Waste management consultancy, Helistrat has been a keen supporter of edoc since the start of the project just over 18 months ago. It was one of the very first businesses to register to use the new online system for recording movements of commercial and industrial waste and is currently working hard to encourage all of its customers and suppliers to sign up.
Their experience of edoc to date highlights that with comprehensive planning in place and a strong focus on customer relations, businesses can move over to the new online system with relative ease. All users will benefit from some of its standard features. For example edoc checks to make sure required information is complete helping to improve compliance. You can also use edoc to prepare business specific reports from your waste data.
“The best things about edoc for us are the improvements in compliance and our data reporting capability. It makes life so much easier for environmental consultancies and contract managers like us.”
We asked Helistrat’s Compliance Manager Mark Allison, who has been actively involved in the business’s transition to edoc, to share his experience and advice with other businesses wishing to move to the new online system.
How will edoc help?
Helistrat waste management consultancy services customer sites across the UK and Europe, including Marks & Spencer and Smurfit Kappa. This means through its contractors Helistrat handle more than 250,000 waste transfer notes (WTNs). Therefore moving over to edoc has been a useful means of helping to streamline administration, reduce costs by approximately £250,000, improve reporting and ensure the whole process is quicker and more efficient.
Mark said “As soon as I heard that the Environment Agency and its partners were planning to develop an online system for recording the movement of commercial and industrial waste I was keen to be involved.”
“The current paper system is inefficient, out-dated and time-consuming. WTNs are often returned incomplete which can be an administrative headache.
The move over to edoc has massively improved both our compliance process and our ability to provide accurate management information for our customers. It has enabled us to obtain all the information we require when the WTN is created – making the whole process much more efficient.”
How did you go about moving to edoc?
Mark continued “We started making plans to move over to edoc six months in advance of the launch in order to prepare the business, our IT systems and our customers and suppliers for a seamless transition.
Firstly, we set up an internal working group that was run by our CEO Bernard Amos. This helped us to establish a step-by-step 12 month plan for implementing edoc across our business and roll it out to our customers and suppliers.”
We then set about contacting all our customers and suppliers to inform them of our plans to switch over to edoc – ensuring that we communicated the benefits of adopting the new online system and the timing for the proposed transition. Through this process we managed to ascertain which of them were interested in adopting edoc and obtain all their up to date contact details for our database to ensure we had all the correct and relevant information ahead of launch.”
Mark added, “Following the mail-out to customers and suppliers we received a high volume of enquiries on edoc so we decided to establish a dedicated support team, who were fully-trained, to answer any questions and queries that were raised.”
“Since launch we have been using edoc very efficiently and have managed to convert most of our suppliers and customers over to the new online system – including Marks & Spencer and Smurfit Kappa. For the remaining customers and suppliers I have spent time attending face-to-face meetings, explaining the benefits of edoc to their business as well as showing them how to complete, edit, review and sign a WTN while on site.
It has also provided me with a comprehensive understanding of how edoc is relevant to organisations of different sizes.”
“The training only takes 20-30 minutes and although edoc is very straightforward to use I have found it very worthwhile spending a short period of time with customers and suppliers to provide them with the confidence they need to use the system alone.”
“A large number of our customers and suppliers have been very receptive to edoc and we are currently working with some major brands to move them over to edoc.
“We have of course experienced some hesitancy with a few of our customers and suppliers but generally once we have managed to arrange a face-to-face meeting with them we have been able to assure them of its added value to their business.”
Why did you move to edoc?
“The best things about edoc for us are the improvements in compliance and our data reporting capability. When paper WTN’s are returned they are often missing a lot of important information. However when you produce a WTN on the new online system you have to complete all the relevant information before it is submitted, ensuring you get all the information you need. It makes life so much easier for environmental consultancies and contract managers like us.”
Mark concluded “We are now making it compulsory for all our new suppliers to sign up to edoc and will continue to organise face-to-face meetings with those who are having concerns about switching over. We hope to have moved 100% of our suppliers over to edoc by the end of 2014.”
Five top tips for moving to edoc from Helistrat
1. Make a plan
Develop a detailed plan for how you’ll move your business over to edoc. Set up an internal working group and have a dedicated member of staff to manage your transition.
2. Communicate with your customers
Talk to your customers about your plan to move to edoc. Explain how it will impact on them but also the benefits and added value that switching to edoc will have for their business.
3. Meet with your customers
Arrange face to face meetings with customers to make them feel more at ease about making the switch.
4. Provide training
Spend time training clients on how to use edoc where possible. Taking them through the system can help generate confident users.
5. Support your customers
If possible, set up a dedicated support service to offer advice and help with any queries your customers may have.
If you are interested in hearing from more edoc users, sign up for our edoc e-bulletin.