Total Waste Management Procurement - Biffa

A blueprint for total waste management procurement

Tobias Bowman
10 Feb 2022
5 mins
Learn more about selecting the right waste management provider in an evolving environment.

Waste management and resource protection are becoming increasingly high on the political and business agenda. Public opinion, legislation, and global environmental conditions are driving change in the way businesses define and manage their waste. New levels of accountability and transparency mean selecting the right waste management provider has never been more important.

Tendering for waste management is unique. For companies with multiple sites, high waste volumes, and diverse waste streams, the tender process can be complex. Waste touches every area of business operations that may not traditionally link to one another as with other procurement services. We have shared some pro-level tips to make the waste management buying process a bit easier. 

What to look for in a supplier

Trust plays an integral role in waste management. At a base level you need your waste management supplier to be compliant, to collect and process your waste in a safe and efficient way. You should feel confident that your chosen supplier is capable of processing hazardous substances and taking every opportunity to recycle and reuse all available resources. Transparency and professionalism are the bottom line; the tender process is an opportunity to see what is possible. Invite companies of varying sizes and structures to respond and ask lots of questions. A market-leading offering will include the following attributes. 
Supplier qualities infographic
Data is the binding force in waste management. Whatever your requirements, data – and the technology to capture data with precision – are essential. The experience and expertise of the professionals managing your account are important factors, but you should be targeting a bespoke and data-driven strategy. Waste compliancy and sustainability is too important to be left to opinion. Templated ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to strategy can only go so far.

How long does the tender process take?

The tender process runs approximately 20 weeks on average; however every business is unique, and the tender process will reflect this. Some markets have a high volume of specialist waste streams, or complex logistical issues that can increase certain parts of the tender process. Also, parts of the tender process dependent on site visits are subject to government restrictions and company policy around circumstances such as COVID-19, avian influenza or other specific circumstances that impact site access in your industry sector. 
Timeline infographic
Site audits are a major part of the tender process. Any waste management company responding to the tender should visit all relevant sites and connect with key stakeholders. A site audit provides experts with access to identify opportunities to increase efficiency, maximise revenues from rebates, and reduce carbon footprint.

What comes out of the audit process

The audit provides tendering companies with a holistic view of your business operations. Analysis of your sites and how they are connected logistically will ensure more precision in forecasting potential improvements. Data plays an essential role in the audit process. Your waste streams and waste volumes provide a benchmark for modelling strategy, so aligning the structure of your data with a waste management supplier can make the process more efficient.
Site audit infographic
Before the waste audit, it is important to inform staff and arrange stakeholder meetings to ensure all the relevant information can be covered. The buying process is about bridging the gap between suppliers and key stakeholders in your business with whom they will be working with, so make it inclusive. Encourage colleagues to ask as many questions as possible of potential suppliers, to share their pain-points and their local aspirations; the tender process is a good opportunity to learn.
Supplier qualities infographic
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Author: Tobias Bowman

Tobias works with Biffa’s communications team to create interesting and diverse content for the industrial and commercial industry. His favourite subject is sustainability, so keep an eye out for helpful tips.