3 May 2017

Edinburgh-based environmental charity Changeworks, collects recyclable waste from over 2,000 businesses. Their operations involve running a large fleet of vans and bin lorries, collecting everything from waste paper, food, cans and plastic bottles, to fluorescent tubes, printer cartridges and electrical waste. Most customers are on weekly, fortnightly or monthly collection cycles but ad-hoc collections are covered as well.  The logistics of managing this complex collection cycle has seen Changeworks implement the PODFather system for both backoffice logistics management and real-time tracking and electronic proof of collection through driver smartphones.

General Manager, Ken McLean, explains, “The frequency of our service needs to match with our customer’s needs, which are dictated by volume and storage constraints. This means we have a highly variable uplift pattern. The challenge for us is to devise the most efficient way to manage and optimise our vehicle logistics. Year on year, our customer base is growing and we realised we needed to further enhance our reporting procedures and data management systems.”

Thanks to PODFather, we are now a much slicker and seamless operation.

Replacing a 10 year old bespoke system created for Changeworks, the PODFather system is being used to provide order processing, customer management, and invoicing systems. Drivers use the PODFather smartphone app to complete daily vehicle safety checks, download route manifests, and confirm details of how much waste is collected at each customer site. The driver-collected data is available to the office staff in real-time and eliminates the need for manual re-entry of data, gives greater accuracy of invoices, reduces invoice queries and ultimately, improves cash flow.

Changeworks’ management can review an assortment of vital data, reporting for example, the type, value and volume of recyclables collected on a daily or weekly basis.

Ken McLean is delighted at scaling up the company’s operational efficiency. He comments, “We now have complete peace of mind that when we allocate a job to a vehicle using this system, we have a comprehensive reporting summary by return, which means our administration is tighter, the need for paper-based systems minimised and logistics costs are kept to a minimum. Thanks to PODFather, we are now a much slicker and seamless operation, which helps keep our competitive price advantage and enhances our service offer to our customers.”

Colin McCreadie, Managing Director of PODFather, comments, “We are pleased to be supporting Changeworks with their waste management operations. The PODFather system works well in the waste management sector as it can blend complex route management of recurring collection schedules with daily ad-hoc jobs that need to be allocated to drivers whilst they are out on the road.”.