The UK waste management sector needs to watch-out for itself as in this article we pose the question: “Is the Entire Waste and Resource Management Industry Losing Out by Failing to Innovate in Integrated IT Systems?”
The challenges facing the UK waste industry, both within their main business functions, and internally within their own organisations have never been greater, and one of the most pressing is always to practice what they preach. The pressure on companies (and indeed local authorities) to continue to escalate the efficiency in which they reduce, recover and recycle are unremitting.
Waste management companies and particularly those companies which have won PFI waste management contracts must continually source increasingly innovative ways of meeting targets, while regulatory bodies apply escalating demands on them to report, document and generally scrutinise their waste and recycling activities.
ISB Global Limited, (a UK based Business & Systems Consulting Firm) believes they have the answer to a part of the problem, and it lives at the heart of all their business operations, in an area which suffers neglect as we are all too busy running our businesses, and lack the time to devote to it. It is IT. We use it everyday, but when do we get a moment to consider whether we are using it to truly benefit the company beyond traditional word processing and payroll managing functions?
ISB Global has found that there are huge opportunities to be had for small to mid-size waste management companies, many of which are hindered by something as simple as their software.
Few can afford the luxury of dedicated IT professionals and therefore the responsibility for their IT strategy is part-owned by several individuals across senior management, with the result that none really consider it fully their responsibility. The result is that a lack of integrated systems is common to most waste and resource management companies, and as a result information flow is restricted.
This can impede decisions which could be taken in a more inclusive manner resulting in a company which is reactive, rather than proactive.
What we tend to see in our companies are fragmented bespoke applications and disconnected systems. Systems which operate in isolation. Separate accounting, IT operations and unrelated customer facing systems, continue to be the norm, believes ISB Global.
Through their experience working within companies over many years, they have become convinced that a company is only ever as good as its data, and if data is not captured in the first place it leaves room for great inconsistencies; information will not flow within the system easily. This means that through the process data is generated which is incompatible. It has to be re-entered, causing time-consuming duplication of effort and increasing user pressure. This, in turn, causes room for error, data is missed, records are part completed, customer service is jeopardised, reporting becomes ad hoc and acquiring the information for management decision-making can become a burden.
SAP is a recognised name in business software with a great deal to offer our sector, but waste and recycling companies are in danger of missing the boat. They have historically seen the use of a Business & Systems Consultant like SAP as strictly unaffordable and solely a choice for much larger operations.
89 departments across 35 UK local authorities run SAP™s uniquely integrated software to manage their operations. Despite SAP being perceived as working only with very large organisations, SAP has been successfully targeting the SME sector for a number of years with a leading and very specific product called SAP Business One.
SAP Business One is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) application designed specifically for the small to mid-size market. It is an integrated system containing all the elements necessary to help manage a business more effectively.
SAP Business One combines financial, accounting, customer relationship management (CRM), supplier relationship management (SRM), customer service and contract management, sales and purchase order processing, inventory, warehouse management and manufacturing systems into one.
It is designed to be flexible, scalable and uncomplicated. It allows the user to tailor the applications to suit their needs, while their integrated Software Development Kit (SDK) gives the more advanced user the flexibility to further develop their own specific applications.
ISB Global (ISB) specialises in the SME waste and recycling business sector and has a history with SAP, that spans more than 10 years. A formal partnership has now been in place for over 3 years since the directors of ISB saw the untapped opportunity for SAP Business One WR1 for the waste industry to aid in the effective management of companies through the introduction of a specialist, integrated, waste management software solution.
To learn more about SAP Business One WR1, visit ISB Global’s™ website www.isb-global.com.