DIY or Managed Services for Waste Expenses: How to Choose

19 February 2019 | Posted by Cass Waste Marketing

When deciding on the best way to manage waste expenses and services, businesses have a few choices to consider. In a lot of ways, it’s using the classic “decision-making tree”.

Should you Manage Waste and Recycling Expenses and Services Yourself?

The first decision to be made is this: should you self-manage (negotiate directly with one or more waste service providers as well as process, audit and pay your monthly waste invoices), or do you outsource to a third-party company? There are a several questions you need to ask before you can answer this, including the following:

  1. Do I know enough about the waste category to conduct a knowledge-based procurement event?
  2. Do I have the right resources in place to manage the day-to-day operations of this category? This might include any or all of waste invoice audit specialists, dispute management experts, vendor or hauler relations, and / or support specialists.
  3. Do I have technology to track, monitor, manage, and report on this category efficiently?
  4. How do I handle questions, concerns and issues coming in from my remote locations or various sites?
  5. Do I have the right systems in place to handle the monthly invoice flow across all locations?
  6. Does my finance department have the time to audit all the waste invoices in detail that ensures me that the rates and fees are billed correctly?
  7. Do I have the expertise in house to address waste stream optimization?
  8. Do I have the expertise in house to ensure regulatory compliance requirements for each region or municipality we operate in?
  9. Will payments get made securely and on time, ensuring that I avoid stop service situations?

If you answer yes to the all of the above, then the choice is simple – self-manage directly with one or more waste service providers. If your answer is no to the majority of these points, then you should look at outsourcing these services to waste and recycling experts. When you outsource, you have two types of providers to choose from:

  1. Waste Brokers
  2. Managed Service Providers Specializing in Waste and Recycling

Working with a Waste Broker

If you use a waste broker, you won’t have to procure services on your own. Nor will you need to enter into multiple contracts with multiple suppliers. The broker will consolidate and handle all of this directly. However, working with a broker might not provide you the business advantage you seek.

How much visibility do you need?

Working with a waste broker gives you less control over your haulers, less visibility, and fewer data points from which to evaluate your program. Most enterprises today have waste and recycling initiatives that require detailed compliance and reporting against goals that might include circular economy, zero waste, or food waste reduction.

How important is waste and recycling to your brand?

You take some risk in relying on one single entity–an unaudited, non-financial institution–to make payments directly to your haulers across all your locations and properties. When payments are late or missing all together, that results in missed pickups. For service or customer-facing grocery stores, restaurants or retail chains, missed pickups can impact your appearance and turn away customers, or worse, create finable messes. In addition, because you don’t have control over waste hauler selection, you might end up with lower cost haulers who have lower quality services. 

Other Risks: Hidden Fees

Other risks may include hidden revenue streams to the broker such as backend incentive dollars that go directly from the hauler to the broker that you’ll never see.  

Working with a Waste Expense Management Provider

Dedicated providers of Waste Expense Management offer a more strategic, and long-term trusted advisor business partner relationship. Admittedly, there are a lot fewer options to pick from because it requires the vendor to invest in creating a closed looped/procure to pay environment especially tailored to waste. Waste invoices are complex and regulations and services vary state by state and city by city. On top of that, this is an area of rapid change and rising costs over the past 18 months. Working with a managed service provider means you have control and visibility you might not have considered possible.

A waste managed services provider specializes in offering transparency, consistent and repeatable daily services that become part of the fiber of its client’s business.  What that means is transparency at all times: monthly detailed processing and auditing of invoices, checking for invoice errors and optimizing your environment, recovering errors and putting that money back into your pocket, and then making secure, on-time monthly payments, backed by a financial institution. Dedicated Waste Expense Management providers of this type will have YOUR best interest at heart. There are no back end compensatory incentives from your waste service provider(s) that go to brokers. This results in a better overall approach to waste and recycling that adds to your sustainability goals and protects your brand.

About Cass Waste Expense Management

Cass Waste Expense Management; a division of Cass Information Systems, a 100+ year old business that provides world class bill pay, invoice processing and expense management service across the globe. Backed by a bank that is part of the federal reserve, with Cass, you can always count on your bills to be paid accurately and on time.  Cass has developed expense management best practices through years of experience and dedication of servicing it’s clients at the highest level across a number of expense categories including freight, telecom, utilities, and waste. 

Contact sales or call Cass today to speak to a professional representative to learn more.

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