Transformation: SDO Certifications

By Dave Murphy, Vice President of Innovation
and Business Optimization

In this month’s column, I want to talk about SDO and give you a quick update on it. As a reminder,
SDO is the marriage of technology (on-board computers) with day-to-day process changes at the
district level.

SDO also changes the tools and processes we use to route and dispatch our trucks. Involving
technology, employees, coaching/performance management, and customers, SDO will change
how we operate our hauling districts. It standardizes the processes we use to efficiently get our trucks
out of the yard in the morning, dispatch/route them during the day, service our customers and return
our trucks and our drivers to the yard at night. It is truly a new way for WM to do business.

So how are we doing?

To date, we have 14 locations that are certified SDO sites. Certification means they meet or exceed all
of the criteria, have passed all of the challenges, and had all the success necessary so that SDO is working
at the district. Nobody there will tell you SDO is easy. In fact, they will tell you it was quite hard. But, these
districts are setting the standard and leading the way for all of us.

SDO has also been installed at a number of other districts and they are all working hard to become certified by
the end of this year. For the next six months and into next year, we will continue to deploy SDO with existing and
new sites. The speed at which new sites become certified will likely increase.

Now, the great news. When we look at the performance of our districts, it is clear that SDO-certified districts
are outperforming SDO (uncertified) districts and both are outperforming those where SDO has not yet been
installed. SDO is working.

However, SDO is about a culture change. It really is a new way of doing business and a new way of engaging
with each other, using information and direct, one-on-one coaching to improve our operations and the service
we deliver to our customers.

On our journey, already some managers and non-managers alike have decided this new approach isn’t something
for them. They have voluntarily moved on but some others, unfortunately, were asked to leave despite lots of support,
training, and coaching. They just weren’t able to embrace the change.

Either way, understand that SDO will mean change for all of us. We have talked in this column before how change
isn’t easy. But together we will turn WM into the world class logistics company that we deserve and our customers
demand. That’s Transformation!

SDO Districts

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