The Jennings family founded Longwood, Florida-based Waste Pro in 2001, and just under two decades later, the company has grown to include more than 3,700 employees and 75 different locations. The fully integrated waste and recycling hauler and processor’s speedy growth earned it the No. 9 spot on Waste Today's inaugural Top Hauler List, with a revenue of $694,000,000 in 2018.
Waste Today magazine caught up with company President Sean Jennings on the latest happenings with the company and what he sees for its near-term future.
Waste Today (WT): What is your business philosophy?
Sean Jennings (SJ): We strongly believe the future of our company lies in the next generation of leaders. Being open to their ideas, adaptive to change and bridging the gap between then and now in terms of methods, technology and best practices are essential to not only being successful, but also remaining relevant in the industry. When the previous generations work side-by-side with the younger generations and utilize the best of both worlds, we can ensure our company will be a 100-year company and beyond.
WT: What technology have you implemented over the past five years that you think has contributed to your success?
SJ: We have made significant safety improvements by implementing on-board cameras and recording devices, which have allowed us to identify areas where safety improvements need to be made, in turn, allowing us to better train our drivers. Additionally, we have implemented automated service verification with our customers, which allows us to accurately respond to customers who have questions regarding their service. We have opened driver training centers equipped with virtual reality technology to better position our drivers for success.
WT: How big of a focus is merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for your company and why?
SJ: We are always open to mergers and acquisitions, however, to keep a strong culture, we are primarily interested in companies whose values align with ours. Our past M&As have allowed us to expand into new markets and build relationships with residents and government leaders.
WT: Can you talk about any notable sustainability initiatives or investments you’re planning on making in the future?
SJ: Our fleet of nearly 3,000 trucks includes more than 300 compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks to provide an eco-friendly alternative to diesel fuel, which reduces emissions and improves air quality. We also continue to invest in our MRFs [material recycling facilities] so that the recycling process can be sustainable.
WT: How has the hauling business changed over the years, and how has your company remained relevant in that time?
SJ: The basics of our business has not changed: provide a high level of service with top quality people, modern equipment and financial excellence. We are fortunate to have values that are sustainable over generations. We keep our focus on creating an environment that supports our people, promotes open-mindedness and allows us to adapt to changes.
WT: What are your company’s major goals for the future? Are there any new innovations or upgrades in the pipeline?
SJ: Our major goal will be to continue to fulfill our values as the business environment continues to change. We will continue to invest in the Waste Pro employee culture to ultimately offer our customers the best possible experience. Waste Pro will continue to innovate and lead in environmentally friendly alternative fuel sources as well as the use of web-based information systems in finance, customer service and training.