The company, recently named as the fifth largest waste management firm in the UK in 2013-2014, registered for edoc soon after the launch. Since then they’ve been taking steps to ensure it can offer its customers an easy transition over to the new system.
“We recognise that edoc will play a huge role in improving compliance, as the correct information must be submitted in order to complete a transaction. This means that the process will be far more efficient as we won’t have to spend as much time chasing up missing information or lost WTNs.”
FCC Environment’s Technical Support Manager, Chris Griffiths has been actively involved in the firm’s adoption of edoc. We asked him to share his experience and advice with other businesses considering making the change to the new electronic system for recording waste transfers.
How will edoc help?
FCC Environment has more than 10,000 customers, operates more than 200 sites across the UK and handles around 300,000 waste transfer notes (WTNs) every year.
Chris said: “I was involved in edoc’s early development, working as part of the technical team to test the system and offer feedback. Knowing that waste companies like ourselves had a role in shaping edoc means that we appreciate its benefits and agreed internally that it was something we would like to offer to our customers.
“From our point of view there are clear cost savings to be had with edoc in terms of the administration, storage and creation costs associated with WTNs. We also recognise that edoc could streamline the whole management process as you can review, edit, sign and store WTNs from the convenience of your desk, and the more customers that switch over the easier it will become.
“Another benefit of edoc is that it will hugely improve compliance, as the correct information must be submitted in order to complete a transaction. This means that the process will be far more efficient as we won’t have to spend as much time chasing up missing information or lost WTNs.”
How are you going about moving to edoc?
“Our customers are at the forefront of our business, so we want to make sure that they understand all of the options available to them and how edoc could benefit their business.
“We have started by looking at our IT systems to make sure that we are prepared for when individual customers want to start recording their waste transfers electronically with edoc . I have also delivered presentations to each part of the business, to give us the opportunity to discuss how edoc might be incorporated into their processes.
“The next step was to create a training package for our staff so they will be equipped with the knowledge they need to advise our customers about how to go about making the switch.
“Our operations as a business vary greatly. We have decided on a receptive approach for now by engaging with customers who want to know more about edoc and how they can switch to the new system. We are currently looking at reviewing areas where we are in direct management of waste and creating an API (application programming interface) connection between edoc and FCC’s existing systems.
“For many businesses the release of edoc at the beginning of the year missed key dates for customers completing annual transfer notes or season ticket. But this has provided us with valuable time to prepare and develop our systems to allow edoc to work seamlessly. We are anticipating more take up on edoc next year when we will be ready to encourage our customers to switch over to the new system.”
Why did you move to edoc?
Chris said: “edoc is an important milestone to bring waste management and the handling of waste transfers into the 21st century and we recognised the benefits of edoc in its early development. The previous system was based on regulations which were introduced and written more than two decades ago, so we wanted to modernise and update the options available to our customers.
“We plan to roll out electronic waste management to even more of our customers over the next year and we anticipate cost and administrative benefits in future.”
Five top tips for moving to edoc from FCC Environment
1. Be ahead of the game
It is essential that waste management professionals keep up to date with industry developments, such as edoc. You can then put systems in place in advance ready for customers when they decide to make the switch.
2. Evaluate your current system
Look at how you are currently working. Use this information to help you decide how you could incorporate edoc into your current processes.
3. Communicate with the rest of your business
Discuss switching to edoc with the different departments in your business. Establish how the system might benefit them individually and how they can communicate information about edoc to customers.
4. Training is key
Prepare a training package for your staff so they feel prepared to answer any questions that customers might have about moving to the new system.
5. Accommodate your customers
As edoc is voluntary to use, customers should be able to have the choice to adopt the system in order to modernise their processes and see associated benefits.
Listen to FCC Environment
Hear what FCC Environment’s Chris Griffiths had to say to the CIWM Journal Online in January 2015 about why companies should be using edoc.