Meeting the demand for digitisation
By Jody Fullman, Chief Information Officer, Reconomy Group
Whilst the main driver for technological innovation within the UK’s recycling sector continues to be the waste producers’ demand for accurate and timely data, we are now seeing a noticeable shift in the use of this information…
Historically, the main requirement for data relating to a business’s waste and resource management has stemmed from a need to monitor and improve the operational aspects of any services being received. This has helped to answer front-line questions such as:
- Do we have the right size containers in situ?
- Is the frequency of collections correct?
- And does the service provided match the invoice received?
More recently, however, we are seeing customers requesting data to substantiate their ESG reporting and support their respective journeys towards sustainability goals such as zero to landfill, zero waste and net zero.
Reconomy Group’s recycle division – which includes industry-leading business names such as ACM, Waste Source, AWS Nationwide, Eurokey, and of course, Reconomy – uses data and technology that not only enables customers to deliver their ESG targets, but also ensures full transparency throughout the journey.
Our Group-wide mantra of ‘measure it to make it happen’ has underpinned the creation of a proposition that adds meaningful value for the numerous brands we partner with. The ability to present this data through an easy-to-access interface has been critical in differentiating Reconomy Group’s recycle division from others operating within the UK recycling market.
This commitment to adding value and supporting customers in validating their ESG objectives does, understandably, present some challenges – not least the fact that it comes at a cost. Whilst arguably the cost of not having access to accurate data is far higher than the cost of its provision, there are things that we as a business are doing to optimise recycle division customers’ return on investment.
Firstly, they benefit from the significant investment Reconomy Group has made in developing recycle division’s systems, ensuring they are suitable for businesses of all types, operating across a range of sectors. This has, in effect, created a template that can be easily adapted and implemented across Reconomy Group’s other divisions without too much additional development.
Secondly, all systems are developed with the future needs of the market in mind. Wherever possible we consider upcoming or proposed legislation and how we can help clients meet their obligations. Current examples of this include the challenges around digital waste tracking and extended producer responsibility (EPR).
Reconomy Group’s mission is to use technology, innovation, data, and specialist expertise to enable our customers to achieve zero waste and create sustainable value. Recently this has been focused on the delivery of a comprehensive technology eco-system – initially just for Reconomy itself, before opening it up to the wider recycle division – which we call neXus.
neXus provides Reconomy with a highly efficient, unique, and fully digitised purchase to pay journey that all its customers can benefit from. As part of this, customers can digest their data in a more tailored and visual way via The Reconomy Portal. Furthermore, we have developed an exclusive and proprietary supplier digitisation technology, known as digitalXchange. This has significantly improved efficiencies between Reconomy and its suppliers by streamlining order processing, eliminating rekeying and speeding up data transfer – ultimately benefiting customers.
Alongside this, neXus also incorporates a suite of seamless internal systems that enable day-to-day operational excellence, including capabilities such as CRM, telephony and financial automation and reporting tools. We have also continued investment in a number of Reconomy’s key systems including Salesforce.com platform; Sales Cloud now gives a single view of pipelines and the exact position in the sales lifecycle, meaning Reconomy can propose highly personalised solutions, while Service Cloud enables every department to standardise on one set of processes, seamlessly executing ordering processes and providing existing customers with the best possible experience.
As we move into 2023, we look forward to announcing a raft of new technological innovations all centred around Reconomy and our wider recycle division’s Salesforce.com ecosystem which will further support customers in the recycle digitisation of their businesses and underpin their ability to attain a wide variety of ESG goals.
In doing so, I am confident Reconomy Group will cement its position as a key enabler in the development of a more circular economy.