How CNWM is Streamlining its Operations: A Case Study
When CNWM amalgamated 43 sites into 7 transfer sites and 1 landfill processing over 40 000 tons of waste a year, they knew they were going to need a new way of operating. Heavy usage at the sites would require streamlining the weigh scale process in order to process loads more quickly and avoid excessive wait times. They wanted to make invoicing and managing accounts receivables more accurate and efficient.
In addition, the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial waste strategy called for a reduction in landfill materials of 50% by 2025. With current diversion rates at 20%, being able to track their progress by waste type and source was a must. As well as commercial loads, CNWM sites service 72,000 people in 32,000 homes.
CNWM turned to Strong Data Automation (then operating as World Office) to design and implement a system that could help them achieve their business goals. Working closely with CNWM, Strong customized their data automation system to meet the client’s budget needs and fit with their existing processes. Weigh scale transactions were captured using RFID card technology, with security cameras for spot checking and monitoring.
This data was instantly sent to a central data base, where load details were then processed automatically to send invoices to customers, accounts receivables to accounting, and (after review) all the numbers into their accounting journal. Residential customer cards were debited at the scale, and commercial customers billed automatically every month. The system was also set up to capture data for payroll, vacation, accounts payable, and work orders. With all the information stored in the same, single data base, cross referencing and analyzing data of all kinds became both accurate and easy.
CNWM now operates 7 transfer sites with one person per site and automatically processes over 300 transactions a day. Because the load data is captured automatically and also verified by cameras, any invoicing disputes can be easily settled by checking archival footage. With all the data stored in and accessed from a single platform, there’s no need to double enter data and risk the errors that often occur in that process. And because the data is instantly available to those who need it, everyone is able to access the same, accurate information – including the organization’s auditors.
RFID swipe access at the scales means drivers don’t have to leave their vehicles. This not only improves safety for drivers, but also greatly improves the flow of traffic through the system. Time spent getting through the weigh scale is at an all-time low, averaging 35 seconds in and 25 out. Wait times and line-ups are therefore reduced, even during busy periods – and busy periods are easier to predict because volume trends are now available by the hour, day, week, and month.
The system’s easy access to data, and its ability to analyze the information in whatever way is needed, means CNWM can also track how its regions are doing in meeting the province’s strategic goals. The province can even plug right into CNWM’s system to pull certain reports for themselves. Reports on e-waste and diversion rates, commercially and residentially, by region, sub-region, and even community are all available, making education for compliance simpler and more focused.
Says Ed Evans, Chief Administrative Officer for CNWM: “Strong’s data automation system gives us all the complexity we need but it’s simple to use. It takes on-the ground information and provides it to our fingertips instantaneously. Instead of having different systems, with Strong we get everything in one place.”
Looking to the future, CNWM is confident their data automation system will be able to handle whatever new initiatives arise in waste management for their region, while continuing to serve their customers with speed and accuracy.