Are MBA Principles all Garbage?
Steven F. Bouck
Executive Vice President and CFO, Waste Connections, Inc.
There’s tons of cash in the trash business—the U.S. solid waste services industry hauled in $43 billion in revenues last year. Although it’s a relatively low-tech and slow-growth sector, pacing with the nation’s gross domestic product and population increases, there’s no shortage of management challenges and opportunity for big profits.
A handful of large, publicly held waste companies, hundreds of government-owned municipal services and thousands of small private haulers truck away the more than four pounds of trash the average American tosses daily, most of which ends up in landfills.
With stable revenues, consistent cash flows and high-capital costs discouraging new competitors, solid waste collection on the surface seems like a staid, turn-key business that lacks excitement. But what does it really take to thrive and grow in an industry where mega-haulers share a market landscape littered with independent franchises and mom-and-pop operations?