An Irish David takes on sector's IT Goliath

Written by: RWW | Published:

Limerick-based AMCS Group specialises in the provision of integrated waste management software and vehicle technology. Geraldine Faulkner finds out how the group is taking on the international market and how it is launching a mobile app that is expected to revolutionise communications and data collection.

AMCS Group is a company that specialises in the provision of integrated waste management software and vehicle technology. Nothing unusual in that, I hear you say, however what is unusual is that this adventurous Irish company is not satisfied with fulfilling the needs of the Irish market, let alone just the European market, instead it has set its sights on the International market, and by judicious acquisitions, it is well on the way to achieving its aim.

It all started in 2003 when Jimmy Martin and Austin Ryan founded the company as a solutions provider in the Irish waste market. Eleven years down the line, it now boasts wholly owned subsidiaries in the UK, France, Norway, Sweden and the US.

Added to which in January 2014, the company announced a €23.5m round of financing led by global venture capital firm, Highland Capital Partners Europe and Investec Ventures through the Ulster Bank Diageo Venture Fund. 

With 180 employees all over the world to tout its wares, AMCS says it is confident of entering new markets all over the world. 

Areas of expertise and experience

For starters, the Group’s key areas of expertise fall into the following categories:

- Software development and delivery

- On-vehicle technology

- Dynamic weighbridge

- Project management 

“Our client approach has been built around identifying how our solutions can deliver quantifiable improvements. Enhanced efficiency, reduced costs and improved customer service have all been reported from clients who have adopted our technology and systems,” explains Ryan, AMCS Group’s business development director, before adding: “Significant, on-going investment in R&D enables our team of specialist engineers to deliver solutions that best support the customer’s business needs.”

The following areas are those in which the Group says it has accumulated plenty of experience:

- Municipal sector including ‘pay as you throw’ schemes

- Commercial and Industrial sector

- Management of MRF facilities

- Weighbridge

Among its offerings, AMCS offers a total ‘end-to-end’ solution that brings a fully functional and feature rich back-office software suite to on-vehicle technology that integrates RFID and on-board weighing with an on-board computer.  

Another product is ELEMOS; environmental software for local authorities and companies that manage recycling and waste operations. It enables companies to collect data and monitor recycling performance of their customers. 

“Our clients use it to remain compliant with constantly evolving industry regulations,” states Ryan. “Our systems are capable of producing data that can be used as a key step to increasing recycling rates, optimising collection routes and identifying areas for market growth.”

ELEMOS receives the data from collection operations, transfer stations and resource facilities. According to AMCS, the aim of the software is to provide clients with transparency and reporting which they use to identify operational efficiencies.

As for the on-vehicle technology it offers, its RFID and weighing technology is said to have registered over five million bins and containers and has been fitted on over 5,000 vehicles. The on-vehicle solutions are employed by local authorities and private recycling and waste management companies.

New app

However, it is the Group’s latest product, a new app entitled MyBin365 which is exciting the company.

“It’s a new app that we’re launching and while I hesitate to say  ‘revolutionary’, it’s pretty ground breaking in the environmental sector,” enthuses the business development director. 

“It is an app that allows householders to have an electronic calendar, so that when the municipality makes changes, the app is automatically updated, enabling people to know if, for instance, the waste management company is running late.”

Ryan pauses before adding: “What it means is that it allows municipalities and waste collectors to supply real time information
to householders.” 

As far as AMCS is concerned, it is the only company to have produced such an app.

“The app will do other things. By downloading it, residents can find out what materials to put into which bins. Plus, if they have any issues or complaints they can take images and send them across the app. It’s all about improving customer service,” explains Ryan.

The app will also give customers the opportunity to purchase additional waste collection services.

“Local authorities can spend lots of money sending out paper-based calendars although they are trying to encourage the three R principles - Reduce, reuse and recycle. By using the app, it encourages a reduction in costs.”

The business development director goes on to add that in the waste management industry, there is an absence of data.

“With waste companies looking for more and more data to improve the bottom line, our aim is to supply waste collection providers with as much information as possible. Budgets are being cut in local authorities and this is where technology plays a big part.” 

How much of the market does AMCS currently occupy? 

“That is hard to quantify in certain sectors such as C&I (commercial and industrial), but the municipal sector is certainly coming on line,” says Ryan. “We anticipate great changes. The UK was our biggest market in 2013 while we expect the US will be the group’s biggest market in 2014.”

What about 2015?

“We are looking at Poland as well as New Zealand and Australia,” states Ryan.

Fact File: MyBin365

MyBin365 is a mobile application for the end customers to manage their personal bin collections. 

The mobile app is designed and customised to each local authority or private waste management company.

Getting started 

Upon downloading the application, which has been designed for both Android and iOS, a user may register to become a new customer. 

The registration request is then received by the ELEMOS call centre where it can be reviewed for approval. If approved, a new account is created and a confirmation email is sent to the new customer with their login and bin collection details.

Customer view 

The app offers a variety of functions upon login:

Customer account: Contact details, account balance and top-up account

Calendar: Collection schedule three months in advance

Reminder: Set a reminder for each collection

Day view: Collection details: route name, start time, bin type

Bin/Recycling information: Details of what to place in each bin type

Reporting: Report a problem - choose problem from a given list, add free text, upload an image and add GPS coordinates. The report is received and logged by the call centre.

Messages/Updates: Call centre can push messages to the customer, notification pop-up appears even when app is closed. Choose to send route update to customers on a given route.

History of AMSC Group

AMCS Group was co-founded by Jimmy Martin and Austin Ryan in Limerick, Ireland in 2003. Seeing a gap in the industry, they saw an opportunity to introduce RFID (radio frequency identification) technology to the recycling and waste industry. To complement this, they designed weighing technology especially for the implementation of ‘Pay as you throw’ and ‘Pay by weight’ collection schemes.

In 2010 AMCS acquired the Solution Works, an established business with a focus on ERP systems designed specifically for the recycling and waste markets.

In Summer 2012, AMCS France was established. “Our solutions are primarily enabling local authorities to charge for recycling and waste collections,” says Ryan.

Wånelid AB was acquired in 2012, a Swedish company with expertise in weighbridges and weighing technology. “Key to the success of this business has been the development and supply of a weighbridge which allows vehicles to be weighed dynamically, i.e. without stopping. This ground breaking technology allows for a faster throughput of trucks while providing accurate data. It also offers the significant benefit of a reduced physical footprint,” adds the business development director.

AMCS Group completed the acquisition of Insight Environmental in 2012, a software provider to the recycling and waste management market in North America. 

In 2014 the company received investment funding of €23.5m as well as completed an acquisition of US waste IT company PC Scale Technologies that will further AMCS’ expansion across North America.

This material is protected by MA Business Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.


Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.