Every year, Alpine Technology Corporation hosts many of it’s customers and vendors for a week of eating, drinking and learning. The theme this year was “Best Practices in the Waste Industry”. This was a great time to renew old relationships, catch up on the latest and greatest in software, and envision what the next generation of operators will need. While all these activities were valuable for our attendees, one presentation was particularly powerful for all our attendees: the roundtable discussion.
We had five individuals that are currently managing some of the top hauling operations in the country field a host of questions evolving around operations, customer service, diversification and technology. The insights from the roundtable participants did not unveil some mystical formula for success but emphasized the importance of sticking to the basics in your operation. Their tried-and-true wisdom was consistent with some of the more successful leaders and their writings like Good to Great. Here are just a few highlights:
- You start with getting the right people “on the bus”. Attracting, incentivizing and keeping great employees is the greatest responsibilities of leaders.
- Customers are first. It is far more costly to acquire new customers than it is to create a loyal following of existing customers. Do what you have to do to demonstrate a reason for your customers to be loyal.
- Outsourcing is a key strategy in every successful company. You need to stick to what your core capabilities are and outsource what you can to others that have that as their core capability.
- Be involved in your community. Many times your greatest competitive distinctive is your ability to be involved with and in the neighborhoods you serve. The larger companies do not do this. Sit on a board, be involved in city-wide events and create good-will and value in your community.
- Diversity can dilute your business and profits. Though there are many types of waste streams that haulers need to be concerned about, a diversification strategy into areas that are not your core could lead you down a treacherous and unprofitable path.
If businesses around the U.S. would passionately apply just these five principles, it would be amazing what great things would happen in the marketplace. Great employees, loyal customers, vibrant communities and profitable businesses…what a great combination. Thank you, roundtable participants, for your wisdom and your willingness to invest in other companies and leaders.
Alpine Technology Corporation has been serving the waste industry for over 35 years with software solutions for both the office and the trucks. Their office software, Visual RAMS-Pro, provides billing, work orders, container inventory, route management, customer and account management and much, much more. Their industry-leading truck solution, Visual On-Route, allows the driver to be connected real-time to the office. Visual On-Route keeps the drivers accountable while allowing haulers the ability to generate additional revenue streams and cut expenses through efficiencies.