Your hardware disposal vendor is great, right? They are environmentally conscious, have top notch security and give you a great resale rate on your hardware. So what else is there to know? For starters, ask yourself some of these questions: does your disposal vendor get rid of all the hardware? How highly regarded is your vendor in the industry? Does your vendor give you regular metrics/ reports? Let’s explore these questions a bit more.
Does your hardware disposal vendor really get rid of it all?
A lot of hardware disposal vendors boast about being environmentally conscious. A 90% resale/reuse rate with only 10% disposed in the garbage sounds good. So if there is 1000 pounds of hardware resold or reused there is 100 pounds of garbage. This garbage is going to the landfill. If your company would be proud of that rate of garbage it is introducing into landfills, then you are fine, but the fact that more and more companies are trying to be as ‘green’ as possible, than this may not be something to brag about. Participating in a tour of your vendor’s operations may set your mind at ease.
How is your disposal vendor rated in the industry?
A lot of factors go into how your hardware disposal vendor is portrayed in the industry. Besides solid factors like years in business, publicly logged consumer complaints, and what eraser security technology they use there are other things that play into this. It may be a good idea to talk to other customers of your disposal vendor and compare service, as you may be enlightened into their experience and vice versa. For companies who are committed to ‘giving back’ to the community, it would be interesting to know your vendor’s participation level in community and civic activities. With the disposal industry booming there are a lot of mergers and acquisitions taking place. Is your vendor at risk of a takeover? If so, are they operating in a “business as usual” mode? It may be hard to know, but keeping a pulse on the industry is important.
What kind of metrics does your vendor publish to you regularly?
The level of reporting expected from your vendor should be outlined in the contract. Regular hardware disposal reporting helps you look at your program holistically, as well as provide insight and transparency into the vendor’s activities. The level of detail of reporting is important to consider. Minimal information that should be provided is the quantity of assets processed, what percent were resold, the breakdown by hardware asset (server, desktop, etc.), and percent of hardware not reused but turned into garbage.
How much you really know about your hardware disposal vendor is really up to you. Building the relationship for full transparency is key (a strong contract doesn’t help either!). What is important to your organization should be equally important to the vendor.