Our Client Needed a Custom Online Portal for Environmental Waste Disposal Scheduling
Problem and Background
When an environmental services client approached us to improve its customers’ ability to schedule disposal and transportation of leftover paint and chemicals, we knew we had our work cut out for us. Nothing like this existed – and the variables on each waste material required special container and transportation stipulations. The problem was complicated, which was why placing orders was such a headache. Our customer needed to remove the barriers that made it difficult for its customers to be environmentally responsible and in compliance with EPA regulations.
Vertex needed to approach the problem with a fresh perspective and develop a custom solution.
Our client’s customers (Fortune 500 companies and government agencies) were spending a lot of time, effort, and money to do the right thing – dispose of paint and chemicals in a responsible, ecologically sound manner. Problem was, they were being punished for their efforts to be compliant with the law. Often, they’d create a pick-up order, only to realize too late that they’d requested incorrect containers for transportation. Obviously, customers weren’t happy being charged extra money to transport incorrect container orders.
How did this happen? Our client’s existing online portal confused customers. In fact, their customers frequently requested wrong containers and pick-up times because the interface was complicated. This problem led to excessive phone support and return trips to their locations with the correct containers once the mistake had been caught. Additionally, paints, oils and other hazardous and non-hazardous chemicals that needed to be removed, were occupying valuable warehouse space. There was a need for a simplified system that streamlined the order process and improved accuracy.
Vertex built a new portal that allowed users to create their own profiles. The system also included categories of waste – each with its own unique attributes:
Each of these categories had other subsets.
Now, when customers want to schedule a waste material pickup, they log into their profiles and select which category of waste needs to be removed and transported by answering a series of questions. As users answer questions, the system identifies EPA compliance regulations. Depending on their answers, further dynamic, custom queries gather information to ensure proper container delivery and times. All orders can be tracked, and shipping labels created and printed on the spot. Phone support calls have been virtually eliminated.
Additionally, the system keeps track of historic data, which improves record keeping. Customers can now not only schedule orders, but they can also calculate appropriate inventories of drums and lab packs – so they can be ready for future pickups when needed. Now, customers simply populate a few fields on their waste detail pages, and the system walks them through the order process.
The new system has made it easy for end-users to place correct orders for containers as well as schedule pickups and deliveries. This has reduced transportation costs because wasteful trips with incorrect containers were eliminated. Now, users log into their profiles, identify their waste, schedule a pick-up date, and submit the request. Support phone calls are seldom if ever, needed.
Vertex was able to provide a custom solution by listening intently to client problems and not only addressing them but also finding extra values to offer. The system met client goals:
- Easy to use
- Meets client efficiencies
- Personalizes each client site
Our client knows that it is helping its customers process hazardous and non-hazardous waste materials responsibly, meeting EPA compliance standards. It’s easy for customers to track deliveries, maintain container inventories, print shipping labels, and manage future deliveries. Logistics have been optimized, which has increased efficiencies.
This particular solution employed a blend of .NET and SQL technologies.
- Easy-to-use system is customized to meet end-user needs
- The system keeps historic data for improved record keeping
- User-friendly navigation
- Customer accounts are classified by need, streamlining the order process
- Significant improvement of order accuracy
- Wrong orders from end-users were eliminated
- Reduced transportation costs
- Reduced support calls
- Increased efficiencies for all parties
- Effective and efficient management of scheduling and pick-up of waste products
Understanding client problems is at the heart of Vertex’s business. With a broad range of technologies and specialists who understand how to make the most of them, we build custom solutions where nothing had previously existed.
Vertex is a business and technology consulting ﬁrm that helps customers transform their business processes with leading edge technology. Learn more at www.vertexcs.com.
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Vertex Computer Systems
25700 Science Park Drive #280 / Beachwood, Ohio 44122