Universal Waste Management (UWM) is a medical waste transporter and storage facility headquartered outside Jacksonville, Florida. It specializes in the retrieval, transport, and storage of hazardous medical waste for organizations.
UWM was started by professionals frustrated with the high price and poor customer service in the medical-waste transportation and medical waste disposal industry. UWM strives to create close personal ties with its customers, considering each an incredibly important relationship.
But as UWM tried to provide great service, it struggled with the growing burden of paperwork. Florida law requires medical waste generators (who handle infectious waste, biohazard waste, infectious substances, clinical waste and more) to hold records for at least three years. As UWM’s customer base grew, so too did its number of filing cabinets and space required for paperwork.
Invoicing customers for service was also bulky. As a paper-based company, UWM had a four stage process. The office would give information about the customer to the driver. Then, the driver would return to the office with his carbon copy proof of service. An office employee would then add pricing to the carbon copy. Finally, it was sent to the bookkeeper.
The result? Invoicing customers would take anywhere from four days to a week. Not only was this process slow, but it also created opportunities for errors. “With paper and pen,” said Jason Kenny, President of Operations, “we couldn’t read what [drivers] were doing.” Carbon copies led to issues with inaccurate invoices and slowed down the company’s billing cycle.
As a growing business, UWM wanted to be able to continue to provide great service while reducing storage needs, increasing cash flow, and, eliminating human error. Management began to look for a solution that would streamline communication and get rid of paper.
In November 2012, UWM switch to GoCanvas, the global leader in mobile apps for business. Thousands of organizations leverage Canvas’s cloud-based, software-as-a-service mobile app platform to replace cumbersome paper forms with highly customizable mobile business apps.
Businesses can search from over 21,000+ ready-made form templates in the GoCanvas Application Store (many of which are for documenting hazardous waste, biohazardous waste and more) that can be customized to an individual business user's needs. In addition, GoCanvas offers a do-it-yourself app builder that enables non-technical users to build their own custom apps in minutes.
Over the past two years, UWM’s employees have ditched paper and use a mixture of Android devices with GoCanvas mobile apps. UWM even created a custom PDF output for a seamless brand experience.
The company has discovered measurable results.
Previously, it would take up to a week to bill customers. Worse, the four-stage process allowed multiple opportunities for errors. “Once a customer called us [to complain],” Jason said. “She was billed for 11 containers, but only two had been picked up. The driver had put down two lines and the office saw it as eleven.”
Going mobile has removed any confusion. Today, text is always clear. With drop down fields and barcode scanning, information returns in a standardized format.
By using GoCanvas, UWM receives all its medical waste transport details accurately and in real-time. All documents are stored in the GoCanvas cloud, making it easier to find and track submissions. Calculations are now embedded in the app, so invoicing can go straight from the driver to the bookkeeping staff.
Going mobile has dramatically streamlined the invoicing process. Sending an invoice once took a week. Today, UWM can send it out in the same day.
From the beginning, UWM has strived to provide the best in service to every customer. Yet it wasn’t happy with how carbon copies presented the company to its customers.
In addition, if a customer called UWM for a copy of a lost invoice, the office staff could spend up to an hour trying to find it.
Instead of presenting tired paper tickets, drivers today show up on client sites with tablets and smartphones. In real time, tickets can be emailed to the client by entering the customer’s email at the end of a submission.
UWM’s customers also get the added benefit of having their medical waste removal documents saved in MyCanvas, a portal for customers of GoCanvas subscribers. Its customers get free cloud storage and easy access to their critical information.
“We used to have to find records for customers at least once a day,” said Jason. “Today we only get a request once a week.” Improved access to information frees up UWM’s administrative staff for other important tasks.
Canvas’ PDF receipts and MyCanvas help UWM provide better service to its customers as well as a more professional and clean layout of important work information.
Previously, employees would write down waste disposal manifests on a triplicate form. Then they would bring the forms to the office at the end of a long day. This time lag and multiple site visits made it easier for drivers to lose records, putting both clients and UWM at risk.
It was also difficult for UWM to access the information. It was only available at the office inside UWM’s filing cabinets. It took time to find the documents, and meant certain tasks could occur only inside UWM’s office.
UWM now has two different places to store information. Canvas’ integration with Google Drive allows UWM to host its information both in the GoCanvas cloud as well as on Google. This provides double protection and copies of UWM’s data.
It also provides flexibility for access. “Our office manager prefers accessing information from the GoCanvas portal,” Jason explained. “For me, it’s easier to access the information on Google Drive from my smartphone. The Drive integration has been huge.”
The changes in productivity, customer service, and billing have had a dramatic impact on UWM’s bottom line. “We spent a couple hundred a month on our paper forms alone,” Jason said.
Going mobile has reduced UWM’s labor, invoicing, and recordkeeping costs. Jason estimates that the organization has saved up to $20,000 a year by going mobile.
As a cloud-based, mobile platform combined with an easy-to-use mobile app builder, GoCanvas provides the flexibility to update the mobile form's content and even add new features and functionality. As needs evolve and change, GoCanvas makes editing form apps a frictionless process.
For instance, as UWM grows, it’s easy for management to add new customer information into their GoCanvas apps. UWM doesn’t need to rely on IT support or have any knowledge of coding. With GoCanvas, it’s a simple drag-and-drop interface that anyone can use.
Other mobile app alternatives make this process cumbersome or costly, weakening the effectiveness of their platforms. With GoCanvas it is a frictionless process at no additional cost.
Today, UWM has gone completely paperless with mobile apps. With more time in their workday, they can focus on providing the best medical waste management solution.
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