Significant disruptive forces come into play that impact IT asset management costs for CIOs. State and government statutes on the disposal of IT equipment have become progressively more stringent leaving corporations with the burden of responsibly handling their assets. States including California, Colorado, and Illinois have taken strides towards being more environmentally responsible.
Cell phone recycling, which is becoming a very significant source of electronic waste, was tackled by Californians Against Waste (CAW). This California group sponsored the electronic waste recycling law that later specified the Cell Phone Recycling Act of 2004, requiring retailers to take-back, at no cost to the consumer, to recycle or reuse old cell phones after July 1, 2006.
Back in 2012, Illinois enacted a statewide ban on disposing e-waste in landfills. This resulted in approximately 42 million pounds of electronic devices recycled in one year, beating the Illinois Products Recycling and Reuse Act by nearly 3 million pounds. Meanwhile, in 2013 Colorado prepared a ban that would prohibit all electronics from being thrown in household trash cans because e-waste would no longer be accepted into Colorado landfills.
As environmental legislation throughout the nation continues to become increasingly strict, firms can either take the minimalistic approach and view regulations as a burden, or they can seek out local opportunities to take advantage of.
Reverse logistics shouldn’t be thought of as just a necessary evil or a cost of doing business. The process can often be misconstrued as a mere cost-minimization exercise, but if utilized efficiently, every step in the reverse logistics process adds value even if it is not always physically realized in the device itself.
But how does reverse logistics add value exactly?
- Data Erasure – You can’t put a price on peace of mind. Reverse logistics services include best-in-class on- and off-site data erasure of devices to ensure optimal data security. Proper data erasure practices involve keeping sensitive information secure without physically destroying the evidence.
- Consumer Returns – The truth is 95 percent of retail returns of electronics can easily be refurbished and then re-sold. Return products are often an overlooked source of additional revenue, but they can be catered to a niche market. This is a great way to recoup profits from retail returns. Returns do not have to spell disaster for your business.
- Responsible Recycling – R2-certified IT asset management and disposition providers are experts in extracting precious metals from electronic devices. The U.S. EPA estimates that recycling one million mobile phones can reclaim 35,274 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium. With proper recycling, these precious metals can be repurposed resulting in minimized mineral mining.
- Corporate Reputation: As customers and consumers become increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of their corporations they deal with, being able to honestly promote reverse logistics activities can help a firm gain repeat business and increase customer loyalty. Many firms are finding that significant brand equity can accrue by being an environmentally responsible corporate citizen.
Define the CORE of your IT asset management program to realize the potential in your equipment. HOBI International, Inc. sends IT assets and mobile devices through established reverse logistics and refurbishment processes in order to regain value for the customer, revive assets back to proper working conditions and remarket them for a second life.