Potential customers are more attracted to service providers who can respond more swiftly to their adhoc demands. As Kjell Nordstrum in his book Funky Business notes: “There’s a surplus of similar companies, employing similar people, with similar educational backgrounds, coming up with similar ideas, producing similar services, with similar prices and similar quality”. What we need is more innovation to think and do what no one else is doing at a reduced cost of service, or offer more value to customers (such as with self-service apps, customer portals, waste data analysis reporting) that may even be charged at a premium.

As customers empower their fieldworkers with mobiles and tablets to order services direct, their suppliers are expected to have mobile-friendly, interactive web sites with self-service booking capability or have a customer web portal or a mobile app that can make dealing with your company easier than others. They’re looking to their suppliers to not only respond faster but to give them more data in formats that can be digested (uploaded) back into their own systems to save double entry book keeping.

As your fieldworkers get mobile systems for faster, more reliable communication and feedback on their current location and progress through their daily work lists, service companies are being asked to give tighter, committed windows of time for service delivery. Saving customers’ time is valuable! This, in turn, makes it more complex and time sensitive to ensure the right call-in job is allocated to the nearest, most efficient truck with sufficient carrying capacity, or closest, next-available bin type of an appropriate size.

Extending your business communications systems out to customers so they see collection schedules can do self-service booking requests for bin change-overs or on call services makes it easier for them to do business with you and further ties them in to working with your company. Making self-service booking apps with your logo on them or simple web portal services so they can avoid the phone queue appeals to modern mobile customers allowing them to communicate requests from anywhere, anytime.

Agile small waste companies can out-pace their larger competitors by being more nimble in adopting new low cost mobile technologies to help them stand out in a crowd!