What to Ask Before Investing In Waste Management Software

March 2023

6 min

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Many recycling or waste industry businesses wonder when it's time to invest in waste management software. Whether using software for the first time or switching your current system to a new one, you'll need to know what questions to ask before investing your valuable time and money. Here are seven questions to ask the software providers.

1. Does the Software Meet Core Business Needs?

The best waste management software will always meet your business's core needs. Ask the software providers about how well they can meet your requirements. Some company decision-makers may become distracted by the flashy aesthetics of a program but fail to see past the demonstration of the software's bells and whistles. 

It's essential for those making decisions about new software to identify what vital aspects of your business's process and operations you want to focus on. Keep those needs separate from the functions and features you want to see in the software, as these items aren't as important as what the software can do for your company.

To begin, make a list of everything your company wants to prioritize. Can the software help you with inventory control or improve workflow? What do you need the software to do for your business? Answering these questions can help you make the right decision.

At Paradigm Software, L.L.C.™, we help you meet your core business needs at every step of the process. We help you find weighing or routing solutions from implementation to continued use. Our company goes beyond the typical bells and whistles with modules to fit your specific requirements and software that grows with your company.

2. Is the System Easy to Use?

When searching through scalable software for waste management, you'll want to find a logical and intuitive solution. Ask the software provider how easy it is to use the program and what improvements and enhancements you could make through the new software. Will you improve customer service or increase productivity?

Your improvements and goals will suffer if the new system is too difficult to use. It could also cause frustration among staff members who need to work too hard to train themselves or learn the program.

3. What Do Current Customers Think?

Understanding what current customers think of their waste management software can give you insight into what software to choose. Many vendors provide references, allowing you to speak to customers and consider the reputation and scale of the software provider. Look at references with bad reviews or ones that mark the company as having a bad reputation.

While larger companies have the resources to fund a helpful and accurate evaluation process, smaller businesses may not. Remember, this doesn't mean smaller software vendors don't have something to offer.

You'll want to invest your time and money into reliable and credible software. Ask current customers how long they've used the software and what they think. Their answers can decide whether you want to use the software or find another vendor.

4. Will It Adapt to Business Needs?

Consider the features you'll need today and in the future. Ask the software vendor how the program can scale to your unique business needs over time. Longevity is key.

Some systems may have powerful features for specific industries, like packing plants or scrap buying. Other software providers may offer features that don't apply well to particular sectors, such as inventory control or material processing. Finding new software is an investment that's worth taking your time.

Consider your options well and ask the right questions beforehand. Can the software handle an increase in numbers and users? Will it continue to offer new features as your business becomes more successful? Does the vendor have a strong customer service team that can help you when you have critical questions or demands?

The software provider should have the skills and knowledge to meet your needs. You'll want to know whether you'll be left hanging when an update needs to happen or if the vendor will walk you through each step.

5. Does the Accounting Model Work?

Many waste management software programs can pair with accounting models. Ask the software provider how well the accounting program works. Your company will want access to gross profit reports, inventory lists and commission information.

Remember that relying too heavily on these reports could hinder your business, as they might not reflect accurate sales and purchases through your accounting model. Ask the software provider what tools they offer to calculate profits and track inventory costs easier.

6. How Will It Provide ROI?

Your company will want to know that its new software offers a good return on investment (ROI). Some ROI factors you should look for in new software include the following:

  • Redundancy: Can the software eliminate redundancy and reduce manual data entry, spreadsheets and document preparation?
  • Errors: Will the software help your company avoid incorrect pricing, weights or overpayments?
  • Workflow: What workflow features and tools does the software offer? Can it help your company improve tracking and collaboration?
  • Visibility: Will the software increase visibility, productivity and central access?
  • Dependencies: Can the new software improve training and reduce reliance on outsourcing?
  • Value features: Will the software add a mobile app or web portal options? Can it help those who work remotely?

7. Who Is Behind Training and Support?

Ask the software provider who will assist with training and support. A well-planned and executed implementation process is essential to the success of your software and business. You'll have to consider a few factors, such as the experience of your company staff and the time you have to invest in the implementation process. A lack of knowledge could result in a project that eventually falls through.

Ask yourself who on your team will be assigned to work on training and support. Will the software provider help you with the process? It's also essential to understand how many installations the provider has done. Do they have first-hand experience in the waste management industry, or have they only worked with software?

Because the implementation process is so essential, finding a team that can support you through training and support will make or break the success of your software.

Request a Quote From Paradigm Software, L.L.C.™

At Paradigm Software L.L.C.™, we help you find and implement weighing and routing solutions to fit your company's needs. Our company can manage your dispatches, fees and transportation tracking. Our software solution, WeighStation™, helps companies that want to maximize their productivity and efficiency.

For those looking for new waste management software, Paradigm Software, L.L.C.™ can assist you through the process. With over 30 years of experience working with partners and industry experts, we have all the resources you need to support your business and its unique challenges. Contact us today to speak to a representative, or call us at 410-329-1300.