Rethinking Recycling the Simple Way
The one thing that binds all of humankind is that we share this planet. It is our home. For now, at least, there is no planet B as an option if our own becomes uninhabitable. Marck Industries, of Cassville, Missouri, is doing its part in providing full-service, affordable, recycling services through its nine material recycling facilities in the Midwest, Louisiana, Texas, and Mexico.
Marck Industries was established in 1997 by Kent Longley, a recycling professional whose vision was of a recycling company built on service, efficiency, and integrity in managing and minimizing customers’ waste streams.
The company employs over two hundred and has plans to, “continue growing our recycling operations in various parts of the country,” says Vice President Mike Wilson. “We just take advantage of opportunities as they arise.”
Marck Industries owns a fleet of semi-trucks and trailers, roll-off trucks and front loaders and also operates two waste companies. Marck’s customers range from small family-owned businesses to Fortune 500 businesses including industrial companies, manufacturers and food processors, as well as commercial, residential, and community recycling centers. “The majority of our customers are manufacturing companies,” says Mike. This makes up roughly eighty percent of the company’s clientele.
“Large-scale distribution and ‘big bucks’ retailers also fall into our customer type that we would pursue and currently manage material for,” adds Sales Manager John Sellman.
“We recycle over eighty different varieties of material,” Mike states. With regard to recycling materials that are deemed contaminated, he explains that “The type of material determines how we handle the contamination. You have to address contamination at the source.
“We have different types of customers,” he says, admitting that some contaminants do go to a landfill. “Some of our customers are on a zero-landfill program where they don’t want any of their waste going to a landfill. Those materials that are deemed as non-recyclable from those suppliers, in most cases, go to a waste to energy facility or an incinerator.”
Marck Industries offers recycling programs suited to customers’ specific requirements, and every customer is distinctive in their sustainability goals. The company offers a waste audit that assists in implementing customized programs to improve efficiency while driving down costs and generating revenue. This audit is, “a needs assessment meeting with the potential customer,” says John. “That’s to understand what their goals are when it comes to landfill diversion or recycling. From there, we try to determine how we can help them reach those goals.”
The company views itself as both a recycling resource and as an educator for customers who perhaps are unclear about their roles in the recycling arena. “It’s a consultative approach to solving their problems,” says Mike. “We’re basically a consultant for our suppliers.”
There will be one-of-a-kind challenges that need to be addressed with some customers. “Every scenario is unique to an extent, just due to the confines of the customers’ facility or their operations. Our typical challenges are trying to fall into their current operation and not to disrupt that and to be able to be an easy vendor to do business with,” says John. “We’re trying to not rock their operation and still help them achieve their goals… We don’t want to be adding footsteps into their process making recycling a challenge for them. We want to make it as easy as possible.”
“We try to design programs that are as simple as can be, yet effective,” Mike adds.
The use of technology is vital in all aspects of the company’s daily operations to increase efficiency and enable timely communications with customers. John affirms that one of the goals for the company in the past year and moving into 2019 is, “to improve our customers’ experience with us.” He suggests that some customers will communicate via phone, visits, or email, but, “we thought we could expand on that with a mobile application.”
Using the application has improved serving customers with a much quicker form of communication that customers have come to appreciate. “It allows our customers to order trucks, order service and interact with us while they’re on the floor, so they don’t have to wait and go back to their office.”
Mike adds that customers can also, “see the status of their order.” For example, if a truck is requested, the company “will respond to them and let them know the date and time for pickup. They can check back periodically, if they like, to see what the status is of the transaction.”
Sales representatives, plant managers, or anyone managing accounts can also be contacted in real time. “Most importantly, we give them the ability to rate our performance,” continues Mike. “They can rate us on a per service interval if they like. We don’t require that, but we encourage them to do that.”
Marck Industries has adopted vertical integration as its business model, not only for growth but for accountability. “The more of the process that we have control of, the more accountable we can hold ourselves,” explains Mike. He says, for example, that the company controls the trucking portion of the business at every level that it possibly can. “There are some areas we can’t control based upon the buyers’ requirements. But if it’s anything that’s coming into our plant and a lot of things that are leaving our plant, we try to control the trucking,” he says. “We own our own schedule.”
The company has a skilled team of employees who maintain and repair equipment negating the need to rely on a third party. At any given time, clients can call on the team and indicate the urgency level. “They take care of the problem,” says Mike.
Marck Industries plans to expand operations in Mexico. “Certainly life is different in Mexico than in the United States. The rules are different there,” Mike says. The company has a team of sales representatives who, “are soliciting business currently and will continue to do so. Our plan is to continue to grow our business down there.” The Mexico team, “has helped us adjust to that environment, and we are excelling in Mexico,” he says.
“It has actually helped us a little bit on the short term on our Mexico operations,” Mike explains of the United States-China trade deal. “It has allowed us to ship materials that would have otherwise shipped into China, into Mexico, to our buyers there. So we’ve actually grown a portion because of that.”
“A goal for us is to grow in the material that we handle and manage to increase diversion,” John states. “Our main focus is to make recycling simple – make green simple – for our suppliers.