All collection trucks equipped with onboard computing

Technology at forefront of transformation


HOUSTON – Onboard computers are crucial to Waste

Management’s transformation and now — following a

roll out that lasted approximately three years — they

are a standard operating piece of equipment in each

of the company’s collection vehicles. This is a

significant milestone when considering that the

company’s fleet is made up of more than 18,000



“Like all change, some loved it and some hated it,”

said Doug Wesney, manager of business solutions for

Waste Management. “However, even when it came

to the employees that were hardest to reach, I

didn’t find anyone that wasn’t able to adapt. The

reason is because onboard computers truly make

the job easier.”


Beginning in early 2011, Waste Management began

to roll out its onboard computing system to a select

number of Areas. After the first year, it was clear

they were returning a lot of value despite the

challenges that came with transitioning from paper

routes to electronic scheduling. As a result, over

the last two years the deployment of this technology

increased significantly with the majority of field

employees being trained during that time.


Accelerating the deployment timeline came with

several challenges. According to Wesney, getting

field employees trained on the new technology was

just one facet of the overall plan. Managing the

logistics of the deployment across an entire continent,

scaling the device to suit the needs of each locality

and selecting the right device required a lot of effort

and planning. However, the end result is a more

dynamic operation.


“In a factory, you see a problem and it’s visible,”

Wesney said. “Before onboard computers, we had

limited visibility — you might not know what happened

during a route until the end of the day. Now we

can see exactly what’s ahead.”


With onboard computers now standard across all collection

vehicles, a number of opportunities are available for

Waste Management to improve customer service and

engagement, including:

“We have a very robust roadmap ahead for onboarding computing,”
said Mark Madsen, vice president of IT. “We’ve just scratched the
very tip of the surface, and this will truly make us a unique service
provider since no one else in the industry is at our level.”


Special thanks to these employees for making the roll out of
onboard computers a success.


Chris Lomax, senior manager of IT