Key things to consider when deploying in-cab navigation solutions for waste & recycling collection operations
In-Cab technologies bring a whole host of benefits to waste collection services. When deployed in the right way, these technologies can revolutionise the way these services operate. Alongside reducing paperwork and other manual procedures for operatives, the information gathered from in-cab solutions can provide real insight into waste collection services and greatly improve efficiency.
As with all projects, the success of in-cab rollouts is dependent on a number of factors. Below are the key considerations that successful implementations take into account:
- Establish a dedicated in-cab solution team – Define roles and responsibilities and develop a realistic project timeline. The team should include management, operational and technical staff and measures should be put in place to maintain regular and ongoing communication between team members
- Champion the Solution – Identify key staff who will act as champions for the solution. These members of staff will assist with implementation and the training of users and will be the bridge between end users and the software providers
- Prepare your data – Spend time making sure your data is checked and finalised in advance of its introduction to the in-cab solution. Inaccuracies in data can be mistakenly interpreted as shortfalls of new in-cab technologies, affecting the success of their introduction
- Map out the flow of information – Understand what data you would like to gather using the technology and how you would like this information to move between different parts of your organisation. Discussions should bring together operational and technical staff to plan how the data can benefit everyone
- Consider hardware lead times and installation timeframes – Hardware orders can have long lead times so ensure that this is considered in project timelines. For service continuity, try and coordinate installations around operational hours and ensure that hardware is installed and signed off prior to user training
- Be aware of in-cab legalities – Carry out vehicle audits to ensure that hardware is positioned safely and is installed in accordance with health and safety guidance. The position of the hardware should be agreed and signed off by both operatives and management prior to going live. Users should be made aware of the difference between the use of in-cab satellite navigation devices and mobile devices
- Manage change with ongoing communication – Early communication with staff helps to convey the background of why in-cab technology is being introduced, provide staff with the opportunity to ask questions and allows time to address any concerns raised. This communication should be ongoing to help iron out any issues and maintain the use of the solution
- Promote the benefits – Emphasise that the technology is being implemented to reduce work rather than to add to this, providing concrete examples of how time is saved (for example through driver reporting). Help staff to understand that the solution is a tool to help rather than hinder them
- Provide good training – Where possible, plan to provide user training as close to the rollout as possible, keeping this fresh in users’ minds. Ideally provide one-on-one training in the cab for users to grasp the application. Provide ongoing training where needed and communicate any new features to users. Ensure that new users are brought up to speed with full training
- Start simple – A new technology may be overwhelming at first. Where possible, ease in the technology slowly, for example saving more complex functionality until later once operatives have got a firm grasp of how it works
- Don’t change everything at once – If, for example, new routes are being introduced to a service, it is best to avoid introducing these at the same time as the new technology. Allow time for the technology to bed in with existing routes before rolling out the new routes. This way, the technology will be met with far less resistance
- Monitor in the early stages – Users may avoid using the solution if they are struggling with certain functionality. Catch this early by monitoring use and checking in with staff who may require further assistance
- Harness the data – Monitor and analyse any data you may be receiving to build up ‘service intelligence’. Feed information provided by the solution back to your operational data for continuous improvement. Where possible, communicate to operatives how the data they are collecting is being used across the service
Once in-cab solutions have been successfully embedded into organisations they can very quickly become an integral part of day-to-day operations. Information that was previously recorded on paper or communicated via telephone can be relayed to the back office in real time, improving service visibility and allowing operatives to spend more time on the task in hand.
About Integrated Skills Limited
Integrated Skills, operating out of Romsey near Southampton, is a specialist provider of routing and route optimisation software, smartphone & tablet solutions, environmental management software, highways management software as well as environmental consultancy in the following sectors:
- Environmental service operations
- Highways service operations
- Parcel & post
- Newspaper deliveries
ISL is a partner of ESRI for the ArcGIS platform.
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.