Inspired By A Skip
Way back in 2008 I was in my early 20's and living in Mosman on Sydney's North shore. The building where I rented got a skip bin which was placed right out the front of the complex and I walked past it a few times every day.
After the bin had been there for a couple of weeks I received a letter from strata saying the bin would be gone soon, but that the bin company was from Western Sydney and were having some trouble fitting the pickup in.
It turned out that this company was travelling 40km from their base of operations because they must have needed the work. Travelling this far to get a bin was effecting their ability to complete other work.
My family had been talking about business ideas at the time and after this experience I thought it would be a good idea to help consumers find skip hire providers that made sense for their location and requirements. When I pitched my Dad the idea he was not immediately in love with it by any means.
I said "Dad, this is a great idea, we have a clear problem to solve and a monetization strategy. What could go wrong!". As many of you know skips are not rocket science but a lot of problems can happen. Don't get me wrong we had tremendous success but ordering skips from 350 or more providers each year without a consistent framework for communication is complicated.
The Problems We Face
Have you ever had a customer on the phone and felt confused about what bin they were calling about? Have you been looking in your diary or other records for a bin they insist they got from you so you know it's yours and you've been paid?
We ran into so many of these issues, suppliers taking months to invoice, doing more bins and not telling us until weeks or even months later. Not showing up for bookings with no notice due to sick drivers, broken down trucks or other reasons.
Trying to Find Another Way to Help
In 2017 I founded a new startup looking to create a framework for communicating with suppliers about skip hire services. After running into classic resourcing and inventory issues with multiple suppliers I decided I needed to invent some more technologies for my suppliers.
I worked hard to establish what was happening and how I could help. What I discovered through market research was that 70-80% of the suppliers were using a diary. As a consequence inventory control and predicting what resource utilisation would be was just not possible.
I thought that software may be able to help companies who wanted to have the capability to know what inventory they were likely to have and how busy they were going to be. Through market research I found that companies above 4 trucks usually implemented specialised skip hire software.
Unfortunately it seemed that what they had was not really working for them as I still had issues when ordering from those with this skip bin management technology.
First Hand Experience
I had the opportunity to take bookings and direct the drivers for a few weeks and what I found was that working in a diary made me feel overwhelmed. Customers would ask can you do a 4m tomorrow and I'd say yes because I knew there was stock in the yard but I couldn't have known if this was going to impact other bookings I had made in the coming week.
Looking at the jobs we had on, the pickup list and then trying to come up with a relatively efficient route to complete the bookings and pickups was tough to say the least. The human brain just isn't made to hold 30 or more locations and dates of pickups and then find routes to complete bookings efficiently.
The average person can hold 7 pieces of information concurrently in mind before they hit overload. Not only does it take a lot of brain power to come up with solutions, but the solution that we come up with is 20 – 40% less efficient than the optimal solution.
Imagine making that kind of saving on your fuel and wages. Wouldn't that make a huge difference to your cashflow and profitability?
Our Vision for the Future
Hiary is here to enable inventory control and capacity prediction so that in an unpredictable industry you can stand out by being the predictable one. Always have the skips you have promised to customers and always have the capacity to deliver when you say you can. We want you to reduce your costs by utilising our technologies to make your business sustainable into the future.
Transporting and sorting our bulk waste streams is hard enough without having to do it without the proper tools. You are working to build an asset and beating the competition is not optional, get the competitive advantage so you can be the best in your areas.