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Why I Love my Trash Service

By:  Collin Quiring

 My property line borders “The City” but I am officially in “The County.”  The good news is that I don’t have city taxes but the bad news is that I don’t get some city services.  One of those services is Trash Removal.  I am talking about the simple act of taking my regular household trash to the street and having it picked up and hauled away.  This would seem a relatively simple process.  As a county household, I can contract with whomever I want that will provide service in my area.  There are actually a number of available companies.

The first company was great (at first) at the pick-up part but horrible at the billing and payment part.  Most of my neighborhood used them, but, they slipped in service over time and stopped picking up trash all together after a while.  So, most of my neighborhood had to switch.  Quite a few of us switched to a relatively large company that was reasonably priced.  They were great at billing and payment (doing it online if desired) but they sometimes just missed our entire neighborhood.  Or, they would come the day AFTER we were scheduled to be picked up.  Or, two days later.  Or, not for a week.  This led to the majority of the neighborhood having trash on the street for 1 – 7 days.  And, the dogs loved that!  Calling the company was futile.  Rarely, you would get somebody to answer the phone and if you did they would have a list of excuse and promises and then never come out anyway.

Some of the neighbors still try to use them, and it shows by the number of days their trash sits at the street.  I noticed that my next door neighbor had consistent service and asked who was picking up the trash.  We called the number he gave us and we got a real person who knew where our neighborhood was and even understood where our house was.  Prices were fair and we were given the day of the week and approximate time of the pickup.  They showed up, as promised.  They gave my neighbor a discount for a month because he “recruited” us.  Our neighbor on the other side saw that we were getting our trash removed and we told about this company.  We received a discount for a month for recruiting our neighbor.  They kept showing up when promised.  Their bill and payment system is consistent (and they even put a different little note on the invoice every month which I like to read).

Then, they had an issue come up purely internal to them.  They sent everyone a letter explaining that for a while our day would change.  Even though it really wasn’t our concern, they explained why as well.  AND, then they called our house and let us know as well and to confirm that we knew our day was changing and the effective date of the change.

Ok, so?  Well, this is Project Management at its finest to me!  This is stakeholder management and effective communication!  Until the last few years, when I lived in “The City” this was never something I thought about.  I put the trash at the street, it goes away.  Simple, right?  I am on my THIRD trash removal service in just a few years!

It makes me wonder, how many of the “simple” projects that your PMO does are failing your stakeholders?  If you aren’t making life easier for your stakeholders then you aren’t being helpful.  If you are getting constant complaints about one or two of the “little” things is there a way to resolve it before they look elsewhere for that service?

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