Updated: Feb 11
Owned by North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council, Yorwaste employ over 250 members of the local community, manage over half a million tonnes of waste per year and carry out 550,000 trade waste and commercial bin collections in areas such as Scarborough, Whitby, Northallerton, Thirsk, Bedale, Skipton, Harrogate and Leyburn. Through their ‘Waste No More’ integrated waste management approach, their guiding principle is to provide customers with sustainable, innovative and economical waste management solutions. One of their major strengths is that they offer a comprehensive collection service. Furthermore, they provide a wide range of local in-house waste processing solutions, which provides their customers with uncomplicated and transparent audit trails.
In 2018, Yorkshire-based waste management company, Yorwaste made the decision to invest in an integrated transport and waste management system. Their existing supplier, with whom their contract was coming to the end of life, was not able to provide them with the transport and weighbridge controls and reporting required by the business, so the team comprising representatives from the IT, finance and operational teams investigated alternative systems and suppliers provide a waste management software solution which would allow more control of vehicle movements.
After assessing a number of systems, the team at Yorwaste chose to implement PurGo from VWS Software Solutions. Chris Veitch, Head of Finance at Yorwaste explains that “we had never used a system like this before, so it was important that we chose one that was easy to use and would be accepted throughout the business. That is exactly what we have with PurGo”.
“we had never used a system like this before, so it was important that we chose one that was easy to use and would be accepted throughout the business. That is exactly what we have with PurGo”.
Supported by the VWS Software Solutions Training and Implementation teams, Yorwaste decided to go live with the system in one “big bang” explains Chris. “Rather than opt for a staged approach we decided to go live with the full system from day one and 90% of the system just worked as we needed it to.”
Yorwaste created internal training manuals to distribute to all users after receiving training and support from the VWS Software Solutions team. Recalling the early stages of implementation, Chris identifies that one of the key factors to the success of the system has been that it was so easily adopted – both by the teams in the office and the in cab and site operatives. For the latter, robust and easy to use Getac tablets run the PurGo application, which displays allocated jobs and captures live data. Recorded data is available to the business in real time, which has allowed Yorwaste to report on and manage activities in a dynamic way. Chris explains that “PurGo has improved the efficiency of the business as we can now make decisions in real time, rather than waiting for end of week or end of month reporting to arrive.” Daily and weekly reports have been configured to be delivered to the operational team and further data analysis is conducted internally by integrating the PurGo data with PowerBI – generating immersive dashboards and reports that provide actionable insights.
“PurGo has improved the efficiency of the business as we can now make decisions in real time, rather than waiting for end of week or end of month reporting to arrive.”
One of the business’ key objectives was to start the journey to a paperless operation and PurGo has helped them on their way. Using the system, Yorwaste are able to invoice customers, record weighbridge tickets, capture inbound and outbound material movements and push jobs out to their operatives. The benefits of a less paper-reliant operation include improved data accuracy, increased data capture in general and as Chris explains, “digital data capture has led us to develop new processes that would not have been possible with paper copies, resulting in more checks and issues being identified quicker and easier”. Chris also highlights the communication benefits of the system, explaining that “we now use PurGo to send communications to our customers, rather than rely on traditional post. We send out key announcements by email through the system, which has been very useful during the global pandemic.”
One of the benefits of using PurGo to fulfil all these tasks throughout the business, is that everything is integrated into one central platform – providing uninterrupted access and seamless operational workflows.
“PurGo has become the base foundation of everything we do.We already do so much through it and we will continue to work with VWS Software Solutions to develop more functionality.”
Looking to the future, Chris explains that they are already looking to expand the use of PurGo throughout their operation and “talks have already started to implement the case management and CRM modular functions of PurGo.” He continues by explaining that “PurGo has become the base foundation of everything we do. We already do so much through it and we will continue to work with VWS Software Solutions to develop more functionality.” Yorwaste now commit to a monthly PurGo steering group, where they discuss where they can take it next and additional functionality that could be explored. Chris explains that “we are not just users of the PurGo system – we are working in partnership with VWS Software Solutions”.
In fact, in a demonstration of this partnership approach, VWS Software Solutions have recently launched a new application for use by household waste and recycling centre (HWRC) operators. Yorwaste approached VWS Software Solutions’ Managing Director, Andy Mirecki to explore whether a system could be developed to streamline their existing manual processes and migrate to a software solution. Andy and Technical Director, Bartosz Krzyzanowski, began working with the team at Yorwaste to develop an app that could be used by waste operatives at the HWRCs and at waste transfer stations to record the details of each waste transaction. Although the project first began in late 2019, COVID-19 restrictions delayed progress, but in late 2020, the solution went live.
VWS Software Solutions built an app that can be run on any mobile tablet device, is simple to use and captures all necessary data requires for reporting and compliance. Chris explains that “the HWRC app captures over 2,500 transactions a month across the 22 sites.
“We needed a solution that would be adopted and used by the HWRC operatives – simple to use and easy to navigate.” The HWRC app has been developed with this in mind and the workflow is mainly pictorial – providing clear and universally understood prompts. The use of images, rather than text, also reduces translation concerns for operatives whose first language is not English.
“We needed a solution that would be adopted and used by the HWRC operatives – simple to use and easy to navigate.”
The app records data including driver identification, vehicle identification and waste material type. Once the operative records this information, it is sent to an on-site printer via Bluetooth to print a waste transfer note and uploaded to PurGo waste management software in real time.
Commenting on the benefits of the software, Chris explains that “we have seen huge efficiency gains since implementing the system. Before, we spent a lot of time manually uploading the written information and now we have a quicker and more accurate method of recording the transactions.”
Now that the data is captured and uploaded remotely, Chris also notes that “we now have timely information – straight into the system”.
Often a concern for businesses transitioning to a software-based system, is the adoption success across their teams. However, Chris comments that “everyone has welcomed and adopted the technology.” He acknowledges that the simplicity of the app is key to this success and that “the training required was minimal”.
“[VWS Software Solutions] have worked tirelessly to ensure that the system has been installed with as few issues as possible, no mean feat on such a complex project.”
Commenting on the overall service which they have received from VWS Software Solutions, Chris praises the support team, expressing how helpful and approachable they have been and “always being so professional”. Kevin Smith, Head of Corporate Services at Yorwaste specifically commended the team’s efforts through the project saying that “they have worked tirelessly to ensure that the system has been installed with as few issues as possible, no mean feat on such a complex project.” Kevin also echoes Chris long term sentiment by saying that “Yorwaste looks forward to continuing to develop the relationship between the two businesses and developing the PurGo system to offer outstanding support and customer service”.