Length Of Time In Business
Let’s start with the basics. How long will a “good” Waste & Recycling Management Firm have been in business? The minimum amount of time you should consider is about 10 years. Being in business for longer than 10 years does not necessarily mean that a Company is better. As a matter of fact, some “not-so-good” Companies have been in business over 10 years. They typically have gained and/or retained Clients that currently have minimum expectations from their Management Firm. For example, Companies that have an attitude in the neighborhood of “save me a little money and I’m happy”. As environmental and social pressures mount, and their Client’s focus increases on developing a true Managed Program, they will most likely end up on the outside looking in, especially “if” the Client follows my direction.
So, why is 10 years a good measuring stick? Well, it at least provides the indication that the Management Firm has decided to stay in the Industry, not here today and gone tomorrow. This amount of time should have also provided them enough time to understand the ins and outs of the industry, and as well, they should have had enough time to develop a back-end IT system to support their efforts in data tracking, billing, customer service, and reporting for their Clients.
So why is Coverage area important? The simple answer is so that you know the Management Firm can effectively manage all of your locations. Today, the expectation is that a Management Firm will be able to manage Waste & Recycling on a national level. This typically means the 50 United States and possibly Canada. So as a result, this is what you hear every “so-called” Management Firm touting. But in many instances this is not truly the case. In order for a Management Firm to really be able to manage your Company’s locations in today’s environment, they truly need the experience of having done business in most, if not all States in the US. Why is this important? Simply due to the fact that Waste & Recycling is not “one size fits all” throughout the Country.
Waste & Recycling is one of those services that truly takes expertise to effectively manage. Why? Well to begin with, Waste & Recycling has regulatory requirements on a National level. This mean that each of your locations has to abide by the “national” rules, typically put in place by the EPA or some other environmental agency. So, let’s say you have 100 locations that are spread throughout all 50 states. Just making sure that each of those locations is meeting all of the environmental statues can be daunting. Now let’s add-on the additional requirements of all the different States, Counties, Cities, Municipalities, etc., and now you have a serious headache. So, as a Company with limited time, resources, and Waste & Recycling expertise, how on earth do you manage all of this? Oh yeah, and your Boss wants to see a 10% decrease in cost of services budgeted for next year. What? I don’t think it’s time to call Ghost Busters, but I sure would put in a call to a “good” Waste & Recycling Management Firm. They have the resources and expertise to manage this “for” you.
So the key for coverage area is looking “under the hood” of the Management Firm you are considering, and finding out if they actually manage Client locations in most, if not “all” 50 States. If they do not, go ahead and remove them from consideration. They will have too much of a learning curve to be as effective a resource as you will need.