Transforming Your Environmental Services Company with Technology: Vol 2 - Driving Innovation

May 8, 2024

WASTELINQ has helped hundreds of organizations complete digital transformations...

...and we’ve identified several essential elements for implementing software that improves processes. These include an organization with a growth mindset, leadership that is committed to a transformational vision, buy-in from key personnel, the right technology partner, and the right technology.

The first key to a successful digital transformation is a commitment to a growth mindset. A growth mindset is the belief that talents can be developed through hard work, good strategies, and input from others. Companies with this sort of entrepreneurial attitude tend to have happier employees and to embrace innovation. These characteristics may allow such organizations to outperform their competition. One indication of a growth mindset is the willingness to embrace changes like digital transformations. After all, as Winston Churchill observes, “To improve is to change.”

Cultivating this mindset generally starts with an organization’s leadership, the second essential for a successful digital transformation. Our most successful implementations are driven by leaders with a vision of simple, connected, and transparent processes. It’s difficult to overstate the importance of committed and involved leadership; after all, driving change takes dedication and hard work. In most cases, the role of change agent must be modeled by the company’s senior leadership.

However, even the most dedicated change agent will fail to drive a digital transformation if the rest of the organization doesn’t buy into the vision. Gandhi, among others, has been credited with observing, “There goes my people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.”

The third important consideration for any organization undergoing a digital transformation is that the people who have to adapt their processes and accept new work flows are committed to the change. Many implementations fail because the people who do the day-to-day work misunderstand or even disagree with the direction that a digital transformation will take the business. For this reason, it is essential that line personnel are involved early in the digital transformation process, and that senior leadership shares its vision and answers their concerns.

A fourth important factor in a successful digital transformation is finding the right technology partner. Notice that I didn’t say the right technology; the software platform is secondary to the people who design, implement, and support your technology into the future. Many companies struggle with a digital transformation because they choose one of two ways to navigate the process. In one potential path, an environmental services company will opt to do it alone, hoping to design and implement a home grown system. However, these efforts often fail and are almost always more expensive than partnering because an environmental services company is not a technology company! This means that they may underestimate technology or support requirements, yielding anything from a very expensive suboptimal system to no implementation at all. Similarly, finding the wrong partner can lead to an unsatisfactory outcome. Many technology companies are technologists first, so they don’t understand the unique complexities of the environmental services organization. WASTELINQ, a technology company founded and operated by waste management experts, straddles this divide, ensuring that requirements are well-understood and executed.

Finally, after establishing a growth mindset, buying into the transition, and identifying the right partner, the company should evaluate the technology itself.

Three questions should guide this evaluation:

  1. Does the software simplify my processes?
  2. Does the solution connect my company to my customers and partners?
  3. Does the application make information transparent?

WASTELINQ’s founders have run both transporters and disposal facilities and we've helped thousands of customers to manage their waste efficiently and effectively. All of that experience has gone into building our suite of proven solutions for generators, service providers, and disposal facilities. We developed our processes, and the software that enables them, over the course of a decade and a half in the trenches. Our products have been field tested by hundreds of users, thousands of customers, and millions of transactions. We aren't speculating that our innovations will deliver simple workflows, connected partners and customers, and transparent data: we've already proven it.