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Switch Your Waste Management Provider Without Putting KPIs at Risk

Outsourcing waste management to a new provider may improve performance, but make sure you’re protecting your KPIs

Facilities managers know outsourcing waste management to a reputable provider can be a smart move, ensuring compliance with their legal responsibilities while boosting efficiency and cost effectiveness. But what if you become dissatisfied with your waste management service?

While the obvious answer is that switching to an alternative provider may be the best option, facilities managers often worry about the disruption this may cause – and particularly that the key performance indicators (KPIs) to which they’re committed may be jeopardised by a lack of operational continuity.

Outsourcing waste management – what to look for

Facilities managers will have clear priorities in mind when outsourcing waste management, with potential suppliers judged against several different criteria. Location and coverage will be a key point as will value for money, but other factors will also be important. To what extent can providers help your business improve its environmental performance? How good are its performance reporting facilities? What level of expertise and experience will you have access to?

With a waste management provider in place, its performance will be crucial to keeping the organisation’s own waste KPIs on track. WRAP, the organisation that works with policymakers, businesses and other groups to develop best practices in waste management, points to a number of demanding KPIs that many organisations will have adopted. They may include everything from waste recycling targets – the percentage of waste diverted from landfill, for example – to carbon measures such as the emissions generated by transport used in waste disposal.

In practice, waste management KPIs will naturally vary between organisations, depending on the nature of their businesses and activities. However, facilities managers know they will be held to account using these metrics, both individually and at an organisational level. For this reason, they will want to be sure that a change in the outsourcing of waste management does not lead to a KPI slippage.

They may be concerned that performance will suffer during the transitional period, for example, or that reporting information will not be available for a period. In which case, the rationale for switching – whether based on cost, performance, service or another criterion – will be undermined by the negative impact of a KPI failure.

How to protect your KPIs

To overcome those concerns, facilities managers need reassurance on two fronts. Firstly, that any new provider of outsourced waste management services can supply the data required to monitor the organisation’s KPIs on an ongoing basis. And secondly, that the transition to the new provider will be smooth enough to avoid a temporary performance shortfall.

The key to the first of these challenges is to scope out the reporting capabilities of any new waste management provider before appointing it. For example, Reconomy runs an online portal offering real-time waste management data to customers, with customizable reports that organisations can feed into their environmental management systems, as well as other reports, such as CSR bulletins. This data will provide the detail required for KPI monitoring.

As for the second priority, talk to potential providers about how they propose to get to know your business and to support improved waste management performance. That should include a discussion about how they will work through the move to the service to ensure business continuity, including the continuity required to deliver and monitor your KPIs. Good waste management providers should be able to reassure you on both fronts. And if they can’t convince you they won’t put your KPIs at risk during the handover process, you should question whether they’ll be able to supply the service they’re promising after the switch – in which case, it makes sense to look elsewhere.


  • Changing waste management provider can improve performance.
  • Don’t put your KPIs at risk when changing waste management provider.
  • When changing waste management provider, look for a supplier with strong reporting technologies and a commitment to get to know your business

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