OTS turned to Centrilogic and its subsidiary The Capris Group to develop a cloud-based mobile application to better support its rapidly expanding tire recycling program.
Ontario Tire Stewardship is a not-for-profit corporation that operates the Ontario Used Tires Program. Founded in 2009, OTS has diverted more than 68 million tires from landfills, burning, or illegal dumping. By working with leading Ontario organizations, OTS ensures that the 12 million scrap tires generated annually are recycled into a variety of eco-friendly and useful consumer goods. OTS has helped generate more than $50 million in investments to Ontario from North American firms involved in tire recycling and has created hundreds of jobs in the province of Ontario, Canada. The Used Tires Program is funded by vehicle and equipment manufacturers, tire brand owners and first importers of tires, called stewards, who remit a tire stewardship fee to OTS for every tire supplied into Ontario. OTS also depends upon the participation of haulers, collectors, processors and recycled product manufacturers.
OTS launched the Used Tires Program in 2009 with a simple paper-based inventory tracking system to document the movement of tires through the program. As OTS expanded its network of participants, the manual tracking program began to show its cracks. “Participants were demanding a more efficient system that would help them achieve time and cost benefits while also contributing positively to the program,” says Andrew Horsman, Executive Director at OTS. Aside from the need to retain and attract stewards and other participants, the organization wanted to streamline the inventory tracking activities and reduce risks for damage, loss, and illegibility often associated with the paper form process. OTS developed a web and database application for fee, incentive, and material tracking, called TreadMarks. In 2013, OTS determined that users would most benefit from moving to a mobile application based on open-source technology.
Selecting a partner:
OTS sought a vendor that could provide agile application development, DevOps, hosting and ongoing application and device management. In 2011, The Capris Group (acquired by CentriLogic in 2013) was selected by OTS to take over the TreadMarks’ web application, database and website in November. “We experienced several issues including cost, response time and the lack of flexibility while working with other vendors,” says Zachary Dryman, Director of Information Technology at OTS. “We chose The Capris Group due to the company’s ability to provide superior services at an attractive price point. When The Capris Group was acquired by CentriLogic, we saw the benefit of using a single provider for development, project management, support, IT infrastructure and hosting.”
Mobile app transforms collection process:
The Capris Group worked with OTS from conception through development and deployment of the TreadMarks mobile application. OTS wanted to develop a unique and innovative iOS mobile application integrated with the database application and designed to replace all paper forms used by program participants. The application currently captures 98% of all transactions, with the remaining 2% transitioning in Q1 of 2015. Drivers who pick up the used tire materials carry an iPad Mini with the TreadMarks Mobile application pre-installed. Every collector, hauler, and processor is identified by a unique, encrypted QR code. Upon arriving at the collector’s location, the hauler scans the collector’s QR code to populate company information in the application. After entering the number and type of each tire received, both parties sign the transaction and the data is wirelessly transmitted to the backend application at OTS for processing and claims submission.
“The Capris Group had a unique development opportunity with OTS,” says Malcolm Elsdon, Director of Development at The Capris Group. “Within a period of five months, we had to develop and design an application that would integrate with a specific device, logistics process, and existing legacy systems.”
Cloud hosting strategy:
The TreadMarks Mobile application is hosted on Centrilogic’s cloud infrastructure-as-a-service offering. CentriLogic provides secure and scalable hosting through cloud availability zones located within its Canadian data centres and delivering a 99.99% uptime guarantee. CentriLogic also provides OTS with managed services including Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, storage, backups, and 24/7/365 infrastructure and application monitoring. Cloud availability zones are deployed throughout CentriLogic’s nine global data centres, giving OTS the opportunity to maintain its hosting arrangement with CentriLogic should the mobile application’s customer base extend beyond Ontario. OTS can scale its application to any size through the intuitive self-service customer portal and cloud management application.
TreadMarks Mobile was officially launched on August 1, 2014, and has been successful in helping OTS meet its goals of operational efficiency, increased program adoption with over 8,000 registered participants and cost savings for OTS and program participants.
Time and cost savings: In the transition to paperless operations, OTS has achieved a 33% reduction in time spent per month processing claims. That translates to approximately $370,000 in annual cost savings from manual processes and paper costs, $174,912 savings in annual shipping costs and $20,000 savings in paper form printing costs.
Environmental benefits: OTS has eliminated 117,000 triplicate and quadruplet paper forms annually, dramatically reducing environmental waste.
Real-time transactions: Transactions flow into TreadMarks continually, as the iPads synch with OTS servers. Faster data collection allows OTS to undertake additional analysis and validation of claims to ensure the integrity of the program. Over 23,000 total transactions have been processed.
Fraud prevention: Individual components of transactions are geo-located and time-stamped. Unique and encrypted identifiers are used to identify participants.
“Working with CentriLogic and The Capris Group to develop the infrastructure and application solutions has resulted in an efficient, reliable user experience for all program participants,” says Dryman. “We no longer have to worry about how we deliver our application to end users, but can focus our efforts towards enhancing the Used Tire Program.”