We call this software the "Integrated Recycling Enterprise System (IRES)". The IRES aims to support the automation of all key end-to-end processes for a recycling business. In this case, the company in focus in a Metals recycling business. The company handles ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals for recycling purposes. The scrap metals are collected from residential and commercial construction, renovation, demolition and other scrap metals found in machineries.
In general, recycling companies more or less face these common problems:
Weighing machines are stand-alone systems. Thus, all weight readings must be entered manually and printed to tickets for the drivers. This process is slow and prone to human errors.
Staff must manually match the weight measures of arrival and departure of the same vehicle – This is in order to compute the nett weight of materials being off- or on-loaded during transport. This process is slow and prone to human errors.
Management is unable to monitor weights data in real-time at various points of the process. Thus, management lacks control over this highly critical component of a recycling business.
All back-office processes are done in Word/Excel. Unable to access information promptly for daily operation and decision-makings.
All data must be re-entered to the accounting system (QuickBooks) manually. This is highly unproductive.
Typical inventory management systems are unable to handle the needs of recycling businesses. Inventory items are transformed and usually need to be retagged with new SKUs after certain production activities such as sorting, segregation, bailing, briquetting and packing of metals.
Unable to compute inventory values easily when assets are not tagged and tracked accurately. This creates a major challenge for recycling companies to meet financial report compliance.
Unable to generate quote and perform sales functions when staff are not in the office because (a) information resides in the office (b) inventory information must be checked manually as assets may not be updated accurate on paper.
In summary, recycling business are a niche industry with their own operational needs, and thus face unique challenges not seen by other industries. Some examples of key business processes that deviate from other trades are:
Multiple ways to compute inventory value
Conversion of assets and SKU after processing
PO generated after goods received
Packing started before DO is generated
Frequent adjustment of asset parameters (after re-weighing and Quality Control)
Different MOUs for the same material
Some of the concerns that this software looked to tackle are:
Sourcing for ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals
Procurement and collection of metals
Quality checking, sorting and segregation of metals
Bailing, briquetting and packing into jumbo bags
Sales and export to overseas markets
This software was a complexed system that looked to automate the end-to-end requisition, production, sales and delivery process. It involved combination of both hardware sensors and software development, and here we share with you some of the areas that were covered by the IRES.
Weight Device Automation. Physical weighing devices are placed on transport vehicles or at physical sites. The weighing devices keep track of the loads that they carry, and the weights are transmitted to the cloud. Weight tickets can be printed physically, or weights can be viewed via a Tablet or mobile devices.
Anywhere. Operations tablets are deployed at strategic sites, while a Manager application allows upper management to monitor operations on-the-go.
Integrated Recycling Enterprise System (IRES). The IRES is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS Cloud). It is a web application that contains the following modules:
4. The IRES is then finally integrated to the accounting system on-site on the company's premises to close the loop.
What are some of the benefits that recycling companies can experience from the IRES?
Lowering operational costs by having better information management of the entire end-to-end production process, from procurement to delivery and payment.
Able to perform quote and sell actions on the move, with live inventory information available online and accessible on mobile.
Able to strategize business direction when inventory accounting (market value, cost and value-add adjustments) is customized for the recycling business trad.e (commodity goods based on spot rate).
Are you a recycling company that is looking to adopt technology? Check by with us and let us explore for you how technology can bring your business to the next level. Technology like the IRES can be eligible for up to 70% grant subsidy by the EDG.