Direct Collect is an innovative Australian startup that allows people to schedule recycling pickups directly from their homes, earning money for each bottle and can they recycle.
The startup engaged Nukon, a digital transformation consulting and delivery company, to design and develop the mobile app that makes it all possible. In turn, Nukon partnered with Adiona, using FlexOps to streamline pickup routes.
Ensuring profitability and reducing environmental impact
Direct Collect has a pro-social business model, working to increase recycling rates by making it easy for customers to recycle and rewarding their efforts with cash. Direct Collect deducts a small portion of the recycling payout, which varies depending on the plan customers choose. In the end, the lion’s share of the reward goes to the customers.
Cutting-edge route optimization software had to be part of the equation in order to:
- Ensure profitability for Direct Collect
- Save costs and maximize the cash rewards that customers receive
- Reduce greenhouse emissions and offer a net benefit to the planet
Benjamin Sehic, Nukon’s Software Engineer in charge of developing the Direct Collect app, used FlexOps to integrate Adiona’s AI-based route planning technology into the new application.
The Nukon team took the API and built on it, occasionally turning to the Adiona team for guidance.
“Adiona’s API was very flexible and adaptable, and whenever we needed support or experienced a challenge, the Adiona team helped us right away.”
Software Engineer, Nukon
FlexOps in Action
The Nukon team uses AWS Lambda to send messages to the API, and they work within a sandbox to test the technology before making any changes to the live product.
When Direct Collect launched, they only had a handful of pickups per day, but the technology was set up to scale. At the time of publication, they have five depots in South Australia, serving 30 to 40 customers daily.
FlexOps allows Direct Collect to access a manifest showing each pickup route, a full map of proposed routes, and error notifications that show when something needs attention.
In the early scaling stage, the error reports told Nukon and Direct Collect that they were scheduling too many stops to enable full optimization. They addressed this problem by reducing the delivery window for each stop, since the drivers were able to complete the stops faster than the 10 minutes per stop that Direct Collect originally anticipated.
By making informed changes, Nukon built a powerful, scalable app for Direct Collect designed to future-proof their business.
“Adiona was super easy to integrate into the app. It’s easy to figure out what’s going wrong if there is something going wrong, so it’s easy to debug and work with.”
Software Engineer, Nukon
Toward a scalable, renewable future
The new app worked well in the field, and Direct Collect was happy with its performance. Adiona’s route optimization continues to play a key role in managing labor costs and operational expenses, and Direct Collect has plans to expand the business to every suburb in Australia.
“Everyone is happy with the app, and when they add new routes, I’m sure I’ll be jumping in to configure the software further,” says Benjamin.