Who’s responsible for IT asset disposition (ITAD) in your organization? While IT departments typically take the lead, facilities managers can also add value—particularly when it comes to reverse logistics.
Every enterprise requires a process for disposing IT assets, once they reach the end of life, or as teams decide to replace them.
This is known as Enterprise IT asset disposition, or ITAD.
As a facilities manager, you can help shape organizational ITAD processes.
Your knowledge of supply chain services has tremendous value. Use your voice to influence decisions related to ITAD and supply chain partnerships. It can help your workplace operate with environmental efficiency, while managing operational costs.
Let’s explore further.
What is IT Asset Disposition?
From acquisition to disposition, organizations must consider the most effective way to manage IT assets. This includes the point at which IT becomes obsolete, or the organization decides to upgrade tools, for any reason.
IT asset disposition is the process for securely disposing hardware or software. Once these assets leave the premises, they must follow a tightly controlled process that minimizes any risk of a possible data breach.
In the worlds of IT and facilities management, any security breach is extremely serious. Data breaches can result in hefty fines and loss of company value. Compromised data can erode trust from customers and the wider public.
“Particularly at enterprise-level, ITAD should be as secure as possible,” says Tony Lopez, Vice President of Manufacturing and Logistics, at PRIDE Industries.
“This should be the No. 1 goal of asset disposition in any organization.”
To ensure the integrity of ITAD processes, most large enterprises look for deep experience. This is critical, because ITAD partners share in the responsibility for end-to-end data protection.
The Role of Reverse Logistics within Asset Disposition
Security is key. But beyond choosing a great partner, what else should your ITAD processes take into account?
Reverse logistics play an essential role in asset disposition.
Here’s how reverse logistics work, in the context of ITAD:
The term ‘reverse logistics’ refers to the upstream flow of goods from end users, back to manufacturers. The manufacturer may be the original entity who first produced and/or supplied the goods. Or, it could be a different manufacturer.
In either case, IT assets are then assessed, improved, and/or certified. The equipment can then be processed for re-use elsewhere, or disposed of in accordance with legislation and organizational objectives.
Reverse logistics and IT asset disposition are essential components of the enterprise supply chain. As a facilities manager, you may already be tracking physical IT assets, or working in partnership with your IT team to manage this information. Check or negotiate manufacturer agreements to see whether they can play a role in taking back equipment.
ITAD: Good for the Environment and the Bottom Line
Of course, extending a product’s life is more sustainable than scrapping. So, with that in mind, the disposal of IT assets should preserve as much functional value as possible.
An environmentally friendly approach to ITAD can also be financially beneficial.
As you plan reverse logistics and asset disposition, select an ITAD partner who can offer a range of options. These should support the objectives of your organization or department.
In addition to testing IT equipment, an ideal ITAD partner will be able to:
- Refurbish devices
- Resell components
- Remanufacture hardware
“Extending an item’s usable life prevents unnecessary waste, while supporting corporate social responsibility,” says Scott Lacey, Director of Operations, at PRIDE Industries.
“The right ITAD partner will help ensure the best outcome.”
In a circular economy, secondhand IT equipment can benefit the launch of a new business, for example. Or, the equipment could be used in a classroom, enabling a new learning platform.
The resale or remarketing of IT assets can also help an organization recapture its investment.
An experienced ITAD partner can help determine how much cash you may receive. To do so, they’ll evaluate the age and condition of each asset. They’ll also factor in the cost of repairs and refurbishment, as well as any other overheads. Market demand will also influence final value.
Any tech that can’t be resold or remarketed should be properly disposed of by an ITAD partner.
Mini Case Study: Reverse Logistics in Action
The computer giant HP Inc. relies on PRIDE Industries to help process approximately 375 returned items per day.
Each package is opened and systematically entered into a returns management system.
From that point, the returns undergo a visual manual inspection.
Based on the results of that inspection, the parts are either returned to inventory—where they await a second chance to satisfy a customer order—or sent to a local recycler.
If recycled, any valuable materials are harvested for reuse or sent to a local recycler for further processing.