Spring time. It is the time of year for new beginnings and new life. Grass begins to green, trees and flowers begin to bloom, and after months of cold wintery weather, we’re able to enjoy the warmth and sunshine outdoors. This change in seasons also tends to bring “spring cleaning.” You know, the closet at the end of the hall filled with misfit monitors, broken keyboards, and other random things you may not have found a home for over the last few months. Or it could be a new budget that allows a large refresh of IT equipment — out with the old and in with the new. Every year around this time we see an uptick in recycling and remarketing requests as companies, schools, and other organizations go through storage closets, renegotiate contracts, or prepare for upcoming refreshes.
Want to get out and enjoy the warmer weather a bit faster and more often? Here are 5 simple tips to keep your IT spring cleaning on track.
- Take inventory. Go through your closet, storage cage, or employee equipment list and take note of what decommissioned, or soon to be decommissioned, items will need to be recycled in the near future. An asset management software program is also a great tool to use during this process. If you are planning to qualify a new IT asset disposition (ITAD) vendor, you may want to go a step further and note make, model, and spec information, in addition to the quantity. Having this information will help vendors understand how material needs to be picked up, how many pallet spaces they’ll need on the truck, and any credit amounts if your items have a resale return value.
- Find someone truly great! Selecting the right vendor is key. Whether going through a formal RFP process or qualifying a new vendor with a phone or in-person interviews, be sure to ask questions about business longevity, chain of custody, recycling and data destruction processes, certifications, reporting, as well as refurbishing and remarketing capabilities. “Zero to landfill” and data destruction according to NIST 800.88 or DoD 5220.22m standards are ideal practices your ITAD provider should possess. Keep in mind, a well-rounded vendor will offer excellent customer service, sustainable electronics recycling, and secure data destruction, all while providing a reasonable, but not necessarily the lowest, price.
- Find someone certified. Certified vendors add an extra layer of protection when it comes to electronics recycling and data destruction. When ITAD providers carry key certifications, their facility, policies, procedures, and the team are subject to 3rd party audits throughout the year. The potential for audit helps ensure the right practices are being adhered to, even when no one is watching. The gold standards in the industry are E-Stewards and R2 certification, which require processes to be followed that ensure electronics are recycled sustainably. Many electronics recyclers will also carry ISO 14001, ISO 9001, OHSAS 18001, NAID AAA, and ISRI certifications. They could also be ITAR registered. Depending on your business, be sure to find out which certifications are at the top of your preference list and source vendors that meet your needs.
- Be prepared. If possible, have material in a centralized area for pick up. If items are on a pallet, wrapped, and ready to go, the scheduled pickup could take just minutes. If you’re unable to pre-pack units, let your account manager know to bring packing supplies and labor to the pickup site. Solid communication at the beginning of the project will ensure the entire process goes smoothly.
- Don’t wait! Once your IT equipment is removed and your closet/IT cage is clean again, don’t wait until next spring before calling your ITAD or electronics recycling vendor for another pickup. Regularly scheduled pickups decrease clutter, reduce security risk, and can save your budget. Stockpiling equipment could result in lost or stolen units, data security breaches, and lost revenue. And if you lock or secure your surplus areas to prevent theft or loss, the material should not be stored long. With new technology being deployed at rapid rates, decommissioned IT assets could lose value quickly, resulting in less return to your organization. So request pickups as needed and work out a long-term contract in advance; then, you and your vendor understand the processing and pricing terms right from the start.
By organizing, qualifying, and keeping up with your IT recycling and remarketing needs, you’ll realize more revenue, reduce risk, and be able to enjoy the sunshine a bit more. Click here if you would like to learn more about how Dynamic ITAD could assist with your spring cleaning, RFP, or IT refresh project.