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5 ways workflow automation streamlines business waste management

Business waste management assisted by workflow automation is easier thanks to several features including enhanced communication, more consistent processes, and more control over waste removal practices. Ensure you stay on schedule and legally compliant by managing industrial waste remotely

Controlling and managing waste is crucial in almost every type of business. If you’re producing a physical product, you’re generating some amount of waste. Business waste management is the practice of handling and disposing of that waste safely.

Workflow automation software makes your resource management more efficient by helping you track and reduce waste through increased process efficiency. Automate workflows to complete waste management tasks more quickly, get a more accurate picture of the waste you create, and create less industrial waste to begin with.

Why is business waste management so important?

A waste management strategy targets all different forms of waste your business generates, which could be hazardous unless disposed of. Business waste management services include:

  • General waste management
  • Recycling
  • Confidential waste disposal
  • Contaminated and chemical waste removal

There are three main reasons your business needs to improve its handling of industrial waste. Those are legal, environmental, and employee safety.

Especially in manufacturing, construction, and similar industries that work with dangerous materials, business waste management is a legal requirement. For example, OSHA regulations specify correct waste disposal methods for everything from general to hazardous waste, including the frequency and method of removal.

Failing to adhere to these guidelines leads to consequences that range from fines to your business being shut down. The severity of your punishment depends on how many rules you violate and whether or not you take action to address them in the allotted time.

Environmental concerns

A trash collection bin filled with excess materials

Particularly with regard to hazardous waste, accumulated industrial waste can pose an environmental hazard. Chemicals and non-biodegradable materials cause air, water, and soil pollution that can harm communities near your facility. Unsustainable waste disposal practices like over-reliance on landfills and incinerators mean lots of greenhouse gas emissions.

Reduce waste in more environmentally conscious ways like recycling to prevent too many pollutants from affecting your surroundings and potentially damaging your reputation.

Health and safety

Along the same lines as protecting the environment, a defined business waste management process protects your employees. Many of the chemicals or byproducts that hurt the environment can also make people sick, either through exposure on site or from contact with contaminated food and water sources.

That’s why the OSHA guidelines for disposal of hazardous waste don’t just specify how you need to dispose of these byproducts, but also walk you through performing risk assessments to determine what may prove hazardous to employees. From there, you’re able to follow the steps of your business waste management plan.

Challenges of business waste management solved by workflow automation

A comprehensive and consistent waste management plan isn’t a small thing to implement. The small tasks, or workflows, that you need to keep track of when handling industrial waste include:

  • Route planning
  • Scheduling waste deliveries
  • Tracking materials
  • Reducing waste

Automating these workflows just means performing repetitive production tasks digitally instead of manually. Just this one step helps you eliminate waste by using fewer resources to accomplish the same work. Manual processes are often slower and less accurately performed than their automated counterparts, meaning they generate more waste.

Workflow automation software allows your business to overcome common challenges that arise when navigating the different responsibilities contained with a business waste management plan.

Streamlined processes

Automated workflows streamline processes and eliminate delays between steps. Without requiring human input to approve completed tasks or initiate subsequent tasks, your process executes more quickly. Particularly if your daily routines involve repetitive, low-skill tasks, workflow automation removes unnecessary sources of waste.

It also introduces consistency to your workflows, whereas manual tasks can be completed with varying quality. The more a simple task has to be repeated, the greater the chance something is overlooked or omitted. Spending extra time and resources correcting these errors creates further waste. Tasks completed using workflow automation produce the same result every time.

Real-time data

Man in orange safety vest and hard hat in front of heavy machinery on a work site

Collecting data in real time gives you insight into your business waste management process that will help you refine and continuously improve it. You’ll be able to figure out what work produces the most waste, which types of waste are most common in your business, and eliminate waste where possible.

Regularly auditing your processes gives you data to analyze. Workflow automation software usually saves the data you collect during these audits so that you can refer back to it and make objective, data-driven business decisions. The fact that this data collection happens in real time means you can proactively rather than reactively address gaps in your waste management process.

Waste tracking

Workflow automation software can be used to easily schedule and track waste disposal. Once you’ve collected waste for removal, your software can trigger a request for pickup and notify you once it’s been completed. End-to-end visibility of the waste disposal process tells you how long employees are spending on tasks.

This data improves your resource management, because it allows you to schedule waste disposal so that you’re maximizing productivity, taking the shortest routes and carrying the most materials possible each time so as to reduce fuel costs. Tracking waste removal tells you how much you’re spending on recycling.

Improved communication

Workflow automation software makes communication easier by providing a centralized platform for assigning, scheduling, and prioritizing tasks. Being able to trigger waste management protocols and send updates at the click of a button means much shorter wait times and a clearer understanding of roles and responsibilities.

Workflow automation also helps you communicate with third-party contractors so that your waste isn’t sitting there for too long after it’s collected. Automate requests for pickup so that you don’t have to take time away from other responsibilities.

Save costs

Collecting business waste management data regularly and cutting out unnecessary activity throughout a given process reduces the amount you spend eliminating waste. Accurate information about the amount and type of waste you produce helps you optimize disposal times and methods.

Efficient waste management leads to lower costs because utilizing the full capacity of your assets means fewer trips to the recycling center. And when you do send materials out for disposal, fuel-efficient route planning saves further resource costs.

Lumiform’s workflow automation software makes business waste management a much smoother process. Using digitally generated checklists to perform waste management audits in a standardized way ensures you don’t skip any steps and helps you comply exactly with legal requirements. Features like real-time data collection and automatically-generated reports give you constant visibility into every aspect of your waste management plan.

The software also helps you streamline activities that generate waste so that you manage resources as effectively as possible, saving both time and materials. In this way, you approach business waste management from multiple angles.

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