Partnering to navigate
the complexity of
Miller Waste Systems, a leading waste management company with 37 locations across Canada, could have never foreseen how a global health pandemic could disrupt their business on a dime.
On Saturdays since the pandemic, it's not unusual for Miller Waste Systems to have nearly 200 cars lined up outside its Pickering, Ontario location. Customers are waiting in their vehicles to weigh and dump off trash and recycled materials.
"COVID made our transfer stations busier than ever," said Mike Buchanan, VP of finance at Miller Waste. "And we had to figure out how to service customers quickly while also keeping them safe."
Buchanan recently sat down with Global Payments to talk about how the pandemic has changed Miller Waste's approach to payments.
Safe POS solutions meet a pressing need
With locations from Ontario to Nova Scotia, Miller Waste has up to five point-of-sale (POS) terminals at each station. Pre-pandemic, they had transitioned from hardwired POS to wireless point-of-sale terminals across all of their locations. The switch to wireless was strategic: The mobility of the wireless solutions provided a more efficient customer experience.
They couldn't predict, however, that a global health pandemic would introduce the need for social distancing between customers and employees. Ultimately, the hardwired POS terminals were a better option in a time when customer and employee safety took precedence.
Global Payments, who has partnered with Miller Waste since 2006, helped their transfer stations transition back to hardwired POS terminals within days, which allowed for safer social distancing and little downtime.
Innovation in action
"Getting the wireless terminals when we needed them and being able to go right back to wire technology when we had to was extremely important to us, " Buchanan said. "When I need something, Global Payments makes it happen."
Quick and seamless payments
With safe social distancing in place, the number of customers needing to offload trash increased. "We process about 250 transactions per day, six days per week, 45 weeks per year," said Buchanan. "One of the advantages of having a large provider like Global Payments is that they're able to seamlessly scale up when needed, to process the number of transactions that we do in a day."
The result: Miller Waste was able to accommodate even more trash and recycling—a win-win for everyone.
Improving the future with innovation
"COVID has forced everyone to look at their operations and say, 'How can we do this better?'" Buchanan said.
After the pandemic subsides, he's focused on working with Global Payments to support payments that improve the customer experience. That may mean re-installing wireless solutions at all 37 locations while also evaluating other innovative technology that could make getting in and out of the transfer station a breeze for customers.
"I'd love to work with Global Payments to find a contactless, self-service payment solution that would also help us cut down on the long car lines in the future," he said.
Commercial payments go digital
On top of their booming consumer business, Miller Waste serves over 10,000 commercial clients and receives about 80% of monthly payments by paper cheque. Buchanan is optimistic that their new online payment portal, launching later this year, will help commercial customers transition to online payments.
"I would love to get rid of our lockbox and speed up our payment turnaround times with our commercial clients," he said, adding that Global Payments has helped support his company move to online payments. By digitizing commercial payments, Miller Waste is eliminating the middleman. Fewer points of contact make the company's payments more efficient and accurate.
"With Global Payments, I don't get stuck in a long help desk wait. I have one person to call, and when I need it done, I get it done fast," Buchanan said. "This is important when we serve so many customers. Every second counts."
While the pandemic has accelerated some of Miller Waste's use of digital commercial payments, there's still work to be done. Buchanan foresees switching the majority of Miller Waste's commercial clients to digital payments over the next few years. He's also keen to explore integrating Global Payments solutions with Miller Waste's routing system for easier payment collection on the spot.
Together with Global Payments, Miller Waste is navigating the complexity of commerce and unlocking potential opportunities for growth.
Innovation in action
"Global Payments delivers commerce technology that drives unique value for our customers," said René Bélanger, president, Canada and Latin America at Global Payments. "By supporting Miller Waste with digital and point-of-sale payments, we're helping them meet customer preferences and improve operational efficiency now and into the future."
That's innovation that delivers.