Alan Hilburn, Director – IT Transportation & Operations, PSC, LLC

SuperNova Award Category

Matrix Commerce

Your Company

In business more than 30 years, PSC, LLC provides environmental, industrial cleaning, and container and transportation services to customers across North America. PSC is a leader in proper handling of Hazardous Waste, which is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). PSC is based in Houston, Texas with operations in the United States, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. PSC employs 4500 people across more than 100 North American locations.

The Problem

Hazardous materials pick-up and disposal is no joke. PSC drivers, quite literally, could be driving around with a bomb (expired fertilizer or insecticide, old oil or diesel, etc.) in their trucks. Regulations have to be followed to the letter, and failure to do so can incur massive fines from the EPA, Department of Transportation (DOT), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Homeland Security, and others. Yet we were still operating the way we had for the last 30 years – dispatching our drivers and providing service using whiteboards, spreadsheets and clipboards. The EPA requires the use of an official Hazard Waste Manifest, which is a 6-part form that was historically printed on a Dot-Matrix printer. All the paperwork bogged down our operations. A scheduled pick up meant PSC would be sending a driver “sometime next week” to the customer site, and customers would be left in the dark. It would be a massive change to overhaul and automate dispatching, while providing anywhere, anytime mobile access to each of our 400 drivers.  But this change could be revolutionary, and enable PSC to provide our customers with more precise pick up times, as well as track and manage all the regulatory data in the field. We were striving for huge gains in productivity, as well as happier customers, ultimately building customer loyalty and displacing the competition.

The Solution

This was not just a “let’s buy some software” solution. PSC envisioned an entirely new process (made possible by technology advancements) that would help optimize their entire supply chain, while tracking regulatory details and ensuring the chain of custody was intact. To solidify this process, PSC deployed ServiceMax, a mobile and collaborative field service automation solution, on the same platform as their existing CRM,  In addition, PSC innovated a “Laser Manifest” which combined the EPA Manifest Form and the content into a Laser Printer combined solution, which was much clearer and more effective. While this was not a great technology achievement, the breakthrough was gaining approval from the EPA to print a Laser Form and Content together on a Laser Printer. PSC filed a patent on this new innovative process. Clients were very pleased with this much more readable document, and in fact, required in their contracts that we produce our Laser Manifest over the traditional Dot-Matrix form.

The Results

For the first time, PSC could provide full visibility into schedules of the drivers, trucks and hazardous materials handling equipment. The new process (and ServiceMax) went live in February 2013. At that time, estimated pick up times were within a certain week, and the on time rate was only 50%. No one thought it could be done, but by April, we were able to tell customers the specific day we would arrive, and on-time rates were 80%! Now in July, on time rates are 95%. PSC is now looking to get the window down even further to ½ day. This was accomplished by providing visibility into schedules, planning for unplanned stops and maintenance, and analyzing the most optimal schedules and routes to ensure both on-time pick ups and truck utilization (full trucks mean huge productivity gains and improved cash flow).

The Technology

PSC deployed Cloud-based field service management software from ServiceMax. Built on the platform, ServiceMax is (for the first time) enabling PSC to get a seamless view of the customer across the company. ServiceMax is helping support significant process change at PSC by providing optimized technician scheduling and work order management in the field. Drivers are mobile-enabled, accessing ServiceMax using their iPhones while in the field. Collaboration features within ServiceMax are also enabling PSC to gather instant feedback on the new processes from employees, and the flexibility of ServiceMax’s software enables PSC to continue to iterate and fine tune based on the feedback they receive.

Metrics Matter

Increased on-time customer pick up rates from less than 50% to 95%, all while shrinking the time window for pick up from one week to one day or less. 

Disruptive Factor

PSC is not just using mobile, collaborative new software, but we completely overhauled our processes to take advantage of technology advancements that didn’t exist five years ago. By showing up on time, with iPhones in hand, we’re showing our customers that we are the company to do business with. That we are the company that’s on the cutting edge and able to take care of their needs in a way that our competitors can’t. It’s showing a commitment to our customers and is a great marketing tool for our business.

Shining Moment

Results from the new process were so exciting, that PSC had to cross check the data to make sure technicians weren’t just “gaming the system”. The on-time rates skyrocketed so quickly, management had to check it was actually true!