Updated: Jan 13, 2021
The NWH Group is a second-generation family business headquartered in Midlothian. Serving the whole of Scotland and Newcastle from ten sites, the NWH Group’s vision is to eliminate waste by transforming it into a valuable product. The business currently employs around 300 staff.
On its mission to eliminate waste, it provides waste collection services to the manufacturing, commercial, industrial, retail and construction industries. Collecting waste with its fleet of trade refuse, skip, tipper, grab and walking floor articulated vehicles, transporting materials to its recycling facilities where they are transformed into high value products such as cardboard, paper, washed sands, biomass for energy and animal bedding.
Operational change and live reporting features
After their previous ERP system was not offering the desired levels of visibility, with access to both data and reports being very limited, NWH realised that they needed to invest in a higher performing waste management solution. The company was already operating with ENVIROWEIGH, and after much thorough research concluded that PurGo, from VWS Software Solutions (who work closely with Vehicle Weighing Solutions) was very much a ‘one stop shop’ that could provide them with exactly what they needed to strengthen and expand business. By replacing their existing ERP system with PurGo, and combining it with ENVIROWEIGH, it formed a complete integrated system. As a direct result of this, not only can NWH now pull specific data at any given time, but it has also opened up the opportunity for them to have meaningful conversations about what is happening in the business day to day due to the absolute transparency that PurGo presents.
“The ability to report on anything and everything over any time frame is something we could never do before PurGo, but now we can, we have seen vast improvements in our visibility to business crucial data. ” – Jamie Campbell, Head of Account Management, NWH Group.
The reporting element of PurGo was a standout feature for NWH and subsequently played a large role in finalising their decision to transfer over to PurGo. With their new ERP system, NWH now has the capacity to create bespoke reports, plus a large number of off the shelf reports as well. Another invaluable aspect of PurGo has been the enhanced overall efficiency that it has provided them for month end and billing checks. With the implementation of PurGo, NWH has been able to drastically reduce time spent processing end of month across all 11 of their depots. “The month end process is so much more efficient now. I can do my P&L pretty much instantly now”, says Craig Williams, Operations Director, NWH Group. The newfound ability to view data far more clearly from the outset of the billing process (namely the step-by-step wizard on customer sites) has allowed for a completely straightforward end result, where mistakes are considerably harder to make. Yards and depots can easily run reports to quickly provide managers with the necessary required information.
Utilising PurGo throughout COVID-19
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting companies nationwide, NWH had to promptly adapt to new ways of operating business, with 85-90% of both driving & non-driving staff becoming furloughed. Whilst the first month was limited in terms of staff, the remaining few began working from home, but were able to smoothly transition into this new form of working due to the visibility provided by PurGo and its accessibility in remote working situations. Staff continued to have full transparency of what each vehicle or depot was doing. Had the pandemic occurred before NWH switched to PurGo, this would not have been possible, instead, there would have needed to be a coordinator in each depot. Thanks to the assistance of PurGo, they were able to deploy 5 new trucks at their Newcastle depot during the first lockdown.
“The month end process is so much more efficient now. I can do my P&L pretty much instantly now”.
PurGo has truly transformed both the operational and day-to-day processes of business at NWH. A big winner for the team is making use of the Issues Board feature, where coordinators are given full visibility to understand where at any point their vehicles are and what services changes they have or have not had. From this, corrective actions can be put in place in a timely manner, making internal business processes much more efficient, as potential service changes are swiftly flagged and identified.
“When we first started using PurGo, all we could see in there was issues, but when we realised they are mainly our issues that now get flagged up and resolved, I love it, as I know exactly where we are with every customer. While we underestimated the amount of resource such a project requires, we certainly didn't expect how many efficiencies the business would benefit from with this system." - Craig Williams.
Now provided with the means to promptly highlight and rectify service changes, NWH’s communication with customers has gone from strength to strength with a proactive approach, as they can now inform customers in real time of any predicted service changes, a truck break down for example, immediately providing them with a plan of action to resolve them. Thanks to the fully integrated weighing solution, gone are the days of having to do everything by phone, instead, it is all pulled together in one place with complete accessibility.
Finding software that works for everyone within a business, from management right through to drivers, can often be challenging. However, for NWH, their drivers were the ones who embraced the change the quickest. Compared to the previous app they were using with their last supplier, the drivers deemed PurGo to be far more intuitive with a great customer interface. “They found it so much better than the previous app – very straightforward and easy to train. The drivers really like it”, says Jamie Campbell.
Training & support
VWS Software Solutions provide project management, as well as remote and onsite training, which is crucial in being able to fully utilise all that PurGo has to offer and ensure that the system is deployed efficiently. NWH received multiple training sessions across the business when onboarding with PurGo. Once the learning process was underway, NWH really began to notice how the system could make everyone’s lives simpler and elevate the overall business performance.
“Marta was absolutely fantastic. She spent a lot of time up here and worked very closely with us to achieve what we needed. Everyone appreciated how good she was and how she put PurGo into our language. There was a lot of people she was training that are not technical, but she managed to put it across in a way that worked.” – Jamie Campbell.
For VWS Software Solutions, customer feedback is imperative and helps to continuously improve the PurGo system, putting their customers’ needs at the forefront of everything that they do. With a passionate and highly experienced support service, VWS Software Solutions are always on hand to help customers.
“If we need something done, it happens, from support guys and even Roo. There is never an issue to pick up the phone or come back to us quickly – from support up to management, everyone is happy to help. The support element is just fantastic. I’ve not seen this with any other supplier that I’ve worked with previously. The relationship element between us and VWS Software Solutions is huge and incredibly important. You can’t put a value on that” – Jamie Campbell.
As business continues to expand for the waste management group, NWH are excited for what the future of the company holds. Integrating PurGo even further into their business processes, NWH will soon be connecting their financial purchasing systems to PurGo - completing the closed loop of processing and operating. The scalability that PurGo provides is absolutely essential in allowing the NWH Group's exciting rapid growth plans to continue. Previously, PurGo has allowed them to upscale very quickly, from adding another depot in Newcastle to increasing the size of others. With the assistance of PurGo, NWH has never had an issue with expanding and building business.
“We worked well together to achieve exactly what NWH Group needed to progress the business” – Jamie Campbell.
“We are very grateful for this opportunity to work with such a great company like NWH - a hardworking team of people with a remarkable work ethic. I am really looking forward to further expanding our business into Scotland and seeing what the future holds” – Andy Mirecki, Managing Director, VWS Software Solutions.