Waste Management Customers to Gain Data Visibility

CEO and CIO discuss plans to empower customers with data on waste collection and recycling

David Steiner, CEO, Waste Management Over the last few years, our customers’ needs have started to change. When you have customers coming to you for help achieving their zero-waste goals and the name of your company is Waste Management, you’d better think differently about your business model and services. We now have an upstream business unit that helps customers reach zero waste.

With the economic downturn, people continued to reach for sustainability goals because they wanted to do what’s right for the environment and for their bottom lines. When we extract value from customers’ waste materials, we also reduce their total production cost. And we increase our profitability.

Puneet Bhasin, CIO, Waste Management In achieving this, there is tremendous opportunity for an IT-enabled business transformation. We have 45,000 employees, 22 million customers and 1,200 locations, so it’s going to take a lot of hard work, not just from my department but from the rest of the organization. Everybody on our management team understands that technology is key to meeting our business objectives.

Steiner We need to be able to feed our waste materials collection-and-processing data into customers’ systems so they can slice and dice it in order to understand how they’re meeting their sustainability goals. The best thing we can do for our customers is to give them full visibility into the data all along the supply chain.

Bhasin We have a good idea as to what materials we collect. The challenge then is to track these materials through the lifecycle and, like David said, share that information with our customers and provide them with analytical and reporting capability. (For more from Bhasin, see “The Customer Will See You Now.”)

We are enabling our trucks with on-board computers and our key locations with GIS, so now we will know when our people, materials and assets enter and leave customer sites and landfills, and we can share that information with our customers.

Steiner I’ve been CEO of Waste Management for seven years, and from day one I knew that the one way we could transform our company was through technology. Puneet is the right person to do it because he has the ability to grasp the vision and then operationalize it. To be a true business partner with the CEO, which is what every CEO is looking for, don’t just be a technologist. One of the first things Puneet did was to live the life of a customer service rep, a dispatcher, a driver and a route manager. Before he did anything with technology, he went into the field to learn the business.

As told to Contributing Editor and CIO Executive Council VP Rick Pastore. Visit www.enterprisecioforum.com after Feb. 21 to view Waste Management’s complete CEO Agenda video interview.

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This story, "Waste Management Customers to Gain Data Visibility" was originally published by CIO Executive Council.

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