A “good” Waste & Recycling Management Firm will include an Experienced Account Management Team. If you have ever been unfortunate enough to deal with an Account Management Team that never seems to know “what” is causing your issues, “how” to correct the issues, and who just doesn’t seem to understand “why” they need to follow-up with you in a timely fashion, you will understand why an Experienced Team is important. They will make a big difference in developing and maintaining a progressive program with minimal issues.
So, when it comes to Waste & Recycling Management Firms, what personnel should the Account Management Team consist of? This is a good question, and will vary “greatly” from one Management Firm to the next. With some Management Firms, the Account Manager will be the “only” Client-facing resource that is assigned. In other words, other than a generic Customer Service number, the Account Manager’s phone number is the only other direct point of contact the Client has. I’m sure it would not be hard to see how having so few resources could cause issues in not only timely communication, but also getting things done in a timely fashion. The Account Manager in this scenario only has so many hours in a day, so the person can only handle so many requests in a day. As can typically be the case, every kind of issue, including services issues, billing issues, etc., have to funnel through this position. This easily becomes a “choke-point” in getting things done or resolved. This scenario typically generates a lot of frustration for the Client.
What would be an example of the structure and resources for a “good” Management firm? Use the following as an example. Let’s start with Account Management. A “good” Management Firm will have both a Sr. Account Manager, and a Jr. Account Manager assigned to the Client. This allows for the Client to have access to more than one resource in this area. The Team will also include at least one person from each department (i.e. Operations Department, Accounts Payable Department, Accounts Receivable Department, etc.), as well as escalation contact information to senior members of each Department. In this scenario, the Client’s Team will have the contact information of each member of this Team. This type of structure is excellent from an efficiency standpoint. It allows for the right people to communicate on a consistent basis to quickly manage issues. For example, the Client’s Accounts Payable personnel are able to place a call to the Management Firm’s Accounts Receivable contact, to get their question or issue resolved right away. This is obviously much more efficient than everyone on the Client’s Team having only one point of contact.
So, just how experienced should an Account Management Team be? There is no one correct answer, but we can discuss guidelines. Since the Sr. Account Manager will most likely be overseeing the performance and future development of the Management Program, a good guideline is Industry experience of around 7 to 10 years, with the Jr. Account Manager following with 2 to 5 years of experience. It is also a good guideline for these positions to have been with the Management Firm for 2 or more years. Another good sign is if the other members of the Account Management Team (Operations, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, etc.) have been with the Management Firm for 2 years or more. Again, this is just a guideline. If a “good” Management Firm has been growing, some of their Team members may be new, but always be sure that “key” personnel you are dealing with (i.e. Account Managers, Operations Personnel, etc.) have a significant amount of Industry experience, and have been with the Management Firm for at least a couple of years. This type of Experienced Team will provide a better chance for good Client experience.