How a 100-Year-Old Company Retains Innovation Leadership through Strategic Industry 4.0 Digital Strategy

How a 100-Year-Old Company Retains Innovation Leadership through Strategic Industry 4.0 Digital Strategy

A Long History of Partnership 

For over a century, PADNOS has been transforming the recycling industry with innovative programs and solutions that deliver a more sustainable future for clients, communities, and the planet. Along the way, their strategic partnership with BDO has helped them to achieve that mission from the very beginning. With more than 100 years of history together, the family-owned and operated company is one of BDO’s longest-standing clients, and a representation that building genuine relationships and trust between partner and client can have a lasting impact.

A Vision for the Future

In an increasing digital marketplace, fourth-generation President and CEO, Jonathan Padnos wanted to ensure that the company continued to be at the forefront of innovation, while staying connected to its original values of transparency and trustworthiness. He recognized that technology is the catalyst for innovation in today's digital economy and was looking to make long-term investments to enable the business for rapid growth and maintain ease for suppliers and customers. Keeping PADNOS’ brand promises in mind of working for their supplier and customers, Jonathan enlisted the help of his trusted advisor at BDO to pull in the necessary strategic, technical, and change management specialists to help guide the way. Jonathan and his team worked with their BDO team to develop a Digital Transformation roadmap that aligned to both short- and long-term business objectives.


A Phased Approach 

PADNOS has long been known as an industry leader with a track record of constantly looking to innovate and drive improvements. Over the years, their systems have been considered by many to be the best in the recycling industry, but with constantly evolving technology, the company realized enhancements would be required if PADNOS was to continue leading the industry. The path to continuous modernization was not as simple as flipping a switch; it would require a clear, staged approach to help ensure the organization would be able to advance their tools and improve customer experience without disrupting the day-to-day business. PADNOS engaged BDO to help them map out this continuous innovation process to provide the most efficient and streamlined experience to enable their customers and team members well into the future.
BDO began by assessing the current maturity of PADNOS’ technology stack in terms of legacy systems and innovation. In collaboration with various areas of the business, they built an inventory of their existing capabilities and workflows. Throughout the discovery process, BDO involved both business and IT executives to ensure that decisions were made based on business constraints, dependencies, priorities, and budget. By understanding how the business was run today, they were able to develop a roadmap for where they wanted to go.
With a great deal of confidence in their technology investments and strategy, they were granted the necessary board approvals to move their ideas, and the company forward.


Early Success and Long-Term Resilience


Improving Customer Experience

As an initial step in their transformation journey, PADNOS chose to tackle their CRM implementation – as customer experience and relationship management are a top priority for the organization. PADNOS has also strengthened their digital transformation plan with a focus on ERP and business intelligence improvements that drive customer value.  Examples include monitoring and improving truck-in-yard time, improving Recycling Center customer processing time, and deploying a mobile app for weighing in and processing customers.

Increasing Operational Efficiency

Through the discovery process, BDO uncovered numerous opportunities to increase efficiency internally. With multiple different systems trying to talk to each other, the manual cross-checking was becoming tedious and time-consuming. By identifying where to improve integration between systems and automate certain processes, PADNOS was able to free up employees to focus on more value-added initiatives.


Plans for the Future

While PADNOS is confident in their digital roadmap, they also recognize that digital transformation requires agility. As new and unexpected technologies offer more opportunities and economic challenges arise, PADNOS is adapting their roadmap to seize the opportunities ahead. Backed by the relationship with BDO, they’re excited for what the future holds.