WHEN FatHopes Energy Sdn Bhd chief executive officer and founder Vinesh Sinha established his company nine years ago at the age of 17, it was for the noble intention of recycling waste cooking oil and refining it into biodiesel.
The aim, he firmly stated, was not to manage the collection of waste oil, but to seek suppliers who could provide them with the material. Before long, however, he realised that there was instability in the supply.
“The main reason was that those who collected the waste were disorganised as it was not their primary business, ” shared Vinesh. Some of the collectors even included scrap metal dealers, who were using processes that were not consolidated or professional.
In hindsight, if he had known that the recycling business would end up skewed towards a logistics-based operation, Vinesh admitted that he would have thought twice about going into the business.
“But I was young and whatever came my way, I just dealt with it, '' he shared.
After three years, for the sake of business sustainability, the company decided to take charge of waste oil collection, in order to ensure a steadier volume of material for recycling.
He said, “We sourced for contracts with multinationals, factories, as well as globally renowned fast food restaurants and collected the waste directly from those outlets.”
As business started growing, the company eventually performed recycling for businesses from all over the peninsula and even in Sabah and Sarawak. However, the process of transporting waste oils back to its facility in Port Klang was highly inefficient.
Drivers knew little about tracking technology, meaning that they were virtually uncontactable once they were on the road. That made FatHopes Energy’s services to its customers inconsistent the moment the locus shifted away from the Klang Valley, which offered better contact with the drivers and better training. These inconsistencies meant the collection turnaround time in other regions were longer.
Today FatHopes Energy has seven facilities spread across the nation, including in Sabah and Sarawak, which answered most of the problems in the difference in service levels.
In order to streamline its overladen processes, FatHopes scanned through many potential solutions from various technology companies. It is only with Maxis Business that the search was finally over.
As a human capital management system, Maxis’s Mobile Workforce helps improve employee productivity. It can be easily upgraded for monitoring and administration purposes, as well as helping increase employee accountability.
Head of Maxis’s Enterprise Practices, Claire Featherstone said, “Maxis’s ambition is to help businesses of all sizes across key segments succeed by simplifying and improving the way they work.”
She explains that two things set Maxis apart from other technology providers: Firstly, most of its digital solutions are fully managed and delivered as a service, so that businesses can adopt innovative technologies without significant capital investment or in-house IT expertise.
Secondly, its leading fixed- and mobile-broadband network ensures that said solutions stay always-on, especially when it comes to mission-critical business applications.
Before this solution from Maxis was deployed, Vinesh had to cope with having more drivers than he needed in the past – at least five trucks were needed on standby to accommodate last minute requests.
With the Mobile Workforce system, a FatHopes Energy driver will receive a push notification within 10 minutes or less, indicating a new point of collection. This turnaround time works very well during festive or peak seasons when the accumulated volumes of oil in the outlets become difficult to predict.
Hence, the Mobile Workforce solution solved the company’s inefficiency of having trucks that idly stood by.
“As you can see, now not a single truck sits in this facility and that's because we are confident of the real-time data from the tanks and are using that in conjunction with the mWorkforce system to push out instructions to the drivers, ” Vinesh said.
Another benefit Mobile Workforce provided was transparency, which is very important when dealing with large-scale companies and international bodies.
He affirmed, “As the biofuel market is highly regulated, there is a need to have total transparency in the supply chain in order to prove carbon emission reduction and that is something that we found very important from day one.
“We wanted to divert waste oils away from human consumption, hence putting them in industrial use became the driving factor for starting this business.”
In order to embark on a long-term partnership with multinational large fast-food chains, for instance, FatHopes Energy has to maintain a stringent documentation trail for waste oil collections.
In the early days, physical collection chits were issued in triplicates once a collection was made. At the end of each month, FatHopes Energy would tabulate its copy of the chits for each outlet, which would then be cross-referenced with those from the individual outlets.
It was a lengthy and strenuous process, made worse when chits went missing. Such inconsistencies affected the payment for waste oils to outlets, which could be compounded over the months. Aside from that, the manual work involved when tabulating chits was enormous, especially if the client has over 800 fast-food outlets.
Once in place, Mobile Workforce eliminated all the paperwork by replacing it with an efficient, trackable and accountable system. As it runs digitally, it cuts down on delays by compiling and relaying information instantly.
Once the driver has collected the oil, the only thing he needs is the outlet manager’s signature as a form of verification.
The outlet, its headquarters and FatHopes Energy will be immediately notified and with all orders automatically tallied by the end of each month. Two days later, FatHopes Energy will receive the invoice for the collection.
“This shortened the process and improved integrity, and it definitely increases trust in the system, ” he said.
The main reason Vinesh chose the Mobile Workforce solution by Maxis is the telco’s network reach.
“Definitely, one of the biggest benefits is that Maxis reaches across the country. Connectivity is paramount for us, as we cannot have a system that has blind spots.”
He pointed out that with a software service provider, he would still need to worry about connectivity, whereas Maxis provided both the solution and the connectivity.
Mobile Workforce is also highly customisable – in the past, drivers used to fill in long reports on the collections at the end of the day, today a picture uploaded to Mobile Workforce speaks a thousand words.
This solution suite provides wireless forms, mobile timekeeping, dispatching, GPS tracking, messaging and even event-based tracking. “The customisation is immense, ” said Vinesh, “and that's probably why we're still with it. All the other solutions that we have tried have limits on how much that can be customised.”
At the moment, FatHopes Energy refines waste oil from Malaysia and Singapore, but will soon expand its business and supply chain to do the same with waste oil from Indonesia and the Philippines.
He shared, “Our ambition is to be able to be able to cover all these countries by 2022.
“Our key customers where we collect waste oil from are very happy with our solutions and they are actually pushing us out into the Asean region.”
The biodiesel produced by FatHopes Energy at the end of its waste oil refinement process is then sold to major oil and gas companies in Europe where that fuel is more viable and in demand.
For more details on how Maxis solutions can help your business grow, visit https://business.maxis.com.my/mobile/mobile-workforce/.