The countdown to the clock change has begun, which can only mean one thing: Spring is finally here. Traditionally, households use this time of year as an excuse for a deep clean, and many businesses are now following suit.
As we reach the end of Q1, it’s the perfect moment for Local Authorities to ‘spring clean’ your municipal waste management strategy and ensure you’re on target, and budget, for 2019. To help you with this process, we’ve put together some practical tips for refining your approach to refuse collection, while identifying key technologies that can make life easier for your team.
Tip 1 – Set interim targets and milestones
All Local Authority departments have targets hanging above your heads, but it’s easy for those numbers to seem insurmountable at this point in the year. Alternatively, with three quarters still left, you can be lulled into a false sense of security and by the time it gets close to deadlines you’re so far off-target that it’s impossible to catch up.
The easiest way to stay focused throughout the year is to plot interim targets and milestones, which your staff can work towards in the short term whilst also contributing to longer-term goals.
Your waste management team’s challenge is finding the right reporting analytics to see how well you’re meeting milestones at-a-glance, so you can track performance and present progress to the wider organisation.
Tip 2 – Understand where your inefficiencies lie
The biggest reason that Local Authorities fall short of waste management targets, or exceed your annual budget, is ‘hidden inefficiencies’. There are always ways to improve the service you offer, but these might not be obvious at first glance.
A spring clean is a good opportunity to analyse your performance so far; average round times, volume of waste generated, recycling levels etc. to see whether the reality matches up to your expectation. This will help you to identify which parts of your set-up are working well, versus where fine-tuning is required. Plus, any improvements you make will directly benefit the interim targets you have established.
Tip 3 – Communicate with your front-line staff
It’s very likely that the inefficiencies you identify will affect collection crews, who are already working hard to provide an outstanding local service. Rather than trying to impress top-down change on staff, talk to them about some of the issues you’ve identified and how they think a solution can be easily found.
Communicating with those at the coal face is a missed opportunity within most Local Authorities, as the people who are doing the job day-in, day-out are your primary source of knowledge.
Additionally, if solving ongoing problems means onboarding municipal waste management technology, you need front-line staff to be bought in for your investment to yield maximum returns.
Tip 4 – React to your surroundings
Even the best laid plans can go awry if an unexpected situation occurs. We’ve already talked in previous blog posts about unavoidable scenarios such as bad weather impacting refuse collections, and these can have a massive impact on your annual performance.
Being able to react in real-time makes a massive difference to your collection services on a daily basis, and your bottom line on a longer-term basis. The problem is, most Local Authorities lack the tools to be responsive.
Investing in municipal waste management software is a really effective way to dynamically monitor what is happening across your local area. You can react to your surroundings, altering routes or adding extra collections if that’s what is needed to get back on-track.
Market-leading waste management software will enable you to communicate directly with crews out on the road via an in-cab device, so you can issue instructions there and then, rather than waiting another week to solve problems. By issuing ad-hoc requests, you can be much more responsive, and local residents will react well to your ability to recover.
Whitespace Municipal Waste Management Software is helping Local Authorities across the country to collect refuse efficiently and cost-effectively. Book a free demo to see how it works.