Interview with Discovery: The Value of Waste Invoice Automation

Ma-Keba Frye  |  February 24, 2021   |  Data & Technology  


For years, Urjanet has been dedicated to streamlining utility data collection. To further these efforts within the waste industry, we recently partnered with Discovery, an invoice and contract platform created to support waste invoice automation where third-party and proprietary waste management systems fall short. 

Discovery helps waste brokers and service providers automate the retrieval, audit, and generation of waste invoices, making the overall process six times faster. In our latest podcast episode, our Account Manager Adam Julian had the opportunity to speak with Discovery CEO Charlie Dolan. Listen to the full interview below, or read on to get the highlights of their discussion.

Common invoice challenges

Waste brokers offer a valuable service to customers – but they often lack the support they need themselves. The end-to-end process of collecting customer invoices, auditing for errors, and demonstrating ROI requires brokers to juggle manual tasks and multiple software systems. Luckily, there’s no need to build a better in-house system, because Discovery has already built it.  

1 in 5 waste invoices has an error. On average, automating invoice audits through Discovery can help brokers drive customer savings of 5% per invoice.

Discovery’s software streamlines the collection, data capture, and audit of invoices, as well as management of customer service tickets, work orders, and vendor contracts. The easy-to-use, white-labeled platform enables brokers to reduce data entry errors, format data to better support ESG reporting frameworks, and drive more savings for customers. 

Waste invoice automation drives savings

Discovery’s customers have seen firsthand the benefits of waste invoice automation. With tens of thousands of locations throughout the country, its largest client came to them years ago after struggling to audit waste charges and complete reports in a timely fashion. During a trial period, Discovery demonstrated the substantial monetary savings from automating audits. Today, the client has incorporated Discovery’s reporting capabilities directly into their customer portal with a simple API integration. 

“To me, the question of when to invest in automation is like the old adage: ‘When’s the best time to plant a tree?’ It would have been decades ago. The next best time is today or tomorrow – get on it.”

At one point, Discovery needed its own automation solution. Before Urjanet, the company used a web scraping tool to collect paper and digital files but quickly realized that it needed a more reliable solution. Urjanet stepped in to automate waste invoice collection directly from haulers across the U.S., enabling Discovery to accelerate invoice processing and scale with ease. 


READ MORE > See how this waste management company reduced invoice processing time with Urjanet


Waste management during COVID and beyond

Like in many other industries, automation has been essential to navigating the pandemic’s effects on waste management. Tracking change orders was already a huge burden. Business shutdowns led to an even larger volume of change orders. Without proper tracking, this can snowball into error after error. Waste brokers serve as a crucial link between the waste generator, hauler, and customer; they can’t afford to drop the ball when handling change orders.

Discovery’s ability to accurately record and centralize information on change orders proved to be invaluable during the pandemic.

Discovery’s platform allows waste brokers to see each of these change orders’ status, especially as businesses begin to reopen. It’s also reduced the friction between the customer and the waste hauler. Brokers can create a digital paper trail of pre-COVID service levels, service levels during COVID, and projected levels post-COVID.

Moving forward, Dolan expects more companies to take a closer look at waste and recycling data as demand for ESG reporting continues to grow. He also expects the industry to shift its focus toward combining different data sets into a single source of truth, in order to gain deeper insights that support annual sustainability reporting on waste diversion efforts. 

Discover a better solution

Remember, it’s never too early or too late to incorporate automation into your daily operations. Are you ready to learn more about how Urjanet and Discovery can help you drive more savings for customers with waste invoice automation? Take some time to check out our solution brief, and contact us today to get the ball rolling.

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About Ma-Keba Frye

Ma-Keba Frye is a Content Marketing Associate at Urjanet, assisting with content development and execution. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, listening to music, and volunteering.