reduce revenue leakage.

Meeting the full range of our customers' service expectations

AES is part of the Bord na Móna Group and a leading provider of waste management and recycling service in Ireland. The company serves over 100,000 residential homes across 13 counties and over 6,000 commercial customers throughout Ireland, including many of the largest retail, pharmaceutical, transport and food-related businesses in the country. AES handles recyclables, organic and residential waste, keeping the approximately 165 vehicles busy with on average 400 to 500 collections per route.

In Ireland, local authorities are not responsible for waste management. The Irish customers are free to change provider if they are not content with the service. “It is imperative for us at AES to be able to meet and exceed the service expectations of our customers", says Ciaran Brady, Head of Resource Recovery AES. "Previously we were unfortunately not always able to do so. By having technology and investing in the AMCS Platform we now can meet the full range of our customers' service expectations.”

Schedule trucks to routes to ensure correct lift of bins

His explanation clarifies why AES is committed to the provision of cost-effective, efficient and environmentally friendly waste management solutions to all its customers. That is why the company continues to invest significantly in the development of innovative products and services, as well as in the RFID technologies to improve efficiency and customer service. “The AMCS platform plays a substantial role in our daily work", says Darren Sadler, Head of operations at AES.

"We are using it from the moment the trucks start in the morning all the way to billing the customers on a monthly basis.” According to him, AES is using a number of AMCS solutions like Enterprise Management (ERP), smart route optimisation, the in-cab device to digitally handle orders when the driver is on the road, the weighing cells and the units on the back of the truck as well as reading transponders for lifts to identify the customers. “AMCS allows us to schedule our trucks on the appropriate routes to ensure that they lift the correct bins. And more importantly that we can understand whether the customer has issues in terms of recycling”, Brady complements Sadler’s words.

End-to-end solution essential part of the chain of the business

“As a company that operates by pay-by-weight, we need to identify and address any contaminated bins to protect our margins. Each bin has a chip allowing us with the AMCS technology to establish the account owner of the bin, whether there are sufficient credits in the account and the precise weight of the bin for billing purposes. The weighing system also allows us to identify any excess weights that present health and safety challenges for our staff”, Brady continues to explain.

If a customer turns up with a 140-litre recycling bin weighing 250 kilos that allows AES to go back to the customer and identify the issue, he mentions as an example. “More importantly, it enables us to answer customers queries on the spot as we can see where the trucks are on the route, whether they have lifted the bin, whether it’s a failure of our service or a failure because the customer has not enough credit on the account. For us, this is the essential part of the chain of our business, from the backend of the truck all the way to generate an invoice.”

Easily deploying temporary drivers

For AES, the real benefits of the AMCS technologies are that they provide insights into customers’ behaviour. Brady: "Given the size of our fleet with in excess of 60 RCV’s on the road, we have to maximise the collection density of our routes to boost the utilization of our fleet to ensure trucks return with more than 95% of their tonnage capacity.”

With AMCS secondly, AES also easily can reroute and remap. “Because we understand where the weight is coming from, what the customers are expecting and that leads to fewer failures”, he continues to explain. “Due to the use of the technology our service completion rates run up to 99.6% which is the highest RepTrak scoring ever within this company for a bin company in Ireland. If you don’t invest in technology you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. By having technology, we can anticipate and prevent service issues and when these issues occur, we can resolve them with one action."

The interview with him shows that with the AMCS Platform AES profits from many more benefits such as boosting staff productivity. Its integrity and precision also reduces revenue leakage and additionally, within the operation, fewer mistakes are made. Optimisation makes the runs more efficient and cost-effective while freeing up capacity to sign new business. Another advantage is that with the mobile in-cab device temporary drivers can be deployed who are guided by the route mapping technology, thus there is no need for route familiarisation or training.

Optimise routes led to highly improved customer service

As part of the AMCS technology, AES is using is Route Planner to optimise routes which led to spectacular cost savings and highly improved customer service. "AES practically never created new master plans before. The routes were not written down but simply planned by the drivers, based on local knowledge", says Darren Sadler. "Consequently, the routes were somewhat inefficient and very difficult to execute for temporary drivers, who often missed bins."

The company started with optimising master routes. "Optimising service days was crucial in order to achieve the best results and, learning from our mistakes", according to Sadler. "We, therefore, changed our communication strategy and improved the acceptance of service day changes remarkably.”

He makes clear that the solution has greatly improved AES’ profitability and customer service. Furthermore, the costs per lift are approximately 15% reduced eliminating 100% of ad hoc routes for collecting missed bins- which are the most expensive routes. As the number of missed bins has been reduced also the customer service is improved. And most important, according to Sadler. "Additionally, AES now has the ability to take on a great number of new customers with existing vehicles."