Marcus Kingo - the Founder of 1-888-junk-Van

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1-888-Junk-Van is a waste collections company that hauls waste for households and large public authorities in the London, Hamilton, and Kitchener areas. The company started off very successful thanks to its “virtualized” business model, “in your face” marketing techniques, and their ability to do tasks other companies would not such as cleaning the site after minor demolitions and jobs that needed additional equipment to complete the removal process. When Kingo started his company, it began as an exciting venture that paid off but eventually, Kingo’s business began experiencing setbacks. The company’s disconnected business model came with many problems that arose in the later years. Kingo is now looking to improve his business processes to continue seeing growth in 1-888-Junk-Van.

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In this case study, several issues were mentioned regarding Kingo’s business processes. Some of the concerns include the fact that the waste collection industry is known for their unreliable customer service and lack of professionalism. In addition, since this is a commodity service as competition raises the asking price goes down. Another issue is that achieving operational efficiencies has proven to be challenging within this specific company. Kingo created a simple, small and virtual business model; however, as his business grew so did operational complexity. Kingo began having trouble handling operations as they developed. Drivers rely solely on email for job instructions, and this process doesn’t account for human error or connectivity issues. A business process is a set of activities and tasks grouped together to produce or accomplish something of benefit for the company.

After analyzing the business processes and their issues, the discovery that the business model needs to be re-engineered to adjust to the consumers and employees becomes clear. I have concluded that re-engineering at least one business process can have a major positive impact on the growth of the company. Deciding that business process re-engineering is a feasible solution, we can accomplish this by first analyzing the current processes. The company has employed two call operators, a data clerk, three drivers, and three helpers. All employees are under Kingo’s “virtual” supervision. The job begins with customers calling into the receptionist. The drivers are given their jobs and schedule from the call operators. They performed the services as indicated in the spreadsheet given to them. 1-888-Junk-Van’s billing process is where they fell short. 1-888-Junk-Van’s payment billing process is shown below in the form of a flowchart. The case study states that there is “a flat rate of $50 that included the truck and two workers to load the junk, plus a variable rate of $0.21 per pound.” Customers would be contacted over the phone with information regarding their bill, invoice, and weight ticket received by the drivers. Prior to job completion, customers were to agree upon a price.

There were three payment methods accepted: check, cash, and credit card. Drivers were to return to the customer’s site with the invoice to receive payment. For “credit card transactions, drivers scanned the weight ticket and e-mailed a copy of the invoice to the customer with the weight ticket attached.” 1-888-Junk-Van’s current payment system causes many issues, primarily when customers need to pay with cash or check. The billing process does not account for human error resulting in many problems. I recommend that to solve this issue, the drivers only use a mobile billing app in order to appropriately bill their customers. Instead of drivers having to return to the customer’s site to bill them, drivers will save time and energy that could be better spent finishing new jobs.

1-888-Junk-Van’s runs off a virtual business process and to grow over time, the company must adapt technological advances into their processes. Mobile billing is the new trend, advancing swiftly and changing the way businesses and consumers run. Mobile billing runs off a payment app which acts as an alternative payment method instead of using a check, cash, and credit cards. I advise 1-888-Junk-Van to create their own billing app that will automatically charge customers what they owe after a job is completed. All the consumer will need is a downloaded app set up to their banking account to make a transaction. Customers will agree upon prior billing authorization. Preauthorization is when a bank verifies an electronic payment transaction using a debit card or credit card, rendering the amount unavailable until the company clears the payment.

Currently, the drivers must wait until they receive a weight ticket, then an invoice has to be emailed to the consumer, finally the driver must revisit the consumer’s site to bill them. Having this app will save time and be far more efficient; the driver will bill the consumer and will automatically receive payment. The company won’t have to worry about customers not paying, errors in database payment inputs, or drivers wasting time driving to the customers. Preauthorizing customers will ensure the customer's payment. There are many high-end companies already implementing this process into their businesses. Some of these companies include Google, Apple, and many more. Completing a mobile transaction is also much safer than it would if the drivers were carrying around cash after being paid. This strategy will result in fewer mistakes since the process would be carried out completely online. 1-888-Junk-Van's new billing and payment process are shown in the flowchart below.

Business process re-engineering is simply creating changes to an original business process. A company should search, and be on the lookout for changes that can be made to improve any current products and services. This search should be done daily to ensure the product/service is up to date with any new advancements or ideas such as new technology. Even a minor modification can cause progressive improvements. A company with newly improved processes will excite customers into testing out their product or service. Changing 1-888-Junk-Van's billing process will ensure payment, and improve time management, letting drivers and helpers complete more jobs than ever before. This new process will help the company work more efficiently without having to put in any extra work.

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