As we continue to grow and expand our services in Haiti, we recognize the need to keep improving our operational efficiency. The SOIL team is continuously researching and testing new ways to provide better and more efficient sanitation solutions. Covid-19 created unprecedented challenges to organizations like ours, that rely on community field agents to provide goods and services to vulnerable populations in emerging markets. Thanks to the TaroWorks mobile field service app, we’ve been able to provide uninterrupted sanitation services to the communities we serve in Haiti during these uncertain times.
SOIL began using TaroWork’s digital tools in 2016, to collect payments, manage customer accounts, conduct research, and test marketing strategies. Since then, we’ve been using the data collected to optimize our logistics and make refinements to EkoLakay, like rolling out a mobile payment collection service. When the pandemic began, SOIL anticipated having to bring in temporary waste collectors to supplement field agents who might fall ill. While full-time staff had memorized collection routes, these fill-in team members needed a way to navigate collection routes quickly and efficiently.
According to Erica, SOIL’s R&D Director, during that time, we were also working with DataKind to develop software that would optimize collection route efficiency to allow for future expansion. The DataKind software, along with the TaroWorks app, gave the fill-in waste collectors access to turn-by-turn directions, allowing them to complete collection regardless of their knowledge of customers or neighborhoods. At the same time, this approach reduced collection time and lowered transportation costs.
In addition to helping the waste collectors quickly learn their collection routes, the TaroWorks app also increased our operational efficiency by decreasing overall mileage by 5%, even while the service grew by over 100 households. At SOIL, we are very conscious about greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and our Research team continuously works to analyze and reduce the GHGs emitted from all of our processes, from composting human waste to driving vehicles. By working to improve the efficiency of our collection routes we are cutting down any unnecessary emissions from our vehicles.
We’re honored to work alongside innovative and collaborative organizations like TaroWorks and DataKind, that are equally driven to provide meaningful solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges and are extremely thankful to have these tools on hand as a critical component of our COVID-19 response plan.