This question can be answered in a number of ways. There are multitudes of ways a company can affect the community it serves. It depends, number one, on which degree of the waste industry you serve—are you a hauler, a processor or a vendor for parts? Identifying this is your first step in being able to project a positive image. At the base of this, I assume you have a company that is founded and run ethically and is just as importantly branded as a well-known company in the community you serve. Before you can worry about growing your positive image, let’s assume for the sake of this article your company is large enough to have an image at all.
Let’s take the position of a hauler. There are many haulers in every market. What can you do to stand out from the rest? This is a question I constantly ask myself to ensure my company stands apart. Ways to stand out can include strategies in, but not limited to, marketing, brand recognition, service level and pricing structure. Each of these four listed are topics in themselves, but all should be included in your business strategy. Marketing and brand recognition are vital. You can have booths set up at trade shows that are loaded with handouts all with your brand stamped on them. Many companies have wrapped vehicles, not to mention your best assets are investing money in keeping your fleet clean and shiny. These are moving billboards every day. People’s first thoughts are that we are a dirty job; however, seeing a truck that is clean, chromed and shiny makes for a lasting impression. At Florida Express Environmental, it is our policy for trucks to be washed by the driver every day. This also assists in not only safety recognition but also instills a sense of pride in our employees taking care of “their trucks”.
Practice What You Preach
In order to grow your company’s image, you must do the things you say you are going to do on a consistent basis. Building up a good reputation with customers is a great way to build your initial image. What you do beyond that speaks volumes. Support local organizations. Yes, there is always cost associated in doing business, but supporting local organizations that your company believes in will generate more business than you could have thought of, especially when that was not the intent or your decision to donate. Not all support has to be in the form of a donation either. Most recently, I was approached by Habitat for Humanity looking to partner with a company who could reduce their cost of helping others. I firmly believe in the cause and was very familiar with Habitat for Humanity because of past time donated as a college athlete in South Carolina. I decided to offer reduced rates and partial donations. In return, my generosity was repaid when they signed a long-term partnership agreement. I am glad to support the cause and feel proud to see my logo next to theirs on their marketing around our community.
Florida’s Recycling Goals
There is no secret that there is a push to recycle by everyone. Almost every major brand in America has made it publicly known that they are improving their efforts to take care of planet Earth. It’s also no secret that by an increased recycling effort, our industry can play a part in taking care of Mother Earth. Any way your company can reduce its waste helps our community and world we live in. When I refer to waste I mean everything. Your company doesn’t have to have the world’s largest processing facility to make a contribution. As long as you are reducing your carbon footprint that is just as important. Many companies have gone paperless (such as increasing e-mails/e-signatures) or used numerous fuel sources (CNG, diesel, batteries, solar powered) to power their operations. By making their operations more efficient, not only have they become more profitable but also in this case, if you can get this information relayed to your community and show that you care, you can reinforce your company’s positive image. | WA
John Paglia, III is a 4th generation garbage man. Before he climbed the ranks to become Florida Express Environmental’s 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.