by Matthew Kemeny
Reunited … and it felt so good.
Exactly 1,188 days since our last user conference, INTERSECT 2022 was a stunning success. Routing technology professionals from across the globe gathered April 25-28 at the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort in sunny Orlando, Florida, to learn, collaborate and network during the four-day event.
“Fantastic week!” wrote one attendee. “Excellent organization, coordination and hospitality. Insight into both similarities and differences across industries was refreshing. Thanks, RouteSmart!”
The gathering kicked off in practical fashion with pre-conference training workshops April 25-26, led by Client Success Managers Danielle Baci and Aaron Nuffer. Participants were able to learn and ask questions in a small group setting. These crucial workshops provided a hands-on experience for our newest and our more seasoned users.
“It is apparent that RouteSmart can scale up/down to give individualized service to any customer, large or small,” another attendee wrote. “The event planning team was fantastic. They helped me numerous times!”
And because you can’t go to Florida and not golf, RouteSmart hosted an outing Tuesday, April 26, at the renowned, Arnold Palmer-designed Shingle Creek Golf Club. Memories were made, no clubs were broken, and in the end, the foursome of Brendan Ford (GIS Specialist, Washington D.C. Public Works); Matthew Wagers (Geospatial Applications, Colorado Springs Utilities); Dan Martini (VP, Sales, VoicePort); and Matthew Kemeny (Communications Manager, RouteSmart) emerged victorious. The prize was bragging rights for a year.
The evening was filled with smiles, laughs and libations as attendees mingled at a welcome reception on a patio overlooking the Universal resort.
Breakfast preceded the beginning of the main sessions on Wednesday, April 27, where Vice President of Marketing Doug Hill unveiled our new tagline, “Intelligent Planning for Efficient Operations,” followed by a short video highlighting the impact our solutions have in the postal/parcel, newspaper, public works and utility industries.
Chief Operations Officer and Executive Vice President Dr. Larry Levy challenged attendees with a routing exercise designed to highlight our emphasis on safety in route planning. The task was a fitting precursor to our keynote speaker, David Biderman, CEO of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). Biderman discussed the importance of safety in the waste collection and recycling industry and the hard work his organization has done to reduce fatalities and injuries among collection workers. Waste Collection is currently the sixth most dangerous profession in America.
The following six hours were filled with eye-opening and engaging client, staff, and partner presentations that included James Kostoroski of Smith Brothers Farms explaining how our solutions helped them manage the incredible surge in business brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rob Laudati, Director, Global Partners & Alliances at Esri, discussed various advancements in Esri Technology, including the ArcGIS Pro solution with improved performance, quality, usability, productivity and more.
Senior Product Manager Mike Corder showcased our new web based RouteSmart Online for waste and recycling collection solution. RouteSmart Online currently supports the newspaper industry, but we are rolling out the solution to private and public waste haulers in phases starting in June.
Michele Cohen, Principal of our legal partner Miles & Stockbridge, provided a comprehensive review of our legal agreements, highlighting the role of our third-party providers, subscription terms and renewals and our commitment to protecting our clients’ privacy.
We dove into operations research in two outstanding presentations. Operations Research Analyst Kewal Shah discussed how the route plans we create for clients take into consideration street types and traffic when deciding to safely serve customers on both sides of the street. Vice President of Research & Development Roy Dahl explained how we make use of the HERE street network attributes and supplemental data to include, discourage, limit, or exclude certain roads or paths when routing.
The final presentation of the day came from Jake Kimber-Thomson, Senior Manager for Bestrane Group, headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. Bestrane is an authorized partner of ours in Australia and New Zealand with clients throughout Asia-Pacific and the world. Jake reviewed how Bestrane helped redesign the routes of a national waste hauler for maximum efficiency following the massive flooding in 2022 in Eastern Australia, which had caused significant damage to its fleet.
To conclude the evening, attendees boarded a water taxi to the Universal CityWalk where we broke bread at Vivo Italian Kitchen for a fantastic client appreciation dinner.
You could say day two of the conference was a “blast,” punctuated by a “stellar” presentation by Matt ‘Mas’ Wittal, Automation & Robotics Systems for NASA, who shared his insights on establishing deep space supply chains for the moon and mars and NASA’s Artemis Program, the first step in the next era of human exploration.
The Artemis missions will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before. NASA will collaborate with commercial and international partners and establish the first long-term presence on the Moon. Then, they will use what they learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap: sending the first astronauts to Mars.
Our partners in the United Kingdom, Integrated Skills, took the stage. CEO Alan Paget, Client Services Director Andy Clewes, and Managing Director Hubertus Kraus highlighted case studies to show how they were able to provide real world improvement in waste & recycling/street sweeping services through digital innovation in the London borough of Newham.
Our Quality Assurance Specialist John Mattingly held a presentation on RaaS, the backbone of all our provided web application. RaaS provides hosted and API-based access to our library of powerful route optimization solvers. It allows our users to generate and balance new routes by time, volume, lifts, weight, or fleet availability; Sequence new or existing routes, minimizing non-productive travel; Insert new stops or call-ins when needed and evaluate the efficiency of current routes.
In a video presentation, Michael Schlebusch, Co-Founder and CEO of Zula, recounted Interwaste’s Logistics Digital Transformation Journey, covering the challenges faced by the Interwaste logistics operations and how Zula, supported with our RaaS technology, was able to successfully address these challenges and provide measurable results.
Amanda Taylor, Director, Product Owner Map & Content at HERE Technologies, provided the grand finale as she outlined the map making process of our partners at HERE and how our partners have invested in location technology across four decades.
As quickly as the conference began, it was over. The post-conference reviews were stellar, with attendees lauding the content, organization and “abundance of food!”
“One of the best conferences I have been to.”
“The hospitality was awesome!
“This was a great experience to learn what others are doing with RouteSmart.”
We’re already planning INTERSECT 2023, scheduled for the fall of next year in the Baltimore area. We’re hoping to see all our clients and some new faces next year for another great event!