Why the waste management and recycling industry needs to embrace digital transformation

Digital transformation might feel like an expensive step into the unknown, but moving to digital ways of working is critical for almost all companies who want to maintain or grow their revenue and market share.

Chris Williams, CEO of ISB Global, has supported environmental, waste management and recycling businesses to make the move to digital for almost 25 years, and he’s seen five key benefits of taking the technological leap.

1. It streamlines your processes

Standard industry practices might be cosy and familiar, but they’re usually not the most efficient. Revolutionising your business's technology stack can help you to re-evaluate and redesign your processes, allowing you to meet new demands and produce new efficiencies.

2. It significantly enhances your customer service, and provides a competitive edge

Chris’ experience shows that those companies looking to enhance the digital transformation are focused on a step change in customer service. Good customer service has generally been lacking in the sector. Customers want to work companies that are constantly looking for the ability to do the job reliably, cost-effectively and efficiently. So if your business has a solid digital strategy, you’ll inspire more customer confidence and put yourself in a better place to win new business.

3. It releases talent in your business

People who are currently managing a lot of manual or semi-digital processes could be doing much more valuable work for you. Chris quotes Michael Gerber, in that “it’s better to work on your business and not in it”.  A well-managed digital transformation will look at the talent and skill across your business to see where technology can release people to deliver more value-added tasks.

4. It improves reporting, and compliance 

It’s happening across every sector, across the world, and I’ve seen first-hand how reporting and compliance are becoming standard practice in the waste and recycling industry. Customers are regularly demanding accurate data for their recycling rates, scope, 1,2 and 3 emissions requirements, as well as for their ESG reporting. Without access to integrated operational and financial data, you won’t be able to report in the detail needed, and customers will look to your competitors to see if they can provide what they’re looking for.

5. It allows you to expand

With the economy close to a recession, businesses will want to exploit secondary income streams as much as possible. There will also be the opportunity for acquisitions In addition, having a sound digital solution in place allows your company to take advantage of new market opportunities that competitors have yet to take advantage of.”

In 2023, digital transformation is a necessity for forward-thinking businesses. The benefits of digitising your operations are clear, ranging from increased efficiency and productivity to improved reporting, an edge over competitors, and, most importantly, creating new growth opportunities.