By now, there is no one associated with the recycling industry that hasn’t been negatively affected by low commodity prices, or the unpredictability associated with those prices. From facilities, to equipment providers, everyone shares the burden. It is, however, in times like these that your RIOS™ QEHS Management System best provides value to your facility.

First and foremost, volume remains critical to being successful in these market conditions. Simple economics says that when margins are smaller, the only way to make up is to produce more product. Providing guarantees to both suppliers and customers will help ensure the retention of current stakeholders, but more importantly will help you expand those connections. Through the quality components of RIOS™, you will be able to provide better communication with those groups, better product, and most importantly, a higher standard of service. Also of value to the facility, a properly developed management system will allow management to identify opportunities to improve efficiency, and process the same material at lower cost.

Beyond the customer and the product, conditions like the ones being faced at facilities all over the world will test the limits of health and safety programs. Not only is it more difficult to invest in safety, but fewer employees are working harder to meet the deadlines set by management. At times like these, when fatigue becomes a factor, it is key to ensure that health and safety remains a priority, and the health and safety system that has been put in place is as effective as possible. This is paramount, not only because the health and safety of everyone within a facility is a priority, but also because when facilities are in economically challenging times they simply cannot afford the additional costs associated with incidents—no matter how severe.

On a final note, failing to comply with federal, state or local regulation related to environmental responsibility and health and safety is costly. By properly developing a RIOS™ management system, the facility has reviewed all of these regulations and had done everything it can to ensure compliance. In an environment in which OSHA and the EPA are growing more aggressive in their enforcement, the assurance that a well-developed RIOS™ system provides can pay for itself many times over. Ultimately, RIOS™ does not have the ability to change the economic issues that are currently challenging the industry, but we have often seen that it can help facilities weather the storm. Over the coming months, RIOS™ staff and stakeholders will focus programming in webinars and industry events on these issues so that facilities can leverage their system to their favor. If you have any question about how to maximize the effectiveness of your system, please do not hesitate to contact RIOS™ Director Darrell Kendall.