AMCS Group: Software Solution for the Paper Recycling Industry

Irish headquartered AMCS Group has created an enterprise grade cloud and software platform, which is inspired by global market trends, driving automation and delivering end-to-end standardi­zation and optimization of all business processes.

The AMCS platform is for all lines of business, the Irish group emphasizes. “It suits single waste stream companies but also scales to the large multi-line of business companies, providing the complete pallet of waste related services. All in one platform.”

Conor Dowd, Product Marketing Manager (Source: AMCS Group)

In all industries quality counts. This applies also to paper recycling, as the industry uses recovered paper to process it into new paper. How can the platform help to raise the standard of paper recycling and meet the markets’ needs? Conor Dowd from AMCS Group answered the questions of GLOBAL RECYCLING.

Despite Covid-19, the paper recycling market appears to be relatively stable in 2021. However, the recovered paper market is volatile, and the industry’s demand for different types of recovered paper varies. How can your software solution be of help here?
One of the key focus areas for AMCS is to enable suppliers and paper processors to supply the highest quality feedstock material for the mills. With this objective in mind, we developed a comprehensive grading module that allows users to inspect each load and record a very detailed breakdown of composition, moisture content, level and type of contamination, etc. The user can also record multiple images of the material. This evidence can be used to provide a feedback loop to the wastepaper suppliers to improve the quality of the feedstock. There is also a commercial dimension to the grading in that the process is linked into the price charging mechanism so the actual price paid or charged for the material can be adjusted to reflect the percentage of contamination and non-conformity with the expected composition. This grading feature is also complemented by a granular recording of the paper stock as it moves through the processing cycle of the paper merchant so the operator has complete visibility on stock levels (own or third-party broken down by material type), stock status (unprocessed, work in progress, shredded, baled, loose or finished goods). We believe that functionality like this allows paper processors and their suppliers to produce the highest quality recyclate and to have real-time and granular visibility on their available stock so they can ensure high-quality outputs at the best margins possible. This approach can help increase the quality and sustainability of prices for all recovered paper types.

Does the AMCS Enterprise Management Software meet the needs of all market participants? Including wastepaper collection, sorting, processing, and paper mills that are using waste paper?
The AMCS Platform Enterprise Management Software is a modern, integrated and modular solution and the solution can be used by all market participants including wastepaper collectors, processors, brokers and paper mills. Our solution was designed as a recycling-specific, process-driven platform so it offers specialist functionality and support for all recycling activities (e.g. paper, metal and plastic, etc.). Our experience is that generic ERP systems that address general requirements (e.g. manufacturing) do not provide sufficient paper-specific functionality to automate a recycling operation.

Our AMCS Platform solution comprises of the following modules:

  • Transport and Dispatch – collection of material
  • AMCS Mobile for the driver to assist collections
  • Scale/Weighbridge to manage both incoming and outgoing loads
  • Grading – inspection, grading, re-classification of all or part of loads, charging adjustments
  • Contract and Pricing Management
  • Stock Management – reporting of all stock types, status, costs and value
  • Production Management – tracking of material through production process to finished good status
  • Customer/Supplier Portals – allows the sharing and exchange of relevant data between partners
  • Brokerage of Material – sale of third-party material
  • General Accounting – invoicing, cost accumulation, margin calculation, AR, AP, etc.
  • Outbound Logistics – links sale of material to stock on-site or off-site
  • Export of Material – shipping documentation, images, customs, and so on
  • Demand Planning – plan material supply to achieve optimum inventory levels
  • Data Analytics – provide data-driven insights for smarter decision making with both self-serve report writer and a Datamart

One of our most recent implementations was in a large North American paper mill where they are using specific AMCS Platform modules such as the scale/weighbridge, contract and price management, demand planning and grading modules.

What could be a solution for a company that has to deliver a certain quality of recovered paper in a specified quantity for its customer (the paper mill)?
In this scenario, the paper processor or broker can use our Demand Planning module to build a plan to source the feedstock material either from inputs from their production processes and/or from third parties. The Demand Planning module supports this planning process with automated and integrated workflows from creating the plan through to sourcing the specific feedstock material. It provides full visibility into requirements, schedules and costs with real-time data for informed decision making.

Paper and cardboard manufacturers using recovered paper need high-quality raw materials. To what extent is the quality control part of the software?
As stated above, the measuring and recording of quality along with evidence-based feedback loop to the supplier is a key deliverable for our software. We offer a very advanced but user-friendly grading application to ensure that the material is correctly classified and of sufficient quality to meet the end-user specification.

Knowing how much inventory there is and a demand plan for the production line also means that purchasing managers are in a better position to play the market. Is it possible to realize demand management for both sides – recycler and producer?
This is a key business outcome for the AMCS Platform to provide real-time visibility on available stock and the status of the demand plan so the purchasing manager knows what has already been contracted and what needs to be sourced and on what terms. Our Demand Planning module provides the purchasing manager with the digital tools to ensure that there is a continuous supply of the correct material over a period to meet the production needs.

In addition, we also offer a digital engagement portal solution to link purchasing managers with suppliers to improve interaction and co-operation between partners. Purchasing managers can publish their demand plan and suppliers can provide details of their supply. This portal provides transparency and visibility for all parties and it allows partners to supply important order information like material details, terms, availability, etc. and it eliminates spreadsheets, emails and telephone calls.

The AMCS Portal can be used to digitize other interactions like tickets, manifests, invoices, self-billing, confirmations, purchase orders, and so on. This digitalization of all the interactions between the purchasing manager and the supplier creates efficiencies, drives margin expansion and reduces the risk of a shortfall in material to support production requirements. The purchasing manager could also hold an e-auction to secure the best terms.

Is the AMCS software suitable for a worldwide application?
AMCS is the leading global provider of digital transformation solutions for recycling operations. We have over 600 staff operating in over 14 countries worldwide. Our AMCS platform solution is used by over 2,000 customers in over 30 countries worldwide and on every continent. These clients range from smaller independent paper collectors and processors to the largest global recyclers that are key players in the Circular Economy. AMCS Platform is designed for global use as it is a SAAS-based solution offering multi-currency and multi-lingual support.

(Published in GLOBAL RECYCLING Magazine 1/2021, Page 33, Photo: Jochen Zellner, Lk Neustadt/Aisch-Bad Windsheim /