The Compost Crew Case Study


The Compost Crew

Industry: Compost - Recycling

Founded: 2011

Areas Served: DC Metro Area & Baltimore, MD

Why WorkWave® Route Manager: "Things happen all the time and it’s great to have this new layer of visibility into exactly where our drivers are at any moment. It’s become an invaluable part of our business.”
- Ryan Walter, Co-Founder

Number of Daily Stops: 150-600

Route Optimization:
How a Compost Collection start-up went from 15 customers to thousands in 5 years

Since launching their business in 2011 with one truck and 15 customers, The Compost Crew has grown to service thousands of homes with their fleet. From the start, co-founders and childhood friends Ryan Walter and Brian Flores selected WorkWave® Route Manager (formerly Viamente) as the perfect fit for route planning, as they were focused on building a sustainable and scalable company with lean resources.

About the Compost Crew

The Compost Crew is an organic waste collector for residents and businesses in the DC Metro Area and Baltimore, MD. Similar to a recycling service, The Compost Crew collects food waste and other organic materials from the local community to be composted and reused. They offer both residential and commercial services, as well as compost collection for special events. In just five years, The Compost Crew has grown from 15 to several thousand customers.

Complete Telematics with WorkWave Route Manager: Route Planning + Mobile + GPS Integration

The Business Challenge

According to the Environment Protection Agency, theComposting market is growing fast as people, communities and local authorities are thinking more about the social and ecological impact of dealing with excess organic waste. Since the barriers to enter the market can be as low as a bicycle with a compost collection box, as exampled in Boston – there’s a lot of competition with small companies as they continue to start-up all over the country, serving local communities.

Ryan and Brian have a really strong passion for sustainability and knew they wanted to make a bigger impact beyond just their local community. From the outset, they defined sustainability as a core value for The Compost Crew, and this meant building a sustainable and scalable business model and using technology to optimize lean resources.

It wasn’t an option for us to plan our routes manually – that just wouldn’t have worked! It [WorkWave Route Manager] gives us a huge leg up against the competition – and we couldn’t run our business without it!”

Comparison of Solutions

For The Compost Crew, route optimization is essential to their business model, and with WorkWave – they know they’re planning the best routes with greater accuracy and improved execution capability. The real-time visibility into the field, combined with measurable feedback of what is actually happening versus planned is a significant upgrade. “So far, it’s been a huge wow factor! We see our drivers and know that we’re looking at exactly where they are in real-time. Our trucks need to meet up sometimes throughout the day and before we relied upon estimations, but now we have this extra layer of information so they can meet up exactly at the right time,” said Ryan.

Better planning has increased capabilities, and real-time visibility has led to faster response, updated ETAs and better planning.

Favorite Features

Driver Behavior

The driver behavior feature of GPS had such valuable insight and immediate impact that it prompted The Compost Crew to develop their new safety policies and procedures! They’re now rewarding their drivers (as a team and individually) on a monthly basis for safe driving. How their drivers react and how they’re perceived in the community is critical to the customer experience. The drivers represent the brand and are often times the first visual for potential clients. Ryan shared how important it is for the drivers to be aware of their driving patterns. It’s something they’ve become even more serious about and are seeing a really positive impact when they notify drivers about their score.

“At first, we saw the team braking hard, speeding and not taking care of our vehicles. Since implementing driver behavior we’ve seen a huge improvement and decrease in alerts. We love it,” said Ryan.

Better Insight with WorkWave Route Manager and GPS Integration

For now, The Compost Crew is focused on analyzing the planned vs. actual route taken to see how it compares. They can do all the route planning just like before, but now they have so much more insight into the vehicles at any time of day to get a real-time view.

“It’s helping us with planning. We’ll jump into GPS when we need it. Things happen all the time and it’s great to have this new layer of visibility into exactly where our drivers are at any moment. It’s become an invaluable part of our business.”

Better Communication with the Mobile App

“The mobile app is the best! Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to run my business without it.” Ryan mentioned the benefits range from: better communication with the drivers, to responding to customer demands, re-routing, planning and making more informed decisions with access to real-time data - all from the mobile app. He commented that it’s smoothed out a lot of friction in the business. “Before, route planning with WorkWave was pretty good - but with the mobile app, it’s a super-powerful tool! Our drivers love it.”

Traffic Profiles

The Compost Crew has anywhere from 150 to 600 stops per day and Ryan was compelled to take the route himself when calibrating for the first time. It’s easy to navigate and Ryan ensures a monthly review to adjust the stop times and traffic profiles to reflect the actual data from the routes taken to validate and/or improve their routing model.

“Every month we look at the previous month’s performance and make changes because we don’t want our drivers driving too long.”

The impact is an ever improving service level. They make sure each month that their planned routes are not only efficient, but are executed accurately. Their customers are thrilled with their consistency to show up on time; The Compost Crew is more accurate with forecasting, builds better routes for drivers and gets their team home on time.

The whole concept of The Compost Crew is derived from a really strong passion for sustainability as a core value - that really drives our decisions.”

Pain-free Onboarding Experience

We asked Ryan about the onboarding experience to WorkWave Route Manager and he confirmed the software is extremely intuitive, attractive and was very easy to begin using - there was no monster learning curve! The product has so much capability and getting up to speed with the new improvements proved easy. In his own words, “We have been really happy. The software is extremely intuitive, especially looking at the other products/software out there…the core product and routing optimization is essential for us pulling in a lot of stops and figuring out the week to optimize our routes. Being able to see the driver tracking system and how they progress along the day is a really big improvement!”

Looking Forward

The Compost Crew are winning 5-star reviews for their reliability and exceptional customer satisfaction. They feel confident that they can continue to meet and exceed their customers' expectations and grow their business as planned - thanks to the real-time visibility and actionable data insights they gain from WorkWave Route Manager.

WorkWave Route Manager + Mobile + GPS is removing friction in their daily execution so they can take care of their customers, extend their capabilities and plan, while continuing to optimize lean resources. The actionable data they receive is essential as they scale their business. Ryan said, “Especially as our business scales, we don’t have to get worried. We look at WorkWave Route Manager for our business planning and forecasting. Each month we’re checking what was planned vs. what actually happened and making assessments. Do we have to shift a customer to a different day? Do some customers have to be moved to another overflow route because they’re taking too much time? Now we know and react.”

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