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Diversity Across the Industry

Sat, Aug 13, 2016 at 10:55AM

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This past month, I had the pleasure of speaking with many haulers (private and public) who praised my last article. It is rewarding to hear from the magazine’s readers knowing what is spoken is understood and hopefully adopted. Being able to converse with each other, allows us haulers to learn from each other and see where everyone’s struggles are currently.

Moving Targets

All of the haulers mentioned many of the same challenges they are currently facing: increased operational cost, reducing employee turnover, decreasing on-the-job injuries, increasing automated pickup, increased work-comp rates, densifying routes, increasing profitability, struggling to find quality salesmen and the list goes on. What I take from all of these conversations is that everyone shares the same challenges. Looking deeper into these, I was amazed at the different ways that people came up with their answers. To be more specific, everyone I spoke to had a different reason or explanation as to why they had their reasoning of listing a challenge. This same trend rang true for every challenge I listed above. Each challenge listed above had 10 or so different reasons it was named a challenge. This fact alone proves how many moving targets there are in our business in order to achieve financial success.

No Scenario is the Same

As an industry, I find it interesting that, depending on our region, we can complicate the simple task of our jobs we all share as simple as it really is:

  • Drive truck to customer 
  • Pick up customer waste/recycling 
  • Dispose/process material

The common denominators we all share are that our geographic regions, local government and local competition dictate a lot of our moves. Many companies are afraid to step outside the box and be different. Like anything, those that take a risk and step outside the box can have high rewards or catastrophic failure. No scenario is the same. I urge you to dictate your own moves that are based on excellent customer service, ethically sound and profit driven. No longer should the waste haulers work on low margins. What we all do is risky and not easy, yet we all make it appear to be that way. Cost of living continues to grow. Don’t forget that taking care of your customers is impossible if you do not take care of your employees. Any employee that goes above and beyond the call of duty consistently should be rewarded. As always, safety is the number one priority! | WA

John Paglia, III is a 4th generation garbage man. Before he climbed the ranks to become Florida Express Environmental’s (Ocala, FL) General Manager, he had a successful career in college and professional athletics. John has been around the garbage industry since his car seat days. Currently, John is focused on growing his company and offering the highest level of customer service and prolonging the world we live in today. John wakes up every day knowing the impact professional haulers have on their community is far greater than most realize. He can be reached at (352) 629-4349, e-mail John3@floridaexpress. us or visit www.floridaexpress.us.


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