SMART Solution Transforms
the Traditional Scrap Metal Industry
Introduction to the Client: Vinning AB. Sweden
Established in 2019, Vinning AB. a major player in the Swedish scrap metal industry, acquires local businesses specialized in collecting steel and metal scrap to develop sustainable solutions. They transform scrap into valuable resources for the circular economy, challenging the status quo with innovative ideas. Vinning believes that effective coordination and local leadership development are crucial for lasting commitment to a better future.
To become one of the largest scrap metal collectors in the nation, Vinning needed a digital solution to support its rapid growth. Allion provided a comprehensive IT system that met Vinning's end-to-end business needs, enabling seamless and efficient operation.
Business Challenge: Manual Processing
The companies that Vinning acquired had under-invested in its IT systems, relying on a standalone accounting software to manage its operations. The companies worked with manual paperwork and records for sales, purchase transactions, inventory management, and pricing mechanisms.
The scrap metal industry has been known for its adherence to traditional practices and its digital transformation has historically been slow, a fact that Vinning used to its advantage, by digitalization their core processes they gained a clear competitive advantage. Vinning recognized that suppliers were critical to their supply chain, providing enhanced services, streamlined processes, and prompt payments is essential to business success.
Vinnings processes over 100,000 transactions per year. However, their traditional process involved manual work, including calculating the buying price of metal. This was prone to human error and significantly constrained the number of transactions done per day, making it difficult for Vinning to scale its operations and keep up with the volatile nature of supplier demand. The manual process also required someone to visit the bank, often resulting in payment processing delays.
As a result, the productivity of the company was impacted, maintaining accurate records and payment processing became a challenge critical to decision-making processes. This led to the development of workarounds, highlighting the need for a digitized solution.
The Solution: Evolution of the Traditional Scrap Metal Industry
To meet their goals of leveraging the expertise of local players, reducing the carbon footprint, and meeting future demand, Vinning aimed to implement sustainable solutions in the scrap metal industry. With the guidance of Allion, Vinning underwent a digital transformation process to achieve this, essentially disrupting a somewhat analog industry.
By utilizing advanced technology, tailored solutions, and ongoing support services, Vinning was able to optimize their processes and scale the business. As a result, their scrap recycling approach became more efficient and sustainable, contributing to the circular economy. Allion helped Vinning identify areas where automation and digitization could improve their processes. We recommended developing a unified solution to meet unique business goals, enabling a fully-centralized, scalable software system, leading to better decision-making and optimized services.
Allion developed a cloud-based solution called SMART, which included different modules, such as the Article module, enabling Vinning to manage its products, services, and daily pricing updates. The Customer and supplier module helped Vinning monitor both local and international clients and to keep track of pick-up locations. The Purchase module manages supplier data, including payment terms, allowing Vinning to streamline its purchasing process and improve supplier management.
The SMART solution is integrated with industry-standard third-party applications to enhance scalability, reusability, and efficiency. Roaring is a population registry that contains information about all people and organizations registered in Sweden. When a customer is registered in the SMART system, Roaring can automatically retrieve standard customer-related data by sending the identification number of individuals and organizations, eliminating the need for manual data entry. Other integrated applications include Trustly and Swish for payment gateways and Fortnox for accounting, which supports fund transfer and scheduled fund transfer facilities.
With the release of the SMART product, Vinning automated and optimized its supply chain process. The Article module computed scrap metal prices instantly based on daily price updates, reducing the time and effort previously required. The integration of Trustly and Swish payment gateways allowed for immediate deposit processing to suppliers, improving payment efficiency.
April 2021 saw the release of the Inventory module, which enabled automatic and manual updates. Manual updates could be made via a local file, while automatic updates took place based on sales and purchases, resulting in more efficient inventory management. The Sales module was also enabled through Roaring's integration, ensuring accurate prices with the latest updates from the Article module, leading to better order management.
In July 2021, Vinning's supply chain process was streamlined with the Traffic Order module. This module supported container transport and allowed for easy assignment of transport orders to drivers based on job requirements and container types. With a custom mobile application, drivers could log in, complete the job, and generate an invoice using Fortnox, improving efficiency, reducing errors, and enhancing customer experience. Additionally, the SMART system lay the foundation for effective and efficient business intelligence through Microsoft PBI integration for real-time data analysis and visualization, providing key insights for better decision-making.
The Result: Business Growth
Vinning partnered with Allion for three years, acquiring 24 scrap yards and generating a $60Mn turnover. In 2023, Vinning plans to further improve the SMART system with automated hazardous waste reporting to governmental bodies and a new supplier interface for statistics and bookings.
The SMART solution implemented by Vinning, with the support of Allion’s certified experts, has streamlined the supply chain process, automated payment processing, and improved inventory management, resulting in enhanced efficiency, reduced errors, and improved customer experience, contributing to Vinning's business growth. Vinning has effectively revolutionized and set a benchmark for sustainable solutions in the recycling industry.
The Container Application
Transportation is vital to Vinning's operations, necessitating a streamlined approach for customers to request their preferred transportation mode, size, and method.
A solution has been meticulously crafted to address and enhance this aspect, enabling customers to access a range of Vinning-registered transportation firms and yards. This empowers clients to select the container type best suited to their needs.
This solution has been thoughtfully designed with a focus on user-friendliness, providing accessibility through both mobile and desktop applications. Furthermore, it can offer tailored suggestions based on past interactions, aiding customers in informed decision-making.
Transitioning to the Customer Portal
In the complex landscape of transactions, clarity is paramount, something Vinning embraces fully. The key objective is to provide clients with a comprehensive view of transactions, forming the foundation for improved relationships with suppliers and customers.
This encompasses several elements, including:
- Detailed Transaction Oversight: The Customer Portal enables SMART-registered suppliers/customers to track and manage transactions efficiently, enhancing real-time oversight for better decision-making.
- Comprehensive Article Analysis: Empower suppliers/customers with data-driven insights by analyzing supplied articles or services subgroups through the portal, optimizing resource allocation.
- Precise Weight Tracking (EWC/RD Waste): The portal facilitates accurate tracking of EWC/RD waste article weights, promoting responsible waste management among SMART-registered suppliers/customers.
This approach simplifies client interactions and tasks, benefiting from an enhanced interface and accessibility.
Waste Ordinance and Reporting
In Sweden, regulations necessitate reporting hazardous waste to the Waste Registry, aligning with directives from the Swedish Environmental Agency.
To meet this requirement, the SMART solution has been meticulously configured to seamlessly integrate with the Sweden Environmental Protection Agency portal via API access. This feature enables the SMART solution to autonomously generate and transmit required reports to the Sweden Environmental Agency. This integration empowers the solution to precisely document critical information concerning hazardous waste.
As we continue to design, configure, and enhance additional features within the SMART system, our journey toward improvement is progressing at an impressive pace, with much more to come.
Since 2006, we have helped organizations and global brands with their digitalization journeys by utilizing smart technology, innovation, and resilience. With offices in the US, Australia, Canada, Sweden, India, and Sri Lanka, we serve a global user base and have delivered numerous successful project implementations and software solutions.
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