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Streamline the operational activities of the recycling plant and monetize material flows

Two men at a recycling plant

In the circular economy, business is a constant balancing act between profitability and regulatory obligations. The profitability of the business is traditionally based on the volume of materials, so the processing capability of the plant, with optimized processes and lead times, is key to success. So how can we improve its efficiency? In this blog post, I share four tips to effectively convert material flows into cash.

Pay attention to the reception of the material

At a recycling plant, a considerable amount of time and human resources is spent on receiving and weighing material. This is why it is worth paying particular attention to reception operations – significant savings can be made by automating reception and weighing operations.

With mobile weighing, the weighing transaction is authorized to be carried out by the drivers. This allows drivers to carry out weighing at a time that suits them best, without having to wait for staff to arrive to weigh the load. The time needed to enter the data can also be minimized by automatically linking the data from the electronic loading or movement documents to the receiving transaction in a pre-completed form.

Invoice 100% of material flows

Because of the huge amount of material that passes through the plant, some of the material may be left unbilled. This is something that needs to change, and the easiest way to do this is to automate the data transfer to the billing software and involve the load inspectors in the process. This way, the comments and changes made by load inspectors can be incorporated into the billing data in an agile way, avoiding unnecessary work in compiling the data, as well as human error.

In a material flow management system, changes made to loads can be linked directly to billing data. This functionality maximizes the correct billing of all materials according to actual performance, while transparent and verifiable billing data significantly reduces the number of complaints. The system can also alert the user if some of the materials have not reached the billing stage. 

Minimize complaints with transparent data management

Complaints cause frustrating investigative work and take up a good chunk of working time each month. Complaints are often based on ambiguities about the quality of the material supplied. There may be a need to re-evaluate the quality of the material or make reductions to the load. If the sender is not informed of these changes and the supporting documents, the risk of feedback in the form of a complaint increases.

An effective way to reduce the number of complaints is real-time and transparent information flow between different parties in the supply chain. Therefore, it is advisable to collect the reception transaction data, material quality re-evaluations, and photographs of the load in a single system that can be accessed by all parties involved. And if complaints do arise, a material flow management system makes the situation easier by providing readily available and traceable access to load data, changes and attachments.

Ensure profitability with real-time data

Unclear material flows and the man-hours they cause are often the reason why profitability growth stalls. Due to the many hidden costs, determining the true margin and profitability of a business can be challenging. This is influenced by many things, such as errors in storing loads, clearing and settlement, and changes that affect the final margins of individual loads.

A modern material flow management system provides user-specific reporting views directly from real-time data to field workers and operational management alike. When data is collected and analyzed in real time at every stage of the supply chain, material flows become profit more efficiently. Carefully managed data also raises the potential margin and growth in circular economy, as well as improves the transparency of cost flows.

Not only does the real-time information benefit the daily management of the business, but the system also allows material flows and their progress to be reported efficiently to the most demanding authorities.

Turn material flows into cash – Flow by Pinja

At Pinja, we worked with circular economy experts to develop a clear and versatile tool to make material flows visible, manageable, and 100% billable. Pinja’s Flow system collects, distributes and reports data from the entire supply chain to exactly where you need it, all with a few clicks. You save your nerves and your time for more meaningful and profitable work.

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Suvi Strandman

Suvi Strandman

I work in sales at Pinja's bioenergy and circular economy unit working on digital solutions in both the domestic and international markets. I find working with customers to be meaningful and relevant. In my free time, you can find me involved in various sports activities, mostly on ski trails in winter and jogging trails in summer.

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