Within the last few years, technology has boomed. It essentially is changing our culture to an on demand society. Everyone wants everything right now. A simple search on a smartphone can get a user information immediately. They can place an order, do research, send a message or even play a game. Have you noticed that the last thing most users use cellular devices for is the actual phone? This new culture has even made its way into the waste industry. Like anything, we can argue both sides of the coin—how it is helpful and how it is an added distraction. They key ingredient is to make sure that you have an equal balance of both.
Currently, our company is in the process of starting to embrace technology. It is something we always seem to put on the back burner. Personally, I do not have a social media account. My excuse has always been that I’m busy with my goals and objectives and I do not have time to wander and snoop on other people’s pages or accounts and see what they are doing. That was my recollection of social media pages in their infant stages. As I started to do some research and embrace Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, I have started to see how they too have evolved from what I presumed them to be. So I made the decision to start to develop pages for our company.
The waste industry is going through a very difficult time right now. Trying to attract youth/quality staffing is an ongoing challenge. I questioned myself why an industry, extremely stable on the job market scale, seems to be so difficult to attract. That is why I decided to advertise where the target demographic is, social media. Every day, I can count dozens of items that would be social media worthy. Being able to capture this moment with a photo or video is beneficial on all levels. I recently purchased a drone, which I started using as a toy. I quickly realized how beneficial this “toy” could be on all levels of our company; it then has turned into a tool. (Disclaimer: be sure to abide by all governing laws when using the drone.)
This tool has been used to make marketing videos, capture aerial footage of our landfill documenting fill sequence, make safety videos and even training videos. It captures pictures and can even assist in route training. I have been doing this behind the scenes for quite some time and our staff seems to really embrace it. At a recent safety meeting, we played a video I had recorded which originally started as a marketing video, but we picked the video apart and saw many potential safety hazards. What took me 20 minutes to film and present has probably saved us hours and hours of downtime in the operations. That’s only one example. There is an old saying from my football days, “the eye doesn’t lie”. The camera is a great way to learn, train, educate, promote and teach the culture of your business. Giving some attention to social media and video/photo documentation is just a piece of the technological puzzle that you too can use to promote and make the industry safer one company at a time. | 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 that 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.