Agents of change

Custom Content - Brand Vision | AMCS

AMCS, Limerick, Ireland, helps companies ease into the adoption of new technology platforms and business processes.

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March 5, 2019

Meet Jimmy Martin and visit with the AMCS team at ISRI booth # 1400 and 1701

AMCS started its operations in Ireland in 2004. It grew from there into the United Kingdom, then into Sweden and Europe, and finally entering the North American market. As the company grew, it continued its aggressive investment in its technologies and people, but it also acquired companies that added strategic value.

Jimmy Martin started the software company after a successful career in the semiconductor business. AMCS began by serving the material recover facility (MRF), paper and plastics recycling sector. Over time, it also started to serve the metals recycling sector as well.

“We began in the MRF, paper and plastics recycling sector because we saw a real opportunity to contribute to growing efforts to create a circular economy,” Martin says. “As we grew our knowledge of the recycling industry, we quickly saw that the metals sector is a major economic driver to the industry. Some 80 to 90 percent of it is recycled. Commercial recycling of paper and old corrugated containers (OCC) is similar. These materials really help to drive the market in developed economies and are often the entry point for recycling efforts in developing economies.”

A major play in metals

In 2017 AMCS had the opportunity to purchase the metals recycling software business from Brady PLC. A big part of that business was the Systems Alternatives Inc. (SAI) platform from the United States.

“There was a great user base of this platform,” Martin says. “The business processes it helps to automate are deep and rich, so the business value was clear, but the technology stack that supported the tool was old. It needed major investment, so we began the task.”

Along the way Martin had met Bernd Klarmann, the founder of Germany-based RECY Systems. The company offered a powerful software solution and a modern, robust technology stack.

“We’d stayed in touch over the years,” Martin says. “When in 2018 the opportunity to acquire RECY came about, we were very happy to do the deal.”

Now, he says the company has a team with hundreds of years of combined experience in the metals recycling business.

“They are combining that experience with new, fresh ideas every day,” Martin continues. “The combination of the process automation solutions from AMCS, SAI and RECY are now combined into the AMCS platform and deliver the richest, deepest set of solutions available to the scrap and commercial recycling sectors.”

Investing for the future

Technology is vital for a successful software company. It’s what ensures the product delivers day-in and day-out value for system users.

“We’re investing in our platform every day,” Martin says. “Fully 25 percent of the AMCS team is dedicated to R&D. We’re constantly looking at the business processes our customers use and need to automate to discover added ways to help them. I’m a process engineer at heart.

“The user interface is also vital,” he continues. “We’re always developing this. We’re using artificial intelligence combined with advanced learning to make adaptation by users easier. We’re always seeking ways to make it intuitive to simplify learning and training. It’s really about the ease of interaction for users.”

Adding value for system users

Through years of working closely with operators in the scrap and commercial recycling sector AMCS has learned there are key areas where its software platform can add real value.

“Our deep roots in the waste industry have helped us to build robust tools for fleet optimization,” Martin says. “Trucks are expensive, drivers are hard to find and expensive. Collection in the metals business is often ad-hoc. Evolving to a well-planned system can dramatically streamline transportation costs.”

Understanding inventory positions is another area where firms can gain a real advantage.

“Real-time transparency into what’s on the ground and what’s in your overall system can deliver real advantages on the sell side of recycling operations. It allows you to capitalize on market opportunities,” Martin says. “There is also an increasing advantage for operators that are digitally enabled. Streamlining the interaction between you and your customers and you and your consumers is huge. We’re doing that every day. It’s a strategic area of investment for us.

“Of course, we have a robust suite of very advanced trading tools that link back to each site in a company’s network and specific grades,” he continues. “For single yard operations or multi-yard operations, these tools enhance their capabilities.”

A service mindset

Integrating software into business operations is a challenging task, one that often requires change from traditional ways of doing things.

“We understand that when you shift to a new, different software solution it’s disruptive,” Martin says. “Yes, it’s modern and delivers new, robust tools for your business, but it’s really hard to change.”

Martin says this is the reason that about 300 of our 510 team members are dedicated to delivery, support and training. “It’s way more than 50 percent of our workforce globally,” he adds. “In North America there are 130 team members doing this. It’s a huge investment for us, but essential to support our customers.”

Understanding that the adoption of new technology platforms and business processes is hard was important for AMCS from the beginning. “We’re agents of change, and we’re good at it,” Martin says. “We’re gentle and understand how to assist our client’s team’s make the most of what’s available to them.

“Today we’re the largest supplier of recycling software in the world, and we were before we acquired RECY,” he adds. “A big part of the success we’ve had is helping our customers embrace the platform and realize all of the efficiencies and cost-savings it can deliver.”

A unique commitment to commercial and scrap recycling

Today’s commercial recycling business is getting ever more complex. Consuming markets have changed and the need for tighter specifications has returned. There is an opportunity to provide closed-loop recycling services and a need to drive cost out of the business.

“We see recyclers creating opportunity by working like materials engineers for their consumers,” says Martin. “There are also opportunities surrounding the surety of materials quality and supply. This is going to become increasingly important for material movement and recycling success.”

Martin says AMCS is investing in both the technologies and the people to assist its customers in meeting the requirements of today’s changing market. “It’s critical that our solutions work today,” he says. “It’s essential that they provide value long into the future.”