Managing Google Maps Billing to Keep Dumpsters on the Job
When you see a dumpster at a construction site, you likely don’t realize how much behind-the-scenes technology it takes to connect haulers to professional contractors, businesses and DIY enthusiasts who need access to dumpsters on-site.
That’s exactly what happens at Budget Dumpster in Westlake, Ohio. Technology drives this matchmaking effort, helping customers find low-cost and effective dumpster rentals in more than 150 cities across the United States. And it’s all driven by the company’s two websites, BudgetDumpster.com and Dumpsters.com, its brick-and-mortar operation. Both sites are powered by Google Maps Platform, built on Google Cloud Platform infrastructure.
Since 2009, Budget Dumpster has rented more than 500,000 dumpsters to customers in 46 states. The company works with local partners throughout the United States to sell thousands of temporary roll-off dumpsters each week.
On the front-end, Budget Dumpster uses Google’s Maps API implementation to quickly and easily help customers pinpoint the hauler closest to them. Website users enter their zip code or city on the homepage and immediately land on a page that shows a map and pricing for their local market. They then call the number provided to complete the rental process with the closest local Budget Dumpster hauler.
Internally, the Budget Dumpster sales and customer services team that back both of the company’s websites use Google Maps Platform to locate available dumpster sizes and pricing across its U.S. hauler network. They do this using sophisticated algorithms to develop a distance-matrix application.
Growing Google Maps Usage Demanded a Solution
All of this activity requires careful tracking of Google Maps Platform usage. In mid-2018, Google upgraded its location-based services from the traditional Google Maps to the new Google Maps Platform. This rollout streamlined 18 individual Google Maps APIs into three core products: Maps, Routes and Places. It also included new pricing and billing changes.
Google Maps Platform now has a new pay-as-you-go pricing plan that's scalable. This means you don’t pay for an annual package — and don’t have up-front commitments, termination fees or usage limits. You start each month with a $200 monthly credit that includes free support.
Many businesses don’t come close to using the free-tier credits for Google Maps billing in any given month. In fact, Google expects this tier covers usage needs for roughly 98 percent of its customers. For companies that rely on location-based services to do business every day, that’s not always the case. Budget Dumpster is one of these companies.
As the company’s IT team quickly discovered, high usage from internal and external traffic could quickly escalate Google Maps Platform costs on this new payment plan. The company was rapidly growing, and website usage driven by Maps was on the rise.
“As our staff and customer base grew, and we continued to build apps, we realized we needed to optimize our spend on Google Maps Platform,” notes Tommy May, a full stack developer at Budget Dumpster “We had more people coming to our site and more sales calls, and the team gets too busy to monitor our usage.”
Turnkey Solution Manages Google Maps Platform Financials
OnSpend by Onix™ solved that issue and lightened the web team’s load. This proprietary solution gives users the tools, strategies and support they need to manage the financial side of the cloud budget and billing. The solution includes Google Maps Platform.
Because Google Maps Platform’s pricing and discounts revolve around usage, deploying OnSpend would give Budget Dumpster a way to track costs at macro and micro levels, down to a specific business unit. It would allow the IT department to better predict and forecast Google Maps Platform spend beyond 30 days, and to set thresholds to avoid overages.
Custom reporting also can prevent budget overruns, so using OnSpend would allow Budget Dumpster to create reports in a custom date range over any time period. The reports could be grouped by date, project or service, with metrics viewable across multiple reports.
May indicates Budget Dumpster was sold on the OnSpend product as soon as leadership learned about it, quickly deciding to deploy the solution. Onix took things a step further by adding additional value to Budget Dumpster’s OnSpend experience. An Onix Enterprise Account Manager assumed responsibility for keeping tabs on Budget Dumpster’s total Google Maps Platform usage for both the BudgetDumpster.com and Dumpsters.com sites.
“Budget Dumpster has multiple Google Maps projects linked to Onix,” explains Onix Enterprise Account Manager Zack Schreiber. “We use OnSpend to track the spend and usage for each project and quickly provide that information to Budget Dumpster. Because Budget Dumpster is expanding its current and future projects that involve Google Maps, they’re finding OnSpend is helpful. We're also able to set up forecasts based on trends to help them optimize their usage in the most cost-effective manner.”
This rapid turnaround and forecasting give Budget Dumpster’s web team the ability to make adjustments — and to also get an on-demand update on Maps API usage. It saves the team an immense amount of time.
“It’s an important value-add to have the Onix team to handle this for us,” May says. “It gives us peace of mind to have this monitoring our spend on a full-time basis.”